COURTS & LEGAL

Utah Farm Bureau Federation president resigns following arrest, human trafficking investigation

Aug 15, 2023, 8:45 PM | Updated: Aug 16, 2023, 12:39 pm

Ron Gibson video...

This image was taken from a recorded confrontation between Ron Gibson, President of Utah Farm Bureau Federation and an employee during a dispute over pay.

WEBER COUNTY, Utah — Ron Gibson has resigned as the president of the Utah Farm Bureau according to a statement that was released Tuesday.

Gibson was arrested for assault and is being investigated for human trafficking according to court documents.

The Utah Farm Bureau released a statement that said in part, “Utah Farm Bureau Federation was notified today of Ron Gibson’s resignation from his position as president of the Utah Farm Bureau, effective immediately. Mr. Gibson had announced on Friday, August 11, that he was taking a leave of absence from the post.”

According to a probable cause affidavit, Gibson was involved in a confrontation with an employee at a local farm owned by Mr. Gibson. A man called 911 and stated he was assaulted by Gibson, his boss.

KSL obtained a video that showed the confrontation.

Lt. Colby Ryan from the Weber County Sheriff’s office said the investigation into the assault also brought to light “allegations of fraud and human trafficking, which are currently being thoroughly investigated by the Department of Public Safety’s Special Bureau of Investigation.”

The Farm Bureau said it “welcomed the development.”

“We are grateful for his years of service to our organization, but his mistreatment of a farm worker last week was unbecoming of a leader and inconsistent with Farm Bureau’s values,” the statement said. “Treating people with respect is a core value that must not be compromised. Workers who accept positions on farms face hard work in the fields and pastures across America. They deserve our gratitude and respect.”

The American Farm Bureau released its own statement saying Gibson’s resignation was “the right thing to do,” but his “conduct is unacceptable and inconsistent with the values of Farm Bureau.”

In a statement to KSL.com, Gibson apologized for the incident.

“I deeply regret the incident and apologize for allowing an argument to escalate to an altercation on my farm. I am disappointed in myself. I have deep respect for the men and women willing to work on farms across America, including mine,” he said.

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Utah Farm Bureau Federation president resigns following arrest, human trafficking investigation