By Kirsten Marihugh, AgriPOWER Class IX participant
Over the past eight months, I have had the pleasure of being a member of the AgriPOWER IX class. To sit down and write about my favorite part of AgriPOWER poses a problem. To me, the experience cannot be defined by a favorite session, a great speaker or an interesting tour. To me, the experience is defined by the people I met while in the class, listening to their stories, seeing their passion for agriculture and sharing in the learning process of becoming better leaders and advocates for agriculture and the food industry with them.
Our classroom training sessions covered topics such as public policy – local, state and national government. We discussed issues related to farming and the food industry; we were given insight on the opioid crisis and the effects it has on the Ohio agricultural community. We toured ethanol plants, fruit farms and paper mills. We gained skills to be better leaders and stronger advocates for Ohio farmers and the ag industry. We cultivated our own personal community service and outreach events.
Also intertwined in the classroom training, for me, was the building of relationships. I have spent the past eight months with some pretty amazing people. The diverse background and skill set of our class made for some great discussions and thought provoking commentary. Friendships were made, mutual respect was formed and we became better leaders because of it.
I am truly thankful for this experience – I have grown as a professional and feel better equipped to be a stronger advocate. If you want to sharpen your leadership skills, develop your toolkit for advocacy and foster great relationships, I encourage you to apply for AgriPOWER X (deadline is April 20).
Session 1 blogs
Eric Reed is excited about implementing the “Building Strong Communities” project.
JD Bethel talks about the strong partnership between Ohio Farm Bureau and Nationwide.
Leadership is influence, explains Melinda Lee.
Session 2 blogs
Communication with consumers is key, says John Arnold Jr.
Stephanie Rucinski vlogs about the relationship between media and agriculture.
Brenda Mescher talks about community “why” rather than “what.”
Addressing tough conversations is the subject of Terri Specht’s blog.
Session 3 blogs
Jess Campbell talks about the United States of Agriculture.
Respectful conversations are vital, says Craig Pohlman.
Megan Lezzer describes making a difference in D.C.
AgriPOWER trip to D.C. fast-paced, informative, says Jackie Mosier.
Session 4 blogs
Practice what you preach, says Kristen Dickey.
Steve Brunner talks about civics and camaraderie.
Jonah Neill learned about the benefits of lobbying.
Session 5 blogs
Phil Cobb learns about Ohio’s opioid crisis.
Brian Palmer describes lessons learned about how local governments run.
Casey Ellington talks about the strength of communities
Session 6 blogs
Agriculture in Florida isn’t easy, says Stacey Sark
Candace Lease describes the diversity of agriculture in Florida
Micaela Wright talks about the importance of cultivating ag leaders
Brittany Nemeth developed a deeper understanding of Ohio ag through AgriPOWER