By Paul Olson
Greetings to all. Here in the upper Midwest, we saw our first frost in late September and the leaves turned beautiful fall colors. Corn and soybean harvest was in full swing the second week in October after the crops matured.
Fall is the traditional time of the year when National Farmers begins to see our annual membership dues payments come in to the home office.
I still recall how proud I was to become a member. That was nearly 54 years ago. A lot has changed over those 54 years, but the importance of belonging to a like-minded group of farmers and ranchers is as important today as it ever was.
During those five-plus decades, we have proven time and time again the value of blocking or grouping producers production together and negotiating for better prices. Membership is also a tool to educate and groom new leaders from the grassroots.
Unfortunately, we are living in an era where society in general doesn’t seem to have much appetite for being affiliated with anything or being cause-oriented.
This thought process is much different from that of NFO’s founding fathers who grew up during the Great Depression and many served their country during World War II.
We must all do a better job of promoting all of the positive attributes of being a National Farmers member. Membership and production need to go hand in hand.
As we watch production agriculture evolve, along with the consolidation of buyers, there are certain principles in this organization that should not be jeopardized. I firmly believe membership is one of those principles.
Again, I am asking for all of your help to make membership a priority in your daily work schedule.
Next year’s annual convention is scheduled for March 7 and 8 in Quad Cities, Iowa, at the Isle Casino. We have some fantastically low rates so members can attend our annual winter meeting, starting at just $82 nightly.
Committee meetings will take place Tuesday morning, March 7, beginning at 7:30 a.m. A member welcome morning reception will be offered, and the general session begins at 10:00 a.m.
For reservations, call 1-800-843-4753, say “Bettendorf” at the prompt. Press 1 for hotel reservations. Tell the agent the code: “NFO23”, which gives you the National Farmers Organization rate/room block rate.
Or visit our website to learn more. On the front page, scroll down to upcoming events and click the link.
Until next time, I wish you and your family a bountiful Thanksgiving and a blessed Christmas season.