The new cohort of MFB’s Academy for Political Leadership convened for the first time Jan. 18-19 at Michigan Farm Bureau’s home office in Lansing. Their first of four meetings this cycle began with introductions and welcome from MFB President Carl Bednarski, who emphasized the need for agriculture to be active throughout Michigan’s political hierarchy, from township trustees up through Lansing and into D.C.
Other components of Day One’s content included training in both social and mass media tactics, and the role graphic design plays in preparing effective campaign materials.
Over dinner the eight participants heard from a special guest speaker, Ottawa County dairy farmer and cheesemaker Luke Meerman, an active Farm Bureau member who now advocates on agriculture’s behalf as the Dist. 89 State Represenatiave in the Michigan legislature. Meerman shared his experiences as a farmer on the campaign trail that ultimately took him to Lansing, including some very practical guidance about what worked, what didn’t and what he’d do differently.
Day Two included MFB staff presenting sessions on the role of the judiciary, the legislative process and how to begin planning a successful campaign.
The group reconvenes next month, again in Lansing, followed by a March session concurrent with MFB’s Washington Legislative Seminar. A final Lansing meeting in April will conclude their program. Keep reading Farm Gate for updates on their progress.