Monday, January 14, 2013
Who's the boss? You are!
Do you remember the first time you heard your dad say, "ask your
mother"? At that moment you learned an important lesson... that no
matter if it is a Fortune 500 company, the military, or even
good-old Mom, decisions are made from the top down.
That is one reason why Illinois Farm Bureau (IFB) is so
unique. At IFB, the direction of the organization comes from the
ground up... below the ground in fact- from the
The real strength of this grassroots-approach is the
policy development process. Its policies, and the work behind them,
help unite the ag industry and give each farmer in Illinois a
powerful voice in Springfield and Washington. To take advantage of
the policy process, you need to understand how it works,
Step 1: You have an idea, need, or concern.
You share it with someone, such as your County Farm Bureau (CFB)
president or a board member. You can also share your ideas through
CFB meetings and surveys.
Step 2: Your CFB
researches and considers your idea. If supported at the county
level and it is appropriate for statewide policy (some issues may
be acted upon at the local level), your proposed policy change is
submitted to the Illinois Farm BureauÌs (IFB) Resolutions
Step 3: The IFB
Resolutions Committee considers your idea. What is the Resolution
Committee? It is a statewide policy development committee made up
of farmers just like you to review policy submittals in July and
November. This committee acts upon your idea. Once your idea is
accepted, it is prepared for the IAA Annual Meeting.
Step 4: Farmers
throughout Illinois (more than 350 delegates from 96 County Farm
Bureaus) vote on your idea at the IAA Annual Meeting in December.
Your proposed policy changes are passed with a majority
Step 5: If your
IFB policy has national significance, it is then forwarded to the
American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) to be voted on at the AFBF
Annual Meeting in January. Another majority vote turns your IFB
policy into AFBF policy.
Step 6: You share your
story with decisions-makers and elected officials, turning your
idea into a law, regulation, or statement that supports you and
your fellow farmer.
The policy process is created to you empower, the member,
to make a difference. For this organization to be a direct
reflection of the interest of its members, it is critical that you
provide input into your process. If you, as a member, don't
participate and don't provide input, then Farm Bureau policy will
not accomplish your objectives. Make sure your objectives are met
by participating. Contact your county Farm Bureau today and tell
them what's important to you!
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