At the start of Highland County’s membership drive, Nathan Brown, the county Farm Bureau vice president, put a message on his Facebook account that read, in part:
“I care where and how my food is grown and so does Farm Bureau.”
This message, which expressed Brown’s support for American farmers, was simple but effective. Of the 19 members Brown signed up on kickoff night, about 14 were friends that he had reached out to through Facebook. Brown, who has a grain and cow-calf operation, shares some of his thoughts on membership.
What type of promotion works for you?
Social media. During the year I post how I’m involved in Farm Bureau and what I’m passionate about. Sometimes just posting on Facebook doesn’t work. I go through my friend list and send a message asking if they’re interested in joining Farm Bureau and what type of information they need to make a decision.
Why do you work membership?
Membership is so important. If there are action things to be done at the county, state and national levels, having more members is better for accomplishing goals.
How do you find and engage new members?
Going out and talking to people and not being afraid to ask them about membership. Tell them why you’re a member, what your passion is. Find out what they hold dear to their heart and connect that to Farm Bureau.
What makes a successful membership campaign?
Getting the message out about what Farm Bureau does. The more people are educated about Farm Bureau, the more successful membership will be.
Is there an issue that is helping promote membership this year?
Yes. Highland County Farm Bureau is setting up a program to train the fire department on how to do grain bin rescues. It’s generated a lot of interest in our Farm Bureau.
What do you get from your membership?
If we don’t stand up for farmers and agriculture, we’re going to be overrun by someone who doesn’t have a clue about how to farm. If we regulate farmers out of business, we’re going to push production out of the country.
A favorite quote is: “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
Brown reflects on his recent trip to Washington with other Farm Bureau leaders:
“Our government is made by the people for the people, and even though that doesn’t always seem true, this trip opened my eyes to that. This is one of many reasons why being a part of a group with the same ideals and goals is so important today. The respect that legislators have for Farm Bureau is humbling and makes me proud to say I am a Farm Bureau member.”