Theresia Gillie

Paul Freeman: Planning and Assessing Vital in the Offseason

A change of season is upon us. The legislative cycle shares many similarities to a farmer’s two-season cycle. This past weekend, the special session completed the legislative year. Thank you to leaders and staff that worked late on this final push to obtain our goals. To understand the four seasons of advocacy, a simple chart is displayed.Paul Freeman Blog Image

With summer just around the corner, we shift to the assessing and planning stage of influencing. Just like farmers after harvest, now is the time to find ways to build on past successes and set goals for the next year.

When the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association advocacy committee met last week, planning and assessing was a key topic. Some of the successes we will build on is utilizing the Ag coalition we started last year for issues we agree upon. This meeting also allowed us to agree on a proactive agenda and recognize that reaching out to members through action alerts are valuable to the association.

One goal for next year is to clean up the language on some of the recently passed bills. Other goals include continuing to finish our agenda from last year, provide scientific research data on water quality and environmental issues as well as seek more funding for research.

The dialog we have built with legislators and skillful lobbyists will help keep our efforts productive and alive. Too often, it does boil down to votes and farmers are only a small percent of the population. We need to show how our initiatives will benefit consumers and urban areas as well.

Doing our due diligence now by coming up with a winning plan will help make the next three seasons easier and more successful. Let’s embrace the assessing and planning cycle to prepare us for the seasons to come.