The Siouxland Regional Chapter of the Iowa Farmers Union has been honored for outstanding grassroots leadership. Chapter president Lori Sokolowski says they didn’t have enough people in any one county, so it called for some creative thinking.Five counties formed a regional group, which held meetings and made the national farm bill its priority issue. Members in the regional group took the lead on tracking the farm bill, and had more input than if it was just one more issue for the statewide group. Just back from the national Farmers Union centennial in Texas, Sokolowski says it can be tough for isolated farmers to feel their interests are represented.She says they’re busy and can’t to national or state meetings, but a small local board can send someone like her to Washington so they’re heard. The Siouxland Regional Chapter’s already looking to the future after winning its award.After hitting its membership goal for the year already it’s being asked to take in another small county chapter and is looking at food marketing. Sokolowski says she’s working on cooperative food production, which could become a new focus of the farmer’s union.
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