Spring will soon arrive, and the MUD will hopefully dry up, so we can once again start planting. This season presents a time for renewal and rebirth, and as Darke County Farm Bureau begins another year of programming, we are looking forward to some exciting things. In the coming months, we will start planning sessions for our summer programs, like the Tractor Cruise, Farm to Table, and Darke County Fair Tent. We also have recently completed our 3rd Annual Farm Bureau Day at Rural King and our Workers’ Comp safety meeting.
The end of March was the end of our membership campaign when new members join Farm Bureau and support our programming. Without renewals and new members, our organization would not be able to support farmers in our community and the agriculture industry. Oftentimes, when you receive mail from us, it’s for membership renewal or a Farm Bureau discount; however, as I mentioned above, Darke County Farm Bureau strives to bring the unseen value of your membership to each and every member.
Last year, we invested in all high school FFA chapters in the county by offering $500 grants for programming. Additionally, we supported the Arcanum FFA chapter with a donation to their new facility; we held a county legislative luncheon to bring updates and discuss agricultural issues in our county; we supported numerous 4-H and FFA members at the county fair; we participate in WTGR Community Ties programming to promote agriculture; we sponsored billboards around Darke County to make motorists aware of farm equipment moving during planting and harvest seasons; and we sent members to our state and nation’s capitals to lobby agricultural interests to our politicians.
The value that these activities provided goes far beyond the time and effort put into them. We cannot place a cost on protecting our water rights, evaluation, taxes and land rights as farmers and agriculturalists.
This year, we have new and updated resources for our members. You can now find the Ohio Farm Bureau Landowner Toolkit publication at our county office and online. Updated for 2018, the Ohio Farm Bureau compiled a 41-page booklet that contains essential information prepared by our legal team that will help answer questions unique to you as a property owner including topics such as all-purpose vehicles, oil and gas, property rights, dog laws, drainage, line fence, open burning, zoning, trespassing and more. These are just a couple of the many projects that your membership dollars have gone toward to support legally protecting our land and our way of life.
As we roll into spring, be safe in your fields, in your shops and on the roads and take a minute to consider your safety and the safety of those around you, as accidents happens quickly and sometimes to no fault of our own. Stay safe and have a productive 2019.
– Matt Aultman, Darke County Farm Bureau president