Farm Bureau is an organization that gives a voice to those who are too busy to fight for their needs - people who are busy working in the fields or providing for their cattle. Farm Bureau is an organization run by farmers for farmers. Farm Bureau's main goal is to make the business of farming more profitable, especially in times where the nation's economy is working against the goals of American farmers.
When the bureau was founded in 1919, the founders wanted a national organization that allowed their voices to be heard. When you look at Farm Bureau now, you can see that their national organization has spread to every level: local, county, state, national and international. No matter where Farm Bureau members are, their goal is to be a voice for those they are supporting.
With both of my parents coming from farms in northeast Ohio, I have seen the effect that having the help of the Farm Bureau has on a farm. For years I have gone to Farm Bureau meetings and holiday parties and I've noticed that Farm Bureau members don't just act as a representative for farmers but that they also try to help them kick back and relax when possible. Whether it be bringing in a band or Santa for entertainment, farmers always get to have fun and forget about the farm for a little while.
Farm Bureau-sponsored activities like Farm Foliage tours or trivia in the Farm Bureau building at county farms let neighbors understand what the farmer next door does every day. Sometimes it's hard for farmers to call their neighbor and say, "Why don't you come over and see the farm?" so these Farm Foliage tours show a lot of people what goes on a farm. These activities also allow farmers to make connections and working relationships with other farmers that can lend a helping hand. I've seen this first-hand with my mother and her father being a huge part of Farm Bureau.
Whenever I'm at the fair or a dairy show someone will hear my name and automatically respond "You're Chuck's granddaughter!" or "You're Mary's daughter!" Being closely connected to the Farm Bureau has projected my 4-H career so much.
These are just a few of the ways that being a Farm Bureau member benefits my family, but I know that there are many more.
Emily Smallsreed is the daughter of farm columnist Mary Smallsreed and is a senior at LaBrae High School. She will be attending the University of Akron where she has been accepted as a pre-nursing student.