Furniss

Grassroots is the heart of Farm Bureau

As I posted many pictures to Facebook throughout the past year I spent participating in AgriPOWER VIII, friends asked, “What is that ag/farm thing you’re doing?” My answer: AgriPOWER is a leadership program sponsored through the Ohio Farm Bureau.”

That was the short answer. I learned volumes about agriculture: the science, the economics, the policy, the history and the future. I must admit, I never gave a lot of thought as to the true purpose of the Ohio Farm Bureau and very possiblly simply took it for granted. Well, my eyes are wide open now!

Most of know what grassroots means, however, the Ohio Farm Bureau takes this modest and humble phrase to the nth degree. Imagine farmers and ag business people from all over the state meeting once a year to establish policy for the organization. It is not done behind closed doors. It is not left up to some small, unnamed group of people. Ok, wait for it………….this is where the grassroots part comes in—policy is established from the collective action of everyday folks like you and me. This is bottom-up, rather than top-down decision making and it is the heart of the Farm Bureau.

Everywhere the Agripower VIII group went, we were greeted with compliments regarding the Ohio Farm Bureau. In Washington, D.C., we learned the American Farm Bureau is held is high esteem [and some envy] for its ability to work with both sides of the aisle. It was hard not to feel proud of being a very tiny part of this group!

Talking about the AgriPOWER experience would not be complete without mentioning the new relationships made throughout our time together. It’s humbling being part of a group of such hardworking people, and I think it’s safe to say that, at the end of the program, we all have each other’s back!

 

Jerri Furniss is a full-time realtor in Westerville and has a grain farm in Pickaway County. She is a member of the American Association of University Women, Columbus Realtors and Ohio Association of Realtors.