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The Grassroots Way

The Grassroots Way
Dennis and Kris Descheemaeker family.

My name is Kris Descheemaeker.  I married Dennis in 1979 and joined the Descheemaeker family ranch east of Lewistown.  We are a family cattle and small grain ranch that involves three generations and six families making a living from the land.   I am retired from ranch work but serve as grandma-care when daycare is not open, such as weekends, holidays or when a little one is sick and can’t go to daycare.

I still stay involved in the issues affecting the agriculture industry. I keep up on legislation and write those letters that make such a difference.  

I serve as secretary of Fergus County Farm Bureau and create the county newsletters that go out. I have been elected to serve as a county delegate to the MFBF annual meeting the last seven years for my county. I also serve as the District 3 representative on the Montana Farm Bureau Promotion & Education committee.

I want to get more involved in Farm Bureau on the state level and I felt the DC Fly-In would be a good way to get started on that goal.   Knowing our congressmen on a person level helps to further our cause and it is good to see them in action in Washington.

We discussed many issues with each of our members of Congress. One of which was the Broadband Data Improvement Act (S. 1522 and H.R. 3162) are bipartisan bills that would improve the accuracy of broadband coverage maps and better direct federal funds for the buildout of broadband.  We had the chance to thank Senator Tester for co-sponsoring S. 1522 and spoke with Representative Gianforte and Senator Daines about its importance to rural Montana.

During a meeting with lobbyists from the American Farm Bureau, we learned the FCC looks at farm and ranch lands as ‘empty space’ and S. 1522 will correct this by requiring broadband providers to report more accurate data. 

Passage of S.1522 and H. R.3162 will help ensure that broadband will be improved in rural areas. That is a huge plus to those of us who don’t have adequate coverage to operate technology that is required to be efficient in the farming and ranching industry in today’s environment.  It will also help our rural areas in healthcare and medical cost savings.   

 

Kris Descheemaeker in Washington D.C. during the Fly-In.
Another topic we talked about with our members of Congress was the importance of delisting recovered species under the Endangered Species Act. Once delisted, species management would become the responsibility of the states which should give farmers and ranchers more options to protect livestock and be rid of problem bears and wolves.

 

Farm Bureau members need to stay informed.  We need to know when S. 1522 and H.R. 3162 come up for hearings and encourage our congressional delegation to support the passage of these bills.
 
 The Department of Interior  will be coming out with updated rules and regulations on the delisting of species on the ESA.  As Farm Bureau members we need to be watching for this and should be submitting comments and encourage others to do the same. 

 

Our voices matter in Montana and in Washington D.C. The congressmen, their staff and all the people we met with really want to see and hear from the people with boots on the ground.  Our grassroots way of doing things in Farm Bureau is very effective in Washington. 

 



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