By supporting farmers, businesses support themselves

Buckeye Farm News

Some county Farm Bureaus are building partnerships with companies that have connections to agriculture, and it looks as if it will pay off in terms of new long-term memberships.

Several local farm-related companies have been willing to buy Farm Bureau memberships for their managers or employees for a variety of reasons, according to Janet Cassidy, OFBF senior director of marketing communications.

“These companies really understand that if farmers are out of business, they are out of business,” Cassidy said. “While these businesses are involved in agriculture, it doesn’t necessarily mean everyone within their organization is up to speed on agricultural issues.”

Many of these businesses are also not aware of the scope of activities in which Farm Bureau is involved, Cassidy said.

“After that first year of membership, they really get it. They see all that Farm Bureau does, and they want to continue to develop their relationship,” she said.

Some companies want their employees to be informed about issues impacting local farmers; others want to have an open line of communication with the farm community and to identify areas where they can work together.

The benefit of building relationships with local companies is that membership volunteers are able to bring in new members as groups, rather than one at a time. Examples of local businesses that might be interested in a partnership with the local Farm Bureau include crop insurers, implement dealers, agricultural co-ops, food processors and others.

Cassidy said there is no way to fail with this approach, even if a business declines to purchase memberships for employees.

“Anytime local farmers can sit down with business owners and explain what Farm Bureau is, it is time well spent,” she said. “It’s the first step in building relationships that could pay off down the road.”

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