Melinda Lee is organization director for Champaign, Clark, Darke and Miami counties. In this role, she is a liaison between the county Farm Bureaus and Ohio Farm Bureau. She assists county groups as they develop and implement programs to strengthen their organizations, serve members and affect positive change in their communities.
Lee is a graduate of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences where she majored in animal sciences and agribusiness. Before working with Farm Bureau, she was at Aldermere Farm, a program of Maine Coast Heritage Trust in Rockport, Maine. Her role at Aldermere involved planning and facilitating agricultural educational programs for members and the public as well as working with youth involved in the farm’s 4-H program.
What is something you can point to that has been accomplished thanks to the joint efforts of farmers and community members in your area?
Miami County Farm Bureau partnered with the local park district to host a Movie on the Farm, in conjunction with the district’s Fall Farm Festival in 2016 and has plans for 2017 as well. The movie will be projected on the side of the barn and we encourage our members and the public to attend. During the festival we provide agriculture activities for the kids and adults to learn more about where their food comes from. Our local Nationwide Agent Mike Fearon also partnered with us and had a booth at the festival. This event is about community. It is about the fact that we are asking the public, not just members, to join us for an event that is fun, but also creates understanding with the nonfarming community about what agriculture looks like in the current year. We want them to feel that they can have an open dialogue with us and if they have a question about agriculture they can remember their experience at the Fall Farm Festival and Movie on the Farm and think that we might be able to answer their questions.
What is your favorite Farm Bureau member benefit?
Tell us about one big project one of your counties has planned or has recently conducted.
Darke County Farm Bureau recently partnered with Rural King in Greenville for a Farm Bureau Day. This event was held as a final membership push for the 2017 campaign. County trustees Paul and Marilyn Morrison were the force behind this event and a large part of why it was such a success. The county board was supportive of the idea and many helped with planning the event and during. The event allowed prospective Farm Bureau members to talk to current members and learn about Farm Bureau and the benefits of joining. From the efforts that day, seven new members were signed. The day included a live radio broadcast by WTGR 97.5 The Tiger. During the live two-hour radio broadcast, four winners were chosen to receive $25 gift cards to Rural King. Visitors were able to enjoy free hot dogs, hamburgers, and ice cream. Thank you to Rural King for being a great partner on this new venture. We can’t wait for next year.