The American Farm Bureau Federation presented one of its highest honors, the Farm Bureau Founders Award, to Oregon’s Barry Bushue during AFBF’s 101st Annual Convention in Austin.
The Farm Bureau Founders Award was established in January 2017 to recognize exemplary leadership, service or contributions to Farm Bureau by officers or employees of AFBF and state Farm Bureau organizations.
Barry Bushue served as the vice-president of AFBF from 2008-2016 and is known as a tireless worker, mentor and fundraiser. He served as the Oregon Farm Bureau President from 1999-2018 and on the AFBF Board of Directors, Executive Committee, Trade Advisory Committee and the Vision for Action Task Force. He is a firm believer that farmers and ranchers should get involved in education and the policy making process.
Bushue says, “Activism needs to be a part of your business plan. You budget for fertilizer, you budget for your seed, you budget for maintenance, you budget for all these things you do, new tractors, whatever it is you need. But, if you don’t have a line item that somehow represents an activist piece of what it is you do and show your passion for agriculture, then I think you are missing something on your farm.”
Bushue and his wife, Helen, invite members of the public to their family farm outside Portland, Oregon, to pick various fruits, vegetables, and a fall favorite, pumpkins. Bushue says opening his farm to the public comes with its challenges but he has developed a customer base that recognizes the value of agriculture.
Sharon Waterman, also a former president of the Oregon Farm Bureau, talks about Bushue’s affection for Farm Bureau, “Barry talks about the Farm Bureau family and what we can do as a Farm Bureau family because if we stand together for agriculture, we can move forward.”
Bushue says his father told him if he was going to farm smart, he needed to be part of Farm Bureau, adding, “He said, ‘We’re going to go to the [Farm Bureau] meeting tonight, and you’re going with me. I embraced it and I loved it. I’ve always had a passion for it, I think I inherited that, it’s probably genetics in our family.”
Barry Bushue was nominated by the Oregon Farm Bureau. A national Farm Bureau committee selected each of the winners.
VIDEO: See a YouTube video about Barry Bushue here: https://oregonfb.org/barryfoundersaward/