Yvonne Lesicko

Farm life can be demanding and stressful, and the mental health challenges that come with it is an ongoing problem. Ohio Farm Bureau has been a part of many initiatives to raise mental health awareness and reduce stigma surrounding the issue in rural communities.

Now in its second year, the Yvonne Lesicko Perseverance Prize, the “Y Prize” for short, recognizes groups or individuals working to find innovative solutions to farmer mental health difficulties, including addressing obstacles in accessing resources, lessening stigma around mental health concerns and collaborating among health care, rural medicine and agriculture groups.

“We hope the Y Prize can provide recognition and a ‘thank you’ to groups and individuals working to advance this cause,” said Kelly Burns, executive director of the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation.

The prize was created by the Yvonne Lesicko Memorial Fund, which was established to recognize the life and career of Yvonne Lesicko, former Ohio Farm Bureau vice president of public policy. Housed within the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation, the Yvonne Lesicko Memorial Fund has raised more than $90,000 thanks to the generous support of more than 300 donors.

Recipient recognition

The Y Prize award recipient, whether an individual or a group, will be given a platform to share their work and efforts. As part of the award, Ohio Farm Bureau will feature and recognize the award recipient in publications and social media, at the state annual meeting (Dec. 8-9, 2022) and during the Young Ag Professional Winter Leadership Experience (Jan. 27-28, 2023). All of this is part of the award’s goal of lessening the stigma surrounding mental health issues.

How to apply

Nominations are being accepted through July 31, 2022.

Online extra

Learn more about 2021 recipient Jami Dellifield

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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