I can’t believe my time as a member of AgriPOWER Class V is already over. There have been so many great experiences over the last nine months, but more importantly great people. Through each of the seven times we met, I learned a lot and gained a network of people from all areas of agriculture. I know we will support each other for the rest of our lives, making the last session–our graduation– bittersweet.
The first day of our last session included a few hours volunteering at LifeCare Alliance and a visit with the Ohio Soybean Association and Ohio Soybean Council to learn about the difference between the Association and the Council, and discuss challenges and opportunities for soybean farmers.
One of my favorite parts of the day was a visit to Trillium Farms in Johnstown, one of Ohio’s largest egg farms will more than 9 million laying hens. We were able to see new enriched cages that included perches and scratch areas allowing the chickens to perform some of their natural behaviors, new technology used to combat odor and flies and how eggs make it from the chicken into the carton without ever being touched by human hands.
On the morning of day two we learned about human resources from Debbie Bowden of The Bowden Group, which was particularly helpful for those in the class who have employees but also for those who face challenging HR situations in their jobs. Before joining our families for lunch and graduation, we finished the morning by sharing one thing we would remember the most about our experience. Answers ranged from the farm tours to personal growth. One theme that came out through all of our answers was the importance of the relationships we have built.
After lunch Ohio Farm Bureau Executive Vice President Jack Fisher addressed us, challenging us to take what we have learned in our time together and become even better leaders in our communities, and in Farm Bureau. During the graduation ceremony, each of us received a commemorative clock, recognizing completion of AgriPOWER Institute.
The connections and networks we have created over the last nine months are important to all of us, and will only continue to strengthen. I’m looking forward to seeing all the great things my classmates and I will accomplish in the future. They are a great group of people, and I am proud to say I was a part of AgriPOWER Institute Class V.
Read about the other sessions from Class V
Considering applying for the 2014-2015 AgriPOWER Institute and want a better understanding?
A handful of events will be held over the next year to give prospective AgriPOWER participants a taste for and a better understanding of AgriPOWER Institute.
Dates and locations are tentative:
- June 29 – Summer Reachout Event at Deer Creek State Park
- Dec. 4-6 – OFBF Annual Meeting Leadership Training and Policy Development
- Feb. 2014 – Ag Day at the Capitol, special luncheon for AgriPOWER
- March 2014 – TBA