Who We Are
Pre-teens and teens ages 10 to 18 who are interested in building personal, social and leadership skills. Ohio Farm Bureau welcomes youths from all walks of life, rural, urban or suburban.
- Building confidence, self-esteem and cooperation skills by emphasizing teamwork, affirmation, and hands-on experiences in a positive, fun atmosphere.
- Developing servant leadership skills with a "we" rather than a "me" approach.
- Educating youths about the importance of agriculture and its connection with consumers.
- Providing an opportunity to have direct leadership roles in Farm Bureau.
Unique Aspects of Ohio Farm Bureau Youth
- Promotes self-esteem and learning based on teamwork and cooperation, rather than competition.
- Free to anyone — no dues.
- Educates young people about Farm Bureau's policy development process and how government works.
- Sponsors leadership conferences with workshops that address specific youth concerns not commonly available in other venues, such as etiquette, conflict resolution, and family dynamics.
The Value of Being Involved
What some Farm Bureau Youth alumni say about the program:
- “I attributed a great deal of the experience I gained over the years to my involvement in Farm Bureau Youth and Young Farmer programs. It heightened my interest in a continuing involvement with the organization and the strong belief in Farm Bureau's mission.” Jim Patterson, former OFBF board president, Nationwide Board of Trustees, Ohio Board of Regents
- “I always consider Farm Bureau Youth to be a capstone on my personal development. During high school, being active in various things I tended to realize that while 4-H taught me the basics and FFA gave it a polished ending—it was Farm Bureau Youth that actually taught me how to apply it all to the board room and a professional setting. I use the information and skills I've learned while in Farm Bureau Youth almost every day. It truly has been one of the best organizations I've been involved with.” Elizabeth Bostdorff, National Cattlemen's Association
- “Farm Bureau conference changed my whole life from a wall flower to becoing an active participant in everything around me. I can never repay Farm Bureau Youth for all the experiences they gave me and opportunities to be youth representative on the Clinton County Farm Bureau board for several years, for the encouragement to "get involved" with community and make a difference; for the "positive push" to help others through education participation, brainstorming, the idea of adding a few dollars of my own to support a good idea or organization; even for the public speaking class which Farm Bureau conference offered which cracked my "meek self" wide open to life. Thank you (Farm Bureau) for all your work especially for my good as well as may other youth (and adults).” Ellen Gilbert, retired teacher
Experiences and opportunities
Youth Leadership Conferences and Events
Ohio Farm Bureau believes in providing youth opportunities to grow in areas of leadership, teamwork and personal development. Youth leadership development is a key component of Ohio Farm Bureau.
The Ohio State Fair Junior Fair Board is made up of 22 individuals (16-20 years of age) who represent youth from organizations across Ohio. They are appointed by a committee to serve a two-year term. Members must be positive role models in attitude, dress, conduct, integrity and accountability.
Ohio Farm Bureau selected two individuals to serve as its ambassadors to the Ohio State Fair Junior Fair Board. Meet Seth Finton of Coshocton and Kelsey Rumburg of Chardon.
Ohio Leadership Camp
This summer, Ohio Farm Bureau joined with Ohio FFA to offer Farm Bureau youth a new leadership option -- Ohio FFA’s “Ohio Leadership Camp” held at Camp Muskingum in Carrollton, Ohio, June 22-25. This exciting experience allowed youth to develop leadership skills in an outdoor camp setting. High school freshman through seniors were invited to attend.
County Farm Bureaus have the opportunity to organize their own local youth councils. Local youth council activities may include experiences such as assisting with county Farm Bureau activities, commuity service projects, social activities, as well as personal and professional development that builds self-esteem and confidence.
Contact your county Farm Bureau office for more information.
Darwin Bryan Scholarship Program
The Darwin Bryan Scholarship Fund was established in 1985 in honor of Darwin R. Bryan whose enthusiastic leadership during his 37 years of service to the organization has been an inspiration to rural youth throughout Ohio. The scholarship fund assists students who have been active in the Farm Bureau youth program and/or whose parents are Farm Bureau members.
Find application information at the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation website. Appliucations are due annually March 1.
Women's Leadership in Agriculture Scholarship Program
In early 2006, representatives of the Charlotte R. Schmidlapp Fund, Fifth Third Bank, Trustee awarded the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation a special $30,000 grant to establish an endowment for the new Women's Leadership in Agriculture Scholarship Program. Moreover, the Fund gave an additional $6,000 grant to the Foundation to jump-start scholarship awards during the initial two years of the endowment project.
Founded in 1908 by Jacob G. Schmidlapp, the Charlotte R. Schmidlapp Fund is the country's oldest fund solely dedicated to “ennoble, to uplift and to strengthen the lives of young women.” After losing his daughter in an automobile accident, Mr. Schmidlapp channeled his grief into the creation of the Fund to allow other young women, unlike his daughter, to realize their lives' dreams. The Charlotte R. Schmidlapp Fund Provides grants for female education, recreation and service. Over the years the Fund has supported academic institutions, social service and charitable organizations operating in a variety of metropolitan areas in several Midwest states. The Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation award is the first given specifically to an organization dedicated to the field of agriculture.
Find application information at the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation website. Applications are due annually March 1.
Many county Farm Bureaus also offer youth scholarships. Please check the county pages for information.
To learn more about the Farm Bureau Youth program, contact your 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