Cultivating bright futures: Empowering rural teens to say No to drugs

Drugs were considered a big city problem when I was growing up. My rural town was a safe haven where families could raise kids away from narcotics and drug-related crime. Today, rural America has higher rates of alcohol abuse, tobacco use and more methamphetamines than the big city. Prescription drug abuse and heroin are on the rise in rural America.

The Ross County Farm Bureau saw the growing problem of substance abuse in rural America and took action. Farm Bureau members developed and enacted policies to support drug prevention programs and back local law enforcement in the battle against the drugs.

In 2018 the Ross County Farm Bureau hosted the first MADE on the Farm event to benefit the nationally recognized program MADE (My Attitude Determines Everything), a group of Ross County students that is part of the regional Drug Free Clubs of America organization.

How Drug Prevention Programs Help

Drug prevention programs can reverse the upward trend of substance abuse in rural America. Many adults begin using substances during their teenage years; therefore, prevention programs focusing on adolescents are key to combating the drug epidemic in rural communities. A review of evidence-based approaches to prevent adolescent substance abuse found the most effective prevention programs include family, school, faith, and community. ¹ Drug Free Clubs of America’s multifaceted prevention program combines the forces of family, school, faith, and community to provide youth with education, support, leadership skills, positive reinforcement and accountability. 79% of youth enrolled in Drug Free Clubs of America say the program will “absolutely” have a positive impact on their long-term future. 69% say participating in Drug Free Clubs makes them more confident to handle situations with drugs. ²

“MADE has been hugely successful on a local level teaching kids about drugs and bringing awareness to the community, and the community has stood behind their efforts,” said Greg Corcoran, president of the Ross County Farm Bureau.

The 2018 MADE on the Farm effort was recognized with an Achievement Award from the Ohio Farm Bureau, highlighting the most outstanding county-led outreach programs in the state. The success of the event led to Ross County Farm Bureau donating $10,000 to the local chapter of MADE and Drug Free Clubs of America.

By Ivory Harlow, Organization Director Ross County Farm Bureau

2019 MADE on the Farm event

“We are excited to continue this partnership,” Corcoran said of the second MADE on the Farm event, which will take place Sunday, July 21, 2019, at historic Adena Mansion & Gardens in Chillicothe.

Attendees can enjoy reduced rate tours leading up to the event. The event begins at 5 p.m.; a locally sourced dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. The program features Drug Free Clubs youth speakers, music, and a silent auction.

Cost and Tickets

The cost to attend for Farm Bureau Members is $50, Nonmembers $60. Purchase tickets online at Eventbrite or by contacting the Ross County Farm Bureau office at 740-474-6284 or [email protected].


1. Griffin, K. W., & Botvin, G. J. (2010). Evidence-based interventions for preventing substance use disorders in adolescents. Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 19(3),
505–526. doi:10.1016/j.chc.2010.03.005
2. By the numbers. (2017). Drug Free Clubs of America. Retrieved June 23, 2019, from