I find this time of year to be a season of reflection. Fall is a hectic time on the farm, but it also gives us thinking time.
The first things that come to mind are my family, health and countless other blessings. But as I reflect on the Farm Bureau year, we can’t forget about everything this organization provides for us.
What does your Farm Bureau membership do for you? With the cost of membership being about the cost of a nice dinner, you get your money’s worth. A Farm Bureau membership may mean different things to different people. In any aspect, your membership continues to work for you and you get even more when you put something into it besides the dollars and your membership lasts all year long.
One of the things I am most grateful for is how Farm Bureau continues to be a voice for agriculture. While you’re busy farming, Farm Bureau is working on your behalf in places where it matters. You may not always see it or hear it, but our staff on the governmental relations team make sure we are represented well. WFBF’s lobbying team continues to make our needs known. Because of this effort, Wisconsin agriculture had a very successful state budget.
We’ve seen financial support dedicated to broadband, meat processing facilities, dairy processors, farmer-led watershed initiatives and rural mental health. Support also has been given to agricultural exports that will continue to help drive the Wisconsin brand and demand. This team continues to engage on behalf of farmers across the state on many issues including water quality and quantity, wolves, wildlife crop depredation, protecting use-value assessment and more.
It’s important to note that American Farm Bureau Federation also has a great team working hard for our rural interests. AFBF is engaged on numerous issues such as growing trade and exports, fixing a broken dairy and beef pricing system, creating an immigration system that supplies a reliable workforce for agriculture, building infrastructure both locally and nationally, protecting family farms from taxation and defending a Waters of the U.S. rule that is based on science.
You and I know that advocating for agriculture is far more than lobbying. Across the state of Wisconsin, we have dozens of volunteers going into schools talking about agriculture and its importance within our communities.
Farm Bureau’s Ag in the Classroom is an engagement of our youth and teaching them about where their food comes from, modern agriculture practices and in many cases, giving them the opportunity to do hands-on activities. I’m sincerely thankful for a program that provides an opportunity to share what we do with future leaders.
Farm Bureau’s public relations team works hard to keep us as members up to date and informed through district newsletters, Rural Route and other digital efforts. One of the most important responsibilities of this team is to connect media outlets with members. Encouraging members to share their personal stories is immensely important in advocating for agriculture.
Additionally, social media provides a great opportunity for continual engagement on topics from road safety to food nutrition. Farmers are one of the most trusted professions on the planet and we need to leverage that with transparency.
Lastly, we can’t help but acknowledge the savings Farm Bureau provides to our members. If you want to own equipment or need to upgrade, there are numerous savings through Case IH, John Deere and Caterpillar. If you travel, you can get savings through hotel stays and car rentals. There also is a discount available for recreational vehicles through Yamaha. More information regarding these benefits can be found at wfbf.com and WFBF staff are looking for even more opportunities to help you save through other partnerships.
As I think of our beginnings as an organization, we can’t forget to acknowledge our partnership with Rural Mutual Insurance. Your membership also gives you the ability to purchase insurance. Rural Mutual Insurance Company was created to help farmers get insurance when they could not find it elsewhere. I’m proud that we have a close relationship with Wisconsin’s leading farm insurance writer. If you don’t have Rural Mutual Insurance, talk to your local agent.
We have many things to be grateful for as a Farm Bureau member. Give thanks this season and I wish you a safe harvest. God bless.
Kevin Krentz was elected to the WFBF Board of Directors in 2012 to represent District 5, which includes Adams, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Juneau, Marquette, Waushara and Winnebago counties. In December of 2020, Kevin was elected as President of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation. Kevin and his family own a dairy farm in Berlin. He started his farming career when he purchased his father’s 60 cows in 1994. He grew the farm to 600 cows and 1,300 acres of crops.