For 20 years, Ohio Farm Bureau Federation Education Specialist Judy Roush worked beside her husband on their family farm.
After nearly as many years working with Ohio Farm Bureau education programs and assisting volunteers and teachers in helping students learn the origins of their food, Roush is returning to the family farm upon her retirement this month.
Before coming to OFBF in 1992, Roush led the Ohio Ag Awareness Council and was a classroom teacher. Highlights of her work at OFBF include the creation of several curriculum pieces such as Lessons in Economics, helping county Farm Bureaus with ideas and resources for hundreds of Ag Days and other school events, establishing the OFBF Award for Children’s Literature and the launch of COSI on Wheels’ Agriculture Adventures mobile unit, which over the course of its nine years on the road reached an estimated 482,333 students at 1,183 events.
She also served as president of the national Agriculture in the Classroom Consortium in 2005.
“We used to laugh when a young student said food came from the grocery store,” Roush said, reflecting upon changes during her time with OFBF. “But that is reality today for much of the population. Today it’s increasingly important for farmers to share what they do and how they do it, using all tools available.”
“Judy’s enthusiasm for helping teachers and students better understand agriculture and where their food comes from has inspired and motivated so many people both within and outside of Farm Bureau,” said OFBF Vice President of Communications Pat Petzel. “Professionally, Judy has always thrived when she’s up in front of a group of teachers, students or volunteers talking about farming. Her passion for agriculture education is truly infectious.”
Roush plans to spend more time with her family, including six grandchildren, and tackling a “long list of to-dos,” but hasn’t completely ruled out spending some time helping with OFBF projects.
OFBF is currently reviewing its strategy related to leadership development, youth and young farmer programs and more, Petzel said. “Farm Bureau’s plan for how to best work with teachers and students is also being reviewed to help us better plan for and staff future programs.”