The 2018 general election is of pivotal importance to Michigan agriculture, with voters statewide determining how the balance of power in Lansing and D.C. may shift toward or away from the farm. Michiganders on Nov. 6 will choose whether our next governor will be a familiar, longtime Friend of Agriculture, or a Granholm-era throwback who’s so far stood silent, disregarding one of the state’s most important industries.
MFB’s Elections Task Force has devised a multi-platform campaign strategy aimed at motivating Farm Bureau members and those beyond the agriculture community to elect AgriPac-endorsed Friends of Agriculture. From in-your-face campaigning to social and mass media outreach, Farm Bureau’s pulling out all the stops in support of candidates who in turn will support your livelihood once in office.
Farmers for Schuette
AgriPac’s endorsement of Bill Schuette’s campaign to succeed Rick Snyder as Michigan’s next governor sparked a flurry of activity supporting the longtime Farm Bureau ally.
It didn’t take long to compile Top 10 Reasons Farm Bureau Supports Bill Schuette for Governor—a concise resource members are encouraged to tap in conversations looking to persuade undecideds in favor of the only farm-friendly gubernatorial hopeful.
Wunsch Farms last week hosted a Farmers for Schuette rally, hosting about 20 farmers on short notice at the apple and cherry operation north of Traverse City on Old Mission Peninsula.
Other Friends of Agriculture in attendance were Curt VanderWall, running to represent State Senate District 35, and Jack O’Malley, a candidate to succeed VanderWall in State House District 101.
“I’m going to need your help over the next 28 days,” Schuette told his audience, “but you’ve got a mission: I need your vote, but even then you’re not done.
“You’ve got to talk to your friends and neighbors and relatives. You’ve got to encourage everybody to vote for Bill Schuette and our team with Curt and Jack—that’s what this is, it’s a big team, and it’s how we’ll drive our state forward.
“I’ve got one goal: to make Michigan a growth state and a paycheck state and a jobs state.”
An earlier Farmers for Schuette rally took place Sept. 21 at the farm of MFB District 4 Director Jeff Sandborn, near Portland in Ionia County.
Keep tabs on Farm Gate, Michigan Farm News and MFB’s Facebook page for any upcoming opportunities to show your support for Candidate Schuette in the final weeks of this election season.
County Farm Bureaus are encouraged to support candidates looking to represent their farmers in government, and to work together as necessary in demonstrations of support for Friends of Agriculture.
Bay, Lapeer and Tuscola County Farm Bureaus together hosted a fundraiser for longtime Friend of Agriculture Kevin Daley Oct. 4 at Zwerks & Sons’ cash crop farm near Vassar. Two years after terming out of the Michigan House of Representatives, the Lapeer County farmer is seeking to succeed outgoing Mike Green in representing constituents in the state’s 31st state senate district.
Last week’s AgriPac-sponsored fundraiser for Daley filled a lot of seats with area farmers eager to put their support behind Daley—and a cross-section of township and county-level government from across the district.
The meet-n-greet event included remarks from Daley, MFB Board Member Mike Mulders and Dist. 81 Rep. Dan Lauwers of St. Clair County—also a Friend of Agriculture.
Work with your county Farm Bureau office and MFB regional representative to make the most of what time remains before election day to help ensure voters in your communities are supporting farm-friendly office-seekers.
Members are strongly encouraged to repost and share MFB’s own election-related coverage, including articles appearing in Michigan Farm News and Farm Gate. Amplify your support of Friends of Agriculture online with these hashtags: #VoteFarmers, #Farmers4Michigan and #Vote4Farmers.
Also burgeoning online is the rapidly escalating “I Grow Michigan, I Vote” campaign. Farm Bureau members are encouraged to post photos of them holding “I Grow Michigan, I Vote” signs—preferably in an attractive agricultural setting—post them on their social media platforms and tag Michigan Farm Bureau. Signs are available from your MFB regional representative, or just download and print your own.
If you’re not the social media type, get a sign and take the photo anyway; send it us and we’ll post it for you.
The Elections Task Force have provided letter-to-the-editor templates to all 65 county Farm Bureau presidents, encouraging them to show their support of the Schuette campaign in their local papers.
But don’t let your county president carry all the water—do your part by expressing your support in your own words in your local paper’s opinion section, and over the airwaves on call-in radio shows.
Don’t be bashful with the signage, either. Contact the campaigns of individual candidates for signage promoting their runs.