What inspires you to make a difference in your community? I think there is a lot of value in growing up in a small town and a rural community. I think that growing up in a rural atmosphere and seeing the farm lifestyle helps keep people grounded and well rounded. I want to see that available in my community for a long time. I think staying involved in community activities and promoting growth in the county is the best way to do that.
How have you found a fit within Farm Bureau? Farm Bureau has been a good fit for many reasons. Number one, it brings together people that have similar goals and interests as me. Number two, it has allowed me to meet farmers from across the state through programs like AgriPOWER (a leadership program) and through the Young Agricultural Professionals winter leadership conference, etc. I also appreciate the grassroots structure that allows our local members to have a voice at the state level.
How are young agricultural professionals having an impact on Farm Bureau? Obviously the Young Ag Professionals’ involvement and participation has grown significantly over the last few years. I think the impact being made is that more young farmers are voicing their opinions at Farm Bureau events as well as through social media. I think an example of how Farm Bureau members have taken notice of this movement is by creating the new young active member classification. As attendance and participation at Young Agricultural Professionals events grows, it has become evident that the interest from young farmers is large and is not going unnoticed.
It is really important that young farmers be active and tell their story. With the average age of the U.S. farmer increasing, there is a greater need for young farmers. YAP has been a great way to get more young farmers involved in the conversation.
Explain your involvement with your county Farm Bureau. I have served on our county Farm Bureau Board for the last three years and currently serve as our county president. Over the last few years I have helped with county activities including our Ag Awareness Day for the fourth grade students in the county, I have represented the county as a delegate at the state annual meeting and have attended the County Presidents trip to Washington, D.C. for two years. We are currently working with other counties in southern Ohio to assemble a Young Agricultural Professionals group in our area.
Are you involved in your community in other ways besides Farm Bureau? I have served on the Gallipolis FFA advisory board where we have been able to offer feedback to the chapter about how to help grow membership and discuss other needs of the chapter. I have been a committee member for the River Recreation Festival that is organized by the Gallia County Chamber of Commerce. I also have a passion for 4-H and try to help out when I can by talking to clubs about raising a market hog project and tips for showmanship at their fair or show.
Tell us about yourself. I am a financial services officer with Farm Credit Mid-America based out of Gallipolis. I have a small showpig operation, farrowing twice a year to sell pigs in the spring and fall for fairs and other shows. I am a graduate of Ohio State University where I majored in animal sciences.
I grew up in Gallia County where my family raised some tobacco and small vegetable crops. My real interest in agriculture came through my involvement in 4-H and FFA.
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