Happening Now

We are Bringing the NFU Legislative Fly-in to You

We look forward to working with many of you over the next several weeks to prepare for NFU’s Fall Legislative Fly-In.

Though all this year’s briefings and meetings will be virtual, your participation is critical to getting the Farmers Union message and on-the-ground stories from rural America in front of Congress. In addition to the information in this memo, included below is a TENTATIVE agenda for the Virtual Fly-In.

RMFU is offering members a $100 stipend plus $100 to their respective chapter for their time and participation in this year’s Fly-In. I absolutely need to know individual RMFU member level of participation by Tuesday, September 1, 2020.

Preparation
In the coming weeks, NFU will share documents that will detail the issues that will be discussed during meetings with legislators and their staff. Four main topics will be covered: Agricultural Market Reform, COVID-19 Response, Rural Resilience, & Climate and Energy

Members are encouraged to share their stories about these issues and to make a connection with the elected officials they meet. Further background material about these topics will be shared as the Virtual Fly-In approaches. NFU staff will host a tutorial session for online advocacy on Thursday, September 10, from 11:00 am-12:00 pm MT. This event will detail the technical needs for online advocacy, provide a how-to for video conferencing technology, and offer suggestions for holding a successful Congressional meeting in this format. This meeting will be recorded so participants can watch at a more convenient time if they are unable to join in live.

Congressional Office Meetings
Fly-In participants will be placed onto teams, generally of no more than eight members and will be assigned a series of meetings throughout the week of September 14. These meetings will be scheduled during two windows of time each day 7:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m-3:00 p.m. MT, with most gatherings occurring on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday of that week. Each team will be assigned about five Congressional meetings, during which Fly-In participants will join video or phone conferences with the legislators and/or their staff. Links to these meetings will be provided with the schedule, which will be shared in early September. RMFU staff is working with Congressional offices to finalize these arrangements, which are always subject to change according to House and Senate schedules.

Congressional Town Hall Meetings
Some Congressional meetings will be held in a town hall-style, allowing more members to attend. We will let you know about these meetings ahead of time.

Briefings
Another way to take part in Virtual Fly-In activities is to join in midday briefings or events during the week of September 14. These are larger, town hall-style webinars that will likely include dozens – or even hundreds – of participants. Please see the attached agenda for a tentative schedule for these briefings. These events will allow participants to learn more about how issues facing Farmers Union members are being considered at the federal level.

Concluding Event
Finally, to wind down after a week of advocacy and to reflect upon our work, NFU will host a Virtual Fly-In Wrap Up event on Thursday, Sept. 17, from 4:00-5:30 p.m. MT. This should be a fun time with entertainment, interaction with fellow Farmers Union members, and a time to think about how working together helps family farmers and ranchers.

If you have questions, please contact Nick Levendofsky at nick.levendofsky@rmfu.org or 303-283-3528

TENTATIVE Agenda
Thursday, September 10
11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. MT ~ Online Advocacy Tutorial Session, hosted by NFU (To be recorded for those unable to participate live)

Monday, September 14
Throughout the Day ~ Meetings with Congressional Offices
11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. MT ~ Briefings from USDA Officials – TENTATIVE

Tuesday, September 15
Throughout the Day ~ Meetings with Congressional Offices
11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. MT ~ Briefings from Congressional leadership – TENTATIVE

Wednesday, September 16
Throughout the Day ~ Meetings with Congressional Offices
10:00-10:30 a.m. MT ~ Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, & Related Sciences (MANRRS) Event – TENTATIVE

Thursday, September 17
Throughout the Day ~ Meetings with Congressional Offices (overflow day for meetings)
4:00-5:30 p.m. MT ~ Virtual Fly-In Wrap-Up Event

Friday, September 18
Throughout the Day ~ Meetings with Congressional Offices (overflow day for meetings)