Every fall, the 11 County Farm Bureaus that make up the Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) gather at their annual meeting and establish legislative priorities for 2020 and beyond. These meetings are where Farm Bureau’s policy development begins.
“Our grassroots resolution process is one of the many reasons that Farm Bureau is such a respected organization among legislators,” said MFBF President Mark Amato. “There is no elusive board making decisions for farmers. Instead, it is a farmer bringing a concern up and providing the staff and board guidance on policy. The process all starts with one farmer.”
During the 11 county Farm Bureau annual meetings, a farmer brings their concern forward for discussion and approval by other county members. If a resolution is adopted at a County Farm Bureau annual meeting, it is then reviewed by MFBF’s resolution committee, which prepare and forward it onto the statewide annual meeting. The resolution is then discussed and voted upon by delegate farmer members. This year’s meeting is set to be held on Dec. 5-6 at the Sheraton in Framingham.
“A few of our counties have already met and brought forth a few resolutions for consideration,” Amato said. “Farmers’ innovative solutions to the challenges facing their businesses are always one of my favorite parts of the resolution process.”
This policy development process can continue onto the national level. If an approved resolution has national applicability, MFBF will forward it along to American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) for discussion and approval at their annual meeting. This means a farmer member can make a difference at the national level.
“The process all starts at local county Farm Bureau annual meetings,” Amato said. “I would like to encourage all members to attend these meetings or forward their resolutions along with other members, such as the county president.