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Bauernbund, Österreichischer, BB#

Bauernbund, Oesterreichischer, OeBB (Austrian Farmers´ Federation): The roots of the Oesterreichischer Bauernbund are political farmers' associations, which had been founded in various provinces from the year 1899 on. First came a conservative Catholic association in Styria (1899) which chose the name Bauernbund in 1934, and similar organisations were established in the provinces of Tirol (1904), Lower Austria and Salzburg (1906), in Upper Austria and Vorarlberg (1919), and in Burgenland (1921). In 1919, the first federal organisation, the Austrian Farmers Association (Oesterreichischer Reichs-Bauernbund) was established, which existed up to the year 1938. Today´s Bauernbund, composed of 9 provincial associations, was established in 1945 as part of the Oesterreichische Volkspartei. The Austrian Farmers´ Federation is one of the organisations within the Austrian People´s Party ( Oesterreichische Volkspartei), along with the Austrian Wirtschaftsbund and the Austrian Arbeiter- und Angestelltenbund. The organisation´s large number of members (320,000 in all of Austria in 2000) and the dominating role of the Chambers of Agriculture give the organisation a disproportionally great influence on the policies of the Austrian People´s Party (OeVP). Despite the steady decrease of the number of farmers ( Bauern) in the population, and thus in the electorate, the Oesterreichischer Bauernbund. can still assert its influence in the leading bodies of the People´s Party. This is due to a proportional representation system by which seats on the Party Executive are shared among the various professional and trade groups which constitute the party.