Arizona Farm Bureau Engaging with Members of Congress in Arizona
The ACEs – Advocacy, Communication, and Education – drive the work of the Arizona Farm Bureau staff. Each pillar is comprised of many moving pieces, and these serve as the foundation for the robust organization that we know as the Arizona Farm Bureau.
For example, advocacy consists of providing Farm Bureau staff with the direction to advocate on behalf of farmers and ranchers through our grassroots processes and foster opportunities for Farm Bureau members to advocate for themselves. And throughout the first quarter of this year, we have been extremely fortunate to have had multiple opportunities for Arizona Farm Bureau members to meet with both elected and appointed officials to do exactly that.
In January, Arizona Farm Bureau members joined a roundtable discussion at Rovey Farms with Senator Kelly and Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack. The meeting was primarily focused on increasing meat processing capacity for small and medium processors, but also shed light on other priority issues such as the lack of staff and USDA field office and the need for ag labor reform.
In February, Arizona Farm Bureau hosted Senator Sinema at our office to discuss a variety of issues top of mind for our members. We had members from all corners of our state present at this meeting to share diverse stories and ask about water infrastructure, labor, taxes, and public lands management. Senator Sinema was also awarded the American Farm Bureau ‘Friend of Farm Bureau’ award for her voting record in the 116th Congress.
Also in February, Maricopa County Farm Bureau hosted a tour and roundtable discussion for Congressman Stanton in the East Valley. We showcased Rousseau Farms where Congressman Stanton was able to see workers harvesting celery. This meeting was followed up by a lively discussion at the Freeman Corn Patch about how significant federal investments in replacing, repairing, and building new water infrastructure systems are critical in ensuring we can continue farming in the West.
March ended with a stop in Pinal County. Where we hosted Congressman Biggs’ legislative assistant for a tour of Caywood Farms and had the opportunity to meet with both Maricopa County and Pinal County Farm Bureau members to shed light on the water situation in Pinal County.
Since Capitol Hill is only partially open for visitors and still has many restrictions, we have built upon the proven track record of success and decided to continue meeting with members of Congress and officials from the Administration in Arizona. This not only means that our farmers and ranchers don’t have to travel all the way to D.C., but it means that our elected officials can learn about these issues with a “boots on the ground” perspective.
We look forward to continuing to develop these opportunities for our farmers and ranchers, but also can’t wait for the day until we can walk through the halls of Capitol Hill once again.