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Nine tips for starting a local YAP group

Interested in starting a Young Ag Professionals group in your area but aren’t sure how to start? Here are some tips from those who have successfully set up their own YAP program.

• Have the support of at least one young farmer in your county. The more support the better!

• Talk to your county organization director, county Farm Bureau board and county Extension educator about your thoughts and goals for a YAP group.

• Develop a list of all prospective Young Ag Professionals in your county. Possible sources: Farm Bureau member list, past YAP winter conference and Washington, D.C. trip attendees, graduating seniors with an ag interest and other farm organizations’ lists.

• Set date, time and place for an organizational meeting.

• Develop a core committee (4-6 people) to establish the program and contact prospective members.

• Send out follow-up information regarding the meeting time, date and location.

• At the first planning meeting:
– Invite your organization director or a state YAP committee member to talk about the YAP program overall.
– Establish a YAP member to lead the meeting.
– Determine the interest in starting a YAP program.
– Plan the agenda for the first local YAP meeting or gathering.
– Set time, date and location for the next meeting.

• Involve each member in a committee.

• Once your local group is established, become involved at the state level and with other county YAP groups.

Ohio Farm Bureau and the state Young Ag Professionals committee has developed a manual to help you get started.

See current YAP groups.

Amy Graves 

Amy Graves is a freelance writer from Franklin County.