Who We Are
Farm Bureau's greatest strength lies in its grassroots approach to policymaking and problem solving. 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 more than 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 the community by identifying and helping to solve problems. The success of councils is largely based on the fact that group discussion is the method and problem solving is the goal. One of the questions asked of the advisory councils back in 1956 was, “Is our council taking an active enough part in our county Farm Bureau program?” This is what is meant by community. Council need to focus on local, community issues so that it can work with the county Farm Bureau and/or partner with other councils to make a difference or take action.
Councils should consider how to become more engaged in their communities and with their local Farm Bureau. We would like you to become familiar with your county and state Farm Bureau polices. You can visit the county office or with the organization director regarding county policy and you can get the Ohio Farm Bureau policy book online or request a hard copy of OFBF’s policy manual at your county office.
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:
• After you consider community needs, identify one practical thing your council could do to affect change in 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.
The focus of community councils will be on local issues, educational issues, economic development, governance and political engagement, farm family needs, OFBF philosophy and policy. Councils provide a grassroots voice for agriculture and rural communities. Councils have direct input to the policy development and decision making process through discussion and sharing of ideas.
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.
Events, Awards, Conferences, and Publications
Councils gather regularly in each other's homes; each council determines when and where to meet. Ohio Farm Bureau has provided a discussion guide for councils. The topics allow flexibility for councils to pick and choose the topic of discussion as they feel led, or councils may choose a topic of their own.
Council feedback to each topic is compiled at the county Farm Bureau office and pertinent information is forwarded to Ohio Farm Bureau. Please use the Activity Sheet to communicate your council’s activities/projects with your county. Please use the Meeting Summary Sheet as a minute or summary sheet for your council meetings. Fun Sheets are also available.
2013 Community Council Materials
2013 Center for Food and Animal Issues White Papers: Agriculture Education, Antibiotic Use, Communicating Across Generations, Food Animal Production Practices, Food Insecurity, Hormone Use in Food Producing Animals, Sound Science and Access to Biotechnology
2013 Policy Development Discussion Sheets: Renewable Fuel Standard, Raw Milk, Proprietary Information Generated from Precision Ag Technologies, Endangered Species Act Reform, Current Agricultural Use Valuation and Property Taxation, Uses and Policy Considerations of Unmanned Aerial Systems/Drones in Agriculture, Hunting Regulations
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.
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