The 2023 Ohio Agriculture and Rural Communities Action plan provides a blueprint for policymakers and Ohio Farm Bureau members to bolster Ohio’s agriculture industry and our rural communities.Read More
By Brian Palmer, AgriPOWER Class IX participant
AgriPOWER Class IX took on Chillicothe to focus on local government. As always, we had a busy but very informative agenda.
Day One – First up was Tia Meretti who discusses the opioid crisis in Ohio and what steps are being taken by Attorney General Mike DeWine that trickles down to local law enforcement and fire departments that help the affected families. We then heard from Ross County Commissioner Steve Neal and Chillicothe Mayor Luke Feeney discuss what their jobs consist of and how they deal with their ever so tightening budgets. Our next speaker was Larry Long from The Ohio Projects Group to discuss how we can impact our local government by being informed on how local government is designed. Finally we broke into our small groups for our Mock Farm Bureau Policy Development Session to submit our policy suggestions to Melinda Witten and Brandon Kern before heading out for our first farm tour.
This tour consisted of traveling to Miedema Dairy to see how they operate their large herd and how they work with other local farmers to sustain their operations.
Day Two – We had another great lineup of speakers that I’m sure opened everyone’s eyes to different ways of doing things. We heard from Mandy Way of Southern Ohio Growers Cooperative on how forming their co-op helped their pumpkin business flourish along with seven other area pumpkin growers to reach out to a larger market that otherwise would have been unattainable. Our next panel was on organic farming presented by Paul Dorrance and Kyle Sharp. They both discussed their operations and why they either started in organic farming or switched to organic farming. As we all know this can be a contentious issue that brings a lot of great discussion. Then we were off for more tours staring with Glatfelter Paper Facilities wood yard where we learned the importance of the timber industry and how that is incorporated into agriculture. Then the final tour of the day landed us at Hirsch Fruit Farm (pictured above). This tour was probably my favorite learning about how and why they plant fruit trees where they do compared to other fruits and vegetables. Also, how they sustain themselves throughout the slow time of the year.
Again, this session brought a lot of insight to the opioid crisis, the how and why our local government works and how each of our operations are different but still provide people with quality food. Each of these classes that we have taken has given us the tools required to promote our agricultural agenda at the local, state, and federal level of government.
I'm eternally grateful for the support Ohio Farm Bureau scholarships provided in helping me turn my dreams into reality.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.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.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.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.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.Washington, D.C. Leadership Experience
More than 500 Farm Bureau members took part in the 2023 winter conference, where they enjoyed networking, expert sessions and inspiring messages.Read More
Gov. Mike DeWine announced he will nominate Brian Baldridge of Winchester to be the next director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture.Read More
Through 14 scholarship funds, nearly 50 awards will be made to deserving students. The deadline to apply online is March 31.Read More
International Food Solutions is receiving a grant to help redevelop and expand a vacant building in Cleveland into a plant with the capacity to process 60 million pounds of poultry.Read More