Katie and Latham Farley volunteer through Ohio Farm Bureau’s Young Agricultural Professionals program, which offers networking, social and leadership experiences for up and coming food and farm advocates.

Our Community, Latham and Katie Farley

How have you found a fit within Farm Bureau?
Farm Bureau is a great fit for us because it is an organization that supports agriculture and promotes a safe, wholesome food product just like we do. Also, Farm Bureau promotes community involvement, invests money in its members and sponsors events that encourage community involvement and agricultural education.

What inspires you to make a difference in your community?
We were once told you must be the change you want to see in this world. That idea is what makes us want to get out in our community and help others. Whether it’s volunteering at a food bank kitchen or helping plan and execute a conference where people can better themselves and their career, serving others is such a joy.

It is important to give back to the community and volunteer for something you believe in. We should all commit to something that benefits society and helps others. The first step is where to help, which is the hardest. Farm Bureau does a lot of the leg work of putting people where they need to be if they want to get involved. That is another reason we support them.

Tell us about your jobs
Latham is the office manager at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency in Shelby County. Farm Service administers farm programs set by Congress and serves farmers, ranchers and other agricultural industries. “Helping on my father-in-law’s grain and hog farm has opened my eyes to the risk and hard work farmers put into their business. These are the people that help feed our animals and help feed America,” Latham said.

Katie is a graphic designer at an advertising agency in Cincinnati where she designs logos, brochures and advertisements. She also owns her own freelance graphic design and photography business. She is able to put her skills to good use on the Ohio Farm Bureau Young Agricultural Professionals (YAP) advisory team by helping create the promotional materials for all the YAP events.

How do you think young agricultural professionals are having an impact on Farm Bureau as an organization?
The young agricultural professionals are the future of Farm Bureau. Farm Bureau is working to engage these young members to better themselves individually and professionally by taking them to Washington, D.C. to show them how politics work, sponsoring educational and networking conferences and having competitive events such as Excellence in Agriculture and Outstanding Young Farmer contests to recognize success in farming and in the community. Farm Bureau also hosts a Discussion Meet to promote problem solving and sharpen group discussion skills. These young professionals are taking the skills they have learned and using them to better Farm Bureau and agriculture as a whole. The young professionals also are sharing what is important to them and problems they are facing such as getting started as a first generation farmer. It is a symbiotic relationship; both sides benefit.

Do you see common values between what you’re trying to accomplish with your work and what Farm Bureau is working toward?
Every day. With each generation, people get further and further away from the farm. They don’t think of where their food comes from just as long as they have something to eat that tastes good. It’s kind of like “out of sight, out of mind.” Farm Bureau works to remind these people of where their food comes from by putting on events like farm-to-table dinners, farmers share breakfasts and educational events. Farm Bureau supports the creation of a safe, wholesome food product and responsible human handling of livestock as this safe food product is created. This goes hand in hand with what we believe.

Want to become involved in your local community? Learn why becoming a Farm Bureau member is a great place to start.

Lynn Snyder 

Lynn Snyder is senior director of communications for Ohio Farm Bureau.