Fairfield, Hocking, Pickaway Ross counties, Ohio

June state board meeting and other news

Editor’s Note: This is a republishing of an enewsletter sent by state trustee Mike Videkovich.

I am Mike Videkovich, and I represent your county on the Ohio Farm Bureau board of trustees along with Regional Trustee Jenny Cox. Following is a summary Ohio Farm Bureau has provided of key items covered during the June meeting, as well as some other news items.

The meeting was a three-day retreat at Deer Creek State Park. We had a lot to cover, including discussing and voting on items recommended from the Membership and Financial Strength Task Force and digging into a new/updated Strategic Plan for 2022 – 2024.

Guests
Nationwide board guests included board member Paul Wenger (who is also a past president of the California Farm Bureau) and Dan Durheim, associate vice president, Sponsor Relations.

Other guests who helped with strategic planning included Jeff King with Ohio State’s Leadership Center and Ann Gallagher, Gallagher Consulting Group.

The board also welcomed local county presidents as well as Ohio Department of Natural Resources Director Mary Mertz to join us for dinner. This was the first meeting for new District 9 trustee Danielle Burch.

A plan for 2022 – 2024
Strategic planning development included a review of stakeholder research results that provided member ratings and feedback on key programs and benefits. The board discussed the organization’s mission, vision and values. In addition, the board discussed and voted on the Membership and Financial Strength Task Force recommendations regarding member classifications and definitions, dues levels and more. Look for more information about local meetings where county leaders will be briefed on the proposals. In the meantime, read more about the proposals to OFBF’s Code Committee.

Foundation events, programs
Cultivating a Cure is Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation’s annual fundraiser that has raised over $750,000 in the past 10 years to support cancer treatment and prevention research at Ohio State University. For its 11th year, the event will be returning to where it all began: Porteus Farms in Coshocton Aug. 15. Visit cultivatingacure.org for sponsorship and registration information.

The Yvonne Lesicko Perseverance Prize, the “Y Prize” for short, is a new award created by the Yvonne Lesicko Memorial Fund. This award will be used to recognize groups or individuals working to find innovative solutions to farmer mental health issues. Nomination deadline: July 23.

The foundation is proud to welcome its newest members to the board of directors, Nathan Brown and Roger Nicol. Brown is a current member of the Farm Bureau state board and a farmer from Highland County. Nicol is retired after a 40-year career in the ag cooperatives system and raises registered Suffolk sheep in Union County. Farm Bureau state trustee Jenny Cox was elected second vice president of the foundation.

Health Benefits Plan welcomes Anthem
Current Ohio Farm Bureau Health Benefits Plan participants will be seeing a major enhancement in plan benefits starting July 1. Anthem will become the health network provider and reinsurer also providing administrative services, which include claims processing, provider network and pharmacy benefit management.

Water quality: Know these myth busters
In early July, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Heidelberg University’s National Center for Water Quality Research will release their official Lake Erie algal bloom forecast. Early indications are that this year’s bloom will be another mild one, with a less than 4 rating on a scale of 1 (mild) to 10 (severe).

No matter how favorable the forecast is for mild algal blooms, critics of agriculture will be once again making claims about our industry’s impact on water quality that are simply not true. That’s why in late June, Ohio Farm Bureau launched “MythBusters Week” throughout our social media channels. Farm Bureau’s Ty Higgins tackled myths about Ohio livestock farms going unregulated, how all of Ohio’s pollution prevention programs are voluntary, how too many livestock farms and their manure are ruining Lake Erie and more. See his rebuttals to those claims on Facebook or Twitter and in this full video.