Buckeye Farm News
Bill Thomas, Monroe County
Bill Thomas has lived on a Monroe County farm ever since his family moved there in the 1950s. He joined the county Farm Bureau in the mid 1970s at the suggestion of a friend. He switched from raising beef cows to dairy cows in 1987 and stopped milking them about four years ago. He worked 30 years as a production welder at a local aluminum plant before retiring in 1989. Today he and one of his sons raise hay and heifers for a neighbor’s dairy.
Thomas and his wife Glenda have been married almost 50 years and have four adult children and four grandchildren. He was county Farm Bureau president for six years and has enjoyed going to Washington D.C. for lobbying trips and to OFBF’s annual meeting as a delegate.
“I’ve gotten to meet a lot of friends through Farm Bureau and like (the policy process at) annual meeting. It’s impressive, especially for beginners, on how they handle things,” he said.
Pat Petzel, vice president of communications
Pat Petzel oversees Ohio Farm Bureau’s communications and membership marketing efforts. The communications projects all have the common goal of reaching various audiences about Farm Bureau policy priorities and educating the public about Ohio agriculture. OFBF communicates about its issues and membership by using various media such as TV, radio, websites and print and also through events and experiences that help link farmers and consumers.
Over the last few months, Petzel and her staff have been explaining Farm Bureau’s view on the importance of animal agriculture in Ohio and reassuring the public that farmers take their moral and ethical responsibility of taking care of animals seriously. Her department also is heavily focused on talking to the farm community about why OFBF membership is essential to the organization’s success and showing consumers why they should join Farm Bureau.