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2017 Spring/Summer Community Council Discussion Guide

The Spring/Summer 2017 Discussion Guide for Community Councils includes six discussion guides, giving groups a few options for meetings scheduled throughout summer and into the fall. Participation from community council members makes sure that Ohio Farm Bureau continues to focus on critical issues, create better policy and help people work together to get things done.

Rural Communities and Agricultural Finance: Less need for brick and mortar facilities, new technology and potential one-size-fits-all banking regulations provide several challenges for community banking. Over the past three decades half of all banks have been closed or consolidated. The majority of these institutions are located in rural areas. Guide

Getting Involved in Government: America’s government provides a process where citizens ca collectively pool resources, address problems, capitalize on opportunities and create strategies enhancing the common good. Separation of Powers and Checks and Balances ensures that no one branch of government can be the dominant ruling authority for the nation. Some political pundits are saying that this concept needs to be redefined. Others say that the system is working as our founding leaders intended. As citizens with an interest in public affairs, where do we need to go, and what adjustments, if any, do we need to make from here? Guide

Farm Bureau Today and Tomorrow: Farm Bureau is recognized as the Voice of Agriculture. As the organization enters a new century, what values do your community council members identify as the basic foundation for the organization, and what challenges and opportunities do you see for the future? Guide

Homeland Security at the Local Level: Homeland Security is a broad effort at all levels of government to protect US territory from hazards, both internal and external, natural and man-made. What aspects of homeland security do members of your community council see as important issues to address for farms, agribusinesses and your neighborhood? Guide

Rural Water Systems: Small and rural water and wastewater utilities make up the majority of the nation’s systems. They face a variety of challenges including replacement of aging infrastructure, addressing potential drought and water scarcity, as well as water quality standards and regulations. While support for these systems can come from the USDA Rural Utility Service and other resources, more work needs to be done to support infrastructure and equipment preservation, staff training, and regulation compliance, all while maintaining customer expectations and satisfaction. Guide

Wineries, Craft Brewing and Craft Distilling: Wine, craft beer, and craft distilling are growing. Growth has been fueled by the development of hardy varieties of grapes, hops and grains and consumer interest. Many in the food and beverage industry leaders agree that this area of production should no longer be considered a hobby industry. Guide

 

Councils are not limited to these materials – Feel free to discuss additional topics and issues generated from the local newspaper, other publications and/or key events happening in area neighborhoods.

Keep in touch with Farm Bureau

Need some additional help? Contact your county Farm Bureau office for assistance.

Councils can access the council rostermeeting summary sheet and activity sheet forms online.

Remember to send council meeting forms and correspondence directly to the county Farm Bureau.

Many of Farm Bureau’s action plans started with conversation around a kitchen table, living room or front porch; lively discussion continues to develop using web applications, too.

To join a community council, contact the county Farm Bureau office.

Ohio Farm Bureau membership