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29 counties attain Pacesetter membership status
Twenty-nine counties have attained Pacesetter status, setting the stage for them to achieve membership gain by the end of the campaign year.
The Pacesetter award is for counties that had at least 93 percent of active farmer membership by March 31. The counties that received the award earned an additional $500 for their budget.
Brian Peach, senior director of field operations, said the overall membership campaign is off to a strong start.
“It’s going good,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of new members on track and are even a little bit better than last year.”
The most effective way to sign up members continues to be having farmers talk personally about the benefits of memberships and how Ohio Farm Bureau has helped protect their livelihood, Peach said.
“It’s amazing that we have volunteers who are willing to give the time and have the resources to go out and call upon fellow farmers and others,” he said. “Membership is something that is worked on year round, and our volunteers are committed to extending out to the consumer and educating them about their operation.”
While high gas prices have cut into the availability of some members to do in-person visits, counties have made up for that by featuring membership at county events such as farmers share breakfasts, workers’ compensation meetings and at booths set up at local tractor supply stores.
Volunteers have been working hard at signing up both individual and group memberships, which range from large co-ops to companies with 10-15 employees. Across the state, 622 Farm Bureau members are the result of group buys, Peach said.
“Having members as a result of group buys is a great way to build a relationship with the business and its employees and provides opportunities to promote the companies. It’s all about helping build the community,” he said.
Volunteers and organization directors have been actively working with Nationwide agents on various promotions of both Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau and helping contact Nationwide members who have not renewed their membership, Peach said.
Highlighting Ohio Farm Bureau’s recent legislative efforts also have been effective, Peach said, in particular elimination of the estate tax, issues dealing with gas and oil exploration in Ohio and efforts to not have restrictions of children working on family farms.
“One of our new efforts has been to become even more a part of the community, not just the rural community and show that Ohio Farm Bureau is important to the local economy,” Peach said.
2012 Pacesetter (93% of farmer gain) counties:
- Allen: 99.41%
- Auglaize: 94.63%
- Butler: 93.79%
- Carroll: 94.18%
- Clinton: 93.82%
- Crawford: 93.90%
- Cuyahoga: 94.93%
- Erie: 96.22%
- Fayette: 93.57%
- Gallia: 93.21%
- Greene: 94.80%
- Highland: 93.58%
- Holmes: 95.54%
- Huron: 94.84%
- Knox: 94.07%
- Marion: 93.24%
- Miami: 93.36%
- Montgomery: 93.34%
- Muskingum: 94.53%
- Ottawa: 93.95%
- Pike: 93.54%
- Portage: 100.37%
- Preble: 93.06%
- Putnam: 95.68%
- Ross: 94.56%
- Seneca: 94.36%
- Union: 94.32%
- Van Wert: 96.99%
- Wayne: 93.20%
Check out Ohio Farm Bureau member benefits