Heidi Breyley

The opening session of AgriPOWER kicked off at the Ohio Farm Bureau in Columbus. As a new group of participants walk the halls of this building – you would have never guessed it. This group dove right in to getting to know everyone; our ice breakers and laughs filled the room the rest of the session.

Exciting new opportunities awaited us with guest speakers and personal development review. We began by getting to know Nationwide Insurance and getting a behind-the-scenes perspective of the Farm Bureau heritage. Dan Durheim, associate vice president, sponsor relations, brought so much excitement and enthusiasm to his role, who Nationwide is, and its mission and connection to Farm Bureau.

Dan shared how “Connectivity + Relevance + Trust = Business Environment to support mutual success,” and these three things are impactful to overall relationships. This partnership between Nationwide and Farm Bureau is important to agriculturists and something both organizations value and work together to sustain and strengthen.

Following Nationwide Insurance, we met Ohio Farm Bureau vice presidents and staff to learn more about their roles along with touring the office in general. Although their roles are different, they are still all working toward one main goal, and that’s to support the agriculture industry. Adam Sharp, executive vice president, shared about agriculture unity, industry, organization partnerships along with leadership. These communities of members are so diverse which allows for new ideas and strengths to work toward a greater plan. Nothing could excite me more than knowing we have such a strong community supporting agriculture today and in the future.

AgriPOWER Class XIII session oneBefore the session, the participants were asked to complete two different strengths assessments: Strengths Finder and Emotional Intelligence. Elise Stoddard Cruce and Jordan Henry from American Farm Bureau Federation came in to dive further into thinking about the strengths we possess and how we can utilize the strengths we have in our daily lives. Elise shared that “17% play to their strength ‘most of the time,’ are 6 times more likely to be engaged in their jobs, and 3 times higher quality.” Those numbers blew me away but also encouraged me to know I can play to my strengths more.

We rounded out the session learning about public speaking and how to know our audience when discussing a topic. These tips and tricks will be helpful when we present during session two. Kelly Burns joined us to share about the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation missions and goals of giving back within Ohio agriculture communities.

Reflecting on the first session of AgriPOWER, I feel excited, inspired, and open. This session revealed information that helped me better understand myself and encouraged my confidence. It also challenged my thinking to continue to develop and motivated me to be a better leader within my communities. Those three small words define this new opportunity for me, with newfound strength to guide us to be confident leaders in the agriculture industry and Ohio ag.

I'm eternally grateful for the support Ohio Farm Bureau scholarships provided in helping me turn my dreams into reality.
Bethany Starlin's avatar
Bethany Starlin

Hocking County Farm Bureau

Available scholarships
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
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.
Jenna Gregorich's avatar
Jenna Gregorich

Coshocton 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
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.
Jaclyn De Candio's avatar
Jaclyn De Candio

Clark County Farm Bureau

Young Ag Professionals program
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
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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