GUEST COMMENTARY: For Farm Bureau, new year suggestions turn into policies

Thursday, December 30, 2010 | 12:01 a.m. CST

COLUMBIA — It's that time of year again — time to decide if we are going to make any resolutions to change our lives in the coming year, and, if so, just what we will resolve. The majority of resolutions seem to center around losing weight, eating better and getting exercise.

People take their gifts of "generous-sized" clothing to the department store to exchange them. Obviously these clothes will not fit for long when the weight falls off, so they exchange the clothing for things such as digital scales and cookbooks containing healthy recipes.


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YMCAs nationwide have a surge of overcrowding the first few weeks of each new year, and then attendance tapers off to where most people who are using the facilities are the regulars. After weeks of selling extra candy, liquor, pies, cookies and seasonal diet-busters such as egg nog and fruitcake, Jan. 1 brings surges to the grocery stores' fresh produce aisles.

Most of us know how easy it is to make a resolution and how difficult it is to keep a resolution. What if you had 500 or 600 resolutions to try to keep? As hard as it is to conceive, that is exactly what happens to Farm Bureau every year.

Hundreds of suggested resolutions pour into the Missouri Farm Bureau Statewide Resolutions Committee each year, dealing with a huge gamut of issues affecting members statewide. The committee works to combine similar resolutions, carefully wording each in order to cover the intent of all of the suggestions.

These resolutions are then debated by approximately 600 voting delegates — farmers and ranchers — from every county in the state, and, following amendments and wording changes, the resolutions face a vote by the assembly to determine if they will be included in Farm Bureau's policy book for the upcoming year. These are not resolutions made on a whim, but instead they are very carefully created and receive fair consideration before the final vote.

To make sure we don't forget our resolutions, they are printed in the farm organization's policy book word-for-word as approved by the voting delegates. This policy book is distributed widely to employees of Missouri Farm Bureau, who will work to make the resolutions become reality, and to state legislators and members of the Missouri congressional delegation so they know exactly how we feel about a wide range of issues.

Like nearly everyone else, we may individually fail to keep our personal resolutions to lose weight, eat better and exercise, but as an organization we in the Missouri Farm Bureau take our resolutions very seriously.

Happy New Year from the farmers and ranchers of the Missouri Farm Bureau.

Denny Banister of Jefferson City is the assistant director of information and public relations for the Missouri Farm Bureau, the state’s largest farm organization.


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