A rich, valuable experience

I am a member of OFBFs AgriPOWER Class VIII. Over the past eight months we participated in seven dynamic leadership development sessions. From classroom experiences like strengthening our personal skills, to experiential opportunities to places like Washington, D.C., our time together has been rich and valuable!

AgriPOWER is a program specifically focused on the agriculture industry to build strong community leaders – and it works! If you are so inclined to take your career or passion for agriculture to the next level, this program is an excellent starting point. For me, there was no light bulb flashing, no anvil dropping on my head, but immediately after session one, I noticed subtle, but impactful, changes in my decision making, confidence and point of view.

Each session met its objectives with learning and doing activities. We discovered our personal strengths by participating in exercises like the Myers-Briggs, Strength Finder and Emotional Intelligence assessments. We began by learning our personal strengths and how to improve those on our path to leadership. As an INTJ (Introversion, Intuition, Thinking, Judging) type, I really enjoyed the classroom time and personal development work. I love learning and I am always working toward self improvement.

Through numerous field trips and speakers, we learned about the inner workings of Ohio Farm Bureau and American Farm Bureau. We explored the power and process of policy creation in our industry. We witnessed this in real-time by visiting Washington, D.C. and the state capital in Columbus. A true attribute of Farm Bureau is that it grew from real, grassroots democracy in action! AgriPOWER brought this to life for me. I have a background in political science, so the Washington trip was an incredible experience for me, and it truly highlights the collective power of Farm Bureau!

We visited many amazing farms and agribusinesses during our journey. I can’t pick a favorite, but what I will say is that through AgriPOWER I discovered the enormous amount of diversity in agriculture, both in the people and the agribusinesses. This diversity is powerful. It is what feeds our world and it’s what makes our industry so important – so noble! It’s easy to look at what makes us different and use that to divide us, but I can clearly see now that what makes us different is exactly what should unite us, because no matter how different we are, like wild flowers in a meadow or pigs in a litter, we share our roots in agriculture and in the land we farm.

I am so grateful to Farm Bureau to have had the opportunity to be part of this program.


Tracy Emrick is executive director of Countryside Conservancy, an agricultural nonprofit. She is an active board member of Summit County Farm Bureau and serves as a member of Ohio Farm Bureau’s Issue Advisory Teams.

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