Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012 is a very important day.

Not because a Democrat may be re-elected as the U.S. President or because a Republican may ascend to the office. Tuesday Nov. 6 is significant because on that day we will all have a say in the future direction of our government as we cast our votes at ballot boxes across America.

Because many brave Americans have fought to ensure this inalienable right, it is all of our responsibility as citizens to uphold it by engaging in the political process. This is crucial to a functioning democracy. George Bernard Shaw best stated this sentiment when he said, “Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve.”

 At the top of the political rung of this election are two qualified candidates seeking the presidency. And while the American Farm Bureau remains bipartisan and does not support one candidate over the other, we are most definitely politically active. We encourage Farm Bureau members to study the issues and assess how each of these two candidates would treat U.S. agriculture and our rural communities.

President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney recently took time to answer an AFBF questionnaire on important agricultural issues and how their administrations would work with farmers and ranchers.

(To see the replies of the two candidates, see Obama, Romney outline positions on farm issues).

From the past four years, we know where President Obama has stood on many Farm Bureau priority issues. For example, he has shown his support for AFBF-supported trade agreements, home grown energy sources and passage of the farm bill. But, he has also overseen the Environmental Protection Agency’s power grab on environmental issues impacting farmers.