To the editor:
I want to start this letter thanking this newspaper for the fine coverage you have given Mifflin County Farm Bureau in past years.
We are wrapping up our 2012 membership canvass and urge all present members to send their dues in as soon as possible.
Membership workers are visiting members and potential members this month. We are signing regular and associate members. We need all your support to be effective. We acknowledge that farmers now only make up between one and two percent of the population. We need to stay unified to be effective.
Our organization is the only organization I know of that demands that those representing our members are bound to abide by our policies as agreed upon by our regular members.
We have a program in place for this year including a support drive for Ronald McDonald House charities in February, recognition of National Agriculture Day on May 20, Rural Road Safety Week in April, Measure the Candidate Forum prior to primary elections, and in June, we will have our annual picnic at Malta Park. All are invited. In August, we will have a booth at the Mifflin County Youth Fair.
In September, we will plan, organize and have our annual Third Grade Agriculture Tour for 211 third grade students, including public, parochial, private and home-schooled students. It takes well over 100 volunteers to do this very worthwhile project. If you would like to help with this tour, let us know. You will find this is a great experience.
In October, we will sponsor our Measure the Candidate Forum prior to the general election.
Interspersed with all these activities, we will have innumerable contacts with our elected officials and their staff.
This will be another busy year. We need to remember, that which happens beyond our property lines affects us more than we realize.
We have been working to make the Manure Management Plan, the Chesapeake Bay initiative and the best management plans for our operations workable, reasonable and effective.
Now we have the Department of Labor advocating a plan to eliminate young people under 18 years of age from working on most farms, including the farmers' own children.
Mifflin County Farm Bureau and the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau have been by policy against any expansion of Sunday hunting since 1984. This year it really became an issue at the state level.
The bill as presented would have ordered the Pennsylvania Game Commission to implement expansion of Sunday hunting within one year.
Many thousands of dollars were poured into this effort by many national organizations, including the National Rifle Association.
Cabela's also came out in favor of passing this bill.
Farm Bureau, with its common sense approach, opposed this action. As we worked on opposing this bill, other groups could see we were prepared to go all out to defeat this bill, joined us and we were able to prevail.
I am truly humbled to be elected president for another year. If this organization can help you in any way, feel free to contact us.
Frank A. Bonson