Why I am running for Indiana Farm Bureau President

My focus will be to empower and energize our Farm Bureau family. I want us working together to cultivate our influence from the local to the national level.


My vision is to revitalize Farm Bureau by offering new opportunities and resources to county boards, local leaders, staff and individual members.


Let’s think bigger than before. Here are just a few things on my brainstorming list.

We need –

  • Increased county and staff support
  • Improved communications system
  • More leadership development programs
  • “Hot Issue” working groups
  • A broad network of state and national relationships
  • A larger membership umbrella
  • Stronger collaboration with partners
  • Insurance company research and development
  • A comprehensive county government and policy management strategy

Soon, the 2016 strategic planning process will begin. We need to utilize working groups, brainstorming and forums to capture the true potential of our structure. It is important for everyone to be engaged in the process to encourage collaboration and ownership.

Who is important to Farm Bureau success?

  • Consumers – of our agriculture products
  • Constituents – in the legislative and regulatory arena
  • Clients & Members – of our IFB companies

Developing strategies to address these three target groups will take Farm Bureau to a higher level of performance. Instead of focusing on Farm Bureau’s needs, we must strengthen our relationship with these three groups. As these relationships grow so will Farm Bureau.

Q: Why is agriculture important in Indiana?

Agriculture is the one industry present in every Indiana county. In many, agriculture is the number one economic driver. Land is finite and yet, is required for all that we do. With less than 2% of the population responsible for managing most of the land, farmers have a big job keeping the other 98% aware of agriculture’s contribution. Many Indiana counties, though, have recognized the potential economic power that agriculture offers them and have started to develop expansion strategies. County committees develop objectives that fit best in their communities. We are only scratching the surface of what is possible.

Q: What can farmers do to have a voice in agricultural policies?

For farmers to have a voice in policy, it can be as simple as being a member of Farm Bureau. I don’t want to simplify it too much but organizations such as Farm Bureau and other commodity associations are here to serve our policy needs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Something individual farmers cannot do. As time and interests allow, farmers can volunteer in these organizations to contribute their time and experience to influence policy more directly. We need more farmers stepping forward to fill these roles. More ideas, more relationships and more involvement is what our industry requires now and in the future.

Q: Why do you want to be president of Indiana Farm Bureau?

With my character, experience and work ethic, I want to serve during this exciting but critical time. The Indiana Farm Bureau family has always been an important influence in my life. My roles as county policy chair, county president, state young farmer committee member and district director are the stepping stones for IFB leadership. My work outside of IFB, such as the National Cattlemen Beef Association and the Indiana Association of County Commissioners, has given me valuable experiences. IFB’s leadership is critical to preserve and expand agriculture’s success and influence. As we prepare the 2016 IFB Strategic Plan, I will challenge us to build on the strength of the Farm Bureau grassroots and think beyond our current boundaries.

I invite you to study my resume, follow my blog, friend me on Facebook, email or call me. I ask for your vote because I care about Indiana agriculture and want to serve and represent our membership and agriculture. I am the candidate with the skills, life experiences, leadership results, strong character and deep passion needed to lead Indiana Farm Bureau. Be informed and ready for an exciting, engaging future. I have always found ways to serve our industry. I look forward to serving IFB as President. I would be humbled and honored.

Donnie 3

more about us

Donnie & Tammy

My wife, Tammy, and I graduated from Purdue in 1985 and moved back to my family farm in Boone County to farm with my parents and brother. We have two children, Kay Leigh and Clayton.

KayLeigh & Jeremy

Kay Leigh, her husband, Jeremy, and son, Tucker, farm with us.

Donnie & Clay

Clayton is currently serving in the Army and hopes to return soon to the farm, as well. I was raised on a commercial hatchery farm. Through my involvement in 4-H and FFA, I developed further my interests in livestock and agriculture. I bought my first purebred Polled Hereford heifer in 1974 and knew instantly what I really enjoyed. I enjoy all aspects of agriculture and serving the industry has become my passion. I stay involved and contribute to Indiana agriculture by volunteering with 4-H, FFA, county governance, NGO leadership opportunities and sponsoring farm tour groups.

Baling Hay

Two years ago, my brother and I completed a farm restructure transition allowing growth with the next generation joining us both on the farm. His son and my daughter are now completely integrated into our separate operations. My daughter and son-in-law are full-time with our farm. Tammy and I manage all operations on the farm. We are slowly allocating responsibility. As everyone is finding their passion and their skill sets, we are starting to see how everyone can best contribute to the success of our operation. We currently grow corn, soybeans, wheat, alfalfa, and cover forages that we use for pasture and feedstock. Our cow/calf herd and feedlot have expanded and is our primary focus. It has been a challenging but fulfilling time.


From my father’s migration to Indiana from Oklahoma and my mother’s Illinois roots, I have grown up embracing all that agriculture has to offer. I have had deep experience in all types of livestock production, cattle, pigs, sheep and poultry. I enjoy forage and cover crop production and of course, in Indiana, we all must know our corn and soybeans. My wife jokes that I need a hobby but I insist that no golf club will ever get between me and my real joy, farming.

Welcome to my blog!

As I reflect on the past weekend of parades, picnics, community events and, most importantly, ceremonies honoring our military, I am inspired by the strength of the American spirit. The turmoil and threats abroad could not dampen our duty to celebrate our independence.

With that same inspiration and call to duty, I am announcing my intention to seek the office of President of Indiana Farm Bureau.

The retirement of President Villwock presents the opportunity to elect a new president and the chance to look inward and forward at our organization and our industry. The occasion to affirm our path and develop aspirations for our future is critical and requires everyone’s attention.

The Indiana Farm Bureau family has always been an important part of my life. Starting as the Boone County young farmer representative to the State Young Farmer Committee, then the Boone County President position and finally as the District 5 Director, I have always cherished the honor to serve. Since leaving the Farm Bureau leadership role, I continued my service to Indiana agriculture by joining the board of the Indiana Beef Cattle Association (IBCA). My experience as board president, as the Indiana representative to the National Cattleman’s Beef Association (NCBA) and with various national committee assignments has been invaluable. Understanding other organizations and how best we can all work together is important to the success of our industry.

Simultaneously, I have focused on local community involvement. The local level is where we as Farm Bureau members can have the greatest impact. In 2012 I was elected to the Boone County Board of Commissioners. The opportunity to address local issues that can and do affect agriculture has reaffirmed how powerful our Farm Bureau family can be.

Farm Bureau requires a strong and decisive president. Indiana Farm Bureau deserves a proven, experienced leader that understands local, state and national issues and opportunities.

You have the responsibility to elect a new Indiana Farm Bureau president. Over the next few weeks, I am anxious to hear your thoughts and ideas. Together we have an exciting future. I look forward to earning your support. For more information or to contact me:

(765) 894-0534

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