MANHATTAN — During his visit to Kansas this week Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), told Farm Bureau members of Kansas they must remain engaged at every level to succeed.

"I want everyone to know Farm Bureau is a three-legged stool,” Duvall says. “County, state and national. Without one of those legs, we'll fall over and fail. There's value in every level."

Duvall says his visit to Kansas, like trips to other states, is how he stays connected to the reality of what members face on their farms and ranches every day.

“I think for me to really represent the members, I’ve got to come out and listen to them, talk to them, see what they’re concerned about so I can better represent them in Washington,” Duvall says.

Duvall started his visit Wednesday holding a discussion with Kansas Farm Bureau (KFB) staff in Manhattan. He also received briefings from officials at Kansas State University’s Biosecurity Research Institute and the National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility and spoke with members of the Kansas Ag Alliance in addition to spending time with board members of the Chase County Farm Bureau.

In the afternoon Duvall and KFB President Rich Felts toured Morris County rancher Kevin Gant’s Flint Hills property on horseback, and had candid discussions about taxes, climate policy, infrastructure and livestock marketing, among other items.

Felts says Duvall’s visit, including his conversations with KFB’s board of directors, shows the connection rural Kansas has to the organization’s leadership in Washington, D.C.

“It’s so important for the president to see what’s going on at the grassroots level so he can take those communications to our elected officials and others,” Felts says.

Duvall says the only way agriculture will resolve the issues facing it is by looking forward.

“In regard to how you feel with what happened with the election or who’s serving in Congress, the challenges are in front of agriculture, and they were going to be there anyway,” he says. “The only way we can be sure they turn out in a positive way is to be engaged.”