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I am glad to announce that membership in Rocky Mountain Farmers Union has had a significant increase in the past few months. Many of you new members are reading the Union Farmer for the first time and probably would like to know our philosophy, or how we go about taking care of our members’ business at the legislative level.
Rocky Mountain Farmers Union has always tried to formulate successful strategies that will enhance our ability to promote our grassroots policy not only in Washington, D.C., but also in our membership states of New Mexico, Wyoming, and Colorado.
I am very proud to say that our organization has had a great deal of success in the last couple of years thanks to the hard work of our staff, members, and board of directors. In a nutshell, here is how we manage your political agenda at RMFU.
First of all, we want to be an issues-oriented lobby, not a sounding board for a political party. Our policy is not about Republicans or Democrats, it’s about rural America.
Our organization strives to have good working relationships with all politicians, cabinet members, and other organizations. It makes me feel like we are truly representing the rural Rocky Mountain area when on some issues we are working with mostly conservatives and on other issues we are working with the progressives.
Second, RMFU wants to be known for our honesty and our integrity. This is huge to me. Rocky Mountain Farmers Union has a very clear policy and we strive to articulate this policy in as transparent medium as possible. We are upfront with our positions and communicate well with all stakeholders. Our worst nightmare is to have a stakeholder on a particular issue be surprised or feel misled by what they have read or heard, compared to what we have told them face-to-face.
In essence, stakeholders may disagree with us but they should know where we stand, and they need to feel that when we tell them something, they can take that information to the bank!
Third, we need to be at the table. Our goal is to always be at the negotiating table. We may disagree with others, but we won’t be disagreeable. We believe that if we act professionally and stay issues-oriented, then we avoid the personal attacks that can lead to losing our chair at the table or can discourage someone else from being at the table.
The solutions to most issues are negotiated. Rarely does one individual or group have all of the answers. If we are not at the table, the chances of our success drop to zero. Staying at the negotiating table is very difficult for all of us because we are all very passionate about what we believe. Rural issues are not just bargaining chips in some game; they are the life blood of our communities, so it is important that we maintain our discipline and professionalism to keep our seat at the negotiating table.
Last but not least, RMFU is constantly building coalitions. Rocky Mountain Farmers Union needs to be a “uniter” organization, not a “divider” organization. We cannot help our rural areas without a lot of help from others. We are constantly networking, discussing, and researching for partners to help us improve family farming.
Our door is always open andwe welcome everyone to come in and get to know us.
We value all of our relationships, particularly with other farm organizations. Agriculture is a relatively small spot in the big picture, but we represent the people who feed the nation and we deserve to be heard. Our fellow farm organizations are invaluable to us and we guard those relationships very closely. We don’t drive around the country, trash-talking other farm organizations or their members. We don’t have the time or the inclination to do so. There is just too much work that needs to be done for family farmers. When Rocky does a good job of developing coalitions, everyone benefits. Let’s not forget that everyone has to eat.
There you have it in a nutshell, how Rocky Mountain Farmers Union promotes our policy. It’s not rocket science, and I didn’t give away any family secrets, it’s just how we go about doing your business.
I hope you all have a great spring!
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