Thankful for volunteers who work for agriculture - November 2016

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November is always a busy time for Farm Bureau members. Fall work keeps many of our folks busy where their work all spring and summer is harvested and they find out how well the calves gained over the summer or how the lack of water affected their crops. It's also the time when your neighbors take the time from their busy schedule to travel to the Farm Bureau annual meeting and finish the process that started at the counties in developing direction for your organization.

This year we are back in Laramie, which is a long drive for many of our folks, but we hope the weather will cooperate and make the trip easier for these folks.

Voting delegates will be electing a new Wyoming Farm Bureau president at this meeting. Perry Livingston has served the members for the past eleven years. Term limits allow a president to be elected for no more than 11 terms. I would like to personally thank Perry for all the time he dedicated to representing Farm Bureau members over the past years. The time commitment was significant and the time away from his ranch no doubt made it much more difficult to be gone. He certainly dedicated a lot of personal time to Farm Bureau and representing our members on state and national issues. In addition to serving as president of the Wyoming Farm Bureau he also served as president of Mountain West Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company. He was elected by his peers in the West to represent us on the American Farm Bureau Federation's board of directors and was appointed by past AFBF president Bob Stallman to a trade mission to Europe. He also has served as chair of resolution subcommittees and numerous other duties that AFBF board members perform to ensure America’s largest agricultural organization stays strong.

We have always been lucky to have dedicated leaders from the agricultural community who step up to the plate and give generously of their time for organizations in their local communities like school boards, county commissioners, conservation districts, irrigation districts as well as many local, county and state organizations. This dedication to helping improve everyone's lives is part of the reason we in agriculture are able to influence policy makers. This wide and varied background also helps in the development of our policies that get adopted at the annual meeting.

Our Board also dedicates a lot of time to helping keep agriculture strong in Wyoming. They make it a point to attend the Farm Bureau meetings on the district and state level and many also are able to make the county Farm Bureau meetings to help the county leaders in their districts. Many make the county Farm Bureau meetings in their county on top of all that.

County leaders dedicate a lot of personal time working on agriculture issues on the local level too. They are on the front line when it comes to the impacts of many of the rules and regulations which come out of various government agencies.

With the list of things coming at agriculture we definitely don't lack challenges. The increase in regulations coming out of Washington D.C. is astounding and many times agencies know that if they run enough regulations at the citizens some are bound to get through. People who dedicate part of their time to working on these issues and then try to keep their own operation's going will never be paid enough for their time. We in agriculture are just fortunate that we have these folks around to help with all of the challenges we face as we work to keep agriculture strong.

In addition to all that is going on in Farm Bureau in November, we also get to head to the polls to elect our national leaders. No matter where you stand with the candidates, our responsibility as citizens is to participate in this process.

By Ken Hamilton, Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation Executive Vice President