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Three Ways Farmers Can Shape Ag Policy

American agriculture is impacting legislative policy in more ways than one.

Who knows more about how federal, state, and local legislation can best support U.S. agriculture than the farmers who feel the impacts of these policies every day?  From COVID-19 to an influx in severe weather, 2020 events have pushed U.S. agriculture to the top of the agenda list for many policymakers, making it even more crucial that farm operations of all sizes join the conversation.

Major policy initiatives that directly impact U.S. agriculture include:

While these initiatives impact the agricultural industry as a whole, they can vary widely across commodity types and regions. In this article, we discuss three simple steps you can take to effect change in your local ag community and promote ag policy initiatives that will support a prosperous future for your farm.

Three Ways to be an Agvocate in Your Community

1. Write Your Legislator

The first and most obvious step to advocate for your ag community is by contacting political representatives at a local, county, state, and federal level. Who is your town mayor? Who is your county or state commissioner? Who are the members of the Senate Ag Committee and what do they stand for? Reach out to these representatives and tell them what legislative policies matter to you and why. These representatives rely on constituents to find solutions through legislation that improve the communities they serve. When writing your local legislator, consider including the following points:

  • Date;
  • Subject;
  • Who you are;
  • Your role in the community;
  • Relevant personal story; and
  • Recommended vote on an issue and why.

If you choose to request a response at the end of the letter, be sure to include your contact information on both the envelope as well as in the body of the letter. For more information, find a sample template to write your local legislator here.

Small steps towards incremental changes can lead to lasting impacts in your community and the industry at large.

2. Attend County Commission Board Meetings

There are other ways to voice your opinions regarding ag policy if writing isn’t your specialty.  Getting involved in your community at a local level can be one of the most impactful ways to perpetuate positive change. Townhall meetings vary from city to city, but often occur on a biweekly or monthly basis. Regular attendance of these events will keep you informed on local initiatives and can provide opportunities to share your insights with local officials when opportunities arise, such as how to distribute town funding.

Trying to shape agricultural policy is much more effective when local politicians know who you are.

3. Join Agricultural Organizations

Perhaps the most influential way to shape ag policy is by finding organizations that support the change you desire. National organizations–like the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, and many more–are established entities that provide a platform for farmers to share agricultural policy concerns and equip them with the resources to drive these initiatives forward. You can get involved in national organizations on a local level by becoming a member of a local chapter. Through this involvement, you have greater access to legislative connections and to research-backed data that can support your cause.

Farmers who are actively involved in ag industry and commodity organizations can help push important ag-focused initiatives from the field to Capitol Hill.

Using Our Platform to Support the Voice of American Agriculture

National Ag Week represents a time to celebrate the ones who provide food for our families–and what better way to do that than express our support for the industry at all levels of government? Whether you’re a farmer, landowner, or consumer–agriculture is important to us all.

We are deeply grateful for the farmers and ranchers who provide for us. As a champion for the American family farm, AgAmerica makes it our mission to promote agricultural awareness and provide valuable resources in addition to flexible financial support. We will continue to fight for you while you continue to keep our nation sustained.

 To learn more about partnering with a lender who is dedicated to improving the lives of farmers across the nation, contact us today.

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