Growing up, one piece of advice my parents gave me was to keep company with people who can have a positive impact on your life. I like to listen to good advice, and I’ve been doing a lot of that lately since I was named Ohio Farm Bureau’s new executive vice president. This is my first column, and I’m looking forward to connecting with and then introducing members who are making a difference.
So that piece of advice about spending time with great people came to mind recently when I met the team behind Farm Bureau’s exhibit at the Ohio State Fair. The Land and Living exhibit is a huge undertaking. The space is 371 feet by 96.5 feet with 26 exhibits and welcomes tens of thousands of fairgoers for the duration of the 12-day fair. That work is led by a group of interns, we call them ambassadors, who manage the entire project.
Because I want to use this column to do more showing than telling, I thought I’d share a few photos of our outstanding ambassador group and a little about some of their career plans.
Involving young leaders like this in our work at Farm Bureau is helping the next generation become part of our food and farm community. It is also a reminder there are fantastic young people in the world. You should feel good about your membership supporting them.
An important self-imposed goal in my new job is getting out to every county throughout the next year to meet and talk with members about our organization. I’d also like to use social media to connect with members, too. I invite you to visit my Facebook page at fb.me/AdamSharpFarmBureau.
Let’s start a long and productive conversation here, across the table.
Haley Kocher from Crawford County and a student at Ohio State has a dream of starting a farm camp for kids, based on her experience working for Stratford Ecological Center in Delaware. Her work at the state fair will undoubtedly provide new ideas as well. Haley also worked at the farm market at Pickwick Place in Bucyrus this summer.
Erin Jennings is a high school student at Felicity Franklin in Clermont County, but she already has a career goal of advocating for agriculture “on a professional basis.” That’s code for lobbying. Not long ago, Erin met Yvonne Lesicko, Farm Bureau’s new vice president of public policy, who inspired this career path and now Erin has a mentor to guide her along.
Kayla Orso from Hamilton County recently received her bachelor’s degree in animal sciences and this fall will start work on a master’s degree in veterinary public health. She wants to study zoonotic diseases (these are diseases that can be spread between humans and animals, such as rabies or West Nile virus). Before this summer she had never been to the Ohio State Fair, and the experience helped her realize there’s “a place for everybody in agriculture.”
Milan Pozderac from Knox County will be a freshman at Ohio State this fall majoring in environmental sciences. He wants to be a soil scientist and help farmers with sustainable farming practices. Milan won a national FFA award in soil science in 2015.
Planning for Farm Bureau’s Land and Living exhibit at the 2016 Ohio State Fair was tasked to interns, opposite page from left, Kara Griffith of Clark County, Mallorie Wippel of Pickaway County and lead intern Lauren Corry of Greene County. These young ladies spent months planning and executing the activities in the Nationwide Donahey Ag & Hort Building during the fair.
Featured Image Caption: New Ohio Farm Bureau Executive Vice President Adam Sharp takes a selfie with Farm Bureau ambassadors and future agricultural professionals who spent countless hours working for Ohio Farm Bureau at the Nationwide Donahey Ag & Hort Building during the annual Ohio State Fair.
Originally published in the September/October 2016 issue of Our Ohio Magazine.