Delegates of The American Farm Bureau Federation adopted policy to support the continued inclusion of AM radios in vehicles. Farm Bureau Tuesday set the 2024 policy direction for the organization at the conclusion of the 2024 Farm Bureau Annual Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Sam Kieffer, AFBF Vice President of Public Policy, says the AM radio resolution stems from rural residents making their voice heard. He says, “We’ve got State Farm Bureaus all across the country, and each one of those State Farm Bureaus has several county Farm Bureaus, some of them have hundreds, and that’s really where our grassroots policy process starts. And when our members across the country see an issue that needs to be resolved or needs attention, they get engaged and not only identify the problem but propose a solution. What our delegates here in Salt Lake City approved this week was language that gives us firm footing in supporting legislation that would make sure that AM radio stays in automobiles as they are manufactured.”
Kieffer says Farm Bureau delegates understand the importance of AM radio as a means to stay informed, and to provide safety during severe weather events. He says, “Well, our folks have long relied on communications of every means to stay informed. Agriculture is done where the land is, and a lot of our members who live in rural areas, some of which are very remote, FM is certainly not as reliable, sometimes cell phone services isn’t even available, usually AM is. And it’s a great opportunity for them to stay abreast of very important things like weather and news and keeps them connected. In many ways, it’s a safety issue. You might think of tornadoes or hurricanes or things of that nature, and it’s a great opportunity to stay informed, particularly when there’s no FM or cell phone service available.”
Adopting the policy resolution gives the AFBF policy team the power to advocate with lawmakers on the issue. Kieffer says, “Vehicle manufacturers have heard from the rural communities and agriculture in general and have made adjustments. But the adoption of this policy language means that we can get behind members of Congress who want to make sure that these communications capabilities and mechanisms are not restricted moving forward, either by government edict or by manufacturing trends. Again, what we’ve seen is some of the manufacturers have reacted and responded and we want to make sure that remains a priority.”
Kieffer says this is just another way for Farm Bureau to support rural families.
He says, “Farm Bureau’s a big tent organization, and if it’s important to rural communities, it’s important to us. And we appreciate the opportunity to work with all who have a vested interest in rural America, and this is just another example of that.”