650 attend YAP winter conference

More than 650 Young Ag Professionals gathered in Central Ohio Feb. 2-3 for the annual Ohio Farm Bureau Winter Leadership Experience at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

Attendees were able to mingle with sponsors, member benefits partners and other organizations on Friday night at the event’s annual trade show. After hearing about the accomplishments of the YAP group throughout 2017, the final round of the Discussion Meet was held followed by entertainment from Big Bang Dueling Pianos to round out the evening.

Professional speaker and leadership coach Kelly Barnes was the keynote speaker on Saturday morning. Annie Specht of Columbus, originally from Tuscarawas County, was announced as the Discussion Meet winner at the breakfast. She receives a $1,000 cash award from Nationwide Insurance, an expense-paid trip to the 2018 OFBF Annual Meeting Dec. 5-7 in Columbus and an expense-paid trip to the AFBF Annual Convention in January 2019 in New Orleans. Farm Credit Mid-America also announced the winners of its grant program.

Following breakfast, 20 various workshops began in separate breakout sessions. Topics ranging from how to survive in a down ag economy to making soap were interspersed with an interactive discussion with OFB Board President Frank Burkett III and Executive Vice President Adam Sharp, to a panel discussion about consumer education. The conference wrapped up Saturday afternoon.

Sponsors of the 2018 Winter Leadership Experience included Nationwide, Heartland Bank, Farm Credit Mid-America, along with Beck’s, AgCredit, PNC Bank, Redline Equipment, Seed Consultants, Wright and Moore Law and COBA/Select Sires.

Ohio Farm Bureau Young Agricultural Professionals are 18 to 35 years old who are interested in improving the business of agriculture, learning new ideas and developing leadership skills.

Farm Bureau Young Agricultural Professionals include full- and part-time farmers, OSU Extension agents, teachers, consumer educators, former Ohio Farm Bureau Youth members, FFA and 4-H alumni, farm media communicators, livestock and equine enthusiasts, wine makers, alpaca breeders, seed representatives, beekeepers, green industry employees, gardeners, foodies and more.