Going into my second term as Farm Bureau President, the question that seems to be popping up the most is “Why are you Farm Bureau President”? I’m sure the puzzled look on my face in reaction to this question has made a few laugh. But, as I tell my story it appears that that perhaps I have neglected to truly share why it is I love farming and where my roots actually started.
I grew up on a small farm in the rolling hills of southern Ohio, located in Scioto Township in Jackson County. There we had everything you could think of, from Dads old Massey to a nice size garden. We had cows, pigs, horses, and all kinds of goats- Boer, Pigmy, Alpine, and Nubian. You name it at one point we raised it! We had chickens, guineas and peacocks also. One year dad even had a building full of Bobwhite quail.
I had a pony named Snow Ball; she was a stubborn thing and a quarter horse, Taco. My father broke in quite a few walking horses on the farm too. One time my then neighbor and still great friend Chip Smalley, allowed me to borrow his beautiful Belgium horse named Byrd. I’ll never forget some how she managed to get out and made it back to Chip’s house. He brought her back saying “She just wanted a visit home for awhile.”
As I close, I’m again reminded of why Farm Bureau is important to me. On that farm my Mother and Father taught me the value of working the land. The value of earning a dollar, I saw my parents scrimp and save and work so hard for everything that we had. I’m sure they look back and say there were some rough days but we made it. I learned the importance of appreciating what God has blessed you with. Farming is not just a thing to do or something to pass the time whether it’s done of 5,000 acers or 10 acers it’s a way of life. And although, I no longer live on that little farm out in Scioto Township the values and memories instilled in me at the end of an old dirt road are values, morals and memories that will last me forever. Farm Bureau keeps those memories alive for me; I hope to pass the same things on to my son Emmitt.
So why am I the Jackson-Vinton Farm Bureau President? Because, if I can work to advocate for families, like this all across our state especially from within my region, then I’ve done something worth doing. Thanks for letting me share some of my story.