Community Councils

Winter Community Council Discussion Packet

Winter is here, and it is time to sit around the hot stove or fireplace for some lively discussion at several Farm Bureau Community Council meetings. Get information for your Council Meetings and download the full Discussion Packet.


Connecting with the County Farm Bureau- Updating Council Records

We ask each new and established Community Council update their records with the County Farm Bureau. Please find attached several items to help with this process:

  • Council Roster: Please fill out and return one copy of this roster to your county Farm Bureau office and keep one copy for your records. Your elected Discussion Leader will be your primary communication link with the county Farm Bureau. We communicate with all community councils electronically – Be sure to include your Discussion Leader’s e-mail address for all future correspondence.
  • Activity Sheets: Planning an activity? Please fill out an Activity Sheet to let the county Farm Bureau know what you are planning. As part of the process, let them know how they can assist your group, too.
  • Meeting Summary Sheets: Let us know what’s going on with your council. Provide your county Farm Bureau with a Meeting Summary Sheet for each of your get-togethers. Meeting Summaries should include policy suggestions and program ideas. This information needs to be forwarded directly to your county Farm Bureau office. The County Board may pass the information to appropriate county leadership and committees to address, as well as forward the information to the state office if needed.


 Your Discussion Packet – A Quick Look

The enclosed packet has four new discussion guides that should give your group a few options for their meetings scheduled in January – March. Topics for discussion include:

Community Stakeholders: Ohio Farm Bureau is considered a progressive leader in state policy thanks to our members and partnerships with other organizations. To maintain and continue developing our leadership position it is important to constantly identify community stakeholders, to both broaden the perspective and membership of Ohio Farm Bureau.

How would you define a community stakeholder? What government agencies, business groups, citizen’s groups and other special interests should county Farm Bureaus work with on issues of mutual concern? What issues in your community need to be addressed using diverse group efforts? How would the county organization spark a collaborative process if needed?

Additional information/materials on this subject:

  • Giving Where it Counts: Last year Farm Bureau members worked together to address community challenges such as hunger, water quality and the environment, youth and adult education, wellness, sustaining local foods and more. 


Philanthropy – Working at the Local Level: Philanthropy is defined as an act of goodwill to promote humanitarian purposes. Today’s foundations are more than just traditional charities; they’re organizations that allow stakeholders to leverage a variety of resources to make life better.  They engage everyone – not just the wealthiest residents.

The Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation is another asset helping Farm Bureau members employ close to a century of collective experience that helps farmers and their neighbors work together to get things done.   What grantsmanship, scholarship, community service and charitable programs would you like to see developed? How can your county Farm Bureau utilize these philanthropic assets to enhance programs that help the local community?

Additional information/materials on this subject:

  • Strong Foundation: Farm Bureau Foundation Relaunches with New Campaign: Initiatives like the Buckeye Lake project are the root of the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation’s new fundraising campaign – Strong Foundation. The organization has a rich history awarding scholarships to students pursuing agriculture studies and awarding grants on the local level for agricultural initiatives.


Farm Safety: Many say a farming operation is a business. Should farmers have safety plans for their farms, the same as commercial and/or light industrial businesses in the community? What points for consideration and information resources do you feel should go into creating an individual farm’s safety plan?

Additional information/materials on this subject:

Eminent Domain – What is Negotiable: Eminent domain, or the power to take private property for public use, is used for all types of governmental projects, including the building of roads, the location of buildings and infrastructure, and the establishment of recreational or green space. With the proliferation of energy and utility service projects across the state, farmers and rural residents are discovering the eminent domain provisions might govern the right of access for some utility projects, but other issues that may arise as a part of the eminent domain are still highly negotiable. Along with protection of natural resources and repair/remediation standards, what other points for concern should farmers and rural residents consider when negotiating an appropriation of property, either through sale, long-term lease or easement agreement?

Additional information/materials on this subject:

  • Five Tips on Eminent Domain Situations: “Appropriation,” “eminent domain,” “condemnation” and “takings” are all terms that commonly refer to the government’s ability to take property for public use. However, there are limitations on this power from both the U.S. and Ohio Constitutions, as well as safeguards in the Ohio Revised Code, that protect landowners. Here are five important things to remember if you or your land becomes involved in an eminent domain situation.
  • Be Careful with Pipeline Easement Negotiations: Ohio’s natural gas and oil boom is resulting in a flurry of pipeline construction all over the state as well as complaints about high-pressure tactics from leasing agents. Landowners are advised to contact an attorney if approached about a pipeline easement, particularly if the agent is threatening the use of eminent domain. Unfortunately eminent domain is sometimes being brought up when it shouldn’t be, and Dale Arnold, OFBF’s director of energy, utility and local government policy. He has some helpful information about pipeline easements and what to do if leasing agents are being too aggressive.
  • Eminent Domain? Not so Fast.


Remember, you are not limited to these materials Feel free to discuss additional topics and issues generated from the local newspaper, other publications and/or key events happening in your neighborhood.  Additional information on possible discussion topics and resources can be found on the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation website.


Keep in Touch with Farm Bureau

Need some additional help? Contact your county Farm Bureau office for assistance.  Please let Amy Hurst know if you need more forms or have questions via e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 614.246.8262.

Remember to send your council meeting forms and correspondence directly to your county Farm Bureau.

Many of Farm Bureau’s action plans started with conversation around a kitchen table, living room or front porch; lively discussion continues to develop using web applications, too. Your participation as a community council member makes sure that our organization continues to focus on critical issues, create better policy and helps people work together to get things done.


Download the full January – April Discussion Packet.


Learn more about community councils.


Download the springsummer and fall 2015 packets.