Judging by my mailbox, TV and social media, we are in the silly season of politics. Yes, the August primary is drawing near and the last, final and, in some cases, desperate push for your vote is happening. This year is a critical year for those of us in agriculture to make sure ag-friendly candidates are elected. I would also make the case that for those of you not involved in agriculture it is in your best interest as a consumer of food to elect ag-friendly candidates.

I know you are as overwhelmed by information and claims from candidates as I am. It is hard to cut out the noise and disinformation to figure out what is the truth and where the candidates stand on issues important to your business and livelihood. If there was only some way to find out who the friendliest candidates to agriculture are? Well, you are in luck, we have a list of candidates endorsed by our Voters Organized To Elect Farm Bureau Friends (VOTE FBF).

This is a committee of 10 Farm Bureau members elected to serve on the board from each district in the state. They weigh information sent to them from each of the county Farm Bureaus, look at the voting records of incumbents and information provided by candidates to determine which of the potential legislators has agriculture’s best interest in mind. I have witnessed the process firsthand, and I can tell you quite a lot goes into each selection. The committee has an incredible success rate, with more than 90 percent of our endorsed candidates being elected.

First, the information is gleaned at the county level. Each county has the opportunity to weigh in on candidates in their area. I know the board gives this information a great deal of weight. Then the voting records on issues critical to agriculture are considered. Each candidate is evaluated on how closely they aligned to policy developed from our grassroots, member-driven system. Then, after several meetings and hours of deliberation, decisions are made on which candidate to give the highly coveted Kansas Farm Bureau endorsement to. Often the endorsement means more to the candidates than any monetary donations we may give to their campaign.

I would ask you also do your homework and decide which candidate to vote for on your own. However, when doing this, make sure to check the list put out by VOTE FBF by going to www.kfb.org/votefbf. Again, I cannot tell you just how important the upcoming primary and the general election are for our nation and for agriculture. We need to make sure the right people are elected.

Equally as important is ensuring you exercise your right to vote for the candidate of your choice. Our nation depends on its citizens making informed decisions and voting. So come Aug. 4, do your patriotic duty, and make your voice heard.