Two things happen this month that are distinctive to our democratic republic: first, a free and fair election on Nov. 8, and second, a national call to give thanks on Nov. 24.

This Saturday, I’m spending the morning helping a friend campaign for school board. No, I don’t particularly enjoy making phone calls on behalf of a candidate and/or passing out political flyers in my community – far from it. Rather, I’m doing it because it’s important to me who represents me and my children in elected office.

I encourage others involved in agriculture to take time now to educate yourselves on the candidates running for your local elections, to find those whom you like and to vote for them next Tuesday. Who knows, next week’s elected school board member might be a future U.S. Senator or even president.

For farmers and others involved in agriculture, it’s especially important to select candidates who know and care about their business. Increasingly, the public at large has little idea what it takes to run a successful farming operation. Government officials, both elected and nonelected, are in positions of authority to make decisions that can either hinder or help a farm family thrive.

Personally, I’m voting for candidates who I believe will put a stop to government regulation without representation. If government officials (either in the schools or at the Environmental Protection Agency) make a decision that harms me, my family, my community or my business, then I want those persons, and the elected officials who allow those decisions to be implemented, to be held accountable.

That’s why I’m voting next Tuesday, and later this month I’m celebrating and giving thanks that I live in a country where I can choose who represents me in public office. If my elected officials don’t represent me well during this term in office, I always have the chance to campaign for someone else during the next election cycle.

You may have a different opinion on how current public policies and government bureaucrats are impacting or will impact family farms in this country. As always, I welcome your input on this or any topic related to soybean production and/or farm life. When writing, please let me know your name, where you farm or work, what your comment is and whether or not I have permission to use your comment in a future Soybean E-Digest newsletter.

You can contact me (John Pocock) at: john.pocock@penton.com. Thanks for your readership.