Elliott Uphoff: Advocacy Gives Farmers a Voice
I’m a fifth-generation farmer growing soybeans and corn with my dad and grandpa in Shelby County. I also manage my own acres full time in Assumption, Ill.
I advocate because a simple piece of legislation or seemingly small regulation can significantly impact my farm, for better or for worse. As farmers, we’re a small bunch – just two percent of the U.S. population – so I want to do anything I can to make sure our viewpoint is heard.
I’m encouraged when I hear other people are getting involved. The more people who speak out, the bigger impact we can have on the issues that hit home – and our land.
Bridging the gap by sharing our story
I think the biggest disconnect between us, consumers and decision makers is perception. Sometimes there’s this “corporate monster” stigma for farmers. But we’re the farthest thing from that: We’re out here doing what is best for you and the environment. And we’re feeding our families the same food we feed the rest of the world.
Decision makers need to know that we need their help. We appreciate their support for programs like crop insurance. Every farmer needs to encourage their legislators and regulators to keep these programs around because they protect our security and our success.
Making a difference is simple
An easy way to make a difference? Use the Voice for Soy legislative action network. The form is simple and tells you exactly what you’re speaking up for. We’re all busy and don’t have much time. This is an easy way to get involved quickly when an issue comes up.
When each of us shares our story and shows how a law or regulation – good or bad – can impact our farms, we put a face and a voice to agriculture that can’t be ignored.
Elliott Uphoff is a former member of the checkoff-funded Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) Soy Ambassadors Leadership Program. He graduated from Southern Illinois University Carbondale with honors and has been involved with the Shelby County Young Farmer Cultivating Master Farmer Class.