I am delighted to embark on this journey with you as your new Vice President of External Affairs. It is an honor to join an organization deeply rooted in supporting farmers and rural communities. As we navigate the evolving political landscape in the years ahead, I am excited to share my vision for this new role and our shared commitment of empowering farmers and fostering thriving local economies.
My primary focus is to ensure that the voices of our farmer members resonate at all critical policy-making discussion tables. Agriculture is not just a livelihood—it's a way of life. I believe that farmers should be active contributors to the policies that shape their world for today, tomorrow, and generations to come. By advocating for farmer representation in decision-making forums, we aim to empower the agricultural community to play a pivotal role in crafting better policies that most positively impact their daily operations.
As the business footprint of Landus has continued to grow over the years, beyond just our brick-and-mortar facilities, so too should our scope of influence. I am determined to expand the strength of our policy outreach to garner a broader impact. Our industry is becoming increasingly interconnected, and our policies need to reflect this reality. With a keen eye on our regional and international business footprint, we will align our initiatives to navigate the challenges and opportunities presented by the agricultural markets across the U.S. and around the globe.
As we embark on this transformative journey, collaboration and inclusivity will be our guiding principles. I believe in building partnerships—with industry stakeholders, policymakers, and community leaders. Through open dialogue and collective effort, we can position Landus as a leader and catalyst for positive change in the rural landscape.
I am excited about the opportunities that lie ahead and am honored to be part of the Landus team. As I conclude my first Rural Matters column, I want to challenge you to get more engaged in 2024, and if you are in need of suggestions on how to do that, please give me a call/email. Together, let us redefine our role in the agricultural landscape, ensuring that our cooperative, our farms, and our communities not only endure but flourish.
Elizabeth Burns-Thompson “EBT”