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Buckeye Farm News
Bill Johnson, Franklin County
About 12 years ago, Bill Johnson was at the Franklin County Fair and stopped by Farm Bureau’s booth. An avid gardener in suburban Columbus, Johnson was impressed by OFBF’s efforts to promote and support agriculture and joined. He has been active with the Franklin County Farm Bureau ever since, working membership and as a trustee for the past four years.
Johnson grew up in Portage County near Kent. At age 12 he started working on a nearby dairy farm, helping out not with the cows but fruit trees and the garden. Today, he lives in Upper Arlington where he has planted more than a dozen fruit trees on his 1-acre property and grows a wide variety of produce that goes to a nearby farmers market and restaurant.
Johnson sells computer systems and technical services and has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Ohio University and master’s in business management from the University of Dayton. He and his wife, Denise, have three grown children and are members of Upper Arlington Lutheran Church. He is an Eagle Scout and remains active with Scouts. He also is a present president of the Organic Gardening Club of Central Ohio and a member of the Ohio Ecological & Farm Association and the Central Ohio Beekeepers Association.
As a small, organic grower, Johnson said he appreciates how Ohio Farm Bureau represents all sectors of agriculture.
“I really believe in what Farm Bureau does,” he said. “I’m always telling people that Farm Bureau is nothing like painted in the media as being only for big businesses.”
Chip Nelson, Communication Specialist
Communication Specialist Chip Nelson has been with Ohio Farm Bureau since 1995 when he was hired as an organization director for Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake and Trumbull counties. He was then OFBF’s director of advisory councils for four years and director of research and program development for two years. He currently produces video segments for Farm Bureau’s Web site, YouTube site and for other projects. He also produces the award program for annual meeting and Leadership Conference.
Before starting at OFBF, Nelson was an agriculture education teacher for eight years and farm director of WKFI Radio in Wilmington for three years. He has a bachelor’s degree in agriculture education from Wilmington College.
Nelson grew up on a 10-acre farm in Warren County near Blanchester where the family raised vegetables, freezer beef and hogs. He also worked on a dairy farm while in high school and college. Nelson and his wife, Charla, live near Circleville and have two adult children. He attends Circleville Nazarene Church and is a certified instructor for Centershot Ministries, an archery based program for young people.
“Farm Bureau is a great organization that truly cares for the members,” he said. “I’ve enjoyed meeting so many people from all regions of the state with various backgrounds but all with the passion to promote the agriculture industry in this state.”