Buckeye Farm News
The BSSA’s board of directors unanimously voted to partner with Ohio Farm Bureau to promote the property protection reward program, which has been around for more than 40 years. The reward is paid to both Farm Bureau members and nonmembers who provide information that leads to the arrest and conviction of someone who committed arson, malicious injury to property, burglary or other felonies on a Farm Bureau member’s property. It also is paid for the arrest and felony conviction of those who steal a Farm Bureau member’s car, truck, tractor or self-propelled equipment.
“Having the support of the sheriffs’ association helps raise the profile of the program all over the state,” said Dan Rapp, OFBF’s senior director of business development. “We really appreciate having the sheriffs’ association on board with our program.”
Saying it “recognizes the value of a rewards program,” the BSSA said in its resolution to support the reward program that it will encourage county sheriffs to work with county Farm Bureaus to support and help promote the program.
Many county sheriffs’ departments statewide have supported Ohio Farm Bureau’s reward program for years. The program has been promoted at the state and county levels in OFBF membership material and in news pictures, which have appeared in local newspapers and Buckeye Farm News. Most of the pictures have included not only the recipient of the reward and OFBF representative but a member of the sheriff’s department.
“The $2,500 Reward Program is valuable to our members because it is a crime deterrent. It has been a real fixture in the countryside for a long time,” Rapp said.
The BSSA said it will authorize the use of its logo for promotion of the reward program. Both the BSSA and Rapp said county Farm Bureaus need to contact county sheriffs to see if they are interested in helping promote the $2,500 Reward Program. Rapp said it is up to county sheriffs to decide if they want to participate; the BSSA’s endorsement does not mean county sheriffs are required to participate.
The reward program averages about one claim a month, Rapp said. He noted that the program is for felony, not misdemeanor convictions and that the person who owns the property and his immediate family are not eligible to collect the money. Full-time law enforcement officers of the county where the crime was committed also are not eligible for the reward. The money is paid after the final conviction has been made and has not been appealed.
A $2,500 Reward sign or sticker must be displayed prominently on a Farm Bureau member’s property or vehicle at the time of the offense to qualify for the program. The reward sign sizes range from a large plastic sign for premises to a small sticker for cars and trucks. Farm Bureau members must be current with their dues in order to participate, and the person reporting the crime does not need to be a member to collect the reward.
“The benefit of the program is that it is a crime deterrent more than a reward program,” Rapp said. “Hopefully the visibility of the program in both rural and urban areas will help deter someone thinking of committing a crime. Farm Bureau members are good neighbors and are always looking out for each other.”
Spread the word
OFBF has a letter that you can send to neighbors letting them know they can earn the $2,500 reward for reporting crimes on your property. The letter also explains how your neighbors can join Farm Bureau and take advantage of the property protection program. A copy of the letter is available online at www.tinyurl.com/2500reward.