De Sormeaux, A., Rampold, S., & Telg, R. (2021). Growing grassroots: Examining policy perceptions and engagement among members of Florida agricultural organizations. Journal of Agricultural Education, 62(3), 217-231.https://doi.org/10.5032/jae.2021.03217

Agriculture organization (AO) members are key stakeholders within the agriculture and natural resources (ANR) sector, and their engagement in policy decisions can help direct future policy formulation and implementation. Such policies and regulations are often determined by and voted upon by elected officials, and, therefore, the decisions made by those officials have become key influencers of the functionality and future direction of agricultural operations. This study was conducted to examine the impact of AO members’ perceptions, abilities, and prior efforts on their likeliness of contacting an elected official and engaging in ANR policy. AO members in this study who had greater confidence in their abilities to engage in ANR policy and had previously contacted an elected official were more likely to contact an elected official about a future policy. AO members who had more favorable beliefs about how elected officials prepare to vote, however, were less likely to engage in ANR policy by contacting an elected official. Future practice should include training and educational opportunities to enhance AO members’ perceptions of their ability to engage with their elected officials and influence ANR policy decisions. Future research should be conducted to gain a better understanding of the challenges faced by AO members when contacting elected officials and engaging in ANR policy.

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