Membership and Financial Strength Task Force notebook

Having a long-term plan in place for the direction of Ohio Farm Bureau and how we will continue to meet the needs of our members is critically important for our organization’s success. With the creation of the Membership and Financial Strength Task Force in 2019, we took a proactive approach to find ways that Farm Bureau may need to adapt as Ohio agriculture continues to evolve.

In 2018, when our organization’s strategic plan was created, a key goal was to balance the budget every year. That has been accomplished, and today our bottom line is in a good place, but in both the short and long term, we need to raise more revenue, while continuing to manage expenses and maintain key programs.

The task force, made up of county Farm Bureau members, Ohio Farm Bureau trustees and staff, worked tirelessly, taking part in numerous meetings and devoting countless hours to take into account Ohio Farm Bureau’s current state and what actions need to be taken to keep our organization on the right path. They considered the membership structure, our relationship with Nationwide, growing alternative revenue, reducing costs and expenses, the increasing cost of doing business and membership dues.

Recommendations from the task force include having one member class, defined as “anyone who supports the mission and vision of the organization.” The task force also suggests that the state board consider findings from Farm Bureau Forward, a data-driven project that looked at current and future members and how we best serve and deliver value to them.

Another of the task force’s key findings is that by the end of 2021, a dues increase will need to be considered. Dues have remained the same since 2015.

The task force’s proposals were shared with county Farm Bureau leaders this past December, and are being continuously shared across the state in local county Farm Bureau meetings. The organization’s state board of trustees and OFBF Code Committee will consider these proposals next. Ultimately, voting delegates at our annual meeting would need to vote to finalize any of these items.

Every year introduces more challenges for Ohio agriculture, and every one of those challenges confirms the value of Farm Bureau to our members. After an exceptionally difficult 2020, 2021 is chock-full of demanding issues for agriculture. From strengthening the food supply chain to connecting rural Ohio with reliable broadband, protecting landowner’s rights to fighting against federal efforts in Congress to tax the simple intergenerational transfer of farmland, there is plenty of work to be done.

We appreciate your membership, and we look forward to your input as to how we can continue to be a strong voice to find solutions for your most important challenges today, tomorrow and for many years to come.

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

Advocacy
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