Lawmakers from the House and Senate are on the annual August recess and back in their respective districts and states. Tom Donnelly, American Farm Bureau Federation Director of Grassroots Program Development, said lawmakers will spend that time hearing from voters.

"It's a great time for farmers and ranchers to meet with and communicate with lawmakers. This year is especially important since Congress is working to reauthorize the Farm Bill," Donnelly said. "And we've been encouraging our members and all farmers and ranchers to make sure that they take advantage of the August recess and discuss the merits of the Farm Bill, how it has helped them over the last five years and what changes would make it better going forward."

Donnelly said there are several ways to do so.

"If you don't know who your lawmaker is, you can easily go to, enter your street address and your zip code, and that will show you who your lawmakers are," Donnelly said. "Make sure you sign up for a lawmaker’s e-newsletter, that way you'll be informed when they're back in town, and you can even sign up for a town hall meeting and visit a county fair when they're there, and you can always schedule a meeting with lawmakers’ staff. Also, don't forget to offer the opportunity to visit your farm or ranch."

Donnelly said forming a relationship with lawmakers can set farmers or ranchers up to be a resource for those elected officials well into the future.

"When they get active, when they engage on a legislative or regulatory issue, their voices are heard. That's the importance of grassroots advocacy to get out there, meet with your lawmakers, tell them what's going on in your town, in your district, in your county, at your farm, at your ranch, and make sure that they hear the agriculture voice," Donnelly said.

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