Vincent usually includes three take-home points. Each of them requires similar action by the audience members if they want things to change in Washington, D.C., and at the state level.
First, he says, “Democracy works, but it’s not a spectator sport.” He says people have to get involved and let their legislators know what is important and why.
Second, he says, “When people lead, leaders follow. If you don’t talk to your leaders about how to protect your industry, you’ll be protected right out of business.”
And third, he says, “The world is run by those who show up.”
Rural Americans must identify those policymakers who understand the issues of agriculture and are willing to lead the battle for agriculture and then support them with every voice possible.
“You have got to show up,” Vincent says. He talked about “showing up,” other than talking to legislators, and included such things as editorials in the newspaper, Chamber of Commerce membership, city council meetings, county supervisor meetings, contact with regulatory agencies, use of social media such as blogging, assist local educators to inform students about rural lifestyle, etc.
Including a line item in your company business plan for “activism” is a directive from Vincent. Set aside one hour per week from your business, not family time, to show up and be involved in preserving the American rural culture.
Opposition to environmental activists has to come from the grassroots and has to be articulated in as many ways and from as many people as possible.
By Richard Keller, AgProfessional editor