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This article is from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina edited by William S. Powell. Copyright © 2006 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Farm Bureau Federation

by Barry McGee, 2006

Metal membership sign for the American Farm Bureau Federation, circa 1940-1960. Image from the North Carolina Historic Sites. The Farm Bureau Federation is North Carolina's largest general farm organization, offering a diversity of activities, programs, and services to meet the state's agricultural needs. No record exists of the election of the organization's first board of directors, but on 2 Mar. 1936 chairman J. E. Winslow called the first meeting to order in the county agent's office in Greenville. The Farm Bureau grew quickly by supporting vital issues such as improved farm-to-market roads; cooperative hail and storm insurance; coordination by state and federal agricultural organizations to prevent dual administration; research and extension work; revision of state feed, fertilizer, and seed laws; and the establishment of a maximum interest rate of 3.5 percent on federal farmland loans. Bureau headquarters moved from Greenville to Raleigh in 1938, to Greensboro in 1940, and finally back to Raleigh in 1958. In 1942 farm women became members and gained a voice in affairs by forming what would become the Women's Committee. The first county offices of the Farm Bureau opened in 1954. Eventually there would be at least one office in all 100 counties.

With a membership that has grown from about 2,000 initially to more than 470,000 by the early 2000s, the North Carolina Farm Bureau Federation has remained the state's "voice of agriculture."


Bill Critcher, ed., "Fifty Years of Service to Agriculture," Farm Bureau News (April 1986).

Additional Resources:

North Carolina Farm Bureau Federation website: (accessed November 27, 2012).

North Carolina Farm Bureau Insurance Group website: (accessed November 27, 2012).

"Is Farm Bureau Effective?" North Carolina Farm Bureau Magazine. January/February 2010. #  (accessed November 27, 2012).

Image Credits:

Scioto Sign Co. "Sign, Accession #: S.1985.181.2." 1940-1960. North Carolina Historic Sites.

Origin - location: