There are several roles for the local League board during the study process. The board appoints a study chair and/or committee to help educate membership and the community about the study issues. It is best to have a committee to share the work and introduce less experienced members to the League process on a short-term project, but this is not always possible. Ideally, some of these members have basic knowledge of the issues and some study experience, but some may just have an interest in learning more about the subject.
With the support of the local board, the committee may schedule and facilitate community meetings about issues in the study, bring in outside speakers (local farmers, agriculture extension agents, and faculty from the agriculture department of a nearby college would be easy choices for this study). Agricultural practices, farm structures and crops vary by location. As you enter the study and consensus effort, please attempt to reach out to the diverse local farm communities to learn more about the concerns and immediate issues facing your local farming economy. These meetings may be held any time in the process after the scope is determined and often include outreach to other members of the community interested in the topics to be discussed. Such meetings are a great way to gain visibility in the community and to attract prospective members.
Then, after the consensus meeting(s) are finished and the committee prepares the consensus report, it is brought to the local board for approval before it is submitted to the national study committee. Be sure in planning consensus meetings to allow time for this board approval before the reporting deadline date.