New York Farm Bureau brought more than 40 state and federal legislators and their staff on a five-farm tour showcasing agricultural sustainability in action. The tour was funded by a 2022 Strategic Action Fund grant.
photo credit: New York Farm Bureau
The American Farm Bureau Federation has awarded grants of up $5,000 each to five state Farm Bureaus for new programs in 2023 through its Strategic Action Fund. State Farm Bureaus with fewer than 25,000 members were eligible to apply for funding of up to $5,000 for public policy-related projects. Idaho, Iowa, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas Farm Bureaus each contributed at least $1,000 to the Strategic Action Fund to support grants for this year’s projects.
“Now in its fourth year, the Strategic Action Fund grant program provides smaller state Farm Bureaus with resources to advance AFBF’s board-approved strategic priorities. We look forward to seeing how these state Farm Bureaus will creatively use the grants for programs that support farmers, ranchers and others in rural America,” said Sam Kieffer, AFBF vice president of public policy.
Summaries of state Farm Bureau programs selected for funding in 2023 are below.
The “Healthy Farmers Grow Healthy Crops” marketing campaign will educate Delaware Farm Bureau members about the various mental health and agriculture-specific resources that are available. In addition to increasing awareness of mental health resources, Delaware Farm Bureau will work with Life Line Screening to provide additional screening locations to encourage members to take the preventative care necessary to ensure they have a good quality of life and are in the right state of mind.
Massachusetts Farm Bureau will host a climate-smart agriculture tour to provide an opportunity for the public, including Massachusetts’ new climate secretary, to see conservation and climate-smart practices in action. It will also be an opportunity for farmers to share their experiences and answer questions. MFBF, the host farm and other farmers will provide reference materials.
The New Hampshire Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers will host a trip to Washington, D.C., to participate in advocacy training, as well as meet with the New Hampshire congressional delegation to discuss the importance of the 2023 farm bill. Grant funding will also be used to promote the Farm Strong NH program, which provides mental health services and resources to agriculturalists in New Hampshire. The NHYF&R will collaborate with the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension to expand and promote the program in the state.
New York Farm Bureau will create virtual reality videos and experiences to highlight strategic action items related to the importance that agricultural labor plays in the domestic food system. These videos, which will allow individuals to experience what it’s like to work on a farm, will be part of a media campaign to educate legislative representatives, agency staff and consumers about what it takes to get food to their tables.
Vermont Farm Bureau will use the 2023 grant to build on their 2022 grant efforts. This year’s grant will expand the community engagement program to include more direct outreach to legislators to advocate for strategic policy issues through the ag field days, an agricultural tour and additional legislative events for Farm Bureau members.