Fairfield, Hocking, Pickaway Ross counties, Ohio

November State Board Meeting Summary

Editor’s note: The following is a recap of the November 2020 Ohio Farm Bureau board of trustees meeting. Mike Videkovich is the trustee representing Fairfield, Hocking, Pickaway and Ross counties. Rose Hartschuh is the southeast region trustee.

Hello everyone. We hope harvest is progressing well for you this fall. Please be safe.

I am Mike Videkovich, trustee for District 15, and Jenny Cox is your regional trustee. Ohio Farm Bureau has prepared this summary of some of the topics covered during the November state board meeting. It is my pleasure to serve you on the board. If you have any questions or comments, please send them to me or to your regional trustee.

Board guests
Renée Mancino, executive director of the Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association, presented an overview of the Standardbred industry in Ohio.

Nationwide representatives were board member Craig Adams; Mark Berven, president and chief operating officer, Nationwide Property & Casualty and Devin Fuhrman and Dan Durheim from Nationwide Sponsor Relations.

Cathann Kress, dean, The Ohio State University, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences also attended.

2021 Budget and Strategic Plan
The board approved the organization’s 2021 budget, which included significant cost efficiencies and funding for key programs identified in the strategic plan, including investments in technology, such as a new website, database and staffing.

OFBF Annual Meeting
Make plans to participate in this year’s annual meeting, virtually. The OFBF Member Celebration begins Monday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. Other points of interest throughout the week will include state board trustee elections, delegate sessions from various regions of the state, recognition of county award winners and Young Ag Professionals awards. Distinguished Service Award winners Tim Corcoran, Yvonne Lesicko and Becky Cropper will be honored Thursday at 7 p.m. The business portion of the annual meeting will take place Dec. 11 and will be available live for anyone who wishes to attend. See a comprehensive list of all the online festivities.

County Activities of Excellence
The American Farm Bureau Federation County Activities of Excellence awards celebrate unique, local, volunteer-driven programs that serve as models of innovation for local program development. Four Ohio county projects, including one from Pickaway County, earned the distinction this year, again the most of any state. Only 12 awards total were given nationally this year, so once again Ohio is well represented.

Membership and Financial Strength Task Force
After 13 meetings that included nine board members and 12 county leaders, the Membership and Financial Strength Task Force issued its final report. The board received the report and began evaluating the recommendations. The board voted to begin several additional tasks to collect data and input and begin sharing the report with county Farm Bureau leadership.

Election recap
The grassroots tradition of Ohio Farm Bureau members engaging with candidates seeking to fill open seats within the Ohio General Assembly continued to be a successful process, even as members and candidates adapted to the virtual screenings. Members were also tasked with finding new ways to review their current representatives as part of the incumbent Friend of Agriculture process. Ohio Farm Bureau Friend of Agriculture designations held true to their history of successful indicators, with a 96% success rate for all legislative candidates. The open seat candidates screened by members saw a 90% success rate in their races, while even greater success for farm-friendly candidates was seen among the incumbents of the General Assembly, with 97% of those candidates retaining their seats.

In the race for the two seats on the Ohio Supreme Court, incumbent and Friend of Agriculture candidate Sharon Kennedy emerged successful, while Judi French, also an incumbent and Friend of Agriculture, lost her seat to former Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner.