Every year the first full week of February is designated as Arkansas Farm Bureau Membership Drive Kickoff. Until I married a farmer, I thought Farm Bureau was an insurance company. Insurance is one of the great member services, but Farm Bureau is a member organization with a much larger mission. Arkansas Farm Bureau began in 1935 with the focus on dealing with issues of concern to agriculture. It was started by farmers that had specific concerns such as the need for rural electrification and reducing freight rates on feed brought in for livestock in drought areas.
The uniqueness of Farm Bureau is that we are a grassroots organization. That means that our organizational policy is set by the members, not by organizational management. Our issues come from problems that we experience on our farms, our communities,and in our state. Our policy is what we use to solve problems through the legislative process at the state or national level.
When you really believe in something and feel passionate about it, it is easy to talk about it. As members of the Benton County Farm Bureau Board of Directors, that is what Dan Douglas,James Simpson and I did today as we talked about the importance of agriculture and Farm Bureau on KURM radio with Col. Kermit Womack. You can find more information about the benefits of membership at http://www.arfb.com/.
Today the mission statement of Arkansas Farm Bureau is:
- advocate the interests of agriculture in the public arena
- disseminate information concerning the value and importance of agriculture
- provide products and services which improve the quality of life for our members
Remember, not everyone can be a farmer, but everyone can be a Farm Bureau Member!