So what does 2010 hold? Well since I cannot predict the future and chances are that anything I speculate won’t come true…I can at least share some goals! But first I will say it will take me a good two months to get used to writing “10”.
I think one of the major issues we will be facing is the continual fight against agriculture by those who do not fully understand it. The question is how do we educate the non-farming public? There are always those who have firm beliefs on how things are and no matter how you try to educate them they are not about to believe what you have to say. Now I am not speaking ill of these people as I know when I have something in my head, it is darn near impossible to change my mind. So it is just figuring out how to get to them, as well as getting them to a meeting where you want to change their mind; which generally doesn’t work! Legislation is going to be another key factor that will have to be monitored very closely.
In the past few years, I have also come to the conclusion that if we were a sporting event, we would be much more popular! Yes, I know it is hard to believe, but people are not beating down the doors to get into the Farm Bureau or to come to Farm Bureau events. What can we do to improve attendance and show that the information we have is good and something they do not want to miss? I have not quite hit that nail on the head. We are trying new programs and bus trips each year to be sure we are sparking our members’ interests.
The other goal is finding out what issues are important to our members. We will need to try different ways to get your thoughts and opinions this year. As our membership changes, we also need to focus on training the next generation on how to be ag advocates. This year we will also seek more involvement from our members. Don’t run! It isn’t that scary, honestly! We just need your feedback and at times to come to a meeting.
Some of the programs that we will be bringing back from the past include the Tractor Drive, Membership Appreciation Breakfast, the fruit, and scholarships to name a few. Melinda, our Ag in the Classroom Coordinator, seems to out do herself each year with the programs she does for the schools. We will also continue with our Children’s Farm at the fair. Since our Cubs trip went over so well last year, I hope to score tickets to a second game. I want to take a bus to Chicago and one to Milwaukee, try one game on a weekend and one during the week. We will see what kind of luck I have there. This summer we will be offering kids activities to the libraries in the county. We did a little of this last year, but hope to expand it this year.
I also plan to work on some other bus trips. I have heard interest in the Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library, and a downtown Chicago trip. This year, I have set a goal for the committees to do more commodity promotions. The Quality of Life Action Team is also revamping its focus. In past years we have co-hosted health fairs. The health fairs seem to have lacked attendance so we will be trying these from a new angle.
What else will come up, you never know, the key here being flexibility; something it look me a while to learn!