Spring has finally reached my desk here in the Northeast, and with it the yearly transition, struggle, and growth that accompanies it. As we face new and old challenges, celebrate our triumphs and reflect on setbacks, I think it’s necessary to remember that we’re all in this together, no matter the size issue that we’re addressing.
Some of the ways that we can come together are small - letting someone in from a side road in bumper to bumper traffic, taking the time to hold the door for the person behind you, or taking the time to be kind to someone having a bad day. You never know whose day you brighten with a smile.
The large issues in life though, get more complicated. It means being involved in your community, whether that’s geographically based, or related in a wider sense because of your interests, hobbies or careers. For us at the Northeast Agribusiness and Feed Alliance (NEAFA), our community is widespread, but we’re proud to work with other organizations throughout the Northeast to promote and grow our common industry. We’re proud to support other organizations, including the Northeast Farm Bureaus, Northeast Dairy Producers Association, New York Animal Agriculture Coalition, the Vermont Dairy Farmers Alliance and of course, many other organizations that are all working towards the common goal of advancing Agriculture in the Northeast.
For our members, there are many ways to help advance these community goals. Of course, financial support is one way. Sponsoring events, investing in scholarships, research grants, etc. Participating in events and leadership roles is another. In February and April, NEAFA hosted lobby days in Albany and Montpelier which members of many different groups took part. We acted as a collaborator, and facilitator, scheduling appointments with legislative members, and coordinating appointments so that members could present highlights to these legislators and have the greatest impact possible.
If you’re not able to make a lobby day, consider spending a few minutes e-lobbying. NEAFA members are currently preparing to testify at the NY State Senate hearings concerning farmers paying overtime and collective bargaining. Both changes would have the potential to devastate those in production agriculture, and the ripple would be felt by virtually all NEAFA members. At NEAFA, we work to make your voice heard.
A final way to connect with your community is to urge your colleagues to join NEAFA. Together, we can make a true difference and advance the needs of our community. A friend of mine, who’s opinion I value, has a favorite phrase that he likes to say. “Life is controlled by those who show up.” We’re happy to show up and help shape the future of agriculture, and hope that you will all continue to support those common goals. We’re all in this together.
John’s Jottings, over and out.