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New presidents searching for new direction
by Chip Nelson
It is rare that I have the chance to work with a group of leaders that are thinking so far ahead that I am totally left behind. Well, not totally left behind. I recently offered training to newly elected county Farm Bureau presidents from the East and South regions of the state. This was my second such opportunity in the past two months.
The biggest difference between the two groups was the second group had a larger percentage of younger participants. Of the eight presidents in attendance, at least four were under the age of 40. This generation is very comfortable in using modern technology. They are eager to move in a new direction, which can be positive. All in attendance were there to learn about their role as the county Farm Bureau president; what they are expected to do, how they can run a more effective meeting, how they can get things done. But the conversations often turned to the use of modern technology to stay up to date with everything a county president needs to know, as well as how the president should stay in contact with the Organization Director, board and committee members. There was even good discussion on using modern technology to help in the membership campaign, from marketing the organization to dues collection.
Country music legend, actor and food business owner, Jimmy Dean has been credited for saying; "I cannot control the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination." These newly elected county presidents, no matter their age, is ready to set sail on their journey as county presidents. They are ready to make the necessary adjustments to lead the Farm Bureau organization.
I look forward to great things from these newly elected county Farm Bureau presidents:
- Don Carpenter - Belmont County
- Bill Newell - Carroll County
- Beth Ellis - Clinton County
- David Carr - Fayette County
- Milt Durben - Guernsey County
- Sarah Poling - Medina County
- Jess Smith - Warren County
- Ralph Coffman - Washington County
Also, specials thanks to everyone who had a part in making this session such as success:
- Danielle Dufour - East Region, Supervisor
- Melinda Witten - Field Training Specialist
- Michele Specht - Organization Director (Carroll, Harrison, Jefferson and Tuscarawas County)
- Steve Berk - Organization Director (Clinton, Greene, Fayette and Warren County)
- Chelsee Hamilton - Administrative Assistant, OFBF Organization Department
†Chip Nelson is Ohio Farm Bureau's director of leadership development.