Tips for visiting your legislator

Plan your visit – Be clear about what it is you want to achieve. Determine in advance who you need to meet with to achieve your goal.

Make an appointment – When attempting to meet with your legislator, contact the Appointment Secretary/Scheduler. Explain your purpose and whom you represent. It is easier for staff to arrange a meeting if they know what you want to talk about, and you're connected to an issue.

Be prompt and patient – When it's time to meet your legislator, be on time and ready to wait. Legislators are busy. It is common for a legislator to be late or to have a meeting interrupted. If you do get interrupted, be flexible. When the opportunity presents itself, continue your meeting with a legislator's staff.

Be prepared – Whenever possible, bring materials that support your position. In some instances, a legislator may lack important details about the pros and cons of a particular matter. It's helpful when you share facts and examples that clearly state the impact of a particular issue or piece of legislation.

Make an ask – Don’t forget to make your ask of the legislator. Present your material and be clear when asking your legislator to support or oppose. Make sure the legislator knows where you stand on the issue.

Be political – Legislators want to represent the best interests of their district or state. Wherever possible, show the connection between your request and the interests of the legislator's constituency. If possible, describe how you or your county Farm Bureau can be of assistance to him/her. Where it is appropriate, remember to ask for a commitment.

Be responsive – Be prepared to answer questions or provide additional information, in the event the legislator expresses interest or asks questions. Follow up the meeting with a thank you letter that outlines the different points covered during the meeting and send along any additional information requested.

Be courteous – Address your legislator with respect, especially within a formal business setting.

Be comfortable with virtual – Virtual meetings are an effective tool to meet with your legislators from the comfort of your home. Be courteous, professional, prepared and don’t forget to make your ask. Virtual meetings tend to last longer than an in-person meeting, be prepared to spend at least 30 minutes with your legislator. Share your story and leave a lasting impact.