By Cyndie Shearing
Enhancements to Farm Bureau University continue with the recent launch of a new political advocacy module. The module features self-paced lessons covering topics related to political advocacy including preparing and conducting visits with legislators and relationship-building with elected officials.
FB University allows Farm Bureau members to learn through interactive experiences online when and where they want. It’s easy to log onto the program from a desktop computer in an office or on an iPad in the field.
Stacey Lauwers, a Farm Bureau member and leader from Michigan who was recently elected chair of AFBF’s Promotion & Education Committee, completed the new module and found it to be helpful when planning ahead for future advocacy efforts.
“I know that I’ll be better prepared for future meetings with legislators,” Lauwers said. One take-away – it’s critically important to translate your thoughts on a particular issue into desired action steps before a meeting takes place.
Sharing about the vital importance of rural broadband to farmers and water-related issues are two topics that Lauwers plans to advocate about in the near future.
Mayghan Watson, a Farm Bureau member and leader from North Carolina, also completed the new module and gave it high marks for ease of use and incorporation of a variety of engaging activities.
“I really liked the different activities offered throughout the module,” Watson said. “It was good for hands-on learning and very interactive,” she said.
“Any Farm Bureau members interested in advocacy, especially young farmers and ranchers, would benefit from the new training module,” according to Watson. As a produce grower, advocating for farmer access to a legal and stable workforce is at the top of her list for 2021.
Other training modules available online through FB University include Board Essentials, which helps county board members develop their skills; FB Builder, an evaluation tool county Farm Bureaus use to assess eight building blocks of organizational health; and Pillars of Agricultural Literacy, a tool to guide individuals or groups in creating a purposeful plan to help consumers learn about agriculture.
Contact Jordan Henry, director of leadership & organizational training (firstname.lastname@example.org), with questions about Farm Bureau University.
Cyndie Shearing is director of communications at the American Farm Bureau Federation.