Gifted Grass Farms Dog

Planting season is upon us. As farmers ready their fields, hope springs eternal for good weather and a bountiful crop. 

Soil testing is an important practice for any farmer and a key resource in making fields as fertile as they need to be while still protecting water quality, a priority of Ohio Farm Bureau members. 

In the May/June Our Ohio magazine, we look at 20 years of data analyzed by The Fertilizer Institute, which shows that the number of soil samples tested for Ohio increased from about 69,000 in 2001 to nearly 274,000 in 2020. Over the same time period, the median soil test phosphorus levels dropped from 38 to

26 parts per million (Mehlich 3). We talk to Putnam County member Jeff Duling about how soil testing helps his bottom line, and also report on all the ways farmers and Farm Bureau have made positive impacts on the state’s water quality.

Also rising up from rural Ohio are local leaders who have used their abilities to become important officeholders in their own communities – from mayors and county commissioners, to school board members and beyond. In this issue we speak to Plain City Mayor Jody Carney and others about the unique perspective they bring to their roles in local government.

In May/June Our Ohio we also trace the journey of first-generation farmer and gourmet sous chef Colin Brown in Medina County, whose entrepreneurial spirit and interpersonal skills have grown his livestock and poultry operation, Gifted Grass Farms, to where it is today. (His dog is our featured image.) We also profile a new member of the staff, Jana Mussard, who has taken on the reborn position of ag literacy specialist at Ohio Farm Bureau, a role members have been asking for for nearly a decade. 

Executive Vice President Adam Sharp’s Across the Table column addresses recent attacks on agriculture, noting that it is more important than ever to tell the story of the industry, one personal tale at a time, while debunking myths and highlighting the value of Farm Bureau membership bringing a united industry voice to the table with policy makers and stakeholders.  

Other items of interest in this issue include the latest OSU Impact from the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, as well as reader favorites — early summer recipes and Grow and Know eventsThese are just some of what members will find in the latest issue of Our Ohio magazine, a benefit of Farm Bureau membership and Our Ohio supporters. A digital edition is also available.

Having opportunities to attend leadership institutes, advocate for rural Ohioans on the state and national level, facilitate young ag professionals events, and serve in a variety of leadership positions have helped my skills grow exponentially.
Sara Tallmadge's avatar
Sara Tallmadge

Ashland 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
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
I was gifted the great opportunity through an Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation Youth Pathways grant to run a series of summer camps here. That really expanded my vision of what ‘grow, maintain, sustain and explain’ could actually be.
Jim Bruner's avatar
Jim Bruner

Mezzacello Urban Farms

Farming for Good
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
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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