Villwock announces candidacy for AFBF president

By Sara Wyant

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WASHINGTON, July 15, 2015 - Indiana Farm Bureau President Don Villwock announced his candidacy for president of the American Farm Bureau Federation today, seeking to replace current President Bob Stallman who announced yesterday that he will not seek re-election.

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As Agri-Pulse reported in its weekly e-newsletter this morning, industry insiders had considered Villwock as one of a handful of state Farm Bureau presidents who might consider running for the influential post. Villwock is a member of the American Farm Bureau board of directors and a member of its executive committee. He is the national vice president of the Farm Bureau Bank, American Agricultural Insurance Co. and American Farm Bureau Insurance Services.

“After discussions with my family and encouragement from many of you, I have made the decision to seek the presidency of the American Farm Bureau at our convention in January,” Villwock wrote in a memo that was distributed to state Farm Bureau presidents this morning and obtained by Agri-Pulse.

“I believe that my experiences and my leadership capabilities qualify me to lead the organization as our industry and our nation face challenging times. American agriculture needs the strong and unified voice of Farm Bureau. My diverse leadership experiences, both inside and outside Farm Bureau, have given me the unique qualifications to represent our nation's farmers and ranchers.”

Just last month, Villwock, announced his plan to retire as president of the Indiana Farm Bureau, after 14 years of leadership. The Edwardsport, Indiana, farmer is a 1972 graduate of Purdue University with a degree in agricultural economics.

Villwock was appointed by President George H.W. Bush to serve as state executive director of the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service (now Farm Service Agency) from 1989 to 1993. He also served as state agricultural liaison for then-U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar. Villwock was appointed to the national Commission on 21st Century Production Agriculture in 1997.

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