For Immediate Release
January 13, 2010
SEATTLE (OFBF) – The Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) emerged as one of the most decorated state Farm Bureaus at the 91st American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) annual meeting, held Jan. 10-13 in Seattle.
Ohio Farm Bureau received AFBF’s Pinnacle Award, given for outstanding program achievement combined with membership growth. Established in 2009, the award is given to only five state Farm Bureaus nationwide, and Ohio has won its membership size category both years.
OFBF also received Awards for Excellence in all five program areas that include agriculture education and promotion, leadership development, member services, policy implementation and public relations and information.
Additionally, OFBF won three President’s Awards. Awarded for the “best of the best” in the five program areas, Ohio won the award in agriculture education and promotion, leadership development and public relations and information.
Four Ohio county Farm Bureaus were recognized by AFBF for innovative new program ideas in this year’s County Activities of Excellence program. Carroll, Harrison, Jefferson and Tuscarawas counties received the award for LEAD (Leadership Education and Development), a 14-month experimental community leadership education program that provided participants with hands-on in-depth leadership development experiences. Mercer County Farm Bureau won the award for its Grand Lake Agriculture Leaders Program, a comprehensive eight-month course designed to develop and grow agriculture leaders, broaden their perspectives and create better spokespeople for agriculture.
Individual Ohio Farm Bureau members were also recognized for their outstanding achievements.
In the Farmer Idea Exchange competition, Floyd Simpson of Belmont saw his Tag-Sav-R named “most widely usable” concept. The device allows the farmer to safely unfasten two-piece livestock ear tags without having to cut them out.
DeGraff’s Andy Vance and Linsday Hill placed in the top ten in the Excellence in Agriculture competition, which recognizes young farmers and ranchers who do not derive the majority of their income from an agricultural operation, but who actively contribute and grow through their involvement in agriculture.
Brandon and Julia Weber of Jackson placed in the top ten in the Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) Achievement Award competition, which recognizes young farmers and ranchers who have excelled in their farming or ranching operations and exhibited superior leadership abilities.
Pickerington’s Cassandra Palsgrove participated in the Discussion Meet, a competition in which members are evaluated on their ability to exchange ideas and information on a predetermined topic.
The Ohio Farm Bureau was also given the unique opportunity to share its pro-active strategy to take ownership of the farm animal care issue. The overwhelming passage of Issue 2 in November effectively created the Livestock Care Standards Board, a regulatory panel tasked with overseeing standards for how farm animals are treated. The measure was prompted by the plans of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), a Washington, D.C.-based animal rights group who threatened to ban certain animal husbandry practices in Ohio. OFBF encouraged other state Farm Bureaus to pursue similar initiatives.
According to Ohio Farm Bureau President Brent Porteus, OFBF’s success in Seattle is a reflection of the quality of its membership.
“Year after year, Ohio Farm Bureau members continue to prove that they are among the most intelligent and innovative agricultural leaders in the country,” said Porteus. “Their hard work and initiative have gotten us to this point, and it will continue to lead us forward.”
CONTACT: Joe Cornely
PHONE: (614) 246-8230