Kristen Eisenhauer, 4-H Youth Development/Agriculture and Natural Resources educator

When the pandemic first hit in Ohio, Debbie Pifer knew her year-round farm market, White House Fruit Farm, was going to be busy. She also knew that she and other agricultural businesses in Mahoning County were going to need a lot of personal protection equipment, hand sanitizers and disinfectants.

Also knowing this was Mahoning County Farm Bureau, local Extension and county commissioners. The three groups worked together to come up with a plan to safely keep the local economy going. County commissioners set aside $55,000 to help farm markets and agri-tainment locations by providing free PPE and COVID-related signage as well as promoting buying local.

“We’re very appreciative of all Farm Bureau’s efforts. We’ve been slammed since the middle of March because local businesses are what pull people through tough times. They helped get the wipes and sanitizers we needed, and the promotion of buying local has been huge this year because the more customers know we’re open, the better off we all are,” said Pifer, owner of the third generation farm market, which is an Ohio Farm Bureau group member.

OSU Extension took the lead on reaching out to county commissioners for financial help for the ag community, and Mahoning County Farm Bureau provided the names of ag-related businesses based on its buying local list. Farm Bureau staff even delivered PPE and COVID signage to Amish businesses reluctant to take a handout, explaining it was part of their Farm Bureau membership. The bulk of the funds was spent on advertising about 55 local farm markets and agritainment businesses on TV,  in newspapers and on social media.

“This is a great example of how Farm Bureau is in touch with the needs of its members and takes action. Collaboration is a big part of Farm Bureau and we were proud to partner with Extension and county commissioners on this worthy project,” said Nick Kennedy, Farm Bureau organization director for Columbiana, Mahoning, Portage and Stark counties.

Photo: Supporting buy local is Kristen Eisenhauer, 4-H Youth Development/Agriculture and Natural Resources educator.

Ohio Farm Bureau membership

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.
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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.
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Mary Smallsreed

Trumbull County Farm Bureau

Advocacy
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