Trust is a big issue today throughout America. Experts often say everyday citizens are losing confidence in government agencies, in institutions and in the media. And, please, don’t get folks started on discussing politicians.
That’s why the results of a recent poll in the Des Moines Register caught my attention.
In the poll, some 800 Iowans were asked to rate their confidence in a list of 17 government, cultural and spiritual institutions on a scale of one to six.
The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) was on the poll’s list and came out with a very solid rank of four. Sure, the IFBF’s poll ranking was below God, the armed forces, the Iowa State Patrol and a few other institutions. But the organization tied with the FBI and was well above others. Incidentally, the media was near the bottom of the list with a 2.9 rating, just ahead of Congress.
Plenty of reasons
I wasn’t aware that the Register had added Farm Bureau to a poll of Iowans about trust, but I’m not all that surprised about the result. There are a lot of good reasons that Iowans trust Farm Bureau.
First off, the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation has been around for nearly 100 years. That means the organization has remained a vital voice for farmers and rural Iowa through good times and tough times in agriculture and across vast changes in farming technology.
But maybe even more important is Farm Bureau’s adherence to grassroots involvement of its member families. Members have an opportunity to work through their county Farm Bureau to shape and promote policies on both the state and national levels.
Add to that the good things that Farm Bureau does for Iowans in rural areas, and really people all over the state. Farm Bureau provides nearly $500,000 per year in college scholarships and is a key supporter of high school athletic and academic programs. It helps foster rural businesses through its Renew Rural Iowa program, building economic vitality and creating jobs. Farm Bureau’s Take Root workshops help farm families work through farm growth and succession.
The list goes on, but the bottom line is that Farm Bureau really represents the values Iowans embody: dedication to hard work, passion for the land, and character rooted in faith and family.
That’s a great foundation to build trust. Just ask Iowans.