True or false: Elected officials only want to hear from lobbyists and other “official” people.

FALSE. It’s easy to think that way, but it couldn’t be further from the truth.

Your voice has immeasurable power in the halls of both Congress and the Statehouse. Elected officials and their staff value what you have to say. And when you are a member of associations like the Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association, we amplify it with a bullhorn (figuratively).

The Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association recently returned from an advocacy mission to Washington, D.C., with 17 farmers participating. These growers — some who had never been to D.C., and some who had been several times — met with elected officials and their staff to talk about the policies that would affect your farm.

When Ohio growers are on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., or the Statehouse in Columbus, two things stand out. First, growers are reminded how much their perspective means to both members of Congress and the Ohio General Assembly. Second, those legislative offices communicate the incredible value of the personal stories that growers bring to those meetings as policy priorities are discussed.

Advocating for yourself and your farm business is vital. While your engagement is critical, you can choose the level at which you get involved. You don’t HAVE to go to D.C. or the Statehouse to make a difference, though you might choose to do so and your Association can guide you on that. However, you might choose to advocate from home or the cab by contacting your elected officials on important issues — your Association makes that easy for you as well! The first step is joining the Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association as a member and participating in calls-to-action. The possibilities are endless from there!