By Glenn Brunkow, Pottawatomie County farmer and rancher
We have turned the calendar to July, and that means different things to different people. For students and teachers July means summer is at the halfway point, and the first day of school is near. For those of us in agriculture it means haying season and watching fall crops grow. In the Farm Bureau world, July is the start of county Farm Bureau annual meetings.
County Farm Bureau meetings in Kansas are as unique as the counties themselves. They are held anytime from July until October; the only stipulation is that they have to be done in time to get the voting delegates for that county registered for the Kansas Farm Bureau annual meeting in December. The meetings vary in the type of meal served – anything from catered affairs to hotdog and hamburger feeds or even ice cream socials. Some have entertainment, others feature educational speakers while some are bare bones, business-only gatherings. Recently some counties have gone with more family friendly activities with their annual meeting tagged on at the end.
Yes, there is no cookie-cutter county Farm Bureau Annual meeting template. That is the beauty of Kansas Farm Bureau, each county organization is its own unique entity. That is what makes me proud to be a member of Kansas Farm Bureau and the Pottawatomie County Farm Bureau specifically. I have never been involved with an organization that was so grassroots driven and responsive to its members.
Every annual meeting reflects the unique personality of an individual county and the members on the board. I have seen traditions developed over many years in some counties and other counties like to mix it up with something new each year. The COVID-19 years saw a lot of change in our county annual meeting with many being held virtual, thank goodness that isn’t the case anymore. One thing that all county annual meetings share is great fellowship among the members.
That is where I want to make the plea to you. If you are a member and you have not been to one of your annual meetings, please change that this year. You should receive notice of the meeting from your respective county. Some will be a simple postcard while others will be a newsletter touting what your county has done during the year. If you have not received your notice yet or think you might have missed it, just call your local office and they will be happy to give you the details.
I hope you will consider attending, this is a good way to get your toes wet and see what your organization has to offer. I don’t know of a single county that isn’t looking for members who want to be active and this is a good way to find out what it is all about. Who knows you might at least have a great meal or some other experience?
“Insight” is a weekly column published by Kansas Farm Bureau, the state’s largest farm organization whose mission is to strengthen agriculture and the lives of Kansans through advocacy, education and service.