County Policy Development Committees
The Policy Development Committee has the responsibility to develop Farm Bureau policy recommendations on local, state, and national issues by encouraging the study and discussion of issues by all Farm Bureau members. The committee will also consider options obtained from resource persons and information obtained from research and draft a slate of well-considered policy recommendations to be presented for consideration by members at the county annual meeting.
The Policy Development Committee should consist of a minimum of five county Farm Bureau members representing all geographical areas of the county, commodity interests, and various age groups.
Qualification for Committee Membership
- Must be a Farm Bureau member.
- Have a sincere interest in the strength and advancement of Farm Bureau as an organization to serve farmers.
- Interested in seeking out facts and have a broad understanding of agriculture in the county.
- Willing to put the general welfare of agriculture first, regardless of their personal viewpoints.
Duties and Responsibilities
To ensure maximum participation in policy development, it is important that the Policy Development Committee start its work early.
The Policy Development committee needs to meet regularly to encourage discussion of issues by Farm Bureau Community Action Groups, county Farm Bureau committees and individual members, to the end that well-considered recommendations will be forwarded to the Policy Development Committee. Use innovative techniques to encourage member involvement such as questionnaires, telephone surveys, informational meetings, briefing papers, etc.
The Policy Development Committee should review Community Action Group minutes for suggestions, expressions of opinions, and attitudes involving Farm Bureau issues. The committee should also consult with county Farm Bureau committees, school officials, Farm Service Agency, Extension staff, zoning administrator, township, and county officials, etc., on problems and issues which are county, state, and national in scope, and affect Farm Bureau members.
The Policy Development Committee should attend any regional and district Policy Development training sessions or probable issue meetings.
The Policy Development Committee should study the organization's present policies, draft proposed resolutions, present them to the members at the county annual meeting, and be able to respond to questions. All proposed resolutions to be voted on at the annual meeting should be given to the members in printed form two weeks prior to and at the county annual meeting.
The Policy Development Committee chairperson should be prepared to explain the policy development and the grassroots process prior to consideration of policy recommendations at the annual meeting.
- Schedule, assist in organization of and preside over committee meetings.
- Work with committee to ensure plan of activities for the year is developed.
- Work to ensure representation from the committee at training and probable issues meetings.
- Explain the policy development process at the county annual meeting prior to consideration of resolutions.
- Report to board regularly on committee activities and on any committee budget related issues.
- Attend necessary committee meetings and meetings or activities with resource people.
- Attend training and probable issues meetings.
- Preparation of resolutions for annual meeting.
- Attendance and presentation of resolutions at county annual meeting.
Committee Appointment Timeframe
Every two years a Policy Development Committee should be appointed. Appointments are made by the County President and Board of Directors during the fall. At least two new committee members should be appointed each cycle.
Sample Activities/Calendar of Events
|January-March||Attend regional policy development training|
|March-July||Attend district probable issues meeting
Committee meetings for issue discussion and resolution development
Meetings with outside resources for development of issues and resolutions
Hold informational meeting on an issue(s) important to local farmers
Review Community Action groups minutes
Survey members in county for policy development issues
|August||Committee Appointment (every two years)|
|August-October||Attend and present resolutions to members at county Farm Bureau annual meeting|
|December||Michigan Farm Bureau Annual Meeting|
Want to Get Involved?
To become involved in Your Local County Policy Development Committee, click Here to visit your County Farm Bureau website.