by Jan Shannon, AgriPOWER Class VIII participant
AgriPOWER VIII began on July 22 with 24 excited participants from all over the state of Ohio. Our first exercise was getting to learn a little bit about each person in the class from a very brief slide show presentation. It became apparent from the beginning that we were quite a diverse group but agriculture was something we all shared a passion for.
In addition to getting to know each other, we also had the opportunity to meet the OFBF Cabinet. It was nice to have one last opportunity to hear from Jack Fisher prior to his retirement as well as listen to Adam Sharp as he begins his new position with OFBF. This is a transitional time with OFBF and it will be fun to be part of what is happening to continue to make agriculture strong in Ohio.
Since Farm Bureau was the beginning of what is now Nationwide Insurance, it seemed appropriate we get a tour of the Nationwide facility. This is a fascinating organization with deep roots in Ohio and it is fitting it is rooted to agriculture.
To better understand ourselves and working with others, the group participated in Strengths Finder, Emotional Intelligence, and Meyers Briggs workshops conducted by John Torres with AFBF. We also had the opportunity to learn proper dinning etiquette with Katy Endsley.
With the assistance of John Torres and Marlene Eick, the group was given public speaking tips. Additionally, we individually were able to present our speeches and were critiqued so that we would be more comfortable in the future speaking to groups. The one tip that seemed to be the most advantageous for many was to make sure we are telling a story!
The session wrapped up on Saturday with Chris Baker talking about the importance of philanthropy and Bill Kline speaking on the Highland Community Garden and what an opportunity that has been to break down barriers through an agricultural experience.