Jesse Whinnery

Growing our Generation: Be a positive voice in the community

Jesse Whinnery from Coshocton County is the editor of the Oct. 22, 2018 Growing our Generation enewsletter,  featuring insights and ideas directly from Ohio’s young farmers and food and agricultural professionals.

Happy Fall everybody! I’m Jesse Whinnery from Coshocton County and I’m pleased to be your featured editor this week. I operate a small sheep farm in Coshocton with my kids, Alice (5) and Oliver (2). I was raised in Belmont County and moved to Coshocton in early 2010 to be centrally located for my job. After graduating from Ohio State in 2008, I began a career as a dairy nutritionist, serving east central Ohio.

Community involvement – Bridging the gap

I am fortunate enough to be a county Farm Bureau board trustee and have served as president for the past four years. Getting involved in the local Farm Bureau gave me a lot of insight to the challenges our industry faces as well as the legislative work our organization does.

In my job I get the opportunity to work with farms in nearly every production style. We discuss cropping strategy, herd health, farm finances, things I know all of you discuss and worry about daily. Seeing my producers on a routine basis also allows for a myriad of other conversation…sports, family, federal trade policy, and I realized quickly that I had a wonderful opportunity to not only be a resource for their operation, but an ally and advocate for them in the non-ag community and with our legislators.

I have had the privileged of serving on the state policy development committee in the past and I am on the state code committee for 2018. As county president I have also been able to go to Washington, D.C. the last four years. Each time I prepare for a trip like DC, I take time to talk to my clients to find out what their needs and thoughts are for our elected officials.

Coshocton County Farm Bureau’s 2018 Breakfast on the Farm and food drive

Being a positive voice in the community doesn’t stop at the end of the farm lane though. It is important to connect with our industry’s consumer base in as many ways as possible. Over the past couple years I have taken an active role on several other boards of directorships within the Coshocton community. At first I would get some strange looks and questions from people when they find out I’m involved in agriculture. We have formed strong partnerships with local nonprofits, the visitor’s bureau, as well as several historical societies. Our alliances with OSU Extension and other ag organizations have allowed us to put on many events that foster a bond and understanding with the nonag community.

Some examples:

Breakfast on the Farm Feb. 10.

First Friday Aug. 4. Agriculture was the theme of the August First Friday event in downtown Coshocton.

Dinner on the Farm Aug. 18, a Coshocton County Farm Bureau event

Fall Foliage Tour Oct. 20 and 21, the county Farm Bureau is a sponsor

A bit of advice

I’m quickly approaching the age limit for being considered a YAP in OFBF, so if I can leave the readers with a bit of advice it would be…Don’t limit yourself to strictly agriculture causes. Take an active role in as many community activities as possible. You would be surprised at how much respect there really is from the nonag sector for their farming neighbors. And the best way for them to hear your story is if it comes straight from you.

Have a safe and prosperous harvest!

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This e-newsletter is brought to you by Ohio Farm Bureau’s Young Ag Professionals. Learn more about Farm Bureau membership, including a discounted category for those 18-24 years old.

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