LET'S GET FIRED UP!
I hope everyone’s crops are off to a good start, and you’re getting the right amount of rain when you need it.
Since the last issue of the “Georgia Farm Bureau News” went to press, we tabulated the results of GFB’s winter Farmer Membership Campaign, which ended March 31. We gained almost 500 new farmer members thanks to county staff and county leaders inviting farmers in their communities who weren’t Farm Bureau members to join.
While attending the National Cattleman’s Association meeting in Nashville, I met a cattle producer from Jenkins County one morning at breakfast. I asked him if he was a Farm Bureau member. When he told me he wasn’t, I started sharing all the benefits farmers get from being a member. I got his address and mailed him copies of the “GFB News.“ I’m proud to say that he saw enough value in what Farm Bureau does to advocate for agriculture and he joined.
I share this story because I think it proves the importance of our existing farmer members asking their neighbors who aren’t members to join us in our work. Georgia Farm Bureau is making a difference in the quality of life in rural Georgia by promoting and protecting Georgia’s largest industry.
As we enter the last three months of our membership year, we’re kicking off a new membership campaign. The President’s Membership Challenge is designed to coordinate the efforts of our county agency force and employees to grow membership. The Top 10 counties with the largest new member growth between June 1 and August 31 will be recognized.
GFB’s $25 membership is a great value; we simply need to ask folks to join. GFB worked hard to get the GATE and CUVA tax programs passed by the Georgia General Assembly. These programs provide farmers savings through sales tax exemptions and reduced property taxes. Make sure that all of the farmers in your county know Farm Bureau helped secure these savings for them.
If that isn’t enough to motivate them to join us, tell them about the many member benefits we offer, like discounts on farm supplies from Grainger, Ford and the EZ Ranch Cattle Management program.
Speaking of cattle, Georgia cattle producers approved a $1 per head assessment to fund the Georgia Beef Commission and will begin paying this assessment July 1 on cattle that sell for $100 or more. Complete details about the referendum are reported on page 8.
GFB never told producers how to vote, we just supported and encouraged their right to hold the vote and their effort to take action to form a commission to promote the industry. GFB looks forward to working with the new commission as we do all of Georgia’s commodity commissions.
I know summer is a busy time for farmers, but I would like to ask you to take the time to read the Legislative Update on page 5. After you read about the Environmental Protection Agency’s and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ proposal to expand their regulatory authority under the Clean Water Act from just regulating navigable waters to regulating lakes, ponds and ditches, I imagine you’ll be pretty fired up. If you’re an advocate of private property rights, please follow the steps we outline on page 5 to submit comments voicing
your opposition, but don’t stop there. Call your friends and neighbors and get them fired up. This is your opportunity to get involved and make a difference.
As Christians, we go about our lives wondering why others around us do not know and believe in Jesus. Life is full of struggles and challenges whether you believe or don’t believe. The difference is Christians are blessed to have a Heavenly Father to turn to for help and comfort. He is always there ready to lift you up through prayer and the love from our friends and neighbors that God uses to comfort us in difficult times. What about the nonbeliever? Where does he or she turn to for help and comfort during times of need?
God’s great commission to the believer is to go and tell the good news of Jesus. We have a responsibility to ask our co-workers, friends and family if they would like to know more about Jesus. He desires for everyone to come and follow him.
Just like that farmer I told you about in the beginning of this article, sometimes all you have to do is ask.
The Bible tells us in Matthew 7:7, “Ask and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”
Let’s make sure we spread the good news of Jesus and Farm Bureau.
(From the June-July 2014 issue of the Georgia Farm Bureau News)