The recent debate over the debt limit and the subsequent “Supercommittee” that will tackle our country's national debt crisis will have implications on every government program. Farm programs will not be immune to budget changes.  While those of us in agriculture understand that our programs may see reductions, we maintain that those reductions must be proportionate to cuts in other Federal programs.

This debate gives us a chance to examine federal farm programs and determine what programs work and which ones don’t. This debate also coincides with many county Farm Bureau Policy Development and Annual Meetings, the place where local, state, and national Farm Bureau Policies begin. Farm Bureau members have a unique opportunity to shape the debate and have a proactive voice in the future of agriculture.

You, as a Farm Bureau member, are in the driver’s seat of the farm policy debate this year. You have the ability to direct Farm Bureau leadership to carry out your farm policy priorities. Although the average American citizen can only complain about federal spending at the local coffee shop, you have the power to send a message directly to your elected officials through Farm Bureau.

Your message must be clear, though. Vague language and interpretation can stop good policy in its tracks. Be specific in your policy. If a farm program isn’t working in your area, spell that out. If the future of your farm would be in peril without a certain safety net, explain that.

The bottom line is- get involved in the process. The strength of our organization is our diversity, and our ability to work through our individual differences to construct good policy for all of agriculture. Attend your County Policy Development and Annual Meetings. Take some time to research your individual policy positions and cooperatively work with your county members to send good policy to your states.

Policy setting is a building block of our advocacy. Be part of the solution.