As summer starts winding down you may be thinking about getting those family vacations in or preparing for harvest, but at Farm Bureau, we are thinking about policy.
Wisconsin Farm Bureau is the voice of agriculture in our state. That voice comes from you – our members.
Every year, members across Wisconsin discuss issues, ordinances and laws impacting their farms. If members want to make a change to these items, a voice of many is much more powerful than a single individual. That is what makes Farm Bureau a unique organization.
Not only is the ability to carry the thoughts of thousands of members across the U.S. powerful, we represent more than one commodity and all farm sizes. When agriculture can come together, it’s extremely powerful to the ears of governmental officials.
Our policy is developed through a grassroots process. Members start by discussing policy at district policy meetings as early as July. Then members present policy changes and additions to our policy book at county Farm Bureau annual meetings.
Policy resolutions that garner enough support make it to the WFBF Policy Development Committee. Policy resolutions from around the state are gathered and thoroughly discussed for two days in November by the committee. Policy approved by the WFBF Policy Development Committee then goes to the delegate floor at the WFBF Annual Meeting in December. Through debate and discussion, commonality and agreement are found to create a common voice for our policy.
In January, federal policy is considered during the AFBF Annual Convention and goes through a similar process at a national level. This process is not always easy but is extremely important in who and what Farm Bureau is.
This methodical process is part of the reason Farm Bureau is respected in Madison and Washington, D.C. When a resolution is made through the delegate discussion, you can be assured it’s gone through a thorough democratic process.
You may think, ‘My thoughts won’t be heard.’ You may be hesitant to present a resolution at your county’s annual meeting. However, I encourage you to do so. All it takes is one voice to start a conversation that drives change.
Last year, we had a new member present a forestry policy resolution during a county annual meeting that ultimately was eventually considered during the AFBF Annual Meeting and became AFBF Policy. That proves that no matter your level of experience with Farm Bureau, being involved in the policy process is important.
There is something for everyone within Farm Bureau and many members have a passion for policy. If you have that passion, you can be part of the policy development process.
If you have a resolution idea that you feel is important, please attend your county annual meeting; your voice has the opportunity to make a difference for agriculture.
Help be the voice of agriculture. It starts with you.
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 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.