By Kelsea Forward
AFBF has awarded grants of up to $5,000 each to five state Farm Bureaus for new programs and initiatives 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 projects that address AFBF’s board-adopted 2022 priority issues. The five states that have been awarded funding through the program are Colorado, Delaware, Maryland, New York and Vermont.
“The Strategic Action Fund Grant program is a great tool to help smaller state Farm Bureaus enhance advocacy efforts and increase engagement in the Farm Bureau’s strategic policy and economic priorities,” said Sam Kieffer, AFBF vice president of public policy.
Here are the summaries of each state’s program:
Colorado - Colorado Farm Bureau is using grant funding to offset the cost of polling and consumer research to help the organization better understand Colorado voters’ priorities and their opinions on key Farm Bureau issues. The research will also provide insight on voter attitudes, data points for influencing policymakers and a baseline for measuring industry impact on voter attitudes over the long term.
Delaware - Delaware Farm Bureau aims to educate Delawareans on various sustainability practices and the benefits of sustainable agriculture through a tabletop trivia game, which will be purchased from Exhibit Farm. The tabletop trivia game questions address sustainable farming practices to educate the community on how sustainable farming protects the environment and natural resources.
Maryland - Maryland Farm Bureau plans to add signage, banners and window decals to the Dairy Bar façade at the Maryland State Fair that provide ag facts and contain links via QR codes to educate consumers about agriculture's contributions to climate change solutions, clean renewable energy and improved water quality. The goal is to promote agriculture as a solution to environmental challenges.
New York - New York Farm Bureau is planning to create informational videos highlighting the important role farmers play in addressing climate change and sustainability. These videos, which will feature farmer members from across the state explaining how they address climate change and build climate resilience on their farms, will be part of a media campaign to educate urban policymakers on the positive impact agriculture has on climate initiatives.
Vermont – The goal of this project is to create print and digital collateral to share how Vermont Farm Bureau members can speak for their industry through policy creation. The materials will address the policy development process, current and forecasted strategic/legislative concerns, and actionable steps for how individuals can participate in the policy development process. With this project, Vermont Farm Bureau strives to ensure members have a clear understanding of policy development, to engage the public in understanding positive agricultural practices and to improve the overall perception of Vermont agriculture.
A special thanks to Idaho, Iowa, Kansas and Tennessee Farm Bureaus, each of which contributed $1,000 to the Strategic Action Fund for this year’s selected projects.
Kelsea Forward is the American Farm Bureau Federation Communications assistant.