Lawmakers in the halls of Congress and the Missouri General Assembly listen to Farm Bureau because they know its members decide the policies that guide the organization. Many county Farm Bureau leaders communicate with their legislators on a regular basis. If you want to share your opinion with your elected U.S. Representative or U.S. Senator, there are several ways to contact them. If it is a local issue of concern, you can find contact information for your state Representative or Senator under Legislative Links, on the right.
Through Farm Bureau's MFB PAC, members can become active in supporting those candidates that best support agriculture. From our endorsement process to recognizing legislators, the MFB PAC is simply another way Farm Bureau is involved in supporting agriculture.
WHAT IS THE MISSOURI FARM BUREAU PAC PROGRAM?
The Missouri Farm Bureau established a Political Action Committee (PAC) program in 1976 that allows Farm Bureau members a more direct and effective voice in the political arena. There are seven regional endorsement committees aligned with the state’s Congressional Districts. The endorsement 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. There is also a statewide committee made up of the chairman and vice-chairman of the 7 regional endorsement committees. The statewide committee governs the administration of the state and federal PACs and determines the operating procedures for the regional endorsement committees.
WHAT IS THE TRACK RECORD FOR THE PROGRAM?
Since being organized in 1976, nearly 80 percent of MFB 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 MFB PAC-ENDORSED CANDIDATES?
The MFB 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 MFB PAC is shifting funds to programs to assist county Farm Bureaus with political action and education activities at the local level.
MFB PAC funds are generated from voluntary Farm Bureau member contributions and all funds are controlled directly by the district MFB PAC committees.
WHICH CANDIDATES ARE ENDORSED BY THE MFB PAC?
In the past, the MFB 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 MFB PAC ENDORSEMENT PROCESS?
MFB 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 MFB PAC trustees prior to the endorsement session. Each candidate is asked to make a presentation and then respond to questions posed by MFB PAC trustees. Incumbents’ voting records are made available to the MFB 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.