Joe Maxwell, from HSUS

Exploring leadership and activism


In January, Ohio Farm Bureau’s AgriPOWER class traveled to Washington, D.C., which was a fast paced, fun, educational and overall great experience.  But for our February session it was nice to slow things down a bit and process our two main topics for the session: Activism and leadership.

The session included discussions with Nationwide on farm transition planning and insurance as well as with the Vice President of Rural Development for the Humane Society of the United States Joe Maxwell and two Columbus detectives who work with activists.

Beforehand, class members read books or watched movies that have a perspective of agriculture that might be different from our own, and we discussed what we learned. We also spent a day going more in-depth in our leadership trait discussions that we started AgriPOWER with back in July. The session ended with a tour of Irish Acres dairy farm in Sidney.

Learn more about the AgriPOWER program.Thoughts from other AgriPOWER participants:

“Sometimes the silence or unknown is the scariest part of all. I had only heard horrible comments about the ‘anti-ag’ documentaries; I didn’t want to give them any of my time watching them. Once I committed to watching them, I had a better understanding of their messages, marketing and angles. With AgriPOWER, I now have the confidence to engage and even initiate conversation. It is my livelihood and I want to tell our story.”  ~ Laura Sutherly, Miami County

“This last session of AgriPOWER really empowered me to learn everything I can about views from all people. Hearing from the Columbus detectives and individuals from HSUS made it easy to realize that maybe I don’t understand the concerns that every person has. I now understand that the listening aspect is much more important than the educating aspect of our battle.”  ~ Anna Hall, Brown County

Callie Wells 

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

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