GAINESVILLE — Florida farmers, ranchers and small business owners spoke up for agriculture during Florida Farm Bureau Federation’s Hill to the Field Advocacy Week, June 1-4, 2021. Traditionally held as a fly-in to Washington, D.C., this year’s event stayed local due to COVID-19 regulations currently in place in our nation’s Capital.
Participation from 48 county Farm Bureaus was observed as Farm Bureau leaders from across the Sunshine State discussed various federal policies that affect agriculture and rural communities. Priority topics included trade, labor reform, estate tax, water policy and agricultural research funding.
The week encouraged our grassroots county Farm Bureau members to engage and meet with their congressional offices. County leaders hosted legislative farm tours, in-person meetings on members’ farms and in their local county Farm Bureau offices.
“For the past 18 months, the pandemic has delayed or halted many of our county and state events, but the work on the farm has clearly continued,” acknowledged Florida Farm Bureau President John L. Hoblick. “It is critical to remind our federal lawmakers about the ongoing struggles and resilience of Florida agriculture. There is no better place to do that than in the field.”
In an effort to better prepare for congressional meetings, Farm Bureau members were invited to attend a three-part webinar series focusing on the significance, substance and strategy of federal advocacy.
American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall was a guest speaker during the webinar series and discussed the effectiveness of advocating on agriculture’s behalf to lawmakers.
Florida Congressional Delegates who participated in the Hill to the Field Advocacy Week included: Rep. Brian Mast; Rep. Dr. Neal Dunn; Rep. Greg Steube; Rep. Scott Franklin; Rep. Bill Posey; Rep. Vern Buchanan; Rep. John Rutherford; Rep. Kat Cammack; Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart and Rep. Gus Bilirakis.
Florida Farm Bureau, the state’s largest general agricultural organization, represents more than 136,000 member-families. We serve to enhance farm enterprise and improve rural communities.