Theresia Gillie

Freeman: Involvement Doesn’t End With Membership

Simplify the process and more will interact! The goal of the political process is to make governance the will of the people. This seems lost as we complicate two branches of government with deadlock, political positioning and the will of large political donors.

Paul Freeman

Paul Freeman, MSGA Vice President

The American farmer maintains a place of respect in our society because we are able to bring the issues back to common sense. It is in our DNA to get the job done with a natural pattern of timeliness. At the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association, the civic responsibility of having input in governance is taken seriously. We must empower our members with the tools and resources to ultimately make a difference.

When I visit the state and nation’s Capitols, I see an oversupply of lobbyist and an undersupply of voices of the common people. When MSGA can assist growers with sometimes complicated information on issues, growers can speak with an educated voice that improves one’s chance of being heard.

When MSGA puts out action alerts, we are simplifying the process for our members. Thank you to those who act on the alerts, your voice is being heard.

We have many memberships to MSGA and we are grateful for your support. But for too many, signing up for a membership is where their involvement ends. To truly become a member, one must be involved in advocacy and take part in the grassroots process.

Trust is key; I have great confidence in the wealth of knowledge possessed by our members, staff and political connections. Trust can also be built by having input — contact me or staff with concerns or helpful insights. I also must trust what leadership (myself included) sends out will be clear and applicable so action is taken.

Action alerts have a couple components. First is the action suggested, this is bold or highlighted. If it is time sensitive that will be noted. Next is some information on the how and why of the suggestion. This will be brief, but we will provide links to additional resources to give you a fuller sense of the issue. The contact info for MSGA will be in the alert; transparency is important.

If ever there is an issue you would like to have more input on, let us know. You would be amazed on how having more knowledge on a topic can simplify an incomprehensible issue down to an understanding of where oppositions are coming from.

In a future entry I will explain why we position our message the way we do. Thanks again for taking action and for being involved in the process. We are at a time in agriculture where your involvement at the local, state and national level has never been more important. Together we can make a difference.

Paul Freeman is a soybean farmer from Starbuck. He is Vice President of the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association and is the chair of the Advocacy action team, which is made up of 12 MSGA directors. Paul can be reached at paulfrankf@hotmail.com.