Mike Videkovich

State Trustee Report

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 August state board meeting.

Guests at the meeting
Nationwide guests included board member Terry McClure; Dan Durheim, associate vice president, Sponsor Relations and Steve Hamilton, director, Advanced Consulting Group.

Also joining the meeting were Young Ag Professionals State Committee members Jonathan and Alyssa Zucker from Marion County, Geauga County Farm Bureau President Kevin Holy and Guernsey County Farm Bureau President Miranda Miser.

The board also welcomed Ohio Supreme Court Justice Patrick DeWine.

Strategic plan
The board is in the final stages of approving a strategic plan for 2022- 2024. Below are the four goals. The board will approve a final plan in November.

Goal 1: Advocacy
Advance our grassroots and political strength to shape public policy that empowers Ohio farmers and the agriculture community.
Goal 2: Value creation and delivery
Enrich our value proposition and improve the service delivery model to drive growth and member satisfaction.
Goal 3: Engagement
Increase meaningful engagement among members, partners, influencers and stakeholders throughout the food chain.
Goal 4: Organizational strength
Ensure organizational strength by adhering to a sustainable business model and fostering a culture of innovation, efficiency and service.

Delegate meetings
Back in June, the board adopted and forwarded to the code committee the recommendations made by the Membership and Financial Strength Task Force. Now, the code committee (composed of five board members and five county members) is meeting to determine its recommendations. The final recommendations will be put in front of the 2021 delegate body for its consideration at the state annual meeting in December.

Proposals being considered include: streamlining and simplifying membership, raising dues in order to continue serving members, offering a special incentive for young members, maintaining county Farm Bureau authority and viability, managing the size and representation of the delegate body and raising funds for AGGPAC.

To help 2021 annual meeting delegates learn more about proposed code changes, we are holding five in-person meetings for delegates in September. Check with your organization director for details.

OFBF Investment Reserves Policy
The board voted to revise the organization’s financial reserves policy. The prior policy stated that Ohio Farm Bureau should maintain one to two years of reserves, while striving toward two years of investment reserves. The new policy states that Ohio Farm Bureau should maintain one to one and half years of investment reserves minus liabilities. OFBF currently has 1.34 years worth of investment reserves. Most county Farm Bureaus currently maintain very healthy investment reserves.

Demo farms website
The latest conservation practices aimed at protecting water quality continue to be on display at the Blanchard River Demonstration Farms. Sharing lessons from the demo farms is the purpose of a new website.

Foundation grant opportunities
It’s grant season for the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation. Check out the Youth Pathways to Careers in Agriculture grant program. A virtual pre-submission pitch session will be held Sept. 29.

The foundation’s Action and Awareness grants award up to $3,000 to community groups. Application deadline is Oct. 1, 2021.

H2Ohio sign-up
Farmers in 10 additional counties in northwest Ohio are now eligible for H2Ohio funding to invest in targeted solutions to help reduce phosphorus runoff. Enrollment in the program is happening now. Sign-ups are open until Sept. 15 for Cover Crops and Small Grains and until Oct. 15 for Voluntary Nutrient Management Plans (VNMPs). Farmers could be eligible to receive up to $45 per acre for these practices.

Manure pit safety
In August, three brothers in St. Henry, Ohio, died from the toxic fumes of an underground manure pit on their family’s farm, sending shock waves across the agricultural community. To try to prevent future similar tragedies, OSU Extension will host training beginning this fall promoting safety in and around manure pits and other areas that generate harmful gases.

Hear it here
Ohio Farm Bureau staff members have been on the air recently. Listen to Jordan Hoewischer, director of water quality and research, discuss what a changing climate means for Ohio’s agriculture industry. Listen to Leah Curtis, policy counsel, discuss all things CAUV.

As we approach harvest season, please take the time to be safe. Best wishes for a bountiful harvest!