Farm Bureau members recognize policy development as one of the most important grassroots activities within Farm Bureau. This process gives members a voice at all levels of the organization, allowing them to formulate Farm Bureau’s public policy positions. This week, members’ voices are being heard at the national level during American Farm Bureau’s (AFBF) commodity advisory committee meetings.
Fourteen Ohio Farm Bureau (OFBF) members are participating in the annual event to discuss and recommend solutions to problems that affect their respective commodity.
Committee members are nominated by state Farm Bureau presidents, and approved by the state’s board of trustees. Nominees must be active farming members of Farm Bureau, and producers of the commodity for which they are nominated. State presidents’ nominees are submitted to the AFBF president who then, with AFBF board approval, appoints the committee members and designates a committee chair.
The purposes of commodity advisory committees are to:
1. Identify emerging issues related to the specific industry;
2. Recommend issues for policy development, not addressed by current policy;
3. Identify challenges related to production and marketing of commodities; and
4. At the direction of the AFBF president or board of directors, offer suggestions or clarification of existing policies. Each committee submits its recommendations in writing to the AFBF president.
Sandy Kuhn, OFBF Director of Commodity Relations and AgriPOWER, said, “OFBF feels strongly in having a voice for Ohio farmers at the AFBF Commodity Advisory Committees. We try to nominate our members to as many committees as we have qualified nominees for.”
Ohio Farm Bureau has members in 14 of the 23 total committees: Ag Nursery & Greenhouse, Aquaculture, Beef Cattle, Dairy, Equine, Feed Grains, Forestry, Hay/Forage, Horticulture, Labor, Poultry, Soybeans, Swine, and Tobacco. Appointees were notified in December, and have been traveling to Anaheim, Calif. throughout the week.
“We feel good about the interaction and activity our members engaged in at the meetings in Anaheim, and about the policy and program recommendations they made to AFBF,” said Kuhn.
The committees meet in three rounds, with seven to eight committees meeting per round. The rounds began Feb. 19 and conclude Feb. 25.