Critical Minute – The Growing Politics of Farming

In many developing areas of the world, especially China, the rural population is migrating to more urban lifestyles. It’s an economic issue, where villagers can make more in a few weeks or months than in an entire year in the countryside.

America has more developed tastes for agriculture. Many would even argue that Agriculture is America, a life-sustaining pursuit that rapidly spread westward with early settlers. So rapidly, that according to the latest agriculture census, 2.2 million farms, covering more than 922 million acres were recorded.

Today, a piece of legislature called a farm bill has become the primary policy tool of the federal government. Farm bills can impact international trade, environmental conservation, food safety, immigration, education and almost every facet of rural American life. Set every several years, these operational guidelines can build, or destroy livelihoods.

To help influence decision and policy, organizations such as the American Farm Bureau Association work through local chapters to develop a national voice and lobby key influencers in the approval of farm bills. For public relations professionals, it’s a dirty job, for a struggling way of life.

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