Through a series of articles we call The State, the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Advocacy and Political Affairs team is providing analysis related to "the state of" various aspects related to advocacy and political trends impacting farmers and ranchers and rural Americans.
“All politics is local,” former Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill said in summing up the direct link between a politician’s success and his or her ability to understand and influence the issues that matter most to their constituents.
Farm Bureau has a long-standing commitment to actively work with lawmakers on the issues affecting farmers, ranchers and rural communities. August is a prime opportunity for grassroots engagement as legislators return home hoping to hear directly from the voters they represent.
August and early September present the lengthiest period for constituents to communicate with their federal representatives. These weeks help to shape the political direction for the fall months and provide the best opportunity to weigh in on legislative actions while trying to shape future ones.
Farmers and ranchers have a critical perspective on issues that Congress is considering. Two priority issues for agriculture this year are Protect Stepped-Up Basis for American Family Farms and Expand Rural Access to Broadband Service.
Each and every voice across Farm Bureau is critical in sharing agriculture’s story and explaining why these and other issues are essential to America’s farmers and ranchers.
As an advocate for agriculture, your goals for August congressional recess are to:
- Schedule meetings with your senators and representatives. Invite them to attend a local event, tour a farm or ranch or visit the county fair to meet local farmers and ranchers.
- Share a personal story about why maintaining stepped-up basis and expanding access to broadband in rural areas are so important to you and your community.
- Build a relationship with your legislators so you become their trusted resource on all things agriculture and rural America.
August recess is a critical time for your engagement. The following is a guide for preparing for your meetings:
The real impact in advocacy comes from the personal stories, either told or shown, that illustrate how key issues are affecting farmers and ranchers. During August, you and other Farm Bureau advocates can influence members of Congress. Don’t miss this important opportunity.
Cody Lyon is AFBF’s managing director of advocacy and political affairs.