Develop an understanding and expertise in emerging issues that impact Michigan agriculture and be willing to respond to action requests. Additionally, Issue Action Teams will be identified as spokespeople on the issues identified, and assist in educating elected officials and the general public. Emerging state and national issues will be identified by Michigan Farm Bureau or, in the case of local issues, the county Farm Bureau. We recommend that each county retain a general issues action team to respond to policy issues throughout the year that may require an action request, but has not been identified as an emerging issue.
- Support of Farm Bureau policy – Issue Action team members must be willing to actively support Farm Bureau policy and put policy ahead of personal feelings or friendships with the legislators. Any success on implementing Farm Bureau policy will only come as a result of unity.
- Knowledge of the issues – Team members must study the issues carefully if they are to be influential with legislators who often have worked with the issues for years. Members are kept current on issues and Farm Bureau’s position through the Ag Policy Weekly (electronic), Michigan Farm News (print and electronic), the Michigan Farm Bureau website, and emails when appropriate.
- Responsive – Often a call or email for letters, phone calls or personal visits with legislators will come on very short notice, and a prompt response is necessary. Issue Action Team members should have email and access to the web. Cell phone and/or texting contact would also be beneficial.
- Tact – Team members must be firm in their support of Farm Bureau policies, yet tactful in their contacts with legislators.
- Willingness – Team members should have an interest in legislative activities and policy, and must be willing to do the job, not just “fill the position.”