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

Farm Bureau is an incredible organization that has given me countless professional development opportunities in addition to advocating for all sizes and types of farmers.
Shana Angel's avatar
Shana Angel

Tuscarawas County Farm Bureau

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, D.C.
Austin Heil's avatar
Austin Heil

Hardin County Farm Bureau

Washington, D.C. Leadership Experience
Through its policies it brings together people in the agricultural community and invests in building vibrant communities that support agriculture.
Eric Bernstein 's avatar
Eric Bernstein

Wyandot County Farm Bureau

Future employees, leaders
If you have issues with local planning or have legal questions, someone at the Farm Bureau has the answer for you, or they’ll connect you with someone who does.
Gayle Hansen's avatar
Gayle Hansen

Cuyahoga County Farm Bureau

Hansen's Greenhouse
As a member of Farm Bureau, I am glad that this organization takes action when necessary to protect and advance agriculture.
Mary Smallsreed's avatar
Mary Smallsreed

Trumbull County Farm Bureau

Policy Development
We go to a lot of Farm Bureau events, and there’s a lot of camaraderie built because you’re meeting with people who have similar interests and goals.
Andy Hollenback's avatar
Andy Hollenback

Licking County Farm Bureau

Event Calendar
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