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Leading the way with new County Presidents
by Chip Nelson
I am very fortunate to have a career within Farm Bureau that allows me to meet individuals who are outstanding leaders. The interesting part is they may not see themselves as outstanding leaders. I had the opportunity recently to work with seven newly elected county Farm Bureau presidents. These folks have held various roles within the organization but never as their county's board president.
Mark Twain once said, "the key to accomplishing great things is to simply get started" - and that's exactly what took place at the Ohio Farm Bureau's North Region New President Training in Findlay last week. These seven leaders started preparing for their terms by making the effort to learn what goes into being a county Farm Bureau president.
During the activities we didn't just go over the roles and responsibilities of the president, but instead we got to know each other. We discovered what each of these leaders have in mind for their counties. The nice thing was that all of them came to the meeting with a vision of what they want their county Farm Bureau to be. I got to hear a wide array of goals, from having a full board of trustees to becoming a more prevalent organization within the county. They participated in exercises that walked them through the steps of creating an action oriented meeting agenda, and how to make meetings more effective. But they also got to use this time to discover what it takes to build relationships and how to recruit others to help them fulfill their goals for the organization.
I know I came away from this meeting with a sense that there are seven newly elected presidents who will do a fantastic job as the leader of their county Farm Bureau. I hope I have the chance to continue to mentor and work with them as they move ahead in their duties.
- Charles Stockmaster of Crawford County
- Tim Johnson of Richland County
- Mike Ralph of Marion County
- Chris Goodwin of Morrow County
- Gene Daniel of Seneca County
- Gary Wilson of Hancock County
- Sharon Drown of Sandusky County
I am sure these seven will cut new trails of leadership for their respective counties. I am excited about my next opportunity to meet other newly elected county Farm Bureau presidents, which will take place in Columbus on August 9.
Chip Nelson is Ohio Farm Bureau's director of leadership development.