County Farm Bureaus, Ohio 4-H work on drug abuse prevention

Farm Bureau is working with state and local agencies to help address the drug epidemic, using its grassroots connections to help stimulate prevention initiatives across Ohio.

It’s one step in a critical war to help stem the rising tide of opioid addiction, which is affecting all facets of both rural and urban communities.

Theresa Ferrari on the opioid epidemic
Theresa Ferrari

“This wasn’t even on my radar in early January,” said Dr. Theresa M. Ferrari, associate professor, 4-H youth development specialist with OSU Extension on the opioid epidemic. “Now it keeps me up at night.”

Ferrari recently addressed Ohio Farm Bureau’s policy development committee on the ongoing partnership efforts between 4-H and Prevention Action Alliance to work on prevention initiatives to combat the ongoing drug epidemic.

The opioid crisis is an issue that has come up at several county Farm Bureau policy development meetings across the state in recent years, and the epidemic became a priority issue for Farm Bureau last year.

Since that time, several county Farm Bureaus have participated in a number of activities centering on youth and prevention, as well as overall community health.

“Guernsey County started the conversation with the first meeting over a year ago in the municipal court building with standing room only,” said OFBF Organization Director Betsy Anderson. “They have formed a countywide group called CHOICES that meets regularly in the county drawing in every entity that has involvement (in fighting the drug epidemic).”

The county is also distributing to area senior citizen locations and rehabilitation facilities drug disposal bags made to destroy leftover prescription drugs. Disposing of leftover prescription pain medication is a focus for Ferrari as well. During 4-H’s National Youth Summit on Healthy Living earlier this year, high school students came up with the idea of the “What’s in Your Medicine Cabinet?” campaign. This focus was selected because easy availability and misuse of prescription drugs is one of the contributing factors to the current opioid epidemic.

Farm Bureau continues to find avenues, through its grassroots connections, to help support these drug abuse prevention initiatives throughout the state.

Tuscarawas County Farm Bureau has been actively involved in the county’s anti-drug coalition and its ongoing initiatives, such as Hidden in Plain Sight training and the Got Your Back campaign, which was also a theme at the Harrison, Carroll and Jefferson county fairs. Monroe County Farm Bureau was a sponsor of a mental health first aid training workshop. The epidemic has also been a main topic at several county Farm Bureau annual meetings this year.

An ongoing survey created by Ohio Farm Bureau regarding the crisis continues to show the many ways the epidemic is affecting families, farms and communities.

Ohio Farm Bureau membership


Kelli Milligan Stammen is director of publications for the Ohio Farm Bureau.

2 thoughts on “County Farm Bureaus, Ohio 4-H work on drug abuse prevention

  1. Avatar Steve Terrill says:

    Please don’t insult and further injure the thousands of rural families (your members) who have and are trying to survive and fight the addiction crisis. To “Claim Ohio Farm Bureau” is actively involved by handing out drug disposal bags and sponsoring ONE Mental Health First Aid course is really beyond ignorant and sad. Especially when your Executive Director, Adam Sharp and eight other top execs will NOT RETRUN emails, calls, and requests from Ohio Farm Bureau Members ( like myself, who is a Gold Star parent, who lost a ARMY son last year).
    I speak for your members who are truly involved at the GRASS ROOTS in fighting for the lives of our love ones and rural neighbors. I will never give up as an Advocate in this fight, but I have moved on from trying with Ohio Farm Bureau, please save your hollow claims and stick to providing discounts to Wendy’s.

  2. Avatar Angie Milligan Denes says:

    Children are seeing more prevention but how do we educate the parents/farmers? This is beyond a mental health issue and will take more than disposal bags for used medicines. By the end of this year alone, Ohio will have seen more than 10,000 overdoses. This is NOT a moral weakness or behavioral issue. This is an issue about one single molecule found in opiates that cannot be excreted from the body, broken down into glucose and that take over the brain controlling all reasoning. The molecule: turns someone who has walked the straight and narrow their entire lives into a person struck with the disease of addiction. Pain pills prescribed by doctors, hospitals, dentists are the root of this issue, Big Pharma and their greed. Schools and communities putting their heads in the sand. Glad to see Farm Bureau discussing this issue but the solutions are not in building more rehabs. Learn about medicated assisted treatments like the Naltrexone Implant and REALLY save lives.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *