In a special gathering at the Arizona Biltmore, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, the Arizona Farm Bureau and American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) recently presented Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.) with AFBF’s Golden Plow award. The Golden Plow is the highest honor the organization gives to sitting members of Congress and is given only to one Senator and one member of the House of Representatives during any given year.  

Arizona Farm Bureau nominated Senator Sinema for her past support of the farm bill, her negotiating skills on the Infrastructure, Investment, and Jobs Act and her positive record on natural resources issues. 

 “Senator Sinema truly understands the importance of food security for all of us as individuals, in our communities, and as an entire nation,” said Arizona Farm Bureau President and rancher Stefanie Smallhouse. “Her actions recognize the importance of keeping working lands in production and supporting those of us on the ground who manage soil and water day in and day out. She has consistently shown up for agriculture on matters that will not only determine our success in the near future but the success of the next generation on the farm and ranch. We are grateful for her open door, common-sense legislating, issues awareness, and responsiveness to the concerns of those who grow our food and fiber.”

“By working side by side with Arizona farmers, ranchers, and producers in every corner of our state, we’ve delivered real results to strengthen Arizona’s water future, address workforce shortages, and create a healthy economy where Arizona family farmers can thrive. We’ll keep working together to ensure Arizona farmers can feed families across the country – now and for generations to come,” said Senator Sinema. 


“Senator Sinema’s commitment to bipartisanship has helped bring together both parties as she worked to improve roads and bridges, expand rural broadband, and stop tax proposals that would have devastated family farms,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “She’s proven time and again that she is a strong advocate for America’s farm and ranch families.”

Presentation Also Turns into an Agriculture Roundtable with Farm Bureau Leaders

In addition to the Golden Plow presentation, the Senator’s office and Arizona Farm Bureau took the opportunity to gather Arizona farmers and ranchers around the table to discuss some of the ongoing and pressing issues in farm and ranch country. One Farm Bureau member present was Farm Bureau leader Ben Menges. 

“Booker T. Washington wrote, ‘The human race cannot prosper until it knows that there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem,’” quoted Southern Arizona rancher Ben Menges and President of Graham County Farm Bureau. He added, “You [Senator Sinema] recognize the vitality of Arizona agriculture, and I know I speak for us all when I say we look forward to continuing to work with you, and congratulations on receiving the Golden Plow award. It’s well deserved.” He is the owner/operator of Menges ranch in southeastern Arizona. 

Menges spoke on the Mexican wolf issue: “We appreciate your support in ensuring that ranchers are compensated fairly by losses suffered at the paws of the federally protected Mexican wolf. You have been supportive of ranches in the wolf zone staying in business and you continue to fight for Arizona agriculture at the federal level. Your efforts to ensure the existence of agriculture have proven to be beneficial to the industry as well as our rural Arizona economies.”