It doesn't matter if you are in the coffee shop, at the "water cooler", in the grocery store... wherever you might find yourself.. you will hear people. People echoing the same concerns, the same struggles and the same frustrations with the way things "are". So many people can tell you exactly what is wrong with the current government, educational system, job market and moral compass of America. Who can tell me what is right? Who can tell me what we should do about the problems that I face as a young farmer? As a land owner? As a consumer?
The issues that we are facing right now are not unique to this time or this place. These are issues that have existed for as long as we have cared about bettering ourselves as a society. So how did we rise above them and accomplish things in the " Good 'ol days?" How did we, as farmers, come together in a multi-partisan fashion, and help one another out?
An excerpt from :Built on Belief: Remembering why Farm Bureau was created , which can be found in its entirety at http://ofbf.org/news-and-events/news/1619/ stated that:
“Most of us are born individualists,” author Alice Sturgis said in her 1958 analysis of Farm Bureau. “We have to learn to exercise self-discipline before we can work cooperatively with a group.”
This concept was grounded in belief that governance should be by the many rather than the few, that those in power held a sacred trust of the community and “discussion is good when it throws light on all sides of a question and brings out the truth….vigorous and spirited debate on a question is one way of bringing out the facts.”
When farmers arrived at solutions that harmonized differing viewpoints, they overcame the fact that “no one listens to a babble of conflicting voices.”
That is one of the reasons the creation of the Farm Bureau advisory councils is such a unique and wonderful idea. Normal, everyday people coming together each month to study the issues that are effecting us right now. Then proposing suggestions, even plausible solutions to the problems at hand. In our county we have a handful of these active advisory councils, however we have seen the slow disbanding of such wonderful groups due to schedule conflicts. We are the busy bees, who are so busy making the honey, that we are not taking time to talk to each other about the lawn mower cutting down our favorite patch of clover. There are real and serious threats out there to our way of life. We need to take the time, we need to keep talking to one another.
Seth Teter, from the Our Ohio magazine, http://ourohio.org/, shared this quote: "Let's just get them to talk about their problems. Let them talk about the problems of the world. In those discussions they are bound to come to the assumption that they need to work together in an organization. And when they're looking about for an organization to work in, I hope they choose the farm bureau. Because if they don't choose the farm bureau then there's something wrong with us. And if there's something wrong with us, I want to know about it." - Murray Lincoln on his proposal to develop advisory councils. Murray Lincoln was a visionary whose wisdom is very relevant in today's society.
He also stated: "Today I consider the 1600 advisory councils set up by the ohio farm bureau the most significant contribution ever made by a farm group to the salvation of our country and of the world."
You can be a part of something that can continue to contribute to the salvation of Ohio, America and beyond. I am strongly encouraging you to take a moment and ponder this thought. There is so much "noise" out there. So many things pulling our attention away from our families, our farms, our faith and the issues at hand. I understand these demands, but I ask that you take a moment and read the very relevant articles in the Buckeye Farm News,http://ofbf.org/media-and-publications/read/2/662/, a wonderful publication that is put out monthly by The Ohio Farm Bureau Federation. Within this periodical, there is a section for advisory council to speak out.. to share their thought and ideas. If you are a part of an advisory council, then you do this. You meet with your group, you share your ideas, and then those ideas get submitted. This is a great format. But what if we could continue the conversation? What if members of advisory councils from across the state could participate? What if individuals who are not a part of an advisory council could contribute? Can you imagine the possibilities?
There is now a new group on Facebook called, Ohio's Advisory Council. Ohio's Advisory Council This group is "Closed" but I encourage you to go to the link, and select "request to join". I encourage you to participate in a conversation, that I believe, could fundamentally change the landscape of the conversations that we have regarding Ohio agriculture. Lets come together to change our world!
Murray Lincoln ended with a simple statement of conviction and a plea: “I believe we can make this world over through cooperation – that is why I am thrilled to be in the movement. The people are hungry for it – it will succeed. So let’s go out together and preach cooperation.”