The Northeast Counties Farm Bureau office serving Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake, and Trumbull counties will be merging with nine other county Farm Bureaus, effective June 1, 2020. This move is not related to the COVID-19 pandemic, as discussions about this move have been occurring since the fall of 2019. We are always looking for ways to best utilize our membership dollars and still provide the best services to our members.
A little over a year ago, our lease was up in Orwell, and an opportunity to rent a beautiful building that offered more privacy and triple the space for a similar cost presented itself and we quickly made that office “home.” This fall, an unexpected opportunity to join forces with nine other county Farm Bureaus and to merge into a regional office presented itself, and months of discussions began. We spent a great deal of time evaluating the “need” for a county office. The amount of foot traffic through our office is minimal, with many days only seeing the postal workers. Most of our contact with members and partners is by email or telephone or meetings in our community. This recent decision to merge was not an easy one, however, when looking into our greatest expenses, the overhead costs of an office and staff account for over 75% of our annual income from membership dues. This move will save an average of 65% of our annual current office costs.
The regional office will consist of Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake, Trumbull, Columbiana, Mahoning, Portage, Stark, Summit, Erie, Huron, Lorain and Cuyahoga counties. The new office manager will be Jan Weaver, who has served Columbiana, Mahoning, Portage, Stark and Summit County Farm Bureaus for over 18 years. Marie Morris, our current office assistant who has served us with a smile for over 28 years, has also accepted a position with the new office, with a large part of her duties occurring remotely. We also have two other staff, Mary Wallencheck and Anita Cook, who have many years of Farm Bureau experience in Cuyahoga County, rounding out our team. Our other assistant, Sue Spaller has chosen to continue her career on a different path, and we wish her all the best. Her nine years of service to our organization are very much appreciated. Marie and Sue have made our office so great for many years. I will have an office out of her home in Ashtabula County and will continue my role as normal. We travel to our members and can make arrangements to get you what you need!
Danielle Dufour (the regional supervisor), along with the four organization directors will work with the office staff to provide a great working environment and level of service that you expect. Member service is still our No. 1 priority. We realize this is going to be a big change for all of us, but recently we have realized more so than ever, change is inevitable. Our team and our members have an amazing ability to adapt — those of you in agriculture know, we wouldn’t survive if we didn’t.
The regional office is located at 8460 Ridge Road, North Royalton, OH 44133. Our phone number will remain the same.
Please email [email protected] or call us at 440.426.2195 if you have any questions or concerns.