The "Home Grown in Darke County" series helped build appreciation for local farms and foods.

Community outreach programs earn top honor

Buckeye Farm News

The Darke and Medina County Farm Bureaus have been named winners in the American Farm Bureau Federation’s (AFBF) County Activities of Excellence program and will be exhibiting their programs at the 2012 AFBF annual meeting in Hawaii.

The County Activities of Excellence program recognizes innovative, action-oriented programs conducted by Farm Bureau’s grassroots membership. Highlighting them at annual meeting allows winning counties to share their ideas with Farm Bureau members from around the nation.

Darke County was recognized in the Education and Agriculture Promotion category. Its entry, “Home Grown in Darke County,” was a series of cooking demonstrations featuring area chefs and butchers designed to connect consumers with locally produced foods, build awareness of local agriculture and promote sales of local farm products.

Medina County was honored in the Public Relations and Information category for its program, “Celebrating Season’s Harvest,” which featured a gourmet dinner fund-raiser to benefit the local animal shelter. An area chef prepared a white-tablecloth dinner of local foods at a dairy farm. The function was part of Medina County Farm Bureau’s work with the shelter on animal issues of common concern.

Both counties designed their programs to help accomplish local Farm Bureau policies, build membership and develop ties with their communities. They competed against other county Farm Bureaus of similar membership size.

“Our members are enthusiastic and committed to making their communities better,” said Jack Fisher, executive vice president of Ohio Farm Bureau. “We’re proud of the work done in every county and especially proud that Darke and Medina counties have received this great national recognition.”Photos courtesy of Darke County Farm Bureau and Cara Lawson



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