Less than 1% of the world’s population produces the world’s supply of food, fuel, and fiber. As such a minority, farmers often face challenges in small agricultural communities unfamiliar to their urban counterparts. Farmers organized a direct approach to government with these concerns in mind through FB ACT. Farm Bureau Agricultural Contact Team (FB ACT) acts on the basis of member efforts to voice legislative concerns and issues. As a membership-based tool, FB ACT relies on members to surface issues and problems related to farming practices and rural life.
FB ACT channels concentrated efforts from members to communicate a mass message to local and federal legislators. Members register with the Illinois Farm Bureau to receive Farm Bureau “Action Requests” affecting the future of rural Illinois. Members respond to legislative action requests with phone calls and emails to local legislators. In this way, members assert a unified voice for the underrepresented population of rural America.
Rural residents account for just 13% of Illinois’ total population. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack addressed rural political activity at a recent event: “It’s a fact that rural America with a shrinking population is becoming less and less relevant to the politics of this country, and we had better recognize that, and we better begin to reverse it.” Rural residents adamantly acknowledge Vilsack’s obvious admission, but turn the question to the constituency. How to bring rural people to politics?
Here, the forefathers of Farm Bureau proved the purpose in the power of people united. As the saying goes, if you can’t take people to politics, bring politics to people. Farm Bureau patented programs like “Adopt-A-Legislator,” with Farm Bureau acting as a mediator to connect rural constituents with urban legislators. With these programs, members gain accessibility to governmental issues and relationships.
Be the change you want to see. One Farm Bureau employee described the embodiment of this very principle in his own family member. After some reluctance, the concerned family member placed a call to a local representative. The member ended the exchange with a surprised exclamation “That was easy!” In this way, members in number define policy and ensure continual improvement in the quality of rural life. Farm Bureau is truly of the members, by the members, and for the members.
Our membership acts as a vital component to policy development. Friday, June 28 come and enjoy our annual Membership Appreciation Breakfast with pancakes and a taste of policy. Sign up for FB ACT with just your name and email address to receive requests for your contact to your local legislator. Every vote counts. See you then!
Farm Bureau Classifieds
Carroll County Farm Bureau members can place up to two (2) free classified ads per week, with a limit of 250 characters per ad (not including spaces). Ads are limited to personal or farm items for sale/wanted to buy, or farm labor or services available or wanted. No ads for the sale or rental of real estate, garage sales, or commercial businesses will be accepted. To place an ad, call the Farm Bureau office at 815- 244-3001 by noon Friday to get your ad in the following week’s paper.
FS: 2000 Ford E250 Cargo Van 78,000 miles. $4,500 OBO 815-275-1157
FS: Fuel tank w/stand. Great condition $125 OBO. Swisher Rotary Lawn Rake, new $150. River Kayak, new $250 w/oar and helmet. Small trailer for camping $125 OBO. Dog House $25. Call 815-244-0080
Wanted: Field stone wanted for project. All sizes, but medium and large sizes in most need of. Mt Carroll cell 319-480-5233
FS: Pool Stuff: Filter, pump, solar cover, etc. 815-275-1157
FS: Happy Hens Healthy Eggs. Chicken and Duck Eggs, will deliver, 815-275-2806