As Indiana Farm Bureau moves closer to choosing a new president at the state convention, Hoosier Ag Today continues its profiles of the top candidates. Today we focus on Donny Lawson, a corn, soybean, wheat, and livestock producer from Boone County.
Like many, Lawson began his association with Farm Bureau through the Young Farmer program. Lawson has served as Boone County Farm Bureau President and as District 5 director. He feels that the area of public policy is where Farm Bureau really shines, “We need to educate our legislators as much as possible. They continue to be further removed from agriculture and the farm. I think there are only 2 farmers in the Indiana General Assembly at this time.” He added many lawmakers are uniformed about agriculture and also about what life is like is the smaller communities of our state.
Lawson stressed that Farm Bureau members must be engaged to educate consumers, as well, about agriculture and rural life, “We have got to be more proactive rather than just reactive.” He also stressed the importance of membership and said Farm Bureau must continue to sell the benefits of membership by keeping members informed about what Farm Bureau does to benefit their farms and livelihood, “Take, for example, the ceilings on property taxes.”
As far as changes he would like to see within Farm Bureau, Lawson wants greater attention placed on educating members on breaking issues that impact agriculture and rural communities, “One of the things we need to look at are hot issue working groups. We need to help our members understand some of the late breaking issues, things like UAVs.”
Lawson believes that the next Farm Bureau President must not only be a strong leader but also have a wealth of experience, “Someone who has strong passion for all of agriculture not just a certain part of it. I think our next president should have livestock experience.”
Listen to the complete interview with Donnie Lawson, IFB president candidate on our web site.