Five farms, 180 miles and meeting with more than 100 members is the quick summary of a dawn-to-dusk road trip with American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall Tuesday Aug. 23. Duvall, who was elected to American Farm Bureau’s top job in January, has made it a priority to visit state Farm Bureaus. His visit to Ohio this week started in northeast Ohio and he wound his way to central Ohio.
Ohio Farm Bureau President Frank Burkett and Executive Vice President Adam Sharp spent much of the week with Duvall, introducing him to Farm Bureau members and showing him the diversity of Ohio agriculture.
In Duvall’s comments to members and Ohio Farm Bureau staff, the themes of agriculture unity and grassroots engagement were prevalent. “Regulation and farm labor are the two most important issues across the country. It just depends on what type of farm you are standing on as to which one is most important,” he said.
Duvall reiterated the importance of relaying firsthand policy examples from members to legislators as by far the best method of advocating for agriculture in Washington, D.C. “It’s like turning a light bulb on when members tell legislators their issues,” he said. Likewise, he emphasized the importance of farmers engaging directly with consumers as an important advocacy tactic and to not be afraid of getting out in front of the public. “It doesn’t take a speech,” he said. “They just want to hear from your heart.”