It has been 2,516 miles since my last blog and county annual meetings are done so now district coordinators are gearing up for the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Annual Meeting. It’s a great time of year because I get to see many Farm Bureau members in one place and highlight all of the great events, activities and promotions they have completed.
As a district coordinator, I had the opportunity to share a message at each county annual meeting. My message was entitled, “The Power of Many.” It was motivated by a Helen Keller quote, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” How true this is. Whether you are a Farm Bureau member or not, when a group of people get together to influence change or share their message, the unthinkable can happen.
Since I started at Farm Bureau, I have been listening to Sawyer County members talk about the significant bear problem they have in their area. Three years ago, I wouldn’t have imagined that I would know so much about bears and the Department of Natural Resources’ wildlife abatement program. This issue affects so many in the Northwoods. It has been interesting to learn about crop damage by bears from photos and stories. Instead of complaining about it, Sawyer County Farm Bureau members worked together to pass resolutions at their county annual meeting. The resolutions then went to the Wisconsin Farm Bureau policy development committee and was eventually adopted by delegates statewide. Members have meet with DNR wildlife biologists and others with vested interests in bear hunting and bear populations to discuss how to control their population. Through cooperation, hunters can have a good hunt while farmers see reduced crop losses. Together they influenced change.
Three years ago, the first collegiate Farm Bureau chapter was formed at UW-Madison. Chapters at Platteville and River Falls soon followed. Groups of students saw a need for an organization like Farm Bureau on their campus. Today, each is thriving by getting young people involved in agriculture and sharing agricultural stories. Collegiate Farm Bureau members have educated fellow students, staff and the greater community through their Ag Day on Campus events. Together they continue to grow and share agriculture’s story on their individual campuses. We are excited to have more than 80 collegiate Farm Bureau members attending next month’s YFA Conference in Wisconsin Dells.
Finally, when a fire destroyed the agri-science room at Menomonie High School, it was a group of Farm Bureau members who saw the need and reached out to community businesses and farmers to raise funds to help replace what was lost. Together, they were able to raise more than $5,000 and spotlight how the agriculture community comes together in a time of need. Together, they achieved so much.
It is the power of many who share agriculture’s story, work on a project or serve others in their local community. As we move into the holiday season and you begin to reunite with friends and family, remember, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”