Montana Farm Bureau Federation President Cyndi Johnson traveled to Washington, D.C. last week to attend the American Farm Bureau Resolution Meeting and visit with Montana's Congressional delegation. During the meeting, state presidents reviewed policies submitted by state Farm Bureaus.
“Seeing first-hand how policy moves from the county level to the national level shows the grassroots structure of Farm Bureau. All MFBF policies advanced through this process and will be voted on at the AFBF Annual Convention in January in Atlanta,” said Johnson. MFBF submitted resolutions on organic research, wildlife management, wildfire impacts, and public lands, which were thoroughly discussed and analyzed by state Farm Bureau presidents during the resolutions meeting.
“It’s always interesting to hear the differences of opinions from various parts of our country. The meeting enabled me to connect with different presidents, including four other women presidents from across the country,” Johnson said.
In addition to the AFBF Resolutions Meeting, Johnson and MFBF Senior Governmental Affairs Director Nicole Rolf met with Montana’s Congressional delegation on Capitol Hill, including Senator Jon Tester, Senator Steve Daines and Representative Matt Rosendale, and their agricultural staff.
“We covered a wide range of topics. Most timely amongst them being our opposition to the Build Back Better Act,” said Rolf. “Our members are alarmed by continued high levels of federal spending and the resulting inflation. They are feeling the impacts already and worry about pushing our country even further into debt, for initiatives that will largely not benefit rural America.”
“We also talked about regulatory concerns. Whether it’s waters of the U.S., endangered species regulations, wolves, grizzly bears, or sage grouse, there is a lot in play for Montana farmers and ranchers,” Rolf said. “Of course, we discussed the drought and related programs, the Farm Service Agency, and on a positive note, about opportunities for expanded export markets through improved ports, as well as repairs and improvements to irrigation systems that are going to happen in the relatively near term. We appreciate our elected officials taking the time to sit down with us and have these conversations.”
Rolf added, “These meetings were a great way to strengthen our working relationships and officially introduce them to our new MFBF president. Cyndi shared that one of her priorities as president of MFBF will be for our organization and their offices always to have an open line of communication, and that seemed well received."
Johnson noted, “All three members of our Congressional delegation took time to listen to us about those issues that affect people in agriculture and our rural communities. Between having meaningful conversations with these elected officials and discussing our policy with other county Farm Bureau presidents, this was an excellent, exciting and educational first trip as Montana Farm Bureau’s new president.”