About Policy Development
The power of Farm Bureau has always been vested in our grassroots policy development process. That means farmers and ranchers ultimately determine where Farm Bureau stands on agriculture issues. Policy development starts with a member having an idea and sharing it with other farmers and ranchers at the county Farm Bureau. From there, the idea can advance from the county, to the state and then onto the national level, provided it meets consensus approval from other farm and ranch members along the way. As a Farm Bureau member you have a voice and can shape your future.
Nebraska Farm Bureau’s policy book reflects the opinions of our members relating to agriculture and rural issues. These policy positions guide our legislative and regulatory action on important agriculture related issues. Participating in the Farm Bureau policy development process is a proven, tested exercise that produces sound policy, educates Farm Bureau members and improves trusted relationships with a variety of stakeholders, including local, state and national elected officials, agency personnel and others.
How Is Farm Bureau Policy Developed?
The power of Nebraska Farm Bureau has always been vested in our grassroots policy development process. Farmers and ranchers ultimately determine where Farm Bureau stands on agricultural issues. Policy development starts with a member having an idea and sharing it with other farmers and ranchers at the county Farm Bureau. From there, the idea can advance from the county, to the state and then onto the national level, provided it meets consensus approval from other farm and ranch members along the way. Farm Bureau’s policy development process is a hands-on, unique experience anchored in tradition and success.
Policy Development Process
A Farm Bureau member has an idea on how to improve agriculture. The Farm Bureau member takes the idea to their County Farm Bureau meeting to present to the Board of Directors.
The idea is presented to the County Farm Bureau at the County Annual Meeting as a resolution, the Board of Directors or County Policy Development Committee discuss if the resolution moves on to the State Legislative Policy Committee (SLPC). This is also the time that the counties review current or lapsing policies.
The State Legislative Policy Committee reviews the resolutions from county Farm Bureaus. The Committee either supports, modifies, rejects, or requests additional information on the resolution. If approved, the resolution moves to the voting delegates at the state annual meeting.
The resolution is discussed and voted on by the county delegates at the state annual meeting. Delegates are made up of county Farm Bureau farmers and ranchers designated by their counties. If the resolutions pass, they become state policy. The national resolutions that pass are forwarded to the American Farm Bureau Federation for their delegates to review and process.
The state resolutions that are passed at the state annual meeting are put into the state policy book. The NEFB staff and lobbyists work to turn the policies into a law, regulation, or statement that supports the farmers and ranchers of Nebraska.
Policy Development Timeline
January – July
Issue Surfacing & Prioritization
- Individual members contribute to the issue surfacing process by submitting and prioritizing important issues any time at www.nefb.org. By prioritizing an issue, members are indicating their support to elevate the issue for further education, discussion, and research in the policy development process. Popular state and national issues will be reviewed and considered by County Farm Bureaus and the State Legislative Policy Committee.
Issue Education and Discussion
- Policy Discussion Guides are designed to assist Farm Bureau members in state and national policy development and in writing policy resolutions.
- They are researched and written by the NEFB Public Policy Department. Find them at www.nefb.org and in the NEFB News.
- Issue orientation meeting for State Legislative Policy Committee.
September – October
Adopt County Resolutions
- County Farm Bureau’s host Policy Development meetings to draft proposed resolutions.
- Proposed resolutions are debated and approved at the County Farm Bureau policy adoption meeting or annual meeting.
- Approved County Farm Bureau policy resolutions must be mailed or e-mailed by Friday, Nov. 3, 2023*.
Draft State Resolutions
- State Legislative Policy Committee reviews recommendations from 86 County Farm Bureaus at the Policy Forum on Nov. 16 in Kearney.
- Writes the first draft of resolutions for the voting delegates at the Nebraska Farm Bureau Annual meeting, Dec. 3-5 in Kearney.
- 200 Voting delegates, representing the 86 County Farm Bureaus, debate and approve state and national resolutions.
- National resolutions are forwarded to the American Farm Bureau for debate and approval at the national convention.