Farm Bureau’s national membership rose to 6,277,664 member families in 2009, marking 49 consecutive years of membership growth.

State Farm Bureaus overall reported a total 34,378 more member families this year than in 2008.

American Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman said this year’s membership growth is especially noteworthy considering the continuing economic challenges facing the nation. He credited agricultural advocacy programs at the local, state and national levels and services offered by state Farm Bureaus for the organization’s overall membership growth.

“Farm Bureau members and the county and state leaders they elect are the driving force behind our membership growth,” Stallman said. “Members are the lifeblood of true, grassroots organizations such as Farm Bureau. As AFBF heads into its 91st year, this membership accomplishment sets the stage for even greater achievements in policy, programs and services, all of which are developed with the goal of improving member families’ businesses and standards of living.”

Texas Farm Bureau had the single largest gain of 17,101 members, bringing its membership to 439,260.

Other states organizations with significant growth included Kentucky, which grew by 12,418 members to 483,352; Tennessee, which grew by 10,162 members to 646,240; North Carolina, which gained 9,592 members to 508,426; and Utah, which grew by 5,897 members to 27,313. Tennessee Farm Bureau remains the largest in the nation.

Utah Farm Bureau had the single largest percentage membership gain, growing 27.5 percent to 27,313 member families. Rounding out the top five by percentage of growth were West Virginia (11.6 percent), South Dakota (11.2 percent), Montana (7.7 percent) and Maryland (7 percent). The West had the largest percentage of growth, 3 percent.

Nineteen state Farm Bureaus earned Navigator Awards for exceptional membership growth: Arizona, Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia.

Forty state Farm Bureaus achieved 2009 membership quota: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.