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Twenty Ohioans interested in becoming future leaders and advocates for Ohio agriculture gathered in Columbus to meet for the first time after being selected by the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) to participate in its 2012-2013 AgriPOWER Institute.
Topics covered in AgriPOWER sessions include public policy issues facing local communities, the state of Ohio, the nation and the world. Specific sessions help class members develop important skills necessary to becoming an effective leader and advocate, including spokesperson and media training, etiquette training, social networking, communications and more. One of the institute programs will be held in Washington, D.C. to help class members gain a valuable understanding of national and global issues.
“Ohio Farm Bureau is committed to the success of AgriPOWER and believes that there has never been a more important time for people to stand up for agriculture and tell their stories,” said Sandy Kuhn, AgriPOWER director. “This is really the purpose of AgriPOWER as graduates are trained to become the future leaders and advocates for agriculture."
The first session took place in Columbus July 20-21 where class members introduced themselves, learned about each OFBF department, participated in leadership strengths workshops and etiquette training.
Participants were surprised to learn about what they would experience over the next nine months.
“I realized the AgriPOWER will constructively shape participants more comprehensively than what I expected,” said Joy Sizemore of Huron County.
“I hope this experience translates into more speaking engagements in the future to tell the story of agriculture and why we do what we do. As farmers, we have not done a good job of keeping the public involved,” said Anthony Stateler of Hancock County.
Cindy Cassell of Clermont County echoed a sentiment the entire class shared.
“I’m looking forward to the next session, getting to know our group as we play golf and learn about media presentation,” she said.
The next session will be held in Wooster in August.
Members of AgriPOWER Class V: Cindy Cassell, Clermont County; Kevin Flax, Clark County; Jason Fogt, Shelby County; Christie Haines, Washington County; Anna Hall, Pickaway County; Brad Heimerl, Licking County; Jordan Hoewischer, Franklin County; Dusty Knapke, Auglaize County; Mark Longenecker, Darke County; Elizabeth Mead, Madison County; Kelly Moore, Delaware County; Monica Schemrich, Franklin County; Carrie Schlechter, Erie County; Derek Schmitt, Fairfield County; Joy Sizemore, Huron County; Anthony Stateler, Hancock County; Laura Sutherly, Miami County; Callie Wells, Franklin County; Steve Wickersham, Marion County and Sam Wildman, Franklin County.
In addition to OFBF, AgriPOWER partners include Nationwide Insurance, Ohio Soybean Council, Southern Ohio Agricultural and Community Development Foundation, Farm Credit Services of Mid-America, Ohio Pork Producers Council, Ohio Corn Marketing Program, Ohio Small Grains Marketing Program, Ohio Sheep and Wool Program, Ohio Sheep Improvement Association, Ohio Cattlemen’s Association, Ohio Beef Council, AgriPOWER alumni, AgriPOWER Class IV, Ag Credit ACA and The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company.