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Young Agricultural Professionals

Who We Are

Agriculture has many faces, just like young professionals.

Ohio Farm Bureau Young Agricultural Professionals are 18 to 35, singles and married, who are interested in improving the business of agriculture, learning new ideas and developing leadership skills.

Farmers take on the role of chemist, veterinarian, human resources director, marketing expert, mechanic, and much more. All of these are professional skills for a professional industry.

Farm Bureau Young Agricultural Professionals are full- and part-time farmers, OSU Extension agents, teachers, consumer educators, former Ohio Farm Bureau Youth members, FFA and 4-H alumni, farm media communicators, livestock and equine enthusiasts, wine makers, alpaca breeders, seed representatives, beekeepers, green industry employees, gardeners, foodies and more.

Whether you have a half-acre or 5,000 acres, Ohio Farm Bureau has a place for you. This brochure summarizes the opportunities available. Sign-up to receive Young Agricultural Professionals email, too.

 

What We Do

Experiences and Opportunities

Four couple or individuals are selected by the OFBF board of trustees to serve on the Young Agricultural Professionals State Committee.   

State Committee members assist with creating educational and leadership development programs for Ohio Farm Bureau's Young Agricultural Professionals. A total of eight positions are on the team and a position may be filled by either a single individual or a married couple. Members serve a two-year term with four returning and four new positions each year. 

Nathan and Jennifer Brown are chaircouple of the 2015 State Committee. Meet the committee.

The deadline to apply for for the 2016 committee has passed. Check back next March.

 

Leadership Experience

The Young Ag Professionals Winter Leadership Experience will take place Jan. 29 and 30, 2016 in Columbus. The annual conference is an opportunity to build personal and professional skills, network with agricultural leaders, and learn to make a difference in your community, Farm Bureau and agriculture. Some agenda highlights include the YAP Discussion Meet semi-finals and several fantastic sessions covering traditional agriculture, niche farming/marketing and consumer education topics. Keynote speaker is Dr. Robert Fraley from Monsanto and The Henningsens will perform Friday evening.

Here is a Facebook photo album from the 2015 event.

 

Summer Reach Out Event

This year's Summer Reach Out Farm Tours took place June 27 in Miami County.  See photos from the event.

 

Washington, D.C. Leadership Experience

Young professionals with strong leadership potential are hand-selected each year to share their ideas with members of congress and to learn about international agriculture and how to grow personally and professionally.

The trip takes place in September and  includes a visit with the young professionals' congressional representative, meeting with American Farm Bureau staff members for industry and issues updates, a behind-the-scenes look at how Washington really works, networking with other young professionals, and exploring a world view of agriculture during a visit to an embassy. It is only open to Farm Bureau members. Contact your county Farm Bureau office for details.

Read participants' views of the trip.

 

County Young Ag Professionals Groups

County level Young Ag Professionals groups are popping up all across the state. Each group's activities is driven by those who participate, with some focusing on educational activities, some on social activities and some combine both. Find out where these local groups are in this directory. If there is not a group near you contact your county Farm Bureau about starting one!

Connect with other young Ohio farmers and professionals

Learn what young farmers around the state think in a new e-newsletter curated by young Ohio farmers for their friends and colleagues. Subscribe to Growing Our Generation, a biweekly e-newsletter created by Ohio’s Young Agricultural Professionals. 

Contests

Outstanding Young Farmer

Ohio Farm Bureau is looking for the top young farmers in the state. This award is designed to recognize successful young farmers, age 35 or younger, for achievements in the business of farming and leadership in the agricultural community. Applicants should have a majority of their income subject to normal production risks as well as ownership (or part ownership) of the operation/business. The top three applicants will have a 20 minute interview with a panel of three judges in September. 

The winner is recognized at the Ohio Farm Bureau annual meeting and receives an expense-paid trip to compete in the national contest in Orlando in January. The 2014 winners were Kelly and Michelle Abfall of Athens County.

Applications were due Aug. 7 at 5 p.m.

 

Excellence in Agriculture

If you work off the farm and are a leader in Farm Bureau and the community, then this contest is for you. This award is designed to recognize successful young agriculture professionals (singles or couples) who are actively contributing and growing through their involvement with Farm Bureau and agriculture but do not have the majority of his or her income subject to normal produciton risk. The top three applicants will have a 25 minute presentation before a panel of judges in September.

The statewide winner will be recognized at the Ohio Farm Bureau annual meeting and receives and expense-paid trip to compete in the national contest in Orlando in January. The 2014 winner was Kristin Reese of Fairfield County.

Applications were due Aug. 7 at 5 p.m.

 

Discussion Meet

Do you have the ability to...

  • Help others express ideas effectively?
  • Be a persuasive speaker?
  • Be a productive thinker?
  • Exchange ideas and information to find solutions to challenges?
  • Involve others in conversation

Then the Discussion Meet is for you. Discussion Meet is not a panel discussion or debate, but rather an exercise in cooperative problem solving, designed to give participants experience in leading a group discussion and in chairing a committee.

Meet the 2015 winner Elizabeth Long.

Applications are being accepted for the 2016 contest and are due Nov. 2, 2015. Semi-finals will take place Dec. 2 in Columbus and finals will take place Jan. 29 in Columbus. 

Here are American Farm Bureau's 2016 Discussion Meet contest topics:

1. How should Farm Bureau protect and encourage producers’ ability to use new  technology? How can Farm Bureau work with government and the public to ensure public acceptance while encouraging innovation? 

2. Should we draft policy to protect livestock producers from false accusations regarding animal welfare? What could it look like?

3. How do we balance agriculture’s water needs with maintaining vibrant communities? How do historical water rights influence this discussion? 

4. How do we get the public to support right-to-farm laws? Should these laws be determined on the state or federal level?

5. How can we influence state and local policy that more effectively balances the social and economic interests of farmers and ranchers versus burdensome federal regulation?

Want to see what a Discussion Meet looks like?

Watch the 2015 American Farm Bureau Young Farmer & Rancher Final Four contest.

State winners in all three contests receive cash prizes and an expense-paid trip to the American Farm Bureau convention to represent Ohio in the national competition.

For more information, contact your county Farm Bureau office.

 

Ohio Farm Bureau Goals

  • We will foster a viable business climate for agriculture that will help all Ohioans prosper.
  • We will collaborate on a water resource management plan that enhances both water quality and food production.
  • We will adopt a membership model to grow membership and sustain the organization for the future.
  • We will create an OFB Foundation structure that will grow revenue and help us invest in programs that will improve the quality of life for Ohioans.
  • We will promote and grow our relationship with Nationwide.
  • We will inspire members to build vibrant communities.