By Russell Boening
Texas Farm Bureau President
It is my great honor to be selected president of Texas Farm Bureau by the voting delegates at our Corpus Christi convention. As that all sinks in, I’m eager to get started. We have a big job ahead, and there are many challenges.
To start with, it’s a legislative year. As a farmer, I know about taking care of the land and preparing the ground for a new crop. In only a few days, our elected representatives will return to Austin. That in itself is challenging, and we have to be ready. We will study the issues and develop relationships with state officials. Many of them have never been part of state government before. Others are now in a completely different role.
Inexperience is part of this complex situation in Austin and it makes our role as active Farm Bureau members even more important. It’s vital that you communicate with the folks you sent to the capitol.
Voter Voice, built into our Texas Farm Bureau website, is a very easy and effective way to communicate. Our Government Affairs staff will at times ask you to use Voter Voice to send messages to your elected officials. But you don’t have to wait. You can send emails and make calls as a constituent to your state senators and state representatives. We’ve talked about using social media. Legislators use these tools and we have to think about using them, too.
For Texas Farm Bureau, one of the most exciting things about 2014 was the emergence of some outstanding leaders from our organization. People like DeWayne Burns of Johnson County and Andy Murr of Kimble County stepped forward to take their places in Austin.
This is going to be one of my top goals as president. I want to step up our political activism. We must be more involved in the political process than ever. Our AGFUND PAC must be strong and well-financed. We must communicate with our leaders and many of us should give careful consideration to running for public office.
The organization will do its part. We need you as we step out to achieve positive change for Texas Farm Bureau and agriculture. I will visit with you often on these pages. You can also follow me on Twitter—@RBoening. I’ll be telling you what I’m doing. Contact me through the state office in Waco or on social media.
There are major issues, important debates and hard work ahead of us. There are exciting prospects full of great opportunity.
Thank you for the trust you’ve placed in me. I will work hard every day to earn it.