We will also continue our work in the regulatory arena and in the courts on environmental issues, like caring for the Chesapeake Bay.

And we will work toward comprehensive labor reform. We need a solution that addresses agriculture’s unique labor needs with a market-based, flexible agricultural worker program, which reflects real-life workforce challenges for all crop and livestock producers.

On the executive side, we will know President Obama’s budget priorities by early February. In my estimation, his main goal will be to focus on ways to reduce the deficit.

While getting the country’s financial house in order is a priority for Farm Bureau members, it will also be important to make sure that farming programs receive adequate funding to carry out their missions without taking disproportionate cuts.

And there’s a hand my trusty friend

Outside of the Capitol Beltway, Farm Bureau members will continue their resolve of advocating for agriculture through consumer outreach. Farmers have made significant strides in recent years of having genuine discussions about modern agriculture with their neighbors, community leaders and even strangers.

Through the use of social media outlets, like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, farmers are not only telling consumers about how they raise food and care for their animals, they are taking them onto their land and into their barns to show them.

Reaching out in this manner has not always been second-nature for farmers, but by working with one another and accepting a helping hand from other Farm Bureau members, we have accomplished a lot and we can only achieve more.

By joining together in traditional Farm Bureau fashion, I am confident we can meet our 2013 resolutions head on and make the most of the many opportunities that this New Year holds.