Minnesota Farmer


30 days: Setting policy after the harvest

Day 22 of the 30 day challenge on what farmers do after the harvest found me helping to set policy for the Minnesota Farm Bureau.1460232_551941724885564_255974754_n

Farmers realize that they are a minority in this country.  When you are only 2% of the population you have to keep on your toes or someone else may be telling your story that does not have your best interest in mind.

Organizations such as the Farm Bureau, Farmers Union, Corn Growers, Soybean Growers, Beef Producers, Pork Producers and others give us a voice that is much larger since we have banded together.  Politicians come to us for the information they need to make policy, and since we have little money to pay lobbyists we need to specialize in information rather than persuasion.

Setting policy together is not an easy task.  Farmers are notoriously independent.  They have to be.  What works on one farm or in one region, may not work on another.  They adjust and do what is best for them.  Policy for dairy may not always be best for beef or corn.  Meetings of farmers help them all to understand the political problems they face and what they can do together.8574369261_93eb3fcaf4_mOnce the policy is set, it is time to make a trip to the halls of power.  Telling our story face to face in our state capital or Washington, D.C.  Helps our representatives by giving them stories to tell and faces to put on those stories.  If you are not helping to do the cooking, tomorrow you may be on the plate.

Michael

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