snow scene

Across the Table: A forward-looking approach

Normally, as a new year begins, it is common to look back and fondly recall some of the highlights of the year that was, but 2020 may be the exception to that rule. As we turn the calendar to 2021, most of us have our eyes straight ahead as we hope for a year of fewer challenges and more opportunities.

Ohio Farm Bureau has certainly adopted that forward-looking approach with excitement when it comes to the direction that the organization is taking to ensure a successful future. The path in front of us is being forged by the ideas of our members on how your Farm Bureau can remain effective and influential, provide value to members and be sustainable for the long term.

Some of the ideas that are being considered for the advancement of Ohio Farm Bureau came from a series of recommendations that were recently delivered to our board of trustees by a Membership and Financial Strength Task Force. This task force, made up of 25 Farm Bureau member leaders, staff members and strategic partners, reviewed many aspects of our organization. They collected thoughts on the value of an Ohio Farm Bureau membership, the current membership structure and how our administration and operations are set up across the state. This group took a hard look at how things are currently being done, and the great options they have offered will be very helpful as we find ways to maintain our strength at the county, state and national levels.

Another key part of being successful is being flexible, so we also are taking into account how Farm Bureau might look in the future and how the progression of farmers in Ohio may change what members require from our organization.

Throughout the year, you will be hearing more about the Farm Bureau Forward research being done across the country to help us stay ahead of the changing landscape of agriculture and continue to develop ways to better serve all of our members as your needs evolve.

Lastly, as we look at ways to remain a reliable and relevant resource for our members, we need to realize that some “outside of the box” thinking will be necessary when it comes to finding alternative revenue sources. With the creation of Ohio Farm Bureau’s Strategic Partnerships department in 2019, OFBF is well positioned to pursue new business opportunities. These investments will not only be considered to add to our organization’s bottom line, giving us an even more robust foundation to build from, but they also will be weighed based on how they might fit into our Strategic Plan over the next five years and beyond. There already have been some exciting opportunities presented, and I look forward to sharing them with you as they take shape.

These are all big ideas and as we begin a new year, it’s time to put them to work.

Our mission statement is clear that we are here to work for Ohio farmers, advance agriculture and strengthen our communities. That work can’t be done without
moving forward with our leaders, members and partners as we embark on this clear path for success.

Online Extra

Follow my page on Facebook to learn more about Farm Bureau’s work on behalf of our members.