Leadership is influence — AgriPOWER Session 1 blog

By Melinda Lee, AgriPOWER Class IX participant

The second week of July started Session 1 of AgriPOWER Class IX. This was an exciting session because we met the other participants with which we will go on this journey and become better leaders in agriculture. Session 1 started with getting to know our classmates. From this, I learned that we are all very different, but we all have one important thing in common: our passion for agriculture.

Adam Sharp, executive vice president of Ohio Farm Bureau, and Keith Stimpert, vice president of organization, kicked off the day by welcoming us to the program. A highlight from the first day was touring Nationwide learning about the Farm Bureau and Nationwide heritage. Farm Bureau created Nationwide Insurance as a benefit to farmer members and since then it has expanded to meet more needs.

Next, Lindsay Calvert, director of leadership development with American Farm Bureau, joined us in Columbus to conduct a workshop on Strengths Finder, Emotional Intelligence and Myers Briggs. She discussed with us the results of tests we had completed prior to starting Session 1. We learned about our signature themes and dove deeper into those themes to gain a greater understanding of our individual talents. We also learned about our personality types through the Myers Briggs personality indicator. Each personality type is different and Lindsay guided us in developing a better understanding of how we approach certain situations.

To wrap up day one, we had an etiquette dinner with Katy Endsley where she provided us with handy tips to remember while dinning with peers and colleagues.

Marlene Eick of Herdmark Media joined us on the second day and discussed defining leadership, as well as gave us public speaking tips. During Session 2, we will practice what we learned from Marlene by giving 2-3 minute remarks on a topic we choose. Finally, Chris Baker with the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation joined us and talked about the importance of philanthropy.

I am excited to take back the information learned at this first session and apply it to my personal and professional life. All of us are participating in this leadership program as an investment in ourselves and it is exciting to know that we are gaining knowledge to apply to our everyday lives, especially while sharing our passion for agriculture.   

Session 1 blogs

Eric Reed is excited about implementing the “Building Strong Communities” project.

JD Bethel talks about the strong partnership between Ohio Farm Bureau and Nationwide.