The Young Agricultural Professionals Winter Leadership Experience annual conference took place Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, 2020 in Columbus to give members ages 18-35 the opportunity to build personal and professional skills, network with agricultural leaders and learn how to make a difference in their community, Farm Bureau and agriculture. Thirty breakout sessions were coordinated around five tracks: On the Farm, Niche and Specialty Growers, Consumer Engagement, Business Management and Professional Development.
Micah Mensing won the state Discussion Meet. The finals took place during the conference. The contest is for young farmers and ag professionals ages 18 to 35 and it tests their subject knowledge, problem solving abilities and personal and small group communications skills.
The Wayne County Farm Bureau member is a recent Ohio State graduate, where he studied production agriculture at OSU-ATI and agriscience education. Mensing is a Growing Forward Specialist with Farm Credit Mid-America.
He receives a $1,000 cash award from Nationwide, an expense-paid trip to the 2020 OFBF Annual Meeting and an expense-paid trip to represent Ohio at the national competition during the American Farm Bureau Annual Convention in San Diego in January 2021.
The following eight local YAP groups and two Collegiate Farm Bureau groups received $500 grants courtesy of Farm Credit Mid-America to fund YAP-focused educational programming or events.
- Ashland and Wayne counties for their 4th annual Ag Toy Drive.
- Clinton, Greene, Fayette, Warren counties for the Crop to Cup Bus Tour.
- Coshocton County for its ATV Tour and dinner.
- Fayette County for its Meet, Greet and Grow series of events.
- Montgomery County for ag safety stations at the county fair.
- Pike County for its FFA Agriculture Career Day.
- Scioto County for its YAP/FFA Retreat.
- Stark County for its Milk & Cookies with Santa on the farm event.
- Ohio State University Collegiate Farm Bureau for its Networking Hour
- Wilmington Collegiate Farm Bureau for the Mission Dis(CO2)very campus-wide event.
Jay Hill started with 10 acres and a 4020 John Deere and now has over 17,000 acres with 120 employees. His message was about tolerance between the farmer and consumer and gaining understanding between the two sides.
Amberley Snyder shared her experience from living the perfect life to a rollover accident that left her paralyzed. Even though life knocked her down, with the help of her family, friends and faith she has worked to “get back on the horse.”
Attendees also heard from OFBF President Frank Burkett III, OFBF Executive Vice President Adam Sharp and Ohio Department of Agriculture Director Dorothy Pelanda.
Charlie and Casey Ellington of Stark County, pictured, are chaircouple of the YAP State Committee this year, Aaron Harter of Preble County is vice chair and Megan Brannon of Tuscarawas County is secretary. The Ellingtons raise beef, pork and chicken as well as grain crops and hay. Harter is an environmental manager for Denali Water Solutions, while Brannon and her husband have poultry, raise produce and herbs and specialize in microgreens.
Learn more about Ohio Farm Bureau’s Young Ag Professionals program.
See more photos from the event.