Issues and Debate dominate the meeting… Idaho Farm Bureau Executive Director Zak Miller says you can't find a better example of grass-roots politics in the United States.
“Our policies come from the ground up, from our members. This is where a whole year of discussions and debates from these county Farm Bureau Meetings were accumulated discussed and passed up to this meeting. The county delegates determined tonight what moves onto the State Resolution meeting. This is the political backbone of our organization and a key process in building our policy book," said Miller.
Farmers and Ranchers from the Farm Bureau's District 4 debated the issues, brought policies, concerns, and wisdom from their fields to the annual fall meeting.
"No doubt about it, Farm Bureau is a grassroots organization," said Washington County President Tristian Winegar of Weiser."Everything we do comes from the bottom up, from membership up to leadership. We decide the direction of the organization, we decide what we want to focus on, and that's what makes us stand out. That's also a selling point to new members because our voice will be heard as it should be."
When resolutions pass this hurdle they’re voted on at the State Resolution Meeting later this month in Boise and then they move on to the Annual Meeting in December then lobbied at the Idaho Statehouse. Some resolutions have made it into the American Farm Bureau policy book and have made it all the way to Capitol Hill, a few Idaho Resolutions have been passed into law.
Today's resolutions were varied and broad, everything from wolves to school curriculums, and even dams and water storage. Not all resolutions pass, some are redundant, some are sent back for revision. More than 20 resolutions were considered and the best passed on to the state committee.
"Every year we go through our policies and decided the direction of Farm Bureau. It's a consistent direction and that's what we stick to," added Washington County President Winegar.