I grow corn and soybeans on my family farm in Whiteside County. I farm to carry on my family’s legacy, which is now going on the fourth generation. I love that I get to work the soil and see plants grow from it. My goal is to do that using as few resources as possible, implementing practices that improve productivity while protecting the environment.
In order to make a difference and tell consumers and legislators our stories, we need all hands on deck. Our message to legislators is unique because we are the ones who live with the impacts of policy decisions each and every day. We need to make sure that our voices and interests are reflected in the policies that affect our businesses’ bottom lines.
Sharing our stories helps us find common ground
Talking with our legislators about how issues like WOTUS and the Farm Bill affect us keeps the agriculture industry fresh in their minds. Many of our representatives don’t come from an agriculture community, so it is important to educate them as we work together on these critical issues. It’s our job to share with them the importance of agriculture, not just for Illinois but for the world, and help them understand our perspective.
There are many opportunities for advocacy to positively impact commodities. More and more farmers are adopting no-till practices, reducing soil erosion and implementing precision agriculture to become even better stewards of the land. And, we are always looking for ways to improve. If we can share this story, we can help to find common ground with legislators on issues.
Voice for Soy makes it easy to be proactive
Farmers are always hurting for time. That’s why Voice for Soy is so great – it makes advocacy easy by providing a docking point for us on issues. All it requires is clicking a button to send a letter or picking up the phone to make the call about why an issue is going to make a difference on our farm.
We have to be proactive and make sure we’re communicating with our legislators. For the success of our industry, it’s vitally important for legislators to hear the potential impacts policies can make on our communities and our livelihoods. We understand there will be different views, but at least we can start the conversation and make our voices heard.
Sean Arians is a fourth-generation corn and soybean family farmer who works for The Climate Corporation. His leadership experience includes serving on the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Technology Advisory Committee, serving as Young Leaders chair, Woodford County Young Leader chair and as a Woodford County Farm Bureau board member. He was also the AFBF discussion meet winner in 2015.