Advocacy is a cornerstone of Indiana Farm Bureau. That is evident nearly every day at the Statehouse as members visit with legislators to advocate for the organization’s priority positions.
This year, INFB has hosted three advocacy days for specific demographics of its membership. In February, the Young Farmers and Ag Professionals group participated in an advocacy day. The Women’s Leadership Committee advocacy day, also in February, was designed to engage Farm Bureau women in the legislative process. And most recently, INFB hosted more than 40 FFA students for an advocacy day on March 11.
Both the Young Farmers and Ag Professionals and the FFA advocacy days were new events this year.
“These advocacy days have provided a great opportunity to invite both experienced and newly engaged members to the Statehouse so they can see how the policy process works at Indiana Farm Bureau,” said Katrina Hall, INFB’s director of public policy.
Each advocacy day began with a policy briefing, led by the INFB public policy team. The briefings included guest speakers who discussed the importance of being involved in the legislative process.
For example, Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch made remarks during the Women’s Leadership Committee and FFA advocacy days. After the training, members visited the Statehouse to connect with their legislators to discuss issues that will impact their farms, agribusinesses and communities.
“The goal of these advocacy days is to provide interested members with an opportunity for personal growth and professional development,” said Hall.
Courtney Rude-Lamie, District 6 Young Farmers and Ag Professionals representative, attended her program’s advocacy day in February. She said the group wanted to have an advocacy day to encourage people to get engaged and become more confident when speaking with their legislators. Rude-Lamie said the event was worthwhile and that she would encourage members to attend one of the events next year.
“Even if you’re not necessarily interested in policy or policy development, it’s important to go outside of your comfort zone and make sure that you’re engaged,” Rude-Lamie said. “Everyone brings something different to the table, and it’s important for everyone to be there so all the voices are heard.”