Michele Specht is organization director for Carroll, Harrison, Jefferson and Tuscarawas counties. In this role, she is a liaison between 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.
Specht is an Ohio State University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture, dairy science.
What is something you can point to that has been accomplished thanks to the joint efforts of farmers and community members in your area?
All of my counties are very community minded:
- Tuscarawas County raising funds for Community Hospice ( $62,000 in the last four years).
- Jefferson County educating 40 Boy Scouts to earn their Merit Badges in ag and natural resources related areas.
- Harrison County sponsoring the FFA Career Day and Chicken BBQ, and
- Carroll County educating the community about agriculture at the annual Tailgate to Touchdowns event.
What is your favorite Farm Bureau member benefit?
Accidental Death and Specific Loss Benefit. Being able to present a check to a member’s loved one after an accidental death is very meaningful to me.
Tell us about one big project one of your counties has planned or has recently conducted.
In the most recent reports, Ohio had the country’s most deaths related to heroin: One in 9 heroin deaths across the United States happened in Ohio. The Buckeye State also recorded the most deaths from synthetic opioids: About 1 in 14 U.S. deaths. This is not just an urban issue, it is a rural issue. Working on current county policy, our county Farm Bureaus have initiated meetings with Ohio FFA and local FFA chapters, Ohio 4-H and county 4-H educators, our local Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Board, Ohio Drug Alliance, State Rep. Al Landis and other partners to develop a program to prevent alcohol and opioid abuse in our youth. I am very excited about the possibility of making a difference in this important issue.