President Steve Hirsch and Executive Vice President Jack Fisher have their minds on the future of Ohio Farm Bureau. During their speeches at the organization’s 93rd annual meeting, both leaders challenged members to think about the who, why and how of Farm Bureau’s operation.
“Does your county Farm Bureau have a plan for bringing on new leadership? Have you worked to identify leaders for the state organization?” Hirsch asked delegates, adding that current leaders in Farm Bureau have the obligation to “bring along the next crop.”
The president also asked members to examine how the organization is structured. Can Farm Bureau be “more agile, more responsive, more capable of meeting our members’ needs? Maybe everything is just fine, but we’re compelled to ask.”
Fisher said the organization must deal with the reality that volunteers have less time, which requires Farm Bureau to find ways to make it easy and effective for busy people to continue to contribute to the organization’s work. The organization’s programs and projects must be “relevant to you and important for our industry. And the work must be fun,” he said.
Hirsch and Fisher also thanked volunteers and Nationwide for their contributions to making membership gain.
Political challenges will continue to mount, according to Fisher, who told farmers that public attention to food and farm issues mean “you now have to have permission to farm.”
Hirsch said the grassroots policy process of Farm Bureau will continue to assure the organization’s success. He told the voting delegates, “The starting point for every one of our accomplishments began in a room just like this room with farmers just like you doing exactly what you’re doing.”