Editor’s Note: Maryellen Bliss will serve as the Franklin County Farm Bureau Fellow this summer.
Hello. I am Maryellen Bliss. I am currently studying at The Ohio State University where I will be a senior in the fall. I am studying agriscience education with a minor in production agriculture with research distinction. In the fall I will be starting a research project looking at what motivates preservice agricultural teachers to engage in organizations during college. Also, my time on campus has allowed me to be involved with Kellogg and Moser Food Security & Sustainability Learning Community, CFAES Student Council, OSU Jazz Swing Club, Jacob’s Porch Student Campus Ministry, and Agricultural Education Society. In the Agricultural Education Society, I have served as the CFAES representative, treasurer, and currently serving as the president.
My hometown is Ashland, and I graduated from Hillsdale High School. I grew up in a rural area and was connected to agriculture in a unique way with my parents owning a merchandising business selling products at tractor pulls across Ohio and the U.S. In middle school, I started my own journey into agriculture raising and showing market, breeding and pack goats. I joined the Hillsdale FFA Chapter my freshman year of high school and I found my passion for agriculture through amazing different experiences.
I served on the chapter officer team as the reporter for one year and the student advisor for one year. The trips to national conventions are still some of my favorite moments. Through my program I was able to tour different agriculture industry facilities and was able represent the state of Ohio at the national competitions for Novice and Advance Parliamentary Procedure and Dairy Products at the World Dairy Expo. My trip to the Washington Leadership Conference through FFA in Washington, D.C. was the week of my life and I knew for sure that whatever I did in life, I wanted it to be connected to agriculture. The life-changing journey I had in FFA as a student wrapped up October 2019 as I received my American Degree.
I am fortunate that agriculture and organizations like Farm Bureau and the Agricultural Education Society have become such big parts of my life. In the Summer of 2019, I was a camp counselor for ExploreAg Camp. This opportunity introduces high school students to the unique and vast industry and job opportunities found within agriculture. My time in experiences like this and in the classroom have helped guide my decisions in my major and goals of becoming a high school agricultural educator after graduation. I also am able to advocate for the valuable and rewarding profession of agriculture education through the National Teach Ag Ambassador program for the 2021-22 school year.
I am thrilled to see what this summer brings as the Franklin County Farm Bureau Fellow. I look forward to meeting county members here in the central Ohio community. My passion for people, education and agriculture makes me excited for this internship to connect with individuals throughout the summer!