Ron Gibson has resigned from the Utah Farm Bureau Federation following allegations of assault and human trafficking

Ron Gibson has resigned from his state and national agriculture agency posts after he was accused of beating a farm hand last week.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Ron Gibson, then President of the Utah Farm Bureau, speaks during the One Utah Summit in Cedar City in October 2021.

Ron Gibson, who was arrested last week after allegedly beating a farm worker, has resigned as president of the Utah Farm Bureau Federation.

In a statement Tuesday night, a spokesman for the Utah Farm Bureau said the organization announced last week that Gibson would be taking a leave of absence, but that the leave of absence is now permanent.

“The Utah Farm Bureau Federation was notified today of the resignation of Ron Gibson as President of the Utah Farm Bureau, effective immediately,” the organization’s statement said. “The Utah Farm Bureau welcomes this development.

“We are grateful for his years of service to our organization, but his abuse of a farmhand last week was unworthy of a leader and contrary to Farm Bureau values.”

Gibson, 50, was arrested last week after Weber County sheriff’s deputies were called to his West Weber farm. A Gibson farm worker told police his boss slapped him across the face, according to a probable cause statement filed by officers. The worker said he confronted Gibson after he and other coworkers weren’t handed their last four paychecks.

Gibson was sentenced to the Weber County Jail and later charged with assault, a Class B misdemeanor. But the sheriff’s office said in a press release that the state is investigating Gibson on more serious charges.

“The investigation has also brought to light allegations of fraud and human trafficking, which are currently being investigated in depth by the Department of Public Safety’s Special Bureau of Investigation,” the release said.

Following his arrest and announcing that he would be taking a leave of absence, Gibson apologized in a written statement from the Utah Farm Bureau.

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“I deeply regret the incident and apologize that a dispute escalated into an altercation on my farm,” Gibson said in the statement. “I’m disappointed in myself. I have great respect for the men and women who are willing to work on farms across America, including mine. I simply could not run the farm without their help, and without them we would not have the wealth that we have in this country.”

According to a statement from the organization, Gibson not only resigned from the Utah Farm Bureau but also from his position on the board of directors of the American Farm Bureau Federation on Tuesday.

“Ron Gibson’s resignation from his role as president of the Utah Farm Bureau, and thereby from his role on the board of directors of the American Farm Bureau, was the right decision,” Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, said in a written statement Tuesday . “While his apology for the mistreatment of a worker on his farm was heartfelt, such behavior is unacceptable and contrary to the Farm Bureau’s values.”

“Mistreating an employee is never okay,” Duvall said in the statement. “Farm workers, like all workers, deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. We recognize the critical role they play on farms across America and deeply appreciate their commitment to providing safe and plentiful food supplies to families everywhere.”

Gibson was first elected President of the Utah Farm Bureau in 2015. His first court appearance is scheduled for September, according to online court filings.

Justin Scaccy

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