GO Team members are Farm Bureau’s key advocates and thought leaders, those whose views on a subject are taken to be authoritative and influential. GO Team members advocate by attending targeted issue fly-ins with lawmakers on topics such as on tax reform; answering media calls on priority issues; engaging with consumers; such as during the Smithsonian Meet-a-Farmer series; hosting lawmakers at farms; engaging with media; and participating in meetings with White House officials, all in support of Farm Bureau’s positions.
GO Team members continue to answer the call when asked and excel in key advocacy tactics!
Purpose of the GO Team:
Farm Bureau created the GO Team to be effective in the new reality of advocacy, having advocates trained to effectively interact with the media and understand the best practices to influence lawmakers. Recent polls of congressional offices reinforce this: direct contact from constituents with members of Congress and staff, and interaction with the media, is the most effective way to influence policy.
Other critical factors influencing legislators are stories about the real-world ramifications of legislative action – or inaction. These stories, told in local media, can have an important influence on a congressional member’s willingness to move forward – or stop – critical legislation. Consumers are also focusing more closely on issues that directly affect agriculture. Reaching out to these consumers as active farmers and ranchers – through the media and social media – is vital. AFBF’s Grassroots Outreach Team, or GO Team, helps us be effective in this challenging climate.
The goal for the GO Team is simple: be the best group of grassroots and media advocates for Farm Bureau.
Joining the GO Team:
Farm Bureau’s near-century of grassroots success is due to involved and dedicated advocates. GO Team members must be Farm Bureau members in good standing and represent Farm Bureau in a favorable light.
People are invited to join the GO Team because they participated in one of several leadership programs, or becuase they are nominated by the state Farm Bureau:
- Members of the AFBF YF&R Committee, Women’s Leadership Committee, P&E Committee, Boot Camp graduates and Partners in Advocacy Leadership will be eligible to opt-in to the GO Team upon entry to the leadership program. By nominating a leader for a committee appointment, the state is endorsing that person to be active on the national level, and the GO Team is a natural extension of that involvement.
- State Farm Bureaus can identify and nominate Farm Bureau members for the GO Team. The GO Team Nomination Form requires the signature of the state Farm Bureau President. AFBF staff may submit a nominee to the state Farm Bureau for review and approval.
Information About GO Team Members:
To opt-in to the GO Team, Farm Bureau members must take a short survey which asks about their farm and/or ranch such as the crops/livestock they raise, policy areas of interest, comfortability with key advocacy tactics and connections to lawmakers and their staff. The information is used to target engagement opportunities to the GO Team members who are best able to speak and most interested in advocating specific issues.
This information is shared with state Farm Bureaus upon request.
History of the GO Team:
In November 2013, AFBF created the GO Team. Members of this group included past participants in the Partners in Agricultural Leadership (PAL) program, AFBF Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee, Women’s Leadership Committee and the Women’s Communications Boot Camp. A year later in October 2014, AFBF began identifying other Farm Bureau members with an aptitude in legislative and media advocacy.
The history of the GO Team continues to be made each and every day by Farm Bureau members willing to step forward and be involved with lawmakers, the media, and consumers. Where ever the story of agriculture needs to be told, GO Team members are leading the way.
Managing Director, Advocacy & Political Affairs
Director of Media & Advocacy Training