With all the technologies available today, some would argue that the old-fashioned, face-to-face meeting is obsolete. While texting or FaceTiming on an iPhone may be convenient, when it comes to communicating with your legislators, nothing beats a face-to-face discussion. An election year is the perfect time to have those discussions as the representative and senators who represent you return to their districts to campaign.
It is easy to feel jaded and feel like the voice of the average person gets lost or drowned out in all the D.C. noise. However, as a constituent, you convey an authentic and powerful voice to your elected officials and their staff. Those legislators truly do want to hear your concerns and how the decisions they make affect your farm, your family, your community and your livelihood. Plus, as a voter in an election year, those legislators need your vote.
Make it a point to seek out your members of Congress when they are back home. Here are some tips to find your legislator:
- Check their website or social media channels to see if they are hosting open office hours or town hall meetings in the district.
- Make sure that you sign up for your legislator’s e-newsletters and follow them on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram).
- Call their local office and make an appointment to see them.
- Best of all, gather your friends and neighbors and invite them to your farm. Show them what you do and how you do it. See if they want to do a ride-along in your combine.
There are many issues in Washington that will have a tremendous impact on your business – trade policy, the farm bill and ethanol policy. Remember the adage, “If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.” Seek out your legislators. Make sure that farmer voices are heard so you don’t end up on the menu.
CommonGround is a group of farmers connecting with consumers through conversations about science and research and personal stories about food and misinformation surrounding farming. Supported by the NCGA and state corn organizations.
The Soil Health Partnership (SHP) is a farmer-led initiative that fosters transformation in agriculture through improved soil health. Administered by NCGA the partnership has more than 220 working farms enrolled in 16 states. SHP’s mission is to utilize science and data to partner with farmers who are adopting conservation agricultural practices that improve the economic and environmental sustainability of the farm.
The Corn Utilization and Technology Conference (CUTC) is a biennial event happening this June. Learn more.