Question 1: “Unless you have millions of dollars, lobbying is useless. Why lobby at all?”

Here’s why: It’s time we took our rightful seat at the table.

“When You’re Not at the Table, You’re On the Menu.”

2019 was about entering the arena to advocate for the At-Risk Farmer and Rancher Transition and Diversification Act that founding AFA member, Laura Reese drafted with AFA’s partner, Lobbyists 4 Good, and that’s modeled after the Rancher Advocacy Program in Texas.

Rather than doing all of their own research, our lobbyist “taps” into the AFA crew for help, saving L4G time and and ultimately saving AFA money. Learn how you can help with AFA research.

But here’s where our plan really shines: it’s not just the Agriculture Fairness Alliance. The actual lobbying arm is an alliance of which AFA is just one member. Other members include environmental groups, free-market advocates, and food equity supporters, to list just a few.

Alliance members all share the goal of ending animal ag subsidies for their own reasons. By coming together with these other groups, AFA’s lobbying budget quickly multiplies. That’s how we raise a lobbying army. By building an alliance.

If you’re the kind of person who would say something like, “I’d donate $1,000 if I felt it was money well spent,” then we recommend you sign up as an annual member giving $1,000 per year, or as a monthly member giving $100 per month. You can Join Us Here.

Question 2: How Much Do Lobbyists Cost?

For-profit lobbying firms typically charge at least $300 per hour, but many charge between $400 and $1000 an hour. Lobbying firms that employ ex-members of Congress can sometimes charge as much as $3,000 an hour.

“Ex-lawmakers can cash in on their policy expertise and friendships in the Capitol, earning two or three times their $174,000 base salary as a member of Congress.

– An Exodus From Congress Tests the Lure of Lobbying” (The Atlantic)  

So why lobby? Because political influence is for sale whether we like it or not.

Question 3: What are ‘lobbying expenses’?

AFA promises that 100% of membership dues received (after transaction fees are removed) go to lobbying expenses. Lobbying expenses include the following:

  • Lobbyist salaires and hourly fees
  • Contracting for expert-drafted legislation
  • Media material production & distribution to support lobbying activities
  • Costs associated with hosting Capitol Hill lunch n learns or listening tours

Transaction fees include those imposed by donorbox, stripe, and/or Paypal.

Question 4: How can I verify that 100% of membership donations go to lobbying expenses?

Membership donations go to lobbying. AFA collects separate funds for operational expenses (Op Ex). They are from

AFA’s federal 990 forms contain information about how funds are spent. Not all include all the details you may be interested in, so we have added them here:

  • 2019 990 (OpEx eligible income: $11,936 … OpEx: $8,854)
  • 2020 990 (OpEx eligible income: $7,170. … OpEx $7,076)
  • 2021 990 tbd (OpEx eligible income: $8,945 … OpEx tbd )

As of October 2021, AFA has received just over $24,000 in grants and individual donations – apart from monthly and annual membership donations – that were eligible for covering operational expenses as needed. Many such donations were made via the one-time Operational Expense Donation Page.

This has allowed AFA to put 100% of regular membership donations into the lobbying fund to cover the expenses identified above. Operational expenses include, but are not limited to …

  • Corporate compliance
  • Legal
  • IT, software tools, web hosting
  • Media production
  • Ads, merchandise, shipping

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