Chelcie Cremer~Central MT Regional Manager

According to our mission statement, Farm Bureau is a nationwide organization promoting and protecting agriculture with one, unified voice.  How many of us have ever thought about what this means?  Have we ever stopped to wonder about all the other farmers and ranchers across the country who share a piece of that voice?  The peanut growers in Alabama, rice growers in Texas, cattle ranchers from Montana, and wheat farmers in Washingto
n are all just pieces of the puzzle comprising the voice of American agriculture.  It’s easy to get tunnel vision and focus only on the issues or events affecting us directly, but visiting with folks around the country sheds new light on the complex nature of the ag industry. 

This was precisely the scene at the Gallatin County Farm Bureau picnic when the county hosted a tour group of Kentucky Farm Bureau members.  In collaboration with Kentucky Extension, several Farm Bureau members participated in the Fayette County Ag Tour.  The group of 15 arrived in Montana last Thursday and spent time touring ranches in Ennis, and spent time in Yellowstone Park.  As the conclusion to the tour, Gallatin County invited the group to their summer picnic.  Here, members visited about issues affecting each state and the different crops and livestock grown.  Most importantly, new connections and friendships flourished among people thousands of miles apart who share a passion for agriculture.  This picnic was a prime example of why Farm Bureau is such a powerful organization.  To truly understand the unified voice of Farm Bureau, you have to break down the pieces and meet the individuals who create that voice.  That’s what Gallatin County did last night, met new people who quickly became old friends.  I’m proud to be part of an organization where there are no strangers and a friend is never far away, even across the country.  We may raise different crops, face different challenges, live in a different time zone but at the end of the day, we’re all in it for the same reason.