Ag Organization Connections
Feb 21, 2017
I've been going to meetings this winter, and almost inevitably I run into people I first met decades ago when I was active in Farm Bureau or Corn Growers or other ag organizations.
Not only are these encounters a chance to reminisce and catch up on what's happening, they are recharging events for my spirits. As someone wisely said, "You can't make old friends.”
These happy experiences also underline an aspect of membership that does not get enough attention. Belonging and actively participating in farm organizations is worthwhile to help our industry, but the greatest value may be the personal connections you can make.
Reading back on my writings from the 80's it is clear to me that the most valuable resource I had was the informal peer group that arose by simply showing up at meetings and occasionally arguing about policy or and the future of our profession. OK, maybe more than occasionally.
It is a big mistake, in my opinion, to think social media like Facebook can replicate this way of building life-enhancing ties to fellow farmers. Science and common sense both say otherwise.
Begrudging a few dollars in membership fees suggests you are missing the true value of belonging. Going to meetings, sitting through tedious reports, and struggling to find consensus aren't the penalties but the privileges of membership.
And all the time you are getting the work of the organization done, you are weaving your own safety net.
Join. Show up. Participate. You build your own future best when you build for all of us.