Friday, February 22, 2013
The theme of this week's Illinois Farm
Bureau Governmental Affairs Leadership Conference was "You're the
Key to Influence" in Washington, Springfield, and your own
Keynote speaker Michael Stokke got even more specific, stating
that the farm community's natural optimism is the secret
key to influencing decision makers.
"Agriculture has a wonderful story to tell; let's tell it!" said
Stokke, Director of the Office of Congressional and Public Affairs
of Farm Credit Administration.
He explained that in today's economy and political environment,
it seems like everyone focuses on the negative. A farmer with a
positive attitude is a welcoming change for many legislators.
Talking about agriculture's successes, such as environmental
improvements, growing global markets, and positive economic impact,
help others understand that farming's future is worth
Stokke said, "You may ask yourself,why do I need to be
involved?I think many of you know the answer to that already, but
you might be saying to yourself that's why we have Farm Bureau
He added this about experts and lobbyists, "They are very smart
about policies, but you - individually - are the ones who have to
make the relationships with legislators and their staff."
Stokke said that relationship begins in your town. "When you see
them at the local level and then see them in Springfield or
Washington, they will remember you, remember that you are from
their district, and remember you had something interesting to say.
These things really do matter to members of Congress."
Farm Bureaus of Illinois have a program to help you build those
critical relationships. It's called FB ACT.
When you join FB ACT, you will receive legislative updates, tips
for building influence, and more. Contact your county Farm Bureau to see
how the FB ACT program works in your area.
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