Christine Snowden

Session 4 for AgriPOWER Class XII took place in Columbus and Delaware, Ohio Nov. 18 and 19. The policy staff at Ohio Farm Bureau and Melinda Witten, our program coordinator, worked hard to set up a very informative tours for us within the state capital and at Consolidated Cooperative so that we were able to meet our four learning objectives set out for session 4:

  • Explore the legislative process at the state and local level.
  • Develop effective methods to communicate with policymakers, stakeholders, industry professionals, consumers and the public.
  • Explore Farm Bureau’s role in the policy development process.
  • Gain a first-hand perspective of agricultural facilities and businesses in Ohio.

Our adventure began at the Ohio Farm Bureau office in downtown Columbus on the 18th to receive updates on state issues from the policy team before our windy journey down to the Statehouse for the day. As with any day within the world of the legislature, the name of the game is to plan, replan and go with the flow of where the day takes you. Luckily for us, the House of Representatives was in session, and we got to meet with Rep. Susan Manchester for a quick Q&A of the bill that she is working to push through called Beginning Farmer Tax Credit.

It was great to hear from someone that has so much passion for the farmers here in the state of Ohio. Since session was going on, this also meant that the schedule for the day allowed us to get a great tour of the Statehouse and sitting in on a hearing of the committee led by Rep. Manchester. This was followed up with a great presentation from Ohio Farm Bureau Policy Counsel Leah Curtis as she went over the functions of the judicial branch within the state of Ohio all the way up to the federal level. She outlined how a case begins and how it works its way through the system to explain each part of the court system.

After Leah we heard from the state auditor Keith Faber and the function that he serves for the state of Ohio and how it is very different from our county auditors. To follow up on Leah’s presentation we made our way back out into the wind to walk to the Supreme Court building. Once inside the Supreme Court we received a very educational tour of the building that included not only the function of the building for the citizens of Ohio but also all of the rich history behind the beautiful architecture and art within the building. After our tour, we had the pleasure of meeting with Justice Patrick DeWine and learning more about his role within the judicial branch for the state of Ohio. He even allowed us to see into the robe room for the judges where they get ready for court.

On the 19th we were able to work through the rest of our learning objectives. First, we heard again from Leah Curtis on CAUV and local school funding, both things that majorly impact our communities. After this Leah led us into the next part of our morning and started our panel of local government officials from around the state of Ohio. The panel included a county auditor, mayor, and Ohio township trustee. Each of them gave us great insight into their roles within their communities and advice for starting out if we would like to become part of our local governments. Their advice was a great segue to the next presentation by Whitney Bowers as she explained to us the steps to take for a successful run to become part of local and state government.

Lastly, we were able to take a tour at Consolidated Cooperative out of Delaware, Ohio. Their tour gave us great insight into the rural broadband issues that many within the state of Ohio face and what their cooperative is doing for the consumers they serve. This session was extremely informative in all aspects that were covered, and we are very thankful for all those that took time to meet with us.

AgriPOWER is a leadership growth series for agricultural professionals. If you would like more information about AgriPOWER and how to be a part of the next class, please send all inquires to Melinda Witten at [email protected].


Farm Bureau is an incredible organization that has given me countless professional development opportunities in addition to advocating for all sizes and types of farmers.
Shana Angel's avatar
Shana Angel

Tuscarawas County Farm Bureau

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, D.C.
Austin Heil's avatar
Austin Heil

Hardin County Farm Bureau

Washington, D.C. Leadership Experience
Through its policies it brings together people in the agricultural community and invests in building vibrant communities that support agriculture.
Eric Bernstein 's avatar
Eric Bernstein

Wyandot County Farm Bureau

Future employees, leaders
If you have issues with local planning or have legal questions, someone at the Farm Bureau has the answer for you, or they’ll connect you with someone who does.
Gayle Hansen's avatar
Gayle Hansen

Cuyahoga County Farm Bureau

Hansen's Greenhouse
As a member of Farm Bureau, I am glad that this organization takes action when necessary to protect and advance agriculture.
Mary Smallsreed's avatar
Mary Smallsreed

Trumbull County Farm Bureau

Policy Development
We go to a lot of Farm Bureau events, and there’s a lot of camaraderie built because you’re meeting with people who have similar interests and goals.
Andy Hollenback's avatar
Andy Hollenback

Licking County Farm Bureau

Event Calendar
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