Ohio Farm Bureau Organization Director Ty Kellogg volunteered these thoughts as he accompanied farmers to organization’s 93rd annual meeting:
The Ohio Farm Bureau Federation Annual Meeting reflects much about the process of agriculture: the planting, the growing and harvesting. It is a system of diligence, detail, hope and opportunity. It can also be an arena of disappointment.
The primary purpose of the annual meeting is to finalize the policies that have been submitted by each county Farm Bureau. The policies provide guidance for our legislative efforts in Columbus and in Washington, D.C. as well as our programming throughout the year.
The initial development of these policies is very much like the meticulous attention to detail prior to the planting of our crops and the birthing of our animals. And when the time is appropriate, our farmers bring forward their ideas to be cultivated and expanded.
As the days grow warmer and longer, we grit our teeth and bare the summer heat, the thunderstorms and occasional hail or frost. Similarly, we weather the changes in our policies before we submit them for our county annual meeting.We watch our crops and animals grow through the late summer and fall as we prepare our machinery for harvest and our trailers to haul animals to market. Soon, too, our policies will be presented to farmers representing all county Farm Bureaus.
These policies may fare well, as our products do when the weather is perfect and prices are good.
However, there are times when the policy is seriously questioned, drastically changed or even voted down by 350 of your farming peers. As one disease can wipe out your herd or wet weather spoils your harvest, the process can be as painful as it is glorious.
Like the life we lead in agriculture, the process of Farm Bureau policy rides similar waves of success and failure, victory and loss. However, what gives Farm Bureau policy the credibility, honor and integrity is not the result of the process – but the faith and sense of duty we harness to facilitate, cultivate and harvest an idea, regardless if it passes or fails.