The American Farm Bureau Federation presented awards to state Farm Bureaus at the organization’s 101st Annual Convention in Austin, Texas. The awards recognize excellence in implementation of outstanding outreach programs in 2019.

Ohio Farm Bureau was the recipient of the New Horizon Award, honoring states with the most innovative new programs. This year’s award recognizes the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation’s ExploreAg initiative, a weeklong experience for high school students, where scholars are introduced to careers in food and agriculture both in the classroom and through hands-on learning. 

Creating a future workforce for agriculture is vital to the industry,” said Adam Sharp, executive vice president of Ohio Farm Bureau. “ExploreAg addresses that need by encouraging young people to think critically about the food and farm industry and the issues associated with providing safe and sustainable food and fiber.”

To accomplish the ExploreAg program, Ohio Farm Bureau worked with numerous community partners. In two years, more than 30 Ohio agricultural businesses and operations have been highlighted in the program. These businesses also become champions for careers in agriculture because they see the value of ExploreAg as they search for their future employees and understand that their workforce may not come from traditional ag backgrounds.

To find out more about the program, visit ExploreAg.org.

This is a news release for use by journalists. Questions should be directed to Ty Higgins, 614-246-8231.

Editors: A high-resolution photo of OFBF President Frank Burkett accepting this award is available to accompany this story. 

 

I'm eternally grateful for the support Ohio Farm Bureau scholarships provided in helping me turn my dreams into reality.
Bethany Starlin's avatar
Bethany Starlin

Hocking County Farm Bureau

Available scholarships
I see the value and need to be engaged in the community I live in, to be a part of the decision-making process and to volunteer with organizations that help make our community better.
Matt Aultman's avatar
Matt Aultman

Darke County Farm Bureau

Leadership development
With not growing up on a farm, I’d say I was a late bloomer to agriculture. I feel so fortunate that I found the agriculture industry. There are so many opportunities for growth.
Jenna Gregorich's avatar
Jenna Gregorich

Coshocton County Farm Bureau

Growing our Generation
Labor has always been an issue, mainly because we are a seasonal operation. So that's a challenge finding somebody who only wants to work three months out of a year, sometimes up to six months.
Mandy Way's avatar
Mandy Way

Way Farms

Business Solutions
Farm Bureau involvement has taught me how to grow my professional and leadership experience outside of the workforce and how to do that in a community-centric way.
Jaclyn De Candio's avatar
Jaclyn De Candio

Clark County Farm Bureau

Young Ag Professionals program
If it wasn't for Farm Bureau, I personally, along with many others, would not have had the opportunity to meet with our representatives face to face in Washington.
Austin Heil's avatar
Austin Heil

Hardin County Farm Bureau

Washington, D.C. Leadership Experience
So many of the issues that OFBF and its members are advocating for are important to all Ohioans. I look at OFBF as an agricultural watchdog advocating for farmers and rural communities across Ohio.
Mary Smallsreed's avatar
Mary Smallsreed

Trumbull County Farm Bureau

Advocacy
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