South Carolina Farm Bureau was making strides on important priority state issues -- like protecting agricultural property from development in rural areas and the creation of a permanent statutory framework to help farmers recover from catastrophic weather events – when COVID-19 shut down the General Assembly in the middle of March. The General Assembly will return to Columbia September 15ththrough the 24thto address matters concerning the budget, conference reports, Coronavirus response, vetoes, and any legislation that has passed one Chamber by May 14th.
While it seems many facets of life have paused in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we know life on the farm has not. Cows still need to be milked, corn needs to be planted, and vegetables need to be picked. Farm Bureau members are still feeding a nation -- even in the face of disrupted market, unstable supply chains, depressed commodity prices, and a global pandemic, farmers still show up and do their job.
The South Carolina Farm Bureau Government Relations team continues to work for you to help navigate the changes of this new world we are in. Things may look different these days, but farmers still need reasonable regulations and supportive agricultural policies at the local, state, and federal levels. While our legislative progress this year has been disrupted by COVID-19, we look forward to the future and continuing to meet the needs of agriculture in this ever-changing environment.
An important way to support that work is by engaging in elections. South Carolina will be having its primary election on June 9 and the general election November 3. As you know, every issue from road funding to environmental policies, affects agriculture. So talk to candidates regardless of their political affiliation and find out where they stand on the issues important to agriculture. Have your County Farm Bureau host a candidate forum. Send candidates a questionnaire to fill out. Review the vote history of incumbents. Put up a sign for your favored candidate and talk with your neighbors about how they will be a good legislator for agriculture.
Most importantly, VOTE – the future of agriculture depends on it.