The Diversity of Farm Bureau

TaLana Mathiowetz
MFBF Promotion & Education Committee Chair

One of the things I like about Farm Bureau is the opportunity to learn more about all of agriculture.

There are so many different areas to learn about: crops, animals, forestry, pollinators and so much more! I believe Minnesota Farm Bureau does a great job of looking at all the different areas of agriculture and the opportunities and challenges of each area. This is because Farm Bureau is a general farm organization and has members that are involved in all areas of food, fiber and renewable fuel production.

As farmers and ranchers, it's up to us to use all the resources available to learn as much as we can about areas of agriculture that we may not be as familiar with.

For me, one of the areas I need to better understand is the discussion around bees and other pollinators. I do have a good understanding about the role bees and other pollinators play in agriculture, but was not familiar with the discussion and concern about the pollinator population and health. Through Farm Bureau, I have become aware of this discussion and am gaining a better understanding of it. You too can gain a better knowledge of this discussion at our MFBF Leadership Conference to be held near Red Wing, January 23-24. See the agenda and registration information at www.fbmn.org/pages/leadership-conference.

Consumers may not understand that farmers have a vested interest in pollinators. The fact is: farmers need pollinators. They are an important part of the food production. Farmers are engaged in the discussion to ensure we have bees and other pollinators. Farmers want to be part of the solution on this discussion.

As farmers we have a great opportunity to learn and ask questions and be the first voice people hear from about opportunities and challenges that exist in agriculture. WE can't afford to be the last voice they hear. After all, at the end of the day, consumers are interested in what we do to grow food for their family and when you think about it, that is a fair question.

We may not think about other agriculture practicies and issues outside of our own part of agriculture very often, but we need to. We are all so connected through products, services and ideas. So let's take every opportunity we can to learn, listen and tell our story.

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