The latest Feeding Minds author is Ohio Farm Bureau member Michelle Houts of Celina.Read More
For me, Ohio Farm Bureau’s annual meeting always serves many purposes for our members. It provides a great opportunity to spend time together and share stories of another year gone by, offers a chance to celebrate our recent successes and invigorates us to move ahead ready to face any challenges that come our way.
In addition to updating our organization’s policies through our grassroots framework, this year’s meeting will also require our delegate body to consider revisions to our code.
These code change recommendations began to take shape over a year ago when we asked a Member and Financial Strength Task Force made up of members, partners and staff, about a vision and hope for what Ohio Farm Bureau looks like well into the future. Their suggestions were then given to a Code Committee, also made up of members and state board members.
One common theme rang true through meetings of both the Task Force and Code Committees – Ohio Farm Bureau’s strength is in our membership and we must continue to bring value to our members in all that we do.
That value includes our successful advocacy efforts that save your farm money through massively reduced tax and regulatory burdens, key partnerships to help move Ohio Farm Bureau’s priority issues forward, top notch communications efforts about those issues to not only our members, but also consumers and lawmakers, along with highly effective leadership and staff to make it all possible.
No one knows exactly what the future holds, but one thing is for sure – farming across the globe is changing. We are seeing dramatic changes in technology, science, production systems, the workforce and our supply chain. We are realizing a shift in consumer trust and expectations, environmental demands and a challenging urban/rural divide.
At the same time, Ohio Farm Bureau has been managing significant changes in our membership structure. To stay ahead of expected revenue trends, Ohio Farm Bureau made significant cuts in expenses and raised new revenue over the last three years, but with current dues levels that were set in 2015, we will be facing budget challenges in 2022 and beyond.
After taking all of this into consideration, the Code Committee is considering several changes that include membership classes and dues rates.
We have always been an “all hands on deck” organization and, under the proposed model, active membership would be open to anyone who supports the mission and vision of Ohio
Also being considered is a statewide dues rate and an increase in those dues. As I mentioned, we have done great work throughout the membership transition over the past several years to diversify revenue and cut costs, which has placed the organization currently in a fiscally strong position, but we must act soon to maintain that financial stability.
These are significant and important recommendations and the outcome of our member’s decisions will determine how impactful we can be as an organization for many years to come.
I look forward to seeing you at our annual meeting as we reflect on the great work of the past year and plan ahead to meet challenges and the opportunities in front of us to keep our members’ voices heard and all of Ohio agriculture strong.
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.Farm Labor Resources
I appreciate the benefit of having a strong voice in my corner. The extras that are included in membership are wonderful, but I'm a member because of the positive impact to my local and state agricultural communities.Strong communities
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.Leadership development
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.Young Ag Professionals program
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.Growing our Generation
Knowing that horticulture is under the agriculture umbrella and having Farm Bureau supporting horticulture like it does the rest of ag is very important.Groovy Plants Ranch
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.Washington, D.C. Leadership Experience
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