I am writing this on the day of the primary elections, complete with my “I Voted” sticker on the left pocket of my shirt. I am proud to say that I exercised my right to vote, and, in my mind, I made all the right choices. To my knowledge I have participated in every election since I turned 18, and I intend to exercise it every opportunity I get for the rest of my life.

I don’t know if you have noticed but we are at a serious crossroads in the history of our great nation. That crossroads makes exercising the right to vote even more critical now than ever. That is especially true for those of us in agriculture. We are an ever-shrinking number, and we must take every chance we can get to make our voices heard and that is especially true when it comes to the polls.

That is also why it is so critical for each of us as Farm Bureau members to get involved with Voters Organized To Elect Farm Bureau Friends, or VOTE FBF. First, let me encourage you to support it monetarily. The dollars are used to support candidates friendly to agriculture are only generated through donations from members. It doesn’t have to be much if each of us donate every year.

More importantly get involved in the county process to decide which candidates to support. Like everything else in Farm Bureau, the decision of which candidates to support starts at the county level. Increasingly we are seeing candidates recognize this and start to attend county board meetings and this gives us an opportunity to have discussions with them about our views. Those recommendations along with voting records are heavily considered by the Vote FBF board when deciding which candidates to endorse.

I would also hope that when you do go to the polls you will look at the list of candidates endorsed by VOTE FBF and consider supporting them. They are the candidates who have the best interest of agriculture in mind and most closely align with our policy. In the end you will make up your own mind and vote for the candidates that best represent you, but the list of endorsed candidates is a good place to start.

The most important thing is to get out and vote in November. It is the best way for us to make our voices heard. It was ingrained in me early on that if you did not participate and vote, you really had no right to complain. I know I still get a feeling of pride every time I go to the polls and cast my vote. Regardless of how I feel about the slate of candidates or the issues I am voting on, I do get a great deal of satisfaction participating in the process. It isn’t perfect, but it is the best in the world. So go cast your vote and wear that sticker with pride, you earned it.