Working Together For North Carolina

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Farmers and the agricultural industry have demonstrated their worthiness to the state’s economy as a load bearing wall. Without the $69.6 billion represented by North Carolina’s agriculture and agribusiness industry, the roof could very well have caved in on the rest of us during the recession.

Budgets have not only been on the minds of consumers and the farmers who serve them, but also in the ponderings of the lawmakers and business leaders who determine the regulations and help generate the wealth that guides our society into the future.

It takes all segments of the economy to determine the ultimate cost and value of goods and services, such as food, fiber and forestry products. The North Carolina General Assembly’s short session convenes May 16 and will settle the state’s $19.7 billion budget.

As the farmers’ voice in North Carolina, Farm Bureau is a leader in our state. As such, Farm Bureau bears responsibilities to the people of North Carolina–and we take those responsibilities seriously.

The changing face of the General Assembly is why it’s more important than ever that rural North Carolina has representation. The results of the 2010 census and the following redistricting means 14 counties now elect 50 percent of the North Carolina General Assembly. This statistic alone cries out for leadership from rural areas and from Farm Bureau! Those counties are the state’s most urban, and their representatives look out for urbanites and their families. It’s up to rural residents and their families to stand together and engage their suburban and urban friends, neighbors and consumers in a conversation about farming.

Our primary responsibility–our core mission–was clearly defined in 1936. Farm Bureau is to provide legislative representation for North Carolina’s farmers and rural families. Every legislative session finds Farm Bureau staff actively advocating for member policy positions, which were formalized by the voting delegates from county Farm Bureaus.

We had a good legislative session during 2011. We worked well with the new leadership in the General Assembly and made several significant accomplishments. Among the most important accomplishments was regulatory reform–-primarily, making sure that our state’s regulations are fair and are no more punitive than federal requirements.

We know that ALL issues ride the Democrat/Republican merry-go-round!

But someone wise once said she isn’t a D or an R when it comes to Farm Bureau–-she’s an A! She’s for agriculture!

That’s what we have to remember about the issues. As a nonpartisan organization, Farm Bureau stands for agriculture. We have the responsibility to speak for farmers and serve as an advocate for agriculture in North Carolina.

Farm Bureau will NOT shirk that responsibility no matter how tough the issue, no matter how controversial the issue, no matter how sensitive the issue–-just as long as our policy supports our actions.

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