We are in the craziest time of year in the agriculture industry. Combines are hard at it in the fields, grain is moving on the roads and time is strapped for farmers. Despite how busy the harvest season is for agriculture, it is also an important time of year for members of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation. Our members are in the middle of their policy development season, drafting and approving resolutions that have a direct impact on agriculture in their local, state and federal governments.

Jackson County is a part Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s District 4, which also includes Buffalo, Eau Claire, La Crosse, Monroe and Trempealeau counties. On July 25, Jackson County was the host for Farm Bureau members from across District 4 at their annual district policy development meeting in Black River Falls. At this meeting, members discussed and developed resolutions addressing local, state and national issues facing agriculture. Together, District 4 members drafted a list of resolutions that then were presented to each of the counties across District 4 at their county annual meetings.

At the county annual meeting, Farm Bureau members are presented with the district’s proposed resolutions and can bring further resolutions to the floor. The voting membership of each county votes in favor or against each policy before the resolutions are submitted to the state Farm Bureau. Jackson County hosted its county Farm Bureau annual meeting on Sunday, Sept. 17 at Steve and Pat Kling’s farm in Taylor, Wis. With over 50 people in attendance, the Jackson County membership approved 17 resolutions in legislative areas ranging from conservation to the Department of Natural Resources to food labeling.

Following each county Farm Bureau annual meeting, each of the county’s individually-approved set of resolutions are reported to the state Farm Bureau. State and national resolutions are discussed and voted upon by the delegates attending the Wisconsin Farm Bureau and American Farm Bureau annual meetings. These meetings establish the state and national policy for the organization as voted upon by the voting membership.

These policies guide our organization’s positions on specific legislation and rules. Wisconsin Farm Bureau leaders advocate for these policies at events such as Ag Day at the Capitol in Madison, Wis. and trips to Washington, D.C. where members actively engage with elected officials on agriculture issues. Farm Bureau continues to be an effective organization because of members actively contacting their elected officials and state agencies to provide input on how legislation will affect their farms and businesses.

Policies developed and approved by the counties in District 4, including Jackson County, will be discussed and voted on during the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation Annual Meeting, Dec. 2-4 at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells.

With more than 46,000 members representing all aspects of agriculture, Farm Bureau is one of the most effective organizations in the state of Wisconsin. The credibility and professionalism of our politically-active members have made for a respected voice in agriculture, from our small rural towns all the way to Washington, D.C.

Fall is a busy time of year as it is, but it brings me great pride to see farmers and agriculturalists taking the time to use their voices for agriculture right here at home. Farm Bureau has been a grassroots organization since its beginning, and its strength lies in each and every one of our members in counties throughout the country. If you are personally invested in a legislative issue and would like more information on becoming involved with Wisconsin Farm Bureau, I encourage you to contact me at colson@wfbf.com.

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