Linda Ayres-Louiso of West Union is one of 24 farmers and agribusiness professionals selected for the 2016-2017 AgriPOWER Leadership Institute Class VIII. AgriPOWER Institute is Ohio Farm Federation’s elite training program designed to help participants become community leaders and advocates for agriculture. Over the course of a year, they will learn about local, state and federal public policy topics important to the agricultural and food industry.
For 40 years, Ayres-Louiso has worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development, formerly the Farmers Home Administration. She currently supervises the single family housing loan division in Hillsboro. Since 1983, she has been involved with the family’s grain and registered Angus cattle operation. She has been a 4-H advisor for 10 years and served as an advisory member of the Ohio Valley FFA.
AgriPOWER’s leadership training helps class members develop important skills necessary to becoming effective leaders and advocates, including spokesperson and media training, etiquette training, social networking, communications and more. Seven, two-to-three day training sessions are held throughout the year with one in Washington, D.C. to help class members gain a valuable understanding of national and global issues. Another training session will be in Georgia so participants can learn about the differences and similarities in agriculture from state to state.
“Ohio Farm Bureau started AgriPOWER in 2008 because it recognized a need for leaders who can be advocates for the food and agricultural industries,” said Melinda Witten, AgriPOWER director. “Over the years, AgriPOWER graduates have taken the training they received and applied it to their businesses, communities and ag industry. They’ve really stood out with their leadership whether it’s at a township meeting or at a meeting with their member of Congress in Washington.”
In addition to Ohio Farm Bureau, AgriPOWER partners include Nationwide Insurance, Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation, Heartland Bank, Champaign Premium Grain Growers, Ohio FFA Foundation, Farm Credit Mid-America, Wright & Moore Law Co. LPA, Agland Co-op, Ag Credit, Bob Evans, Southern Ohio Agricultural & Community Development Foundation and Farm Bureaus in Hancock, Licking, Lucas, Pickaway, Shelby, Stark, Summit, Union and Wyandot counties.
For additional information about AgriPOWER, visit ofb.ag/agripower.
This is a news release for use by journalists. Questions should be directed to Melinda Witten, 614-519-8761.
Editors: A high resolution photo is available to accompany this story.