From the Field: Farm Bureau Programs Save Members Lots of Money

From the Field is a bi-monthly column written by Mark Campbell, Farm Bureau Field Services Director for the Central District. He writes about Farm Bureau member benefits and County Farm Bureau activities.

It pays for itself.  It’s worth the money.  Can’t do without it.  These are just some of the phrases that members would use to describe their Farm Bureau membership.  Virginia FarmBureau offers an array of membership benefit and discount programs.  
Many members use our discount programs.  But I am disappointed when I hear members tell me they didn’t know we had such programs.  We promote our member benefit programs through the website, brochures in county Farm Bureau offices, county newsletters, and the magazines.  So I must say that I am surprised when members don’t know what we offer.  Please let me or any Farm Bureau employee know of any ideas that you may have for us to better reach the membership on these valuable programs.
As we approach summer and vacation season, you may be interested in some money savings programs through your Farm Bureau membership.  Our two most utilized programs are the General Motors (GM) discount and the hotel discount.  The GM discount offers a $500 discount on the purchase or lease of any eligible new GM vehicle.  Just about all vehicles are included, except Cadillac and Chevy Volt.  This program was first offered in July 2012, and has been widely utilized.  From July to December 2012, members purchased 818 vehicles with the discount for a total savings of $409,000.  With that short history in 2012, it is realistic to project that members could save over $1 million in 2013.

The hotel discount is up to 20% for the Choice and Wyndham groups for a total of 24 hotels to choose from.  The Choice group alone was utilized by members for 7,546 room nights in the year 2012.  Figuring an average savings of $15/night, results in over $113,000 in savings.
This year, we are offering three new programs.  They are discounts with Case-IH, Life Line Screenings, and Access Development.  Case-IH discounts range from $300 to $500 on new tractors and implements.  Life Line Screenings will offer four vascular screenings plus an osteoporosis screening at a discounted rate.  Access Development will offer discounts that will be accessible through mobile phone or Internet, to everyday shopping and dining businesses.  Look for more information on these three new programs in the next few months.
To get more information, please visit our website at www.vafarmbureau.org  You will need to register, located in the top right corner, to get access to member only information.
I only covered a few of the membership benefits.  But when you think about the lobbying efforts of our state and national staff, monitoring, educating, and advocating on local issues by the county Farm Bureau board of directors; your membership has additional value.  This additional value is hard to assign a dollar value, but the peace of mind knowing that people are working on your behalf in the legislative arena is priceless.
I hope that you will utilize the membership benefits available to you.  Please share the good news with your family, friends, and neighbors.  A larger membership and more people using the benefits will only make the organization stronger and we will be able to save you more money.  Thanks for your being a member.  If you are not a member, I urge you to join today.  Membership pays for itself. 
Until next time,
Mark

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