- Dave Williams is adamant about farmers getting the opportunity to do that. The upcoming Policy Development meetings of the Wayne/Pike Farm Bureau is a chance to do just that.
"Every fall we have a policy meeting," he said. At that policy meeting, members of the Farm Bureau can attend and voice their concerns about policies, or other issues. These meetings, and those voicing of concerns, is "the heart of what Farm Bureau is about."
Farmers "may talk about something that has negatively impacted" farming that they want the opportunity to change.
Williams says the meetings are important because it "gives the individual person" a voice and allows them "to put their policy in" for review.
All policies that are submitted are reviewed and, if the policy is poignant, will continue to advance to the first meeting of the Farm Bureau in October.
During that meeting, all of the policies will be read. At the end of that meeting, "members will vote on each one of the policies" presented. If enough votes are received, the policy will then continue its journey to reach the appropriate level of government.
To be presented to officials, it must first be debated and voted upon at the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau annual meeting, which is held in Hershey.
The effectiveness of these policies "has been very strong," he said. "It gives an opportunity for the individuals who really know the problems" the chance to make a change.
At the annual meeting, which will happen Nov. 12-14 at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center, each of the local farm bureaus will send delegates to this gathering.
At the event, "delegates from each bureau will be on hand" to review the policies. The Wayne/Pike Farm Bureau "is one of the bigger" farm bureaus and "will have two delegates" at the meeting.
The meeting will offer each potential policy the opportunity to be debated by the board of delegates.
If the policy effects just a county or state, it will then be passed to the corresponding level of government. For example, if the policy focuses on a county-wide issue, it will be brought before the commissioners.
If the policy is a national issue, and passes through the debate period, "It will go on to the National Convention" in Nashville, Tenn., Williams said.
"We can actually effect national laws," he said. He also says the Farm Bureau "tries to make policies to address real, sincere problems in agriculture."
The local Farm Bureau Policy meeting will be held Sept. 19 and 26 at 7 p.m. at the Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center in Honesdale. All Farm Bureau members are encouraged to attend.