AgriPOWER Class VII session 7: Conclusion to an amazing program

The highlight of session seven of AgriPOWER for me was getting to put our hands in the dirt and make a small difference in the Highland Youth Garden. I have always loved the idea of a community garden – the way it brings people together for a common goal, gets kids and families involved in where their food comes from and gives back to the people who need fresh food and may not have access to it otherwise. We were given the opportunity to give this garden a spring cleaning in two hours so the kids can jump in with both feet and start their growing season. The volunteer gardener, Bill, has a clear passion for both the kids and the garden, which makes it even more rewarding to give some of our time to them.

After getting somewhat cleaned up from the garden, it was time to get back to work, sharing our community projects and looking to the future of our farms and businesses with help from an AgriPOWER alum – Kent Jorgensen. He gave us all very useful information in regard to estate planning and the multitude of ways you can protect your farm and pass it to the next generation.

This session was packed with AgriPOWER alums we were given the chance to network with at dinner. And we spent the following morning with fellow alum Marlene Eick. Marlene was instrumental in setting us on the path to leadership success and helping guide us in the way to advance in any organization or business.

In all, session seven was a worthwhile conclusion to an amazing program. We have covered all aspects of government, learned about all types of agriculture and learned more about who we are and what we bring to the table. All of this was brought together in session seven and tied AgriPOWER up into a nice, neat bow ready for us to take to the next level and implement into our counties and Ohio Farm Bureau.

Apply for AgriPOWER Class VIII by April 15.

Read more from other AgriPOWER Class VII participant

Session 1 blogs

Vicky Shaw discussed her experience in the program’s first session learning about her strength and picking up public speaking tips.

Angela Shoemaker discussed her experience in the program’s first session and learning to step out of her comfort zone.

Session 2 blogs

Chris Kick blogged about interacting with the media and being an effective spokesperson.

Sara Campbell wrote about using storytelling in conversations with consumers and visiting Turner Farms.

Session 3 blogs

Josh Henderson blogged about truly having a voice in Washington.

Libby Bender shared her experience meeting with the authors of the EPA’s WOTUS rule and meeting with her congressman.

Heidi White wrote about learning more about trade at the New Zealand Embassy.

Session 4 blogs

Lara Staples wrote about learning what state government and the people who run it are really like.

Stephanie Leis blogged about the speakers from session 4 and their connection to agriculture.

Jenny Meyer discussed inspiration to share her story more.

Session 5 blogs

Jeff Adams blogged about learning more about tax law and CAUV.

Shelly Detwiler wrote about local government, school funding and oil and gas production.

Session 6 blogs

Matt Schlegel wrote about some of the  peanut and cotton harvesting equipment the class saw on their trip to South Carolina.

Steven Ruggles shared what he learned about vegetable farming in South Carolina and the similarities and difference between vegetable farming and grain farming.

Jami Willard of Columbus wrote about the whirlwind tour of South Carolina’s agriculture that Class VII experienced.

Session 7 blogs

Elaine Beekman of Wellington blogged about this final session not being the end of the learning from AgriPOWER.

Kayla Jones of Newark wrote about volunteering at Highland Youth Garden during the final session.

Mandy Way of Chillicothe blogged about her experience in AgriPOWER reviving her passion for agriculture.


Meet other Class VII graduates.


AgriPOWER is an elite training program designed to help participants become community leaders and advocates for agriculture.



Kayla Jones of Newark is one of 19 farmers and agribusiness professionals who graduated from Ohio Farm Bureau’s AgriPOWER Institute, Class VII. Jones is director of CAUV and ag district programs and deputy director of oil and gas taxation for the Licking County Auditor’s office. She is president of Licking County Farm Bureau, on the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation board of directors, secretary of Utica FFA Alumni and has a small beef cattle and hay operation.

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