I hope everyone had a joyous Christmas and a good New Year. Honestly, it feels daunting that another year has already flown by. Last year we worked hard to improve our organization by doing a peer review, strategic planning for the future, and are still smoothing out the Issue Advisory Committees. There are still challenges, but the staff and the State Board are busy in their efforts to make our organization one, that I hope, you are proud to be associated with.
I wish to thank all the staff for everything they have done last year. We are fortunate to have the staff we have, for they are in high demand.
In December, I went to Washington, DC for the American Farm Bureau resolutions meeting. This is the time when all the state presidents review and combine resolutions submitted by our 50 states and Puerto Rico. Prior to this meeting, my wife, Teresa, and I had the distinct honor of participating in the Wreaths Across America event at the to Arlington National Cemetery. We joined an estimated 38,000 volunteers that laid 253,000 wreaths across the 624-acre cemetery. It was gratifying so see so many people there to show their respect and honor fallen military personnel. It was humbling once you got away from the crowd to walk among the granite headstones of so many people that gave the ultimate sacrifice so that we may enjoy the freedoms that we have today. I think we as citizens sometimes get complacent and take for granted the freedoms that we have. Low voter turn-out is an indication of that.
We have another 30-day session coming up in Santa Fe soon where I urge you to use the rights given to you to stand up for things you believe in. Use your voice to contact your representatives and senators, keep informed of the issues and the bills that are being submitted.
Something else that will be going on this year is the US 2020 Census. We all need to stand up and be counted. Census data can be used to establish state and local political districts even down to school boards. Also, the census is used to determine how money is allocated through federal programs. New Mexico is growing, especially in the south east corner so be counted!
Until next time, do justly, love mercy, walk humbly.