Last November voters elected about 100 new members of Congress. Today, the reflecting pool is again filled with water. Is this an indication that the new Congress will truly reflect the people’s wishes? Maybe. Maybe not. One can only hope.

The capitol grounds are a sylvan retreat in the middle of urban Washington, D.C. Planted with several species of tree, shrub and flower, the grounds could symbolize the abundance and diversity of our nation’s agriculture. It’s ironic then, that agriculture sometimes seems so far from lawmakers’ minds.

At least nine new members of Congress will bring strong agricultural backgrounds that may inform their votes. Many others, though, will be greenhorns. They won’t necessarily understand why we need a farm bill, or free trade agreements. Farmers and ranchers in their states and districts will need to let them know how legislation would affect them and the nation’s food security.

The capitol is situated at the center of Washington, with the city’s four quadrants radiating from it. Congress’ actions radiate to every part of our nation. Whether you’re a hipster buying bread in New York City, a corn farmer in Nebraska or a cowboy driving beef on the hoof across Montana, legislation that affects our ability to produce food, fiber and fuel affects us all.

We all want the best for our country and a government that allows us to reach our fullest potential. Let’s hope the 112th Congress will reflect and advance our goals.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Lynne Finnerty is the editor of FBNews, the newspaper of the American Farm Bureau Federation.