By Haley Davis, AgriPOWER Class VIII participant
“First, you tuck their head under their wing like this, hold ‘em tight, and shake, shake. Now he’s asleep!” said Matt Ellis, owner of Cherrybend Pheasant Farm. Ellis was showing our group how he captures and puts pheasants in a sleep-like trance in order to place the pheasants in cover to release them prior to a hunt. Cherrybend Pheasant Farm is a fully operational pheasant, chukkar and quail hunting operation in Clinton County that also has a plethora of grain and cover crop for the birds. We joined Matt and his wife Beth on a tour of their expansive 640 acre farm, and though the day was frigid, it’s safe to say this tour was the highlight of Session Five. Who knew pheasants are raised with blinders to prevent them from pulling out one another’s brilliant plumage? (picture on front of the website posting is of a sleeping pheasant).
Prior to our sub-zero farm tour, Session Five of AgriPOWER focused on local government, and our class was able to hear from an array of local officials: county commissioners, engineers, trustees, city council members, auditor, to name a few. This up-close and personal encounter allowed us to pry into the day-to-day lives of county officials, learn their individual duties and how they coexist with other officials within the county, and it granted us the insight on how to approach our own local officials.
Stop Two on our agenda brought us briefly through the arctic air and to a charming meeting space where we were greeted by warm coffee and delectable cookies. Originally a grain, feed and fertilizer company, John Surber of Premier Solutions explained that to be successful in this world, you have to get bigger, get out or get Amish. And getting bigger is just what the company did — now it is involved in shipping livestock internationally and raising hogs and expanding its feed and fertilizer business.
To wrap up an eventful session, we were enlightened by Dr. King about Change Style Preferences. Though we may have walled up and defended the honor of our change preferences in four separate groups, in the end, we all had to channel our inner goat and plow through the field of change that is inevitable. Feelings and goats aside, the unity of AgriPOWER Class VIII only strengthens through each and every session as we change the Ag world one county at a time.
Session 5 blogs
Taxes, pheasants and The Nature Conservancy were all part of Rita Myers‘ blog.
Jessica Parrish describes growing as a leader through AgriPOWER.
Session 4 blogs
Jessica Draganic talks about meeting Ohio Supreme Court Justice Judy French and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.
Ryan Conklin describes living the “suite life” and the friends and connections made through AgriPOWER.
Session 3 blogs
“Partaking in the political process” was the theme of Seth Middleton‘s blog.
Nate Bair learned about trade and the next farm bill on the Washington, D.C. trip.
“Mr. Smith, er Mr. Green goes to Washington” by Dave Green.
Session 2 blogs
Andy Hollenback talked about the insight the group received from agricultural leaders.
Racine Ramsey was impressed with the advice from ag communications experts on how to be effective agvocates.
J.D. Winteregg‘s take on how working as a team will move you forward.
Session 1 blogs
Jan Shannon talked about how AgriPOWER participants come from diverse backgrounds but share a passion for agriculture.
Nathan Vandenbroek shared how participants discovered what drives their strengths and how to mange their weaknesses.
Tracy Emrick described how AgriPOWER will help her and other participants become more effective leaders and spokespeople for the ag industry.
AgriPOWER is inspiring Linda Ayres-Louiso to be a better leader.