I am an avid podcast listener. I listen to podcasts on all subjects ranging from agriculture to true crime to politics to science and everything in between. On one of my agricultural podcasts this week, they started mentioning the farm bill. Two senators were discussing how it is time to start putting our plans together.

Messing-Kennedy is a dairy producer located in Michigan.

Let's be honest – nothing in the farm bill is easy. It all takes time to debate and set up. The sooner we, as an industry, can get on the same page and start presenting a preferred plan, the better. The earlier we start sharing it, the more comfortable our legislators in government will be with it. But before we can get there, we need to start at square one.

We all need to be a part of the process. We need to make our voice heard at our milk cooperative meetings. We need to talk at our local policy development meetings for our county Farm Bureaus. We need to share what we want and what we need. We all need to be a part of the process.

As new programs come out, educate yourself on them. Compare them. Discuss them with other dairy farmers. Share your thoughts with your elected officials. These are the people fighting for you. They are voting for you. The more often they see your name, the more likely they are to remember what you say, even if it is an email or a quick call to say what you want. Everything makes a difference.

As an industry, we can steer our direction. To make that happen we have to be educated and involved from the beginning. We need to put the effort forward to reach out to key people. If you want to get started in your research, I would encourage you to read the America Farm Bureau's dairy price insurance proposal here and the National Milk Producers Federation's suggestions to improve the Margin Protection Program-Dairy here.  end mark