The 2022 election is drawing closer. Chad Smith has more on the opportunity for U.S. agriculture to help influence its future.
Smith: Election 2022 is an important time for U.S. agriculture and its many stakeholders to cast their votes. John Iverson is a past Young Farmer & Rancher Chair and Oregon farmer who says it’s more important than ever to make your voice heard.
Iverson: I think if you look at Europe and what's happening with their fuel insecurity, imagine if that was food insecurity and food prices rising, and you're relying on other countries for food. And even though we're not there within the United States, it could happen. Seems like agriculture is always under attack, and so, it's very important to get people in office that understand agriculture and support agricultural here, domestically. And with the farm bill coming up, it's really important that we helped shape that farm bill to make it work for farmers.
Smith: He says young people shouldn’t be afraid to get involved in the political process because it’s a lot like farming. Farmers plant seeds hoping they’ll bear fruit in the future.
Iverson: The political process is no different. The seeds you plant today will bear fruit in the future. And I’d say for young people, it's very important because our timeline of how long we're going to be in this industry and trying to support ourselves with our farms is a long time, and so we want to make sure that the policies we set today will positively impact us down the road. If we have negative things going on right now, it just makes it more difficult down the road, so little changes right now can make big differences for us in the future. And so, I think it's vitally important for young farmers to be engaged, know how the political process works, and know their representatives. That way, when there is an issue, they can go in the office, and they already have that relationship built.
Smith: He talks about where to go for resources on voting.
Iverson: Our state has a voter pamphlet I'm guessing most states do. That's always a good spot to start and read and know what the candidates stands for. Two other really good resources is your state farm bureau - a lot of times we'll have resources on candidates they endorse and support and why. But, another really good resource is the “I Farm, I Vote” page on American Farm Bureau’s website. It's fb.org/vote. You can check your registration status, you can find out what district you're in, what candidates are running in your area, so I think that's a really good resource.
Smith: Chad Smith, Washington.