WV Farm Bureau Magazine July 2014 - Page 5

Something to Think About Don Michael, WVFB Director of Governmental Affairs Last month got off with a great start as my two sons and I made a quick trip to the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati to watch the Reds upend the Phillies. It was Family Day and quite refreshing to see the family structure alive and well within the confines of the ballpark. One of the first food vendors serving our section had a large “United Dairy Farmers” promo on his carrier, which caused me to smile with agricultural pride, and to reflect on the family structure that thrives within the confines of the agriculture community – a community that is responsible for producing productive, principled citizens as well as food to feed this nation and much of the world. Breakfast Group for their active involvement and am reminded of a quote from Margaret Mead, noted American cultural anthropologist and featured writer/speaker in the 60’s and 70’s, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Perhaps you are a member of an assembly such as the Mountaineer Breakfast Group? Let us know so we can share your story. Shifting to the political front, the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ proposed rule regarding the definition of “Waters of the U.S.” and West Virginia’s “Aboveground Storage Tank Act” continue to be the hot topics in state agriculture circles. In fact, I don’t attend a meeting of any kind, agriculture or not, where the topics don’t arise. In all cases great concern is echoed about unintended consequences. In most cases the question is asked, “Where has common sense gone?” Merriam-Webster defines common sense as “the ability to think and behave in a reasonable way and to make good decisions.” Perhaps common sense in government circles should be placed on the “endangered” list before it becomes extinct! Perhaps common sense in government circles should be placed on the ‘endangered’ list before it becomes extinct! On Friday the 13th I enjoyed a meal and great fellowship with the Mountaineer Breakfast Group, who meet the second Friday of each month at Parkersburg’s Mountaineer Restaurant. The assembly was championed by Don and Toni Fleming of Wood County as a support group for Senator Donna Boley (R-Pleasants). But it has evolved into so much more – providing a monthly forum for ideas; updates on the local, state and national levels; and a wonderful opportunity to meet with decision-makers “up close so you can look them in the eyes,” as Don Fleming would say. This gathering of twenty-five to thirty-five friends with a common bond (love of state and country) includes Democrats, Republicans and Independents; public servants from both major political parties and all levels of government, with regular participation from Congressional staffers and WV’s Attorney General’s Office; Constitution Advocates and Farm Bureau members from six or more counties; etc. I commend the Mountaineer Common sense was shining bright as West Virginia’s Agricultural Education profession – active and retired agriculture teachers, staff and spouses – met at Canaan Valley for a refreshing summer retreat. Details will be forthcoming next month. One side note – The Legislature’s Agriculture and Rural Development Committee will feature Agricultural Education during their August interim study at Bridgeport. Until next time, KEEP SMILING FRIENDS, God bless you and your loved ones, and God bless America. West Virginia Farm Bureau News 5