President's Column: Grassroots, The Foundation of Farm Bureau

Posted on Aug 10, 2020

Whenever I have been asked to describe what Kentucky Farm Bureau (KFB) is about or how it operates, I always begin with one word: “grassroots.”

If you have been around this organization as long as I have, that word comes up often and we never want to lose sight of how important it really is.

The foundation of this organization was built on the premise that county leaders and volunteers would serve as the catalyst that moves us forward as the Voice of Kentucky Agriculture.

And the priorities this organization advocates for each year start at this local level.

County Farm Bureaus are now beginning to have or schedule their local annual meetings. Doing so is in their by-laws and is something that must occur. But it is really more than just fulfilling an obligation. It’s about coming together, as a local organization, to voice your opinions on policy matters, elect your local leadership, and continue a tradition that dates back generations.

But COVID-19 has made us all change our ways of doing things, especially when it comes to meetings of any kind.

I must admit, when this pandemic hit, forcing us to work remotely, I was a little worried about how it might go. But with the help of so many people who have assisted with our technological needs, and those who have been willing to step out of the box and do things differently, we haven’t missed a beat. Our meetings have taken place virtually, our advocacy efforts have continued, and our desire to serve the agriculture industry and our membership has done nothing but grow.

It has taken some time to get into a rhythm of operating in this manner, along with quite a bit of patience, but we have moved forward in a very successful way.

The county annual meetings that are taking place now and throughout the next several weeks and months are critical to our mission as an organization.

We may have to conduct them in a different way, but don’t let that diminish their importance. We encourage you to continue to hold your meetings in accordance to local, state and federal safety guidelines. However, just because the world around us is in a state of uncertainty, it doesn’t lessen our desire and the need to serve an industry that is vital to every man, woman and child.

KFB is committed to our advocacy efforts. Through good times and tough situations, our local leaders have continued this long-standing tradition, and we are not about to stop now.

If you have already held your annual meeting, we commend you and thank you for moving forward. If you are still in the planning stage, we encourage you to be involved and see this time as one of opportunity to continue to build upon this organization’s foundation.

Together we have done great things for agriculture, for our rural communities, and for this state. And we will continue to do so preserving our grassroots heritage as we look toward our future.

Mark Haney, President
Kentucky Farm Bureau