Twice a year, Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) coordinates a Nationwide Agent Visitation Week, which is an opportunity for Ohio Farm Bureau to reach out to the 456 Nationwide agents in Ohio to show appreciation for their support of the partnership between Nationwide and OFBF.
The visits provide county Farm Bureaus a chance to resupply agencies with Farm Bureau promotional materials and membership applications, plus “It is also a chance to update agents and their staff on any new Farm Bureau activity or member services, like the new GM program. It’s all about strengthening our partnership,” said Brian Peach, senior director of field operations for Ohio Farm Bureau.
OFBF organization directors routinely keep in touch with all of the Nationwide agents in their area, but in highly populated urban areas this can be difficult due to the large number of agents. During agent visitation week, some Ohio Farm Bureau state office staff step in to lend a hand.
For example, Cuyahoga County has 66 agents. In order to keep in touch with them all, especially during agent visitation week, Cuyahoga County Organization Director Anita Cook needed a little help.
Cara Lawson, OFBF director of community engagement, was one of about a dozen state staff members to help with agent visits. She traveled to Cuyahoga County and visited with 12 agents throughout the day, updating them on news with Farm Bureau, and thanking them for their partnership.
Cook prepared Lawson for the visits. “I like to talk to the agents about supporting local farmers and Ohio agriculture, and that many of us want to know where our food is coming from. Our organization does all of this,” said Cook. “Even if they are not interested in it, their potential clients might be and this could be a major selling point for them to get the client (to become a Farm Bureau member).”
Membership and the Nationwide partnership are priorities for Ohio Farm Bureau members and employees alike.
Agent visitation week takes place in the midst of volunteer membership drives statewide. Another round of visits will take place the week of July 16.
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