Attendees learn about public speaking from Emily Krueger, 2011 American Farm Bureau Collegiate Discussion Meet winner.

East Region Leadership Conference impacts attendees

Although it was a small conference, the East Region Leadership Conference had a big impact on attendees.

On March 31, county Farm Bureaus in the east region came together for a new conference that targeted members who normally do not attend typical Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) training events.

“OFBF Leadership Conference and Regional Cabinet meetings target action team leaders. This conference targeted new board members, action team members and members who have not received formal training to give them tools for professional development and personal growth,” said Danielle Dufour, OFBF east regional supervisor.

“It was a pilot idea to reach out to newer, uninvolved members and leaders to train them, and hopefully motivate them to become more involved at the county Farm Bureau level,” she said.

Dufour said attendees loved the small group dynamic and hands-on training with specific topics. 

Sessions at the conference included event planning 101, public speaking, life in the cloud and opportunities in Farm Bureau.

“We had the best evaluations I’ve ever seen from a Farm Bureau event. All sessions were rated a five out of five,” said Darrell Rubel, Ohio Farm Bureau director of learning delivery. “Every single person volunteered to go back home and get involved in local Farm Bureau activities and gave specific ways they want to help.” “We are giving them an opportunity to act and collaborate in ways they have never dreamed and accomplish goals that will help improve quality of life in their communities,” Rubel said. “Many of them said they had no idea of all the things that Farm Bureau offered, not just leadership training, but also in the amount of programs and issues and resources that are available to them.”

An attendee, who was not a member at the start of the conference, attended with a coworker and left the conference an excited member ready to volunteer and get involved.

“Ohio Farm Bureau’s first Executive Vice President Murray Lincoln said ‘People have within their own hands the tools to fashion their destiny.’ I see these leadership training conferences as a way to help people to use the tools they have and to gain new ones so they can create that destiny. They in turn get involved and help the next generation to develop those tools and their future as well,” Rubel said.

Ohio Farm Bureau would like to hold similar conferences across the state. To request a regional leadership conference be held close to you, contact your county Farm Bureau’s organization director.

Callie Wells 

Callie Wells is the director of digital communications for Ohio Farm Bureau.

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