As the new year begins, it is normal to reflect on the past year.
As I did, I reviewed some of my articles written for this column. In May, I shared with you how some Farm Bureau friends and I participated in an event with Lakeview first graders where we talked about how food makes it from the farm to their lunch boxes. I smile as I recall that day. It is amazing to find out what they learned about agriculture playing a popular video game.
Something else I will never forget about that day was the first grader who told me she was offended that baby goats are called kids. If you recall, I told her that baby goats had been called kids longer than people her age had been called kids, and if anyone should be offended, it should be the goats.
Just a couple months ago, I shared some agricultural facts about Michigan. I really enjoyed visiting Michigan and learning more about the impact agriculture has on that state. Something that I failed to do in that article was mention blueberries. Michigan is the No. 1 producer of blueberries in the United States. A million pounds or more are produced each year from almost 21,000 acres during the July through September harvest season.
I also shared opportunities I have had to meet with state and federally elected officials to advocate for agriculture and our state. Hundreds of Farm Bureau members gathered in Columbus in February for an annual event called Ag Day at the Capital. And in March, I traveled with county Farm Bureau presidents from across Ohio talking with legislators about priority issues affecting not only farmers, but all Ohioans. As we begin a new year, I look forward to participating in these annual events in 2019.
I started out in January with a tribute article about my father. Well, I chose him as a topic because I wanted to start the year out with a positive article. Dad and Mom were in Florida when it went to print, so I figured I’d be under their radar and they wouldn’t see it. Low and behold, I got a call from Florida. They had seen it. A friend back in Ohio saw it, emailed it to a friend in Florida who then showed it to my parents. Needless to say, Dad enjoyed it. A couple of months later, he told me again that he had enjoyed the article, but there were some things that I missed and wondered if I might go over it with him.
Well, the opportunity arose to do that when he was nominated for an award. I needed his help to make sure the application was complete. I was already proud of my dad and all of his accomplishments, but it was really fun to hear stories and history behind the things he did. And then at the 100th annual meeting, the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation honored four individuals who have made significant contributions to agriculture and Farm Bureau. Dad received the Distinguished Service Award. OK, I’ll stop bragging now.
Thank you to the Tribune Chronicle who has been allowing us to have this ag column since about the mid-1990s. And thank you to our faithful readers. Happy New Year!
Submitted by Mary Smallsreed, a member of the Trumbull County Farm Bureau who grew up on a family dairy farm in northeast Ohio.
OFBF Mission: Working together for Ohio farmers to advance agriculture and strengthen our communities.