Thanks to the efforts of Ohio Farm Bureau volunteers and staff, the organization had an increase in active membership for the 2017 membership year. OFBF had an increase of 2,146 active members, bringing the total to 63,605. Active members are farmers and others whose jobs or livelihoods are directly impacted by health of the agricultural industry.
“Our campaign theme ‘Together with Farmers’ helped our volunteers, organization directors and state staff deliver a compelling message about the mission of our organization,” said Paul Lyons, senior director of membership. “I am very proud of their efforts to communicate this message and their commitment to grow our organization. That commitment shows in our results.”
A record 15 Farm Bureau members earned the Murray Lincoln award – named after OFBF’s first executive secretary – for signing up 50 or more new members. That’s nearly double the number from last year.
Sixty-three county membership coordinators reached their campaign goal of 4 percent active membership growth. In addition, 59 members earned the Ambassador Club award for signing a minimum of 10 new members.
OFBF staff and volunteers are already starting on the 2018 membership campaign, which kicked off April 1. The membership year is now divided into three semesters: April 1 to July 31, Aug. 1 to Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 to March 31. The primary focus for county volunteers is the third semester when they are typically not as busy with their farms or businesses.
“For county Farm Bureau volunteers, they’re now being asked to put their energy into the last semester instead of trying to do it all year. They’ll still be signing up members throughout the year when opportunities arise, but the emphasis for them is really those last four months,” Lyons said. “This new structure will give the volunteers more time to plan events and build their membership team for the push in the last semester.”
Murray Lincoln winners and the number of members signed:
- Sparky Weilnau, Erie County (180)
- Bruce Patterson, Portage County (84)
- Susan Shoup, Wayne County (63)
- Ervin Raber, Holmes County (62)
- Brian Nusbaum, Defiance County (58)
- Levi Richards, Wood County (57)
- Chris Weaver, Williams County (55)
- Marilyn Morrison, Darke County (53)
- Dean Shoup, Wayne County (52)
- John Fitzpatrick, Wayne County (52)
- Michael Ralph, Marion County (52)
- Daniel Stevenson, Defiance County (52)
- Barbara Biery, Mahoning County (51)
- Hal Brehm, Fulton County (51)
- Paul Morrison, Darke County (50)