Briggs Shoemaker is organization director for Athens-Meigs, Gallia and Lawrence counties. In this role, he is a liaison between the county Farm Bureaus and Ohio Farm Bureau. He assists county groups as they develop and implement programs to strengthen their organizations, serve members and affect positive change in their communities.
He has an associate’s degree in agricultural business from Ohio State Agricultural Techincal Institute and a bachelor’s degree in agribusiness and applied economics from Ohio State University.
What is something you can point to that has been accomplished thanks to the joint efforts of farmers and community members in your area?
Each county within my region sponsors a public policy discussion meeting and meal. By doing so, they draw in community leaders from around their county to discuss important issues that need to be addressed. Not only does this serve as an avenue for our respective county board’s public policy development, but it also provides information that different county leaders might not otherwise have heard and brainstorming for ways their organizations can work to help improve issues around our area.
What is it about being on a farm that makes your senses come alive?
Each time I walk onto a farm something happens. I am overwhelmed by a sense of pride. Agriculture is a business that is so rich in culture, history, family, and husbandry of the earth. When I walk onto a farm, I feel privileged to be there and am deeply interested to learn about that farmer’s walk that has led to where he or she is now and to dig deeper into what drives their passion for being part of this amazing industry.
What is your favorite Farm Bureau member benefit?
Tell us about one big project one of your counties has planned or has recently conducted.
Lawrence County Farm Bureau partners with SWCD and OSU Extension to coordinate a “Drive it Yourself” Farm Tour in September. This event is open to the public and is a way members hope to reach out to some individuals who may have never been on a farm before. The 2017 tour showcases three farms from the area: Pratts Dairy, Dickess Tree Farm, and Collins Career Center Agriculture Farm. Different activities, demonstrations and educational material will be present at each location. It’s an overall fun, free, educational day for the whole family to enjoy.