In 19 years of answering reporters’ questions about farming, I’ve had some doozies. A favorite: the young reporter who was certain he had a scoop on a horrible “crop disaster.” The lush, green cornfields he’d seen in July had mysteriously turned dry and brown by November. His genuine question: “What happened?”

Well, there’s been an uptick in the “what happened” questions of late, but not about crops. They’re about what happened Nov. 8.

President Donald Trump’s election put Ohio and Farm Bureau on the radar for national news organizations. So far, The New York Times, NBC News and Politico have called to ask what farmers think about the president’s views on trade, immigration and other policies. However, their curiosity goes deeper. They’re intrigued by the rural Americans who swept Trump into office.

These experienced reporters wanted insight, someone who could interpret what it means to be rural and more specifically a farmer. They asked for explanations, but what they need are introductions.

Mainstream media won’t be equipped to ponder your politics until they are exposed to your culture, a culture rooted in personal responsibility, civic duty, a connection to nature and a bond with generations past and future…and, a passion for defending those values. Good reporters will come to appreciate that in farm country, you can’t understand the politics until you understand the people.

Are you willing to help? When USA Today or the Wall Street Journal calls me, can I call you? Consider it. The national media seems inclined to correct their mistake of ignoring the heartland. We have a unique opportunity to help shape their upcoming narrative. We’ll have some successes and some missteps with the newly agri-curious, but I can think of no one better to put a face on rural America than the members of Ohio Farm Bureau.

Farm Bureau members who would like to be added to my call list, email me at [email protected] or call 614-246-8241.

 Caption: Joe Cornely, left, with Ohio media in Washington, D.C.

Ohio Farm Bureau membership

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

Farm Labor Resources
I appreciate the benefit of having a strong voice in my corner. The extras that are included in membership are wonderful, but I'm a member because of the positive impact to my local and state agricultural communities.
Ernie Welch's avatar
Ernie Welch

Van Wert County Farm Bureau

Strong communities
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
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
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
Knowing that horticulture is under the agriculture umbrella and having Farm Bureau supporting horticulture like it does the rest of ag is very important.
Jared Hughes's avatar
Jared Hughes

Groovy Plants Ranch

Groovy Plants Ranch
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

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