Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation members passed the motion for the organization to create a federal political action committee (PAC) during its 2019 Annual Convention Business Session. The federal PAC will be called the MFBF Furthering Agriculture for Rural Mississippians Fund Political Action Committee or the F.A.R.M. Fund.
“I am proud of our voting delegates and members for deliberating and asking the appropriate questions about establishing this federal PAC,” MFBF President Mike McCormick said. “I believe this is a step in the direction our organization needs to be going. As I previously said, I will be the first individual to make a contribution to the F.A.R.M. Fund now that it has passed.”
In June 2019, more than 30 county Farm Bureaus requested a study group be formed by the MFBF State Board of Directors to investigate the benefits and risks of establishing a federal PAC.
At this request, the MFBF State Board of Directors appointed 13 members to the study group, including Mike Ferguson from Tate County who served as the chair of the study group.
“This group met several times with outside experts and other state Farm Bureaus,” Ferguson said. “We recommended to the state board that we move forward with the formation of a federal PAC.”
The study committee proposed the following recommendations to voting delegates at the 2019 Annual Convention Business Session. All of the recommendations were accepted with the motion to establish the federal PAC.
The federal PAC’s governing committee will be comprised of three members per congressional district and one at-large member who will each serve a three-year term. This governing committee will be made up of members who are not currently serving on the MFBF State Board of Directors. To be eligible to serve on the governing committee, a member must donate $500 annually to the federal PAC and be elected by federal PAC supporters.
“Our advocates in Congress are getting fewer and fewer,” former MFBF President David Waide said. “Agriculture has to do a better job of positioning itself in the political world. We don’t have the luxury of getting up every day and tending to our farm and going home. Going forward, advocacy will now have to be a major part of our farm business model. Through a federal PAC, we will have a tool to support the people that support us. It will be imperative for us long-term.”