the season in Farm Bureau Land for candidate evaluation work, with county Farm
Bureaus facing a May 27 deadline to submit recommendations to the MFB AgriPac
Committee. One of the best methods for evaluating candidates is interviewing
them face-to-face, and while COVID-19’s taken that option off the table, good
options still exist.
week 14 members representing six county Farm Bureaus took part in a
collaborative interview forum for Michigan’s 10th congressional
district via WebEx teleconference.
County Farm Bureau member Rob Haag chimed in on the virtual
not an avid user of web virtual-video meetings, but I’m learning and do think
that it’s use can be productive and that it has a place in today’s world. There
is a fit for it, however it’s not same as in-person meetings.”
are even some subtle advantages to remote interviews, Haag admits.
is no drive time, which is a huge time saver, and in some ways virtual
interviews are more personal because they’re conducted in homes,” he said.
“That means we can see things that we usually wouldn’t see in other locations,
such as family pictures on the wall. That helps us learn something about the
candidates that we normally wouldn’t learn.”
County candidate evaluation chair Mike Milligan said, “I thought it
went pretty well.
seemed more timely in a way, as candidates seemed more concise with their
answers on camera. Two years ago at an in-person meeting, candidates seemed to
I didn’t like is that it was harder to have a group discussion at the end of
the interviews. That’s tough to do virtually.”
plus is that volunteers who missed taking part in the interviews as they
happened can easily catch up because they’re recorded, and the links shared
with members across the congressional district.
it’s Webex, Zoom or Microsoft Teams, online video conferencing technology,
while not ideal, is still an effective means for Farm Bureau members involved
in candidate evaluation to accomplish their important work this month in a
timely fashion. Give it a try!
Matt Kapp is MFB’s government