As Director of AFBF’s Congressional Relations, Andrew’s responsibilities include energy, transportation, Clean Air Act, climate change and biotechnology issues. Andrew has successfully lobbied for multiple Farm Bureau policies that were eventually signed into law. His work has included regulatory relief for farmers and ranchers in MAP-21 and the FAST Act.; helped secure Farm Bureau priorities in WRRDA 2014 along with a successful extension of Positive Train Control and a Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization. Andrew was the lead Farm Bureau staff on the recent GMO labeling fight that ensured farmers’ access to biotechnology and future innovations in plant breeding. Andrew currently chairs the Agricultural Biotech Alliance. He is a steering committee member of the Coalition for Safe and Affordable Food and the Rail Customer Coalition. Andrew also serves as an advisor to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on their Energy, Clean Air & Natural Resources Committee.
In the summer of 1993 Staff Sergeant Keni Thomas was deployed to Mogadishu Somalia with the 3rd Ranger Battalion as part of an elite special operations package called Task Force Ranger. Their mission was to find and capture a criminal warlord named Mohammed Farrah Aidid. On Oct. 3, Keni and his fellow rangers distinguished themselves in an 18-hour fire fight that would later be recounted in the highly successful book and movie “Blackhawk Down.” Nineteen Americans gave their lives and 78 were wounded in the worst urban combat seen by U.S. troops since WWII. After Mogadishu, Staff Sergeant Thomas volunteered for one more enlistment in the Army. He became an assistant team leader for a six-man ranger reconnaissance team. Keni left the Army to pursue his music career and is now an award-winning country music recording artist and songwriter. Keni continues to serve our troops with regular tours to Iraq and Afghanistan. He has been recognized by the President of the United States, by Congress and has been awarded the American Patriot Award and the recipient of the bronze star for valor.
Duvall is a third-generation dairy farmer from Greene County, Ga. who currently maintains a 300 head beef cow herd while producing quality hay to supply his needs. He and his wife Bonnie have also developed a poultry production operation, growing out more than 50,000 broilers per year. Duvall began his Farm Bureau journey in 1977 after his late father heard him complain about the price of milk and told him, “If you think the price of milk is not enough, or if you think the regulations are too tough, you’ve got to get outside your fencerows.” Throughout his time in Farm Bureau, Duvall has been able to expand his leadership skills and influence others through opportunities to advocate for agriculture—from the Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmer Committee to the state board where he has served as Georgia Farm Bureau President for nine years. Duvall has held numerous leadership roles in the organization at the county, state and national level. As GFB president, Duvall also served on the AFBF Board of Directors, including roles on the Trade Advisory Committee, International Trade Mission and Finance Committee.
The Peterson Farm Brothers are three brothers from central Kansas who create YouTube videos to promote agriculture. They grew up and still work on a family farm near Assaria with their parents and sister. All three brothers attend or attended Kansas State University. Greg graduated in 2013 after majoring in Agricultural Communications and Journalism, Nathan is a senior majoring in Agriculture Technology Management, and Kendal is a sophomore majoring in Agribusiness. In June 2012, they released a parody video on YouTube called “I’m Farming and I Grow It” that quickly went viral, receiving more than million views. Since then they have released many more videos and are now up to 37 million total views on YouTube. These videos have given the brothers many opportunities around the world (to promote agriculture); however their goal is still to operate the family farm together after college.