Smith: Members of Congress will be back in their home districts next week, presenting farmers and ranchers with a great opportunity to talk face-to-face with them about the need to pass a farm bill. Randy Dwyer, director of grassroots development with the American Farm Bureau Federation, says it’s important to talk with their legislators about the farm bill before it is reconsidered in the House on June 22.
Dwyer: The farm bill is something that’s debated and passed once every five years. It covers conservation, it covers crop insurance, it covers so many things important to farmers and ranchers across the country. This bill is essential for risk mitigation for farmers and ranchers, and it provides food, fuel and fiber security for America.
Smith: The farm bill is important to all Americans, not just those in agriculture. Dwyer says it’s vital for farmers to engage with lawmakers in their home districts.
Dwyer: Meet with their legislators, whether it’s in a public setting at a townhall, if their member of Congress did vote yes for the farm bill, to stand up and publicly thank them for voting and supporting the farm bill. It can be at the parade, it can be at a listening session, if you’re member is hosting a listening session. These are all venues and opportunities to do it. We’re also asking members to send an email. It’s something that can be done very quickly, and that information is recorded back in the congressional office.
Smith: Farmers and ranchers can go to fb.org/advocacy and send an email to their members of Congress to thank them for supporting the farm bill or to ask them to reconsider if they voted against it.
Dwyer: It’s very important that Farm Bureau members are proactive, that they reach out to their legislators, whether they voted in support, or against, the farm bill, and let them know that we’re happy with their vote if they voted yes, and we’re disappointed with their vote, if they voted no.
Smith: Chad Smith, Washington.