Election Day is just a few weeks away, and I hope each of you has it circled on your calendar—or maybe you’ve gotten your mail-in ballot already. This is the day when we as Americans have a clear say in what we want for the future of our country. But it’s amazing to me how many folks ignore this privilege and skip going to the polls. Let that not be said of rural America: there’s too much riding on the election outcome. In 2016, farmers and ranchers made their voices heard, and in 2018, we’ll get out the rural vote once again.
While the urban economy and job market is seeing tremendous growth, rural America is still waiting for that boom to come our way. The midterm elections have a real impact on the issues facing America’s farmers and ranchers and our rural communities. I hope you’ll join me in getting out there to #Vote4Ag this November and consider taking the FB Advocacy voting pledge—and inviting your friends and neighbors to do the same. The FB Advocacy team has also assembled helpful voter resources to empower grassroots members to make their voices heard. You can go to www.fb.org/vote for a link to register, to see polling locations and to find information on early voting. Let’s be ready to make informed decisions for our community and nation.
Many of our state Farm Bureaus have already been leading the charge in getting out the farm and ranch vote. The iFarmiVote campaign has been energizing rural voters since Tennessee Farm Bureau kicked it off back in 2014. I love how this slogan has caught on because it gets to the heart of why our vote matters. Too often, politicians play a numbers game and overlook the rural vote. They choose instead to spend their time and resources in urban areas, saying that our vote is too small to make a difference. But that rural vote has shifted the course of elections. We know what is at stake for our farms and livelihoods, and we know that every vote counts.
Elections aren’t decided by the people who stay home, and farmers aren’t ones to sit on the sidelines when something needs to get done. Let’s get out the farm vote this November and ensure that the issues facing agriculture remain a top priority for our elected leaders. See you at the polls!
Vincent “Zippy” Duvall, a poultry, cattle and hay producer from Greene County, Georgia, is the 12th president of the American Farm Bureau Federation. You can follow him on Twitter @ZippyDuvall.