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Giving Where it Counts: 2015 county project highlights, funded by your membership

For many Farm Bureau members, becoming an engaged member is a simple act, such as opening up Our Ohio magazine, attending a meeting or reading an e-newsletter. But for other members who volunteer hundreds of hours, donate their own money or otherwise support a local cause, membership engagement rises to a higher level. 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. Your membership dollars helped make it possible. Following are project highlights from 2015. Here’s the really good news: 2016 promises more great projects and membership engagement opportunities like these.

 

Fulton County Farm Bureau Breakfast on the Farm
More than 3,500 visitors enjoyed a free breakfast on a local dairy to learn about food production and introduce visitors to farm families. Participants visited 17 educational stations, and data collected after the event showed the program had a significant impact in helping people better understand food safety, water quality and animal care issues.

Knox County Farm Bureau Ohio Nutrient Management Record Keeper (ONMrK)
The county Farm Bureau and local Soil and Water Conservation District came up with the idea for a free mobile app that will help farmers comply with two new state laws that further regulate manure application and create a fertilizer applicator certification program. The project received more than $30,000 in grant money from Ohio Farm Bureau’s County Water Quality Initiative Program, the Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Ohio State University Extension and the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District. The app is available at onmrk.com.

Multi-County Farm Bureaus the Life of a Cow
Nine area county Farm Bureaus (Auglaize, Champaign, Clark, Darke, Logan, Mercer, Miami, Shelby and Union) joined their resources to purchase a life-size fiberglass milk cow. “Elsa” the cow has visited more than 60 events in 1 ½ years and helped both dispel food myths and teach young and old alike about the source of their food.

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Clermont County Farm Bureau Thanksgiving Food Basket Giveaway
This project provided a Thanksgiving food basket for those in need. Farm Bureau helped organize the event, purchased the food and distributed the baskets. Last year about 30 volunteers helped distribute more than 500 baskets, reaching over 3,000 individuals. Clermont County worked with the Wild Turkey Federation, 4-H clubs, YWCA and elected officials on this ninth annual event.

Pike County Farm Bureau Farm”er”taining Ag Tour
The goal of this first-year event was to increase attendance at the county Farm Bureau’s annual meeting as well as invite non-members on two ag tours to introduce them to Farm Bureau. The annual meeting and entertainment were held after the second tour at a family friendly venue. The event tripled annual meeting attendance.

Athens-Meigs County Farm Bureau Agriculture Awareness Day
This event brought 600 fourth-graders to the Athens County Fairgrounds for a hands-on learning experience that connected them to farmers, food and nature. Event partners included FFA, county Extension, county Soil and Water Conservation District, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, local farmers and ag organizations. A food drive resulted in 500 pounds of food donated to a food pantry.

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Trumbull and Mahoning County Farm Bureaus Farmers and Friends

Farmers and Friends was a multi-county local farm-to-table event designed to introduce individual county Farm Bureau leaders to Ohio’s second largest regional Chamber of Commerce. The chamber recently announced a partnership with the Farm Bureaus in the region. Through the event, leaders from both organizations had the opportunity to network and gain a better understanding of the need for cooperation and how vital each organization is to the region.

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Jefferson County Farm Bureau Straight From The Heart Women’s Wellness Event
Local volunteers became keenly aware of area women who have or are battling illnesses. In response the county planned an event that included education on wellness and cancer prevention measures.

Marion County Farm Bureau Film on the Farm Fridays
Film on the Farm Fridays was a series of film nights for community members hosted by Marion County farm families. There were animals to pet as well as farm equipment to learn about. Films such as “Babe” and “Farmland” were shown.

Union County Farm Bureau Field to Fork Cocktails and Conversations
Field to Fork Cocktails and Conversations was a joint venture between the local foods council and Farm Bureau in Union County. The goal of the event was to create conversations about food and agriculture within the community, while diners took part in one of three on-farm meals. The meals created a unique experience on local farms, where diners met farmers and saw how and why they do what they do, while enjoying a great gourmet meal of locally sourced foods with friends.

Ross County Farm Bureau Farm Factor
Ross County Farm Bureau’s Farm Factor was a progressive dinner with four farm stops throughout the county. During each of the four dinner courses, guests met the farm owners and learned about the operation and various agricultural facts.

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Licking County Farm Bureau 
Young Family Farm Connections, Wine and Shine Tour
The third annual Young Family Farm Connections event, which rotates among a five-county area, featured two local wineries and a local distillery. Attendees got to cork and label their own bottle of wine, meet the owners of the businesses and learn about these industries and their local connections. After the tours, the evening ended with dinner, networking time and a showing of the movie “Farmland.”

 

Published in the January/February 2016 issue of Our Ohio.

Stay connected with and support great food and farm stories like this by becoming an Our Ohio Supporter. For just $25 a year, you can stay connected with Ohio food and farm stories while supporting local foods and community outreach.

 

Callie Wells 

Callie Wells is the director of digital communications for Ohio Farm Bureau.