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Four Ohio county Farm Bureau programs among nation’s best
by Seth Teter
It can seem something of a paradox that a group of people as independent-minded as farmers take such pride in working together as a community. But the only surprise to us is just how innovative our members can be in working together to find new solutions to shared problems.
Recently, four Ohio county Farm Bureaus chosen as winners in the 2014 American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) County Activities of Excellence Awards (CAE) program. Only 24 winners were chosen nationwide. Check out their projects below:
Carroll County Farm Bureau was recognized in the policy implementation category for its Agriculture Plastics Recycling Program. The county worked with the Solid Waste District and eight surrounding counties to collect and recycle plastic products used by farmers.
From their application:
“Through research we initially anticipated that we would recycle 250-300 tons of material annually with every farm in the county participating. To date, we have recycled 39 tons, with an additional 40 tons ready to be shipped on our second semi load…With agriculture at times being accused of harming the environment in many different situations (ie. water quality etc.) this project is showing that our agriculture community is taking a responsible step in the right direction. The farmers in our county and the other eight counties participating are very pleased that Farm Bureau has provided them with the opportunity to take their unwanted Ag Plastics and put them to use.”
Highland County Farm Bureau was honored in the public relations and information area for its Farm Rescue Program. Working with local fire departments, the county funded two grain bin rescue trailers and training for 36 local emergency personnel.
From their application:
“We have raised over over $44,000 from local business and farmers. Two complete trailers have been equipped with the needed equipment for a grain bin type rescue. The trailers and equipment have been turned over to the Fire Chief's Association and will be strategically located through the County. In May of this year Farm Bureau sponsored the training for 36 Emergency Personnel in grain bins rescues by our State Fire Academy. The County Grain Bin Rescue team has a Commander and will do monthly trainings to stay proficient with their training. This farm rescue program has already provided valuable farm related training to local emergency personnel and will benefit the community for any grain bin type rescues needed.”
Franklin and Madison County
Franklin County Farm Bureau won in the education and ag promotion area for its Breakfast on the Farm event, which invited the local urban community to an on-farm meal during which farmers answered consumer questions about food production.
From their application:
“This year, we prepared 1100 omelets, so that was about double last year. We had over five to one guests to farmers and the diversity was very reflective of the two county's population. Survey forms revealed countless compliments about the educational aspects of the event. One 28 year pre-school teacher said how impressed she was with how our volunteers talked to children, not over them.
Our Breakfast on the Farm event was a true engagement of rural and urban families. There is little doubt that the benefit from this event will be far reaching. Every child left with a copy of the AFBF's Food and Farm Facts booklet, as well as a smile on their face about Agriculture.”
Editor's note: While AFBF recognizes only single county entries, Madison County Farm Bureau also contributed to this event. Representatives of Madison County will attend the AFBF meeting courtesy of OFBF.
Marion County Farm Bureau’s award was for education and ag promotion. The Harvest Hustle 4 Mile Run/Walk brought 100 runners/walkers to an educational event that highlighted farm commodities and equipment and raised money for the local Humane Society and food pantries.
From their application
“The Harvest Hustle is a unique event because it used the popularity of races and developed an event that promoted agriculture and raised money for local charities. We did not have an event that targeted this group of consumers. The race brought them to the country and gave us a captive audience for agriculture promotion.”