Advocacy, advocacy, advocacy! That’s the name of the game for me, particularly during the first part of the year when the General Assembly is in session. This was the case during our time in Richmond, so I wore both my VALOR hat and my state lobbyist hat. A couple of takeaways from this double duty:
You can’t make change unless you understand the process. Even though it refers to the national legislative system, I chose a Schoolhouse Rock song for this session’s blog title, because it illustrates the importance of understanding the process. It is so critical to have a basic understanding of how Virginia government, particularly the legislative system, works.
Your voice can make a difference. I think the biggest surprise to first-time visitors to the General Assembly is how accessible legislators and their aides can be. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule, but for the most part, lawmakers want to know your opinions. As their constituents, you guide their votes.
These two points may seem basic, but I encourage all those involved in the agriculture industry to start here and share your concerns and priorities with decision-makers. Advocates for agriculture are grown on the farm!