129 – Voting rights non farmers and ranchers?


Screen Shot 2016-06-26 at 5.15.56 PMSome farm and ranch production agricultural organizations want to give voting rights to non producers.

Lots of big time agvocates do not produce agricultural commodities, but are still huge supporters of commercial production agriculture.

But, should they be given the right to set policy for production agricultural organizations???

Several recent examples that I know of.  Illinois Farm Bureau tried to expand who is eligible to vote and the American Simmental Association had a proposal to allow people who are members, but had not registered cattle in recent years the right to vote.

I am going to explore whether this is good policy or not.

Farm Bureau is not only waning to ensure a state wide organization, but also strong county organizations.  So, the question becomes how much do the large counties subsidize the small counties?  Several arguments for, several against.

Are you a banker or a farmer , farm bureau story from the 1980’s.

What if we need to put pressure on our input suppliers.  Of course lots of farm organizations have other business interests.

Staff needs members, they have to be able to justify an existence.  Critical mass or justifying the empire, however you look at it.

Several solutions, how about having larger operations pay more, fair share???  Not without problems, but NCBA does this now.

Some large operations have several families “living” off one membership.  Charge a per head tax???

Can social media change how farm organizations operate?

Are these organizations for business or social reasons, or both?

Why do you belong?  Because you have to?

Lots of boards have people doing the second or third term on the same board.

I believe we should move on to other leadership positions once our term is up.  Pros and cons for experience, but I would love more farmers on county boards, zoning committees, as a road commissioner, etc., etc.

Sometimes we people in production ag stay within ourselves and do not move up to bigger things.

Maybe we need something like farm and ranch business associated membership.  Lots of things to think about.  Once you give away the vote you will never get it back though.


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