Among other choice epithets, 2020 will be remembered as the year that put the idea of normalcy in a blender and hit the button without closing the lid. Even so, avoiding the word is hard.
At this point in a “normal” year, a strong county Farm Bureau like Branch’s would have some outreach activities in the books, policy proposals and fair-week prep under way, and a booked venue for the county annual.
“It’s not going to be normal,” said new president Luke Lindsey. “I’m not sure we’ll see normal again anytime soon.”
Branch’s annual meeting remains “up in the air,” Lindsey said, as his board and program leaders continue moving forward with crossed fingers, hoping circumstances will allow it.
“As far as we know the county fair’s still on, but some have cancelled,” and he accepts the same could happen there — with relatively short notice.
Working in Lindsey’s favor is a solid foundation of essential Farm Bureau experience. He’s served on the county board for several years, including the third-member position on the executive committee.
Lindsey also chaired the policy development committee — a key position in a county that’s strong on the organization’s utilitarian side.
“I chaired PD a few years,” he said, and with no shortage of serious issues that weigh heavily across the southern tier. He’s maintaining focus and making progress on key ongoing priorities championed by his predecessors like the new CAFO permit and water-use regulation.
“Branch County has a lot of irrigation, so it’s important to make that as useable a process as possible,” Lindsey said. “Everybody’s got problems getting withdrawals approved so we want to continue trying to streamline that process.”
Other fundamentals are also proceeding well, like their candidate evaluation work.
“CEC is going really well. We have a meeting tonight on our U.S. House and Senate races,” he said. “We just did our state house interviews on Tuesday and that went fine.”
Doing business through conference calls and online meeting platforms has proven more practical than popular.
“They’re hard to get used to, but we’re all learning!”
Lindsey farms near Tekonsha, raising 2,700 acres of corn and soybeans alongside his dad Jim and brothers Matt and Daniel.