Seasons and Harvest: Farm Bureau’ Harvest is Grassroots Policy Development
The seasons in Wyoming all have unique characteristics. Winter brings with it cold weather but also the hopes of a wonderful snowpack to regenerate the land in the coming year. Spring brings new life with baby calves and lambs and growth from the grass that starts peeking out from underneath the snow. Summer brings much needed sunshine to help the new spring life grow. Fall brings the change of colors and cooler weather during which agriculture harvest abounds.
Just like the seasons have unique characteristics, so do Wyoming farmers and ranchers. Some are just wrapping up weaning and shipping their cattle, and some are finishing up harvest of the crops they have tended all year.
Wyoming farmers and ranchers are hardworking individuals and families who care for the land and animals, provide open space and habitat for wildlife and give back to the local economy. Through this and many other traits Wyoming farmers and ranchers work to keep Wyoming strong.
And while they are busy doing all this and much more, the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation (WyFB) works to keep agriculture strong in Wyoming. It is what we have done since 1920 when the state organization was founded. We serve as a voice for agriculture while our members are running their farms and ranches.
We know the work it takes day-in and day-out to keep your business running. We also know you can’t be at every meeting and comment on every document that impacts your business, and that is where your membership in Farm Bureau becomes a part of your business plan. So, no matter the season of work you are in, we represent our members on issues impacting agriculture and private property.
Just like agriculture, Farm Bureau’s seasons have unique characteristics. The grassroots policy development season is critical to the work of our organization. If a member’s thoughts become state WyFB policy, the resolution has been vetted at three different levels on the way to the policy book. Farm Bureau members start talking about issues and developing policy at the local county meetings. Resolutions that pass the county level proceed to the district level. Those passing the district level proceed to the state level and those passing with national relevance proceed to the national level.
The discussions all consider what is best for farming and ranching in Wyoming. At the end of the grassroots policy development season, WyFB’s harvested product is a new policy book to guide the organization’s work for the coming year. When we work on issues, legislators and agency personnel know our lobbyist’s course is guided directly from the policy book that was developed by local farmers and ranchers. Just one individual speaking up at a county, district or state meeting can have an impact on the future of agriculture in Wyoming.
This fall, while farmers and ranchers have been busy harvesting their own commodities many of you have been attending Farm Bureau meetings to participate in our grassroots policy development. The culmination of this harvest will be at the WyFB 98th Annual Meeting Nov. 16-18 in Cheyenne where “Wyoming Ag Eclipses All the Rest.” The agenda is available at wyfb.org.
In addition to policy discussions, members will hear updates on a variety of issues. The featured speaker from the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) will be Ellen Steen, general counsel and secretary. Steen will discuss the role of litigation in AFBF’s overall policy advocacy efforts as well as some current and upcoming cases.
Young Farmer and Rancher (YF&R) events will showcase some of the many opportunities available for our younger leaders in the agricultural community of Farm Bureau. Friday evening will be a celebration of our heritage in agriculture with the awards banquet. Elections, awards, a WyFB Foundation Knife Raffle and a “Harvest for All” food drive round out the meeting events.
While Wyoming’s farmers and ranchers finish up fall harvest we thank you for all you do for Wyoming and agriculture. We know your time is valuable. Thanks to all those who are a part of Farm Bureau’s harvest through our policy development process.
To learn more about how you can be a part of Farm Bureau’s grassroots policy development process and advocacy for agriculture, contact your county Farm Bureau president or visit us at wyfb.org.
The Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation is the state’s largest general agriculture organization. The primary goals of the federation are to protect private property rights and help members achieve an equitable return on their investment.