Rose Hartschuh Issue Advisory Team

We often hear that Farm Bureau is a grassroots organization. I, along with several other Ohio Farm Bureau members, recently experienced this concept in action as we participated in the first meeting of 2021 of the American Farm Bureau Issues Advisory Committees.

The Issue Advisory Committees provide an avenue for grassroots leaders to contribute their expertise on specific issues, helping to guide the organization’s policy deliberations. The committees meet several times throughout the year to discuss new developments on their assigned issues. The conversations help to guide the AFBF Board of Directors on policy-related actions. There are 12 committees established, covering a vast array of issues that are of utmost importance to Farm Bureau members.

Dr. Stephen Koontz
Dr. Stephen Koontz of Colorado State University did a question and answer session with our group on challenges and opportunities in the livestock marketing sector.

I was appointed to a two-year term on the Market Structures Committee, which deals with a variety of issues, ranging from checkoff programs to commodity markets and everything in between. While typically the committees meet in-person at the American Farm Bureau offices in Washington, D.C., this year’s February meeting was held virtually (I’m in the upper left corner of the featured photo). The virtual format afforded our committee the ability to learn from a broad range of experts from across the country. We heard presentations on carbon markets, livestock marketing and price discovery, and long-term impacts on CFAP payments, among other things. We provided our insights and experiences on these topics in order to allow American Farm Bureau staff to keep in touch with what our committee is experiencing at the local level.

Ohio is well-represented on the Issue Advisory Committees; other members include Ryan Conklin (Environmental Regulations), Sarah Ison (Food Safety), Paul Dorrance (Organic and Direct Marketing), and Anthony Stateler (Water). Senior Director of State and National Policy Brandon Kern also lends his expertise to the Organic and Direct Marketing Committee.

The power of Farm Bureau is in its grassroots, and our policy work depends on members engaging in conversations. The Issues Advisory Committees are just one way that American Farm Bureau ensures that its members’ voices are heard. 

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.
Jenna Gregorich's avatar
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.
Mary Smallsreed's avatar
Mary Smallsreed

Trumbull County Farm Bureau

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