Farmers 'ag-vocating' with FB
On Tuesday, November 6, 2018, Americans around the country will be stepping out and letting their voices be heard by voting at their local polling locations.
Their choices will shape the future of the political landscape on various levels, including state and federal legislators and government officials. Michigan Farm Bureau has made it easier for those who are interested in improving opportunities for farmers and those involved in agricultural production.
In the 1970s, the farming community was coming to the realization that there was a need for them to work with those in the legislative world. They were looking to interact and inform officials who were making the laws.
The delegates to the 58th Michigan Farm Bureau Annual Meeting in 1977 created a policy in order to form a Political Action Committee (PAC) with a specific focus on agricultural interests. It was later named AgriPac after it was officially established.
The way the PAC works is within a “grassroots endorsement process.” Each county has the option to recommend politicians who they feel will best represent the agricultural community. These suggestions are considered viable choices as the thought is that “no one knows that local candidate better than the local people.” The final seal of approval is given in the form of the title “Friend of Agriculture” with many benefits accompanying the honor. One of those benefits is that approximately ninety percent of these people are elected into the office they are running for.
Taken from the website http://www2.michfb.com/elections, the “AgriPac’s mission is to evaluate and endorse candidates seeking federal or state office whose positions are compatible with MFB policies, without regard to party affiliation; to allocate PAC funds to endorsed candidates; to promote the personal and financial involvement of Farm Bureau members in the election of Friends of Agriculture; and to encourage County Farm Bureaus to further engage in the electoral process.”
While the elections may be completed until another cycle, the Michigan Farm Bureau is actively pursuing additional opportunities to educate their members with various meetings, conferences and seminars held throughout the year.
The next will be the State Annual Meeting in November with activities pointing to Farm Bureau’s priorities, learning about how the organization represents all Michigan farms and meeting with those interested in the future of agriculture.
February features two specialized events with one for the County Presidents and the other focused on the younger generation of farmers.
The Council of Presidents Conference trains the new leaders at the county level as well as promoting networking with other presidents and building leadership skills.
Later in the month will be the Growing Together Conference with an encouragement toward ag-vocacy combined with the learning about business, technology, interacting with consumers and dealing with agricultural issues that the industry is working on.
February will also be the month to attend the Lansing Legislative Seminar with the Washington Legislative Seminar occurring in March, wrapping up the myriad of opportunities for the members.