Promotion & Education Committee Chair
Here I am, nearing the conclusion of my six years on the state Promotion and Education (P&E) Committee, and I have realized that Farm Bureau membership promotion is extremely difficult for me.but not in the way you might think. It’s not because I don’t believe in the organization…I whole-heartedly do! The reason it’s difficult for me is that so many of the benefits for me have been intangible. Let me explain the ways I have grown in Minnesota Farm Bureau.
1. From doing pre-recorded scripted radio spots (that terrified me) to live radio interviews from Washington D.C. (Kristin, you’ve been adept at getting me out of my box! Thank you.)
2. From barely knowing what an airport was to traveling with a large group of people to traveling by myself to Washington D.C. and living to tell about it!! And from avoiding driving in the Twin Cities at all to traveling there nearly monthly on my own (I still hate it though!)
3. From writing an article for The Voice with suggested topics to writing editorials for the local paper and receiving positive feedback.
4. From knowing a handful of people at my first annual meeting to now knowing most that attend.
5. From passive obliviousness to an acute awareness of the people and activities that threaten agriculture as we know it (we must speak out!)
6. From a limited knowledge of my local Farm Bureau to an appreciation for the broad scope of programs and activities that our state and national organization facilitate to advocate for agriculture.
7. From shaking in my shoes speaking to a handful of people to multiple page scripts for a leadership conference (thank you, Katie!) to speaking “off the cuff” to 100 people at an annual meeting, my public speaking skills have definitely changed!
8. From being completely politically negligent to submitting public comments to legislative officials and meeting with them personally in Washington D.C.
9. From participation on a lark (you should serve on the P&E Committee…it’s not a huge commitment and you’d be great at it! “Sure, why not?” (Thank you, Charity) To leadership as the Chair serving on the state Board of Directors and finally serving on a National Promotion and Education Task Force for American Farm Bureau (which we just found out was effective in establishing a National P&E Committee!!)
10. From having a rudimentary understanding of the grassroots process to helping draft resolution policy at our county meeting and watching it pass through as state policy and then again watch it become part of American Farm Bureau Policy. (One voice truly can make a difference!)
11. From knowing about my own segment of agriculture to having an appreciation for all types and sizes of farms and ranches (we need EVERYBODY to feed the world!) Through our tours, I’ve developed an appreciation for all of agriculture production, processing and distribution and conventional, organic and hobbyists. I’ve toured the port authority in Duluth, a robotic dairy, a wholesale nursery, Kowalski’s upscale grocery store, the Research & Development arm of Hormel that is one of the leading cancer research institutes in the country, NDSU’s massive greenhouse, NDSU’s simulated trading floor, a wind farm and many more! Each has value to agriculture, and we must learn to work together for the common good.
12. From not knowing anyone on the staff or P&E and Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) Committees to having the good fortune to now call them my friends. They work tirelessly for Minnesota agriculture, and we are truly blessed to have them! Thanks to each of you for your dedication to agriculture and your friendship!
Thank you for allowing me to serve on the Promotion and Education Committee these last several years and to chair it this past year. I have gained so much more than I’ve given. It’s been a privilege, and I hope if anyone asks YOU to serve, that you will embrace the challenge; it’s a tremendous experience.