By Kevin Paap, MFBF President
We are past the halfway mark in April, the grass is green and looking like it’s time to think about getting the lawnmower ready. No matter who you are, what your occupation is or where you live, spring is a wonderful time of year. In agriculture, it is a time of excitement, a time to put in place the plans thought about all winter, a time to put your seeds in the ground and put your faith in God to provide the weather to produce a bountiful crop.
Think Farm SafetyWith spring comes more vehicles and machinery on our rural roads. Equipment that is wider and slower than our cars and trucks. Drivers, please watch out for our farm equipment on the roadways, allow plenty of space, watch for those sudden turns into the farm fields. Farmers, please make sure that the slow moving vehicle emblem is clean, turn on your warning lights, use your turn signals and help watch out for the other vehicles. When handling seed, fertilizer and crop protection products, always follow all safety precautions, including wearing the proper personal protection equipment.
Many of you have already participated in planting the Farm Bureau policy implementation seeds. County Presidents have attended the Council of Presidents to hear from our state legislators and agency officials. Many of you have attended one of our four Day on the Hill events at our State Capitol or stay up to date on issues through the Minnesota Farm Bureau’s (MFB) eletter Impact. Thank you for your time, our Farm Bureau presence has been noticed.
Think Farm Bureau Policy Implementation
With spring upon us, we will be busy planting our crops and caring for our newly born livestock, and we must continue to be engaged in Farm Bureau policy implementation. Please continue to keep in contact with your policy makers through town hall meetings, letters, emails or even those cell phone calls from the tractor seat while planting. We all need to work together to implement our Farm Bureau policies at the local, state and national level.
Think Farm Bureau Policy DevelopmentWinter and our state and national Farm Bureau Annual Meetings were not long ago, but we must start thinking about our upcoming policy development season. Members are the lifeblood of our organization, and it is our members that determine our sound, solid policies on issues important to agriculture.
Minnesota Farm Bureau will continue to need you to be engaged in our policy development process. Please consider attending your local policy development meeting and help us determine what issues need to be debated. Remember if we are not at the table, we will be on the menu!
Think of Someone to Engage about FarmingMFB Foundation’s Speak for Yourself program which we call Farming Today partners with AgriBank, AgStar, Ag Country, United FCS, CHS, Minnesota Beef Council, Midwest Dairy Association, Minnesota Corn Growers, MFB Federation, Minnesota Turkey Growers, and Riverview LLP on a comprehensive advocacy program for farmers to speak to and engage with non-agricultural groups about today’s responsible agriculture.
If you have a contact or know of a group contact Marytina Lawrence at firstname.lastname@example.org or 763-273-6981. If Minnesota farmers and ranchers do not speak for themselves, others will and their message will not be what we want them to hear. The best way for people outside agriculture to understand how food, fiber feed and fuel are produced is to hear a farmer’s story. Help us get these two groups connected to engage in conversations. Remember if we are not at the table, we will be on the menu.