Do you feel like you can’t make a difference in state and federal ag policy?

I’m here to tell you that you can. And to tell you the truth, I like telling people that they can. And it all started with a visit to the dentist a few years ago.

During the Legislative Session a few years back, I had been experiencing a bad toothache, and off to the dentist I went. While there, my dentist started talking to me about my work as a lobbyist and about a legislative bill that would dramatically change how dentistry would be performed in North Dakota. And not surprisingly, he was not happy about it. He launched into a deep conversation about why he thought it was a bad idea, and couldn’t understand why anyone would support it.

Very gingerly (because obviously his hands were in my mouth and I didn’t want to upset him), I asked him if he was a member of his professional organization. He quickly said no, that he didn’t see the need for it. And again, very carefully, I tried my best to speak coherently as he scanned my teeth.

“Well with all due respect, then it’s hard for you to you complain.” Surprisingly, I did walk out of there with all my teeth intact.

I’ve always been a big believer in being a part of the organization that best advocates for your profession. Advocating for yourself and by yourself is a thankless endeavor; but when you’re apart of a crowd of similar mindsets, it’s hard to beat. Additionally, these groups understand what your business needs: whether its professional development, member benefits, or marketing, they can help you find ways to succeed outside of the Capitol doors.

The North Dakota Grain Growers prioritizes working with local, state and federal government. We have close relationships with regulators on all levels, and in past years have been able to be influential on state legislation and Farm Bills. And in recent years the NDGGA has sponsored an annual environmental tour (E-tour) to highlight the state’s agricultural practices and environmental stewardship. The organization has also sent representatives on trade missions abroad to explore new markets for North Dakota grain. These examples showcase the NDGGA’s proactive efforts to benefit the state’s wheat and barley industries and ensure continued profitability for the next generation of North Dakota farmers.

This success would not have happened without our organization’s leadership working with regulators on the behalf of their industry and sharing their experiences as producers.

So much of what we do is regulated by government, so they need to hear our voice; they MUST hear our voice. The future of agriculture depends on it.

Kayla Pulvermacher, NDGGA Executive Director