When applying to take part in AgriPOWER, I thought I had an idea of what to expect in the experience by looking through the promotional materials and talking with past graduates. I was very eager to get out of my comfort zone in rural central Ohio to travel throughout the state to see firsthand the large variety of agriculture Ohio holds and to become a better advocate. It wasn’t until the second session after we had completed the ‘basics’ in session one of the introductions, orientation, and personal assessments that I realized what adventure I was in for with Class VIII.
Melinda does a fabulous job of putting together very impressive agendas each session. Each session is filled with a wide variety of engaging hot topics, unique farm visits, and expert industry speakers. It is safe to say AgriPOPWER is one of the only programs where you get the chance to meet with state representatives, visit an Ohio Supreme Court justice, tour the Ohio Department of Agriculture, visit a pasture-raised livestock farm and hear from an Ohio commodity association all within 24-48 hours. No minute is spared – I appreciate Farm Bureau for making great use of the time we as students committed to the program.
Thinking back through to the beginning, I cannot pick a favorite session. Each session and location had its own agendas that set them apart from the rest. One thing I did not expect from the class was to get so much input from one another within the sessions and during ‘AgriPOWER Afterhours.’
We all have different experiences and backgrounds within the ag industry. When discussing hot topics such as water quality, GMOs, and policy it was surprising to see and discuss other’s viewpoints I don’t get the chance to connect with back home.
I am grateful for the opportunity to have taken part in AgriPOWER Class VIII. It has been an overall very diverse experience of becoming a better advocate of agriculture.