This and That
In one of my recent conferences, we discussed some of the issues in one of the most prevalent challenges in North American agriculture – transition planning.
According to a 2002 study completed by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, with assistance from Virginia Tech, nearly 42 percent of producers have no will. An astounding 88 percent have no formal estate plan. These results are very similar to other studies conducted in the U.S., Canada and England.
Here some tips for meeting with your elected representatives. One of the speakers at a recent conference gave some good do’s and don’ts concerning advice when meeting with legislators. First, you will most likely meet with staffers.
- Arrive on time.
- Thank legislator or staffer for past support.
- Invite them to visit your organization, school or project.
- State why you’re concerned about issues.
- End the meeting with concise points.
- Leave concise fact sheet with summarized points.
- Don’t be argumentative. If you disagree, be persistent but polite.
- Don’t claim to be an expert.
- Don’t over-stay your welcome.
- Don’t be disappointed if you can’t meet with the policymaker.
Finally, you should follow-up with a personal letter thanking them and summarizing main points.
Legislators are your representatives in government, so remember they work for you. It is important to let them know your stand on issues that affect your community and business.
I spent this weekend at a young producer seminar in San Diego, CA, where the temperature was a hot 97 degrees, but it was quite a shock to fly to Omaha, NE, and find it snowing on Monday!
My e-mail address is:[email protected] 
Editors' note: Dave Kohl, The Corn and Soybean Digest Trends Editor, is an ag economist at Virginia Tech. He recently completed a sabbatical working with the Royal Bank of Canada. He is now back at Virginia Tech with his academic appointment, which is teaching, extension, and applied research.
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