Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation

Introducing students to potential careers in agriculture is the goal of two major projects made possible by the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation’s Fisher Fund for Lifelong Learning. The goal is to introduce students to and prepare them for careers in agriculture, food and natural resources.

The Fisher Fund was created last year to honor John C. “Jack” Fisher, who retired after serving 20 years as Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s executive vice president. The fund’s goal is to support educational projects and programs that build a greater awareness of food production and knowledge of the interconnected food system.

The Fisher Fund’s signature project is the ExploreAg program, which will be launched this summer. Fifty high school freshmen and sophomores will be chosen through a competitive process to spend two weeks on a college campus for an introduction to agriculture as well as hands-on learning. Internationally known teachers, scientists and researchers will expose them to food science, precision agriculture, animal science, natural resources, management skills, technology and agricultural business. Along with classroom experience, the students will participate in field experiences that highlight cutting-edge research and will interact with industry partners to learn about possible careers in related fields.

The first year of the program will take place on Ohio State University’s main campus and at its Agricultural Technical Institute in Wooster and is completely free for students. The foundation has committed $125,000 for the first two years of the program.

The second program, Youth Pathways to Careers in Agriculture, supports projects that introduce and train students for high-demand jobs in the food, agricultural or natural resources industries. The program is open to nonprofit organizations or those with a fiscal sponsor. The foundation is accepting applications for the program Jan. 1 to March 30. The foundation has committed $100,000 in funding in 2018.

“We believe Farm Bureau can serve as a significant catalyst to attract young people to careers in our industry. These projects will also result in county Farm Bureaus, agribusinesses, higher education and youth-serving education institutions to better share the story of modern agriculture. Working together we can inspire the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs to become problem solvers and leaders in agriculture,” said Ohio Farm Bureau Executive Vice President Adam Sharp, who announced these new programs during Farm Bureau’s 99th annual meeting in December.

To learn more about Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation programs, visit ofbf.org/foundation.

This is a news release for use by journalists. Questions should be directed to Joe Cornely614-246-8230.

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.
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Mandy Way

Way Farms

Farm Labor Resources
I appreciate the benefit of having a strong voice in my corner. The extras that are included in membership are wonderful, but I'm a member because of the positive impact to my local and state agricultural communities.
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Ernie Welch

Van Wert County Farm Bureau

Strong communities
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.
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Matt Aultman

Darke County Farm Bureau

Leadership development
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.
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Jaclyn De Candio

Clark County Farm Bureau

Young Ag Professionals program
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.
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Jenna Gregorich

Coshocton County Farm Bureau

Growing our Generation
Knowing that horticulture is under the agriculture umbrella and having Farm Bureau supporting horticulture like it does the rest of ag is very important.
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Jared Hughes

Groovy Plants Ranch

Groovy Plants Ranch
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.
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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.
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Mary Smallsreed

Trumbull County Farm Bureau

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