Dale Vodraska of Rittman Orchards, left, talking to Class V about the orchard.

AgriPOWER participants hone conversation skills

Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s (OFBF) AgriPOWER Institute Class V met at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) in Wooster in August for three days of training workshops and farm tours during the second session of the year-long leadership program.

The first day included social media training, where trends and tips for using platforms such as YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest were presented by OFBF’s Lynn Snyder and Chip Nelson.

“We discussed examples of conversations about food and farming happening in social media. It was a very valuable discussion,” said Class V Participant Callie Wells. “We learned how we can tell our stories and get involved in conversations through social media.”

The class spent time learning how to develop constructive conversations. Matt Sutton-Vermeulen of Unison Resource LLC led training in which participants learned more about each other and held conversations on topics surfacing different opinions within the group.

“I found the conversation training to be incredibly valuable and enlightening,” said Wells. “We learned how important it is to not get defensive when having a conversation with someone who is simply asking a question or has a different background or view of the topic than you do.”

Media training was also offered. Class member Joy Sizemore tweeted that the media training session was very educational and informative and that she will benefit greatly from the talk Anthony Huey from Reputation Management Associates gave.

The group toured several projects at OARDC including the Quasar bio-digester, Secrest Arboretum and a parking lot garden study. They also made time for a little bit of fun with a nine-hole golf scramble at Hawk’s Nest golf course.

Class V also visited Yoder’s Produce Ltd in Fredricksburg and Rittman Orchards in Doylestown.

“Yoder’s and Rittman’s are incredibly interesting and are doing great things for their community,” Wells said. “I would have never visited these farms if not for AgriPOWER.”

At the end of September, the group will be back in Columbus to explore the operation of state government.


Follow AgriPOWER Class V tweets 

Visit the AgriPOWER webpage 

Callie Wells 

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *