You campaigned or received encouragement from your County Farm Bureau president and earned the coveted slot of being a delegate representing your county at the Arizona Farm Bureau Annual Convention this coming November 7, 8 and 9th. Or, maybe you didn’t attend your county Farm Bureau meeting, but leadership decided to elect you as a delegate. Either way, delegates are sitting atop a golden opportunity to influence agriculture’s most important and hot topics while having a good time, learning a lot and visiting with fellow farmers and ranchers throughout Arizona.

Delegates from Arizona’s County Farm Bureaus discuss and vote on policies that lead Farm Bureau’s work on key issues that will impact agriculture. Delegates should be prepared to weigh in on proposed policies. Here Delegate Ava Alcaida and President from La Paz County participate in policy issues during last year’s Annual Meeting.

In preparation for the meeting and exercising your vote, it’s a good idea to visit with your County President or Policy Development Chair to learn which policies your county has submitted for consideration at the state level and key policies that other counties have submitted. This is often discussed at your county’s October board meeting, so you’ll want to attend this month’s scheduled county board meetings.

Of course, if you were in the thick of your county’s policy development you already know what policy issues are most important to your county. The value of being involved in such a discussion is by the time you make it to the state’s November Annual Meeting is that you’ve been able to establish and have an informed opinion about the issues.

Be sure to register for the hotel and convention, and then it’s on to the convention in November.

Thursday, November the 8th is a full day of working on resolutions, as well as hearing from some great speakers. All Farm Bureau policies start at the county level and are discussed, amended and approved by delegates elected by the grassroots members. Working together during the resolutions session, your county delegates will be able to influence the final language to be adopted as the state policy or sent on to American Farm Bureau. This may mean convincing delegates from other counties to support your policy positions.

The day ends with an elegant awards banquet recognizing people who have made their mark on agriculture and Farm Bureau. Great music and dancing will finish off Thursday night. Friday has a great line-up of political and informational speakers that you won’t want to miss.

So be sure to get registered and prepared to fully participate in the Annual Convention. You’ll go home to the farm or ranch reinvigorated with new knowledge and new friendships. And you’ll have made a mark on the industry that you love and want to see prosper in our country – agriculture.

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