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Show Up! June 14, 2013

Editor’s Note: This editorial first appeared in the June 2013 issue of Arizona Agriculture.

 

Guest Editorial by Arizona Farm Bureau President Kevin Rogers

I try not to be surprised, but I am always bothered a bit that agriculture is one of those industries where everyone else thinks they can tell us what our cultural and industry practices should be. We are not only heavily regulated, but we are also closely monitored by public opinion. It’s a lament, I can’t solve it here but it leads to my point.

 

Policy, laws, regulations, rules are influenced and occur by those who show up, and if you don’t, then I guarantee you someone will be there, showing up to make policy for your business. Any relationship between what they do and the reality of your business is likely to be purely coincidental. Your business is grounded in reality, and how someone else tells you to operate it is probably not your reality. Again, events and actions take place because of those who show up.

American Farm Bureau Federation

Arizona Farm Bureau Federation

 

I once read that half of the public just does not pay attention – period. Further, at any point in time another 25% are temporarily disengaged from public policy issues; they are not paying attention because of life’s many distractions and issues. So that leaves an audience of 25% and you can figure, very roughly that half of those are with you and the other half is against you. Do you want those small numbers, i.e. those who are against you making decisions for your business?

 

Very often, small numbers of people are calling the shots. It does not take many to move the dial, and if the dial turning impacts your business, you’d best have your hands on it. All of us cannot do everything all of the time – we have business issues to attend to and we have life’s distractions just like everyone else.

 

But one thing you can do is show up for policy development at your county Farm Bureau meetings. Your voice, along with others, adds purpose and direction and effectiveness to an organization of people dedicated to keeping agriculture healthy and thriving.

 

We start this every summer. It is at the heart of everything we do, and we don’t exist without policy development. You can find the calendars for these events at www.azfb.org

 

If you don’t see one yet scheduled for a location near you, be patient as it will be listed throughout the early summer months. Be a policy maker ─ not just a policy taker made by others.

 

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