- Van Wert
OD Comments - Darren Franks
Advisory Councils with a new twist--In my 20 or so years with Farm Bureau I have seen many things come and go and sometimes come around again. I think that is kind of the case with our advisory council program. Many of you have been involved as a member of an advisory council and can probably attest to this, as well. For those of you not familiar with Farm Bureau advisory councils, since 1936 advisory councils are groups of families and friends that meet on a regular basis to discuss topics of interest to farmers, rural residents and friends of agriculture. Advisory councils are action groups whose purpose is to surface and review current community needs and issues to arrive at a resolution and then carry out their own solutions to local problems and issues. Councils assist is implementing Farm Bureau policies that they helped to develop. Councils have also become very involved in helping the county with their program areas, such as helping work the booth at the county fair.
It has been my experience that many of our councils are still meeting, socializing and even discussing issues relevant to agriculture. But what I have found is that it has become almost nonexistent that councils are forwarding any of their concerns back to us at Farm Bureau. This is where we hope to change things starting with the New Year. Our existing councils will be sent a workbook that outlines several areas of discussion. This workbook is designed so councils can choose which topic they would like to discuss. Councils are also encouraged to discuss any issue that is relevant to our community. Where things will change is that councils will send their concerns and comments back to the local office and these concerns will then be addressed. We are hoping that this will lead to more solving of issues and more community involvement by our council members.
More community involvement. Think about that statement for awhile. I envision councils possibly making donations to their local libraries, helping out at the local humane society and reaching out to local civic organizations to share your story about agriculture, just to name a few. All while spreading the good word about what Farm Bureau does in and out of the political arena.
So it is time for a new twist….our advisory council program is now officially known as Community Councils. I hope if you are part of a current advisory council you will embrace the change and reach out to your community and share with us the outcome. I think you will be glad you did.
If you are interested in learning more about becoming part of a Community Council please contact me at 877-447-3091 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to have you become part of our Farm Bureau community.
Darren D. Frank, OD