WHAT IS THE FARM BUREAU FARM-PAC PROGRAM?
The Missouri Farm Bureau FARM-PAC is a program established by the Missouri Farm Bureau in 1976 that allows Farm Bureau members a more direct and effective voice in the political arena. There are six regional FARM-PAC Committees in the state, coinciding with the Congressional Districts. The FARM-PAC Committees are made up of a county Farm Bureau appointed trustee from each county in the respective regions. The committees meet to interview political candidates and discuss issues prior to election. Endorsements are made and support is given on a bi-partisan basis to those candidates who will best represent Farm Bureau policy. In 2004, a statewide FARM-PAC was organized for the purpose of receiving contributions and making expenditures in support of candidates or issues endorsed by the six congressional district FARM-PAC’s. The statewide FARM-PAC is comprised of all six district FARM-PAC chairmen.
All FARM-PAC decisions, including candidate endorsements, are made by the county Trustees.
WHAT IS THE TRACK RECORD FOR THE PROGRAM?
Since being organized in 1976, nearly 80% of FARM-PAC endorsed candidates have won election. About 300 candidates have been endorsed. This translates directly into a stronger voice for Farm Bureau on legislative issues. Trustees work hard to judge candidates on their ability to represent agriculture and rural Missouri regardless of party affiliation.
ARE CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS GIVEN TO FARM-PAC ENDORSED CANDIDATES?
The FARM-PAC Trustees decide on a case-by-case basis whether or not to make campaign contributions to endorsed candidates. Generally, small contributions are given to endorsed candidates, but more and more the FARM-PACs are shifting funds to programs to assist county Farm Bureaus with political action and education activities at the local level.
FARM-PAC funds are generated from voluntary Farm Bureau member contributions and all funds are controlled directly by the district FARM-PAC committees.
WHICH CANDIDATES ARE ENDORSED BY THE FARM-PAC?
In the past, the FARM-PAC has traditionally endorsed candidates for the U. S. Congress, U. S. Senate, Governor and State Senate. Endorsements are not made in the State Representative races, but Farm Bureau does have a Friend of Agriculture Award for members of the Missouri House of Representatives who have a proven record of support for agriculture and rural Missouri.
WHAT IS THE FARM-PAC ENDORSEMENT PROCESS?
FARM-PAC trustees and staff advisors arrange for candidates to attend a regional or statewide endorsement session. Candidates complete a written questionnaire that is provided to FARM-PAC trustees prior to the endorsement session. Each candidate is asked to make a presentation and then respond to questions posed by FARM-PAC trustees. Incumbents’ voting records are made available to the FARM-PAC trustees. The trustees vote on the endorsement, and if an endorsement is made, then vote on the amount of a campaign contribution.
FRIEND OF AGRICULTURE AWARD
In 1996, Missouri Farm Bureau implemented a new program to recognize members of the Missouri House of Representatives who are supportive of good, sound agricultural policy.
This recognition is through a "Farm Bureau Friend of Agriculture" designation and award for incumbents based upon three criteria:
1. Voting record on issues supported or opposed by Missouri Farm Bureau.
2. Evaluation by county Farm Bureau leaders in each legislative district to help determine the working relationship between the legislator and the county Farm Bureau.
3. Evaluation completed by Farm Bureau staff to identify the leadership role taken by the legislator on agricultural and other issues.
A committee of the six district FARM-PAC chairmen is responsible for reviewing the performance criteria and the county Farm Bureau evaluation of the incumbents and determining which legislators will receive the designation of "Farm Bureau Friend of Agriculture."
The program concentrates primarily on House incumbents in rural districts. The award designations are completed before the Primary Election in August.
County Farm Bureaus are notified of the legislators who have received the "Farm Bureau Friend of Agriculture Award," and activities are coordinated with the counties to notify the recipient and the news media.
2014 Friend of Agriculture Award Recipients