Boise—In the year of COVID, the Idaho Farm Bureau’s 81st Annual House of Delegates got underway at five different locations across the State. Braden Jensen of the Idaho Farm Bureau:
"Well, we have transitioned the House of Delegates to a virtual House of Delegates in each of our five districts located in different hubs. We reduced the number of attendees in each district, to have better social distance. We provided masks and hand sanitizer and then we have hired a company to help us redistribute this House of Delegates, this platform, and still allow our members to still go through the policy development process. It's to make sure their issues are still addressed and we still have a clear policy direction," said Jensen.
Direction that comes from The Annual Meeting and House of Delegates that's been held every year since 1939, policies debated here ends up in the Farm Bureau policy book. Sixty-one Delegates from 34 counties gathered via a zoom conference call.
"It's going well," said IFBF Board member Galen Lee. "We're getting started and it's a new format this year with everything being on video. There are challenges there but we are working through it and figuring it out, we are a good group. Our end goal is good policy, to get a good sound policy in place and that's what we are going to get done," said Lee.
And some policies debated here could end up as legislation at the Idaho Statehouse.
"It's used to help legislators to know our policy positions as different issues are brought up at the Statehouse, they know where Farm Bureau is at, where our membership is at so we use it there at the legislature, also in our communications and our dealings with State agencies as well," added Jensen.
Despite COVID and obstacles, Idaho Farmers and the Farm Bureau find ways to carry on, producing food and policy to help us through challenging times.