Who We Are
Farm Bureau's greatest strength lies in its grassroots approach to policy-making and problem solving, giving a voice to agriculture and rural communities. Community councils are the foundation of this process. Councils are groups of couples and singles that meet regularly to develop camaraderie and community while discussing farm and family topics. The council program begain in 1936, and currently there are nearly 400 community councils in the state. The community council program is unique to Ohio, and media and legislators often take note of council feedback.
What We Do
Community councils exist to make a difference in their community by identifying and helping to solve problems. The success of councils is largely based on gaining a variety of inputs and perspectives on an issue through group discussion.
Councils should consider how to become more engaged in their communities and with their local Farm Bureau. Back in 1956, one of the questions asked of the advisory councils was, "Is our council taking an active enough part in our county Farm Bureau program?" Councils should focus on local, community issues so that they can work with their county Farm Bureau to recommend a policy change, and/or partner with other community groups to make a difference, or take action.
As a community council, it is important to become familiar with your county and state Farm Bureau polices. You can contact your county FB office regarding county policy or to request a hard copy of OFBF’s policy manual. The Ohio Farm Bureau policy book may be viewed online.
Community councils can play an important role in making plans for their community and involving others in sharing the issues, challenges and solutions for community improvement.
• In what ways does your county Farm Bureau currently work to improve the local community?
• Have each council member complete this statement: Our community would be an even better place to live if...
• Consider things your community needs and identify one practical thing your council could do to improve your community.
• List groups or individuals you could partner with to carry out your plan.
• List the action steps your council will take to put your idea into action.
Community council county leaders help to develop new councils, conduct new member meetings and implement appropriate activities and seminars. Please keep a roster of council members.
Meetings and Discussion Topics
Councils gather regularly in each other's homes. Each council determines when and where to meet. Ohio Farm Bureau has provided policy and issue discussion sheets for councils to use as a reference and background on a variety of topics. The discussion sheets can be used to stimulate discussion at a council meeting. Councils are encouraged to use their judgement to pick and choose the topic they wish to discuss when they get together. The policy and issue discussion sheets are a starting point but councils are free to use newspaper articles, Facebook posts, local issues or other topics of interest to the group or community.
Forms & Flow of Information
The Meeting Summary Sheet should be used by each council as a minute or summary sheet for your council meetings. A copy of this sheet is forwarded to your county Farm Bureau office. Council feedback is compiled at the county Farm Bureau office and pertinent information is forwarded to Ohio Farm Bureau. The Activity Sheet should be used to communicate your council's activities and projects with your county Farm Bureau office.
Other discussion opportunities
An online community council has been created and managed by Ohio Farm Bureau members, Ohio's Advisory Council is a closed group on Facebook discussing the important issues facing Ohio agriculture. Ohioans are invited to participate on their own time, as they are willing and able. To join the group, go to http://bit.ly/OhiosAdvisoryCouncil and click Request to Join.
For more information about the community council program, contact the county Farm Bureau office.
Community Council Program Materials
You will need to be logged in to your account to download these files.
- Current Agricultural Use Valuation & Property Taxation
- Crop Damage from Wildlife
- Drones in Agriculture - 2014
- Electric Programs and Potential Impact
- Endangered Species Act Reform
- Hunting Regulations
- Communicating Across Multiple Generations
- Sound Science & Access to Biotechnology
- Antibiotic Use & Resistance
- Food Insecurity
- Hormone Use in Food Producing Animals
- Food Animal Production Practices
- Federal Animal Care Standards for Egg Laying Hens
- Proprietary Information Generated from Precision Agriculture Technologies
- Raw Milk
- Renewable Fuels Standard
- Tax Policy
- 2013 Discussion Guide Workbook
Ohio Farm Bureau Goals
- Explore new membership models for future strength
- Build Farm Bureau's financial base to better achieve our mission
- Grow membership through a comprehensive campaign that involves all members and partners
- Expand member contribution and engagement opportunities
- Partner to create excellent agricultural education programs
- Develop an organization model for the future that engages the entire food chain
- Advocate for Farm Bureau's priority issues
- Seek solutions to Ohio's water quality challenges
- Champion grassroots policy initiatives