By Phil Cobb, AgriPOWER Class IX participant

In session 5 of AgriPOWER we spent time on some of the issues close to home.

Tia Moretti, director of Statewide Substance Use and Social Services, provided the group with great information regarding the opioid crisis here in Ohio. We learned about how the epidemic is widespread across all of Ohio’s socioeconomic environments. Tia provided a great open discussion on what the state of Ohio is doing to provide help to those affected and pending actions.

The session also had time for a few farms tours. These are always a great time to find more information about agriculture in Ohio. Miedema Dairy was a great tour. Miedema Dairy is a 25-year-old family owned and operated dairy farm in Pickaway County, with over 1,300 cows today. A real life American Dream story — buying a farm thousands miles from their home in Holland and starting with only 120 cows. They are also recipients of the Ohio Dairy Producers Environmental Stewardship Award; it great to see a young farm succeeding.

We were able to see from the new farm and then visit part of Ross County’s history. We visited Hirsch Fruit Farm that dates back to the 1890s. It is still owned and operated by the Hirsch family; they continue to strive to uphold their traditions of quality and value. Even in the cold temperatures of Ohio in January we were still able to taste their quality apples. It is definitely worth stopping in and stocking up with fruit at their farm shop on Route 772 in Chillicothe. Many of the AgriPOWER member took full advantage of the this opportunity. Looking forward to the next session.

(Pictured is Chillicothe Mayor Luke Feeney talking about the county’s services that help those addicted to drugs.)


Having opportunities to attend leadership institutes, advocate for rural Ohioans on the state and national level, facilitate young ag professionals events, and serve in a variety of leadership positions have helped my skills grow exponentially.
Sara Tallmadge's avatar
Sara Tallmadge

Ashland 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
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
I was gifted the great opportunity through an Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation Youth Pathways grant to run a series of summer camps here. That really expanded my vision of what ‘grow, maintain, sustain and explain’ could actually be.
Jim Bruner's avatar
Jim Bruner

Mezzacello Urban Farms

Farming for Good
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
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

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