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Power through people
Ohio Farm Bureauís Sandy Kuhn is leading the effort to take the organizationís Advisory Council program back to its roots ó connecting people to make a difference on the issues that impact their way of life. Now referred to as Community Councils, these groups of friends and neighbors showcase one of Ohio Farm Bureauís long standing beliefs that there is power in people working together. Here, Kuhn shares a few thoughts about the updated program:
The council program has a long history in Farm Bureau, what do you see as its modern day purpose?
"To make a difference in the community by identifying and helping solve problems. We would like the councils to focus on local, community issues that it can work with the county Farm Bureau and potentially partner with other councils and/or organizations to make a difference or take action."
What benefits do you see from councils working more closely with their county Farm Bureaus?
"The councils should receive benefit from more timely feedback from their county Farm Bureau. Their notes from the meetings donít have to come to the state office and then get returned to the county. They can choose the issues and activities that are a fit for their county and get their county Farm Bureau on board to help support their issues and activities, giving them more of a sense of worth to the organization. Member engagement!
The county Farm Bureau can more fully utilize the councils through their ideas, activities and input as they develop a plan of work for the county and as they explore potential activities and policies for both their county Farm Bureau and Ohio Farm Bureau. Member strength and advocacy!"
What are your suggestions for members getting the most value out of their participation in a Community Council?
"Go in with an open mind. Take a look at the new Community Council guide and decide which topics, if any, you want to discuss and can get excited about. Send in suggestions from your council discussions for the county board to consider or discuss. Also, decide if there are one or two issues that your council would like to work with the county Farm Bureau board and other councils and members to plan an activity around. What can you and your county Farm Bureau do to make your community a better place?"
Photo courtesy of the county Farm Bureau.