The Gazette’s April 30 article “Farm Bureau flourishes as water quality flags” lacks emphasis on a key piece of the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation — the people. The article focused heavily on executive compensation packages and barely mentioned the 160,000 members and the benefits and resources provided to members.
Nearly 63,000 farmer members collaborate with and depend on the Farm Bureau’s influence and resources. The state farm bureau contains flaws, but they value member input. Policy often originates from individuals in each of the 100 county offices and the best ideas make their way to the state level in Des Moines.
Farm Bureau provides members a weekly periodical, political and policy updates, connection to rural community and education in the form of webinars and workshops.
It is my privilege to be a Linn County farmer and Farm Bureau member; however, I take neither responsibility lightly. My wife and I raise corn, soybeans, cattle and hay with my dad and brother. I often look at our farm with nostalgic thoughts reminiscing the past, but I also look toward the future. Much has changed in the last 50 years of agriculture and much more will likely change in the next 50 years. These changes provoke thoughts of how are we leaving our farms to future generations. Collaborative, voluntary water quality solutions supported by Farm Bureau will prove more effective than invasive regulatory non-solutions.