By Craig Pohlman, AgriPOWER Class IX participant

Farm Bureau has afforded me the opportunity to visit my leaders in D.C. several times as president of my county Farm Bureau. In September I got to go on one of their other trips. The AgriPOWER leadership class that I am in joined Ohio Farm Bureau’s Young Ag Professionals in a 3-day whirlwind tour of our capital and most importantly, some lobbying for our industry.

Advocating 101, monument and memorial tours, embassy visits and issues briefings from American Farm Bureau — we certainly had as much packed into our days as they could find the minutes for. Armed with everything that we learned, each of us got the opportunity to visit with our congressman or one of his aides.

Speaking of these aides, did you know that the world is kept organized and on time by a whole bunch of 20 somethings working their tails off to serve our country and their congressman and senators? I always find it fun to chat with these men and women when possible because they are constantly getting phone calls or visitors into the office.

Whether or not you agree with everything your representative in Columbus or Ohio is up to, I highly encourage you to get involved, get in contact with them and let them know how you feel. All I ask… remember that they are people too, and we all deserve a little respect even in disagreement. And if it is one of these fine young aides that you get to talk to, trust me they care, and they get a lot of anger. Try the respectful approach with discussion; they enjoy talking to other people about issues — especially when they are treated like people too!

I'm eternally grateful for the support Ohio Farm Bureau scholarships provided in helping me turn my dreams into reality.
Bethany Starlin's avatar
Bethany Starlin

Hocking County Farm Bureau

Available scholarships
I see the value and need to be engaged in the community I live in, to be a part of the decision-making process and to volunteer with organizations that help make our community better.
Matt Aultman's avatar
Matt Aultman

Darke County Farm Bureau

Leadership development
With not growing up on a farm, I’d say I was a late bloomer to agriculture. I feel so fortunate that I found the agriculture industry. There are so many opportunities for growth.
Jenna Gregorich's avatar
Jenna Gregorich

Coshocton County Farm Bureau

Growing our Generation
Labor has always been an issue, mainly because we are a seasonal operation. So that's a challenge finding somebody who only wants to work three months out of a year, sometimes up to six months.
Mandy Way's avatar
Mandy Way

Way Farms

Business Solutions
Farm Bureau involvement has taught me how to grow my professional and leadership experience outside of the workforce and how to do that in a community-centric way.
Jaclyn De Candio's avatar
Jaclyn De Candio

Clark County Farm Bureau

Young Ag Professionals program
If it wasn't for Farm Bureau, I personally, along with many others, would not have had the opportunity to meet with our representatives face to face in Washington.
Austin Heil's avatar
Austin Heil

Hardin County Farm Bureau

Washington, D.C. Leadership Experience
So many of the issues that OFBF and its members are advocating for are important to all Ohioans. I look at OFBF as an agricultural watchdog advocating for farmers and rural communities across Ohio.
Mary Smallsreed's avatar
Mary Smallsreed

Trumbull County Farm Bureau

Advocacy
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