By Jessica Parrish, AgriPOWER Class VIII participant

Another AgriPOWER session is in the books! This time we focused on local government. We met with county commissioners, township trustees, city council members and other local government officials. Throughout our AgriPOWER experience, we’ve learned about the federal and state governments. This session provided a unique local perspective to our learning. We appreciated hearing their stories of how they are trying to make their home communities better places.

One of the most interesting parts of this session was our tour of Cherrybend Pheasant Farm. Their pheasant operation includes raising the birds, running the hunting lodge and coordinating the hunts. We were all very impressed with their family-run operation!

We also enjoyed our change style preference workshop conducted by Dr. King. Learning about how each of us processes change was very interesting! To put our newfound knowledge to use, we also learned how to work with others who have differing change style preferences.

We concluded this session by hearing from Ms. Tracy Freeman of the Nature Conservancy. She has spent her career working to bring all parties together even when their opinions are on opposite sides of the issue. Within the agricultural industry, there are so many ways to apply her experiences. As we work to share our message, we need to work with individuals who have different opinions. Collaboration will be the key to fully sharing our story in the coming years.

Our AgriPOWER experience has been very diverse. We’ve seen all types of agricultural operations and learned about all levels of government. On top of that, we’ve grown as leaders and individuals.

I'm eternally grateful for the support Ohio Farm Bureau scholarships provided in helping me turn my dreams into reality.
Bethany Starlin's avatar
Bethany Starlin

Hocking County Farm Bureau

Available scholarships
I see the value and need to be engaged in the community I live in, to be a part of the decision-making process and to volunteer with organizations that help make our community better.
Matt Aultman's avatar
Matt Aultman

Darke County Farm Bureau

Leadership development
With not growing up on a farm, I’d say I was a late bloomer to agriculture. I feel so fortunate that I found the agriculture industry. There are so many opportunities for growth.
Jenna Gregorich's avatar
Jenna Gregorich

Coshocton County Farm Bureau

Growing our Generation
Labor has always been an issue, mainly because we are a seasonal operation. So that's a challenge finding somebody who only wants to work three months out of a year, sometimes up to six months.
Mandy Way's avatar
Mandy Way

Way Farms

Business Solutions
Farm Bureau involvement has taught me how to grow my professional and leadership experience outside of the workforce and how to do that in a community-centric way.
Jaclyn De Candio's avatar
Jaclyn De Candio

Clark County Farm Bureau

Young Ag Professionals program
If it wasn't for Farm Bureau, I personally, along with many others, would not have had the opportunity to meet with our representatives face to face in Washington.
Austin Heil's avatar
Austin Heil

Hardin County Farm Bureau

Washington, D.C. Leadership Experience
So many of the issues that OFBF and its members are advocating for are important to all Ohioans. I look at OFBF as an agricultural watchdog advocating for farmers and rural communities across Ohio.
Mary Smallsreed's avatar
Mary Smallsreed

Trumbull County Farm Bureau

Advocacy
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