Bringing the Heat to WashingtonPosted on Sep 1, 2013
By Bob Stallman President, American Farm Bureau
If this August felt hotter than in years past, it was likely more than the weather you were experiencing. Farmers and ranchers, who are hot under the collar about congressional inaction, have been turning up the heat during Farm Bureau’s “Bring the Heat” August recess grassroots campaign.
From Yakima, Wash., to Tallahassee, Fla., Farm Bureau members have been telling Congress to pass the farm bill, fix ag labor and pass the waterways bill.Through town hall meetings, congressional district office visits, traditional and social media, emails, phone calls, postcards and even specially made fans with personalized messages, Farm Bureau members across the country have brought the heat to Congress.
Fanning the Flame
Just because August recess is complete and members of Congress are back in Washington, it doesn’t mean we should stop bringing the heat on our priority issues. To the contrary, Farm Bureau members should build on our momentum and continue fanning the flame now that Congress is back in session and members are getting down to work.
As we near the final push, we should all be in contact with our congressional representatives letting them know that just because summer is over it doesn’t mean the heat has let up. Relying on Farm Bureau determination and perseverance, which has sustained us for 94 years, it’s time to roll up our shirt sleeves and get the job done.
Farm Bureau members have always played an instrumental role in legislative efforts that have helped shape U.S. agriculture. With significant issues like the farm bill, ag labor and waterways transportation on the line, this time should be no different.
As Farm Bureau members, it is ingrained in us to be actively involved and to fight for what we believe in and what we think will better our profession and our country. We are not ones to rest on our laurels while others do the work. We are also not the types to make a lot of noise about an issue and stop there.
Farmers and ranchers have a lot at stake this congressional session, so we must see our grassroots efforts through to fruition. We have to pass the farm bill. We must fix ag labor. And we have to buildup our nation’s waterways infrastructure. The groundwork has been laid on all of these issues. We just need Congress to act.
It’s up to us to tell Congress to stop putting politics ahead of progress. We already lit the fire under lawmakers during August recess. Now, let’s bring that heat to Washington this September.