Developing thoughtful policy ensures MFBF is always prepared and in a position to act upon important issues when they arise. But it’s just as important to regularly review policy that’s already in the book.

Reviewing policy isn’t nearly as bright and shiny as breaking new ground and developing policy we haven’t seen before. But, it’s still just as necessary, and arguably, more important than developing new policy each year.

Why policy review matters:

  • Farm Bureau has been around awhile. We’re almost 100 old and have been making policy all the while. We’ve evolved over the years and our policy should, too.

  • Avoid doubling up. When considering developing a new policy at your county meeting, be sure to carefully check the current policy book to make sure there isn’t already a policy in place. As simple as it sounds, it’s not uncommon for a new policy to be proposed only to discover there is already sufficient policy on the topic in place.

  • Quality over quantity. There is a lot of policy in the book. So much in fact, sometimes policies get forgotten. They become outdated and irrelevant to current agricultural issues and organizational priorities. It’s a priority to avoid having conflicting policies in the book, but that means you, the members, must be diligent in reviewing policy.

Reviewing every piece of policy is a daunting task for any county Farm Bureau to tackle.  However, Rome wasn’t built in a day and we can’t review all of the policy at once. Take it step by step.

  • Start with bite-size pieces. Don’t try to review the entire book at one meeting. In fact, it shouldn’t be the responsibility of a few members or counties to review the entire policy book.  To get started, select one section of the policy book and start reviewing there.

  • Make it a standing agenda item. Even if you don’t think you’ll have much discussion at the county policy development meeting, schedule it anyway. If there is time, put policy review on the meeting agenda and ask members to thumb through the section of the policy book you’ve suggested.

  • Review policy throughout the year. This is an easy way to keep policy development on the agenda at each board meeting.  Select a section to review and spend a little time working through it at each board meeting.

How to develop new policy:

Policy development: keeping the wolves at bay.

Plus, review the Montana Farm Bureau's Policy Book online.