Ohio Farm Bureau welcomes AFBF President Zippy Duvall

Five farms, 180 miles and meeting with more than 100 members is the quick summary of a dawn-to-dusk road trip with American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall Tuesday Aug. 23. Duvall, who was elected to American Farm Bureau’s top job in January, has made it a priority to visit state Farm Bureaus. His visit to Ohio this week started in northeast Ohio and he wound his way to central Ohio.

Ohio Farm Bureau President Frank Burkett and Executive Vice President Adam Sharp spent much of the week with Duvall, introducing him to Farm Bureau members and showing him the diversity of Ohio agriculture.

In Duvall’s comments to members and Ohio Farm Bureau staff, the themes of agriculture unity and grassroots engagement were prevalent. “Regulation and farm labor are the two most important issues across the country. It just depends on what type of farm you are standing on as to which one is most important,” he said.

Duvall reiterated the importance of relaying firsthand policy examples from members to legislators as by far the best method of advocating for agriculture in Washington, D.C. “It’s like turning a light bulb on when members tell legislators their issues,” he said. Likewise, he emphasized the importance of farmers engaging directly with consumers as an important advocacy tactic and to not be afraid of getting out in front of the public. “It doesn’t take a speech,” he said. “They just want to hear from your heart.”

Hear more about Duvall’s vision for Farm Bureau on Town Hall Ohio. Farm and Dairy also covered his visit.

Farms visited:

Jeff Zellers, left, of K.W. Zellers and Sons, Inc. in Hartville, operates a fresh salad vegetable operation and is a past OFBF board member. He currently sits on the Nationwide board of directors. Also pictured is Duvall, right and his wife, Bonnie.














State President Frank Burkett’s dairy farm, Clardale Farms Inc., is a fourth generation family owned dairy with three generations involved with the operation. Picture, left to right, are David Vollnogle, Columbiana County Farm Bureau president; Tera Wentling, Stark County Farm Bureau president; AFBF President Zippy Duvall; Gale Betterly, Summit County Farm Bureau president and Burkett.















Boyert’s Greenhouse and Farm in Medina County is owned by OFBF board member Mike Boyert and his wife Patti.











Duvall visited Hord Family Farms in Crawford County where he participated in a reception for Sen. Rob Portman, who was presented with OFBF’s Friend of Agriculture award.












Leeds Farm in Delaware County is a large agritourism destination operated by Rob and Christy Leeds. The family was proponents of Ohio’s new agritourism law that offers protection for these types of farms.