Renee Hamilton

I have been looking forward to session two of AgriPOWER since I submitted my application, and I am excited to say that the session did not disappoint! From learning communication and leadership skills to learning about the diversity of agriculture in Ohio, I was able to step away from the session with many skills I cannot wait to implement in my professional and personal life.

As an avid podcast listener, I enjoyed learning about the nuts-and-bolts of podcasting and everything that is involved with producing a high-quality podcast. Beyond learning about podcasting, we learned the importance of using our authentic voices when talking with the media and how to formulate a response rather than responding quickly and regretting what was said later.

A favorite part of the session was learning about leadership and how to become a better leader in the various organizations we may be involved. We learned about the five levels of leadership and what each of the levels meant. Once we had a grasp of what each level entailed and how to reach each new level we evaluated where we all felt we ranked among the levels. We all quickly realized that we may be on different levels in the various organizations we participate. The knowledge I gained during this portion of session two is something that I have continually thought about since leaving the session.

While we learned more than what I have already mentioned in the classroom setting, we were able to visit a handful of farms and learn about the vast diversity of agriculture in the small state of Ohio.

We began our farm visits at a row crop operation that heavily monitors their nutrient application and water runoff. I happen to be one that has heard some discussion around water quality, but have never been directly affected, therefor never dug deeper to learn more and understand the problem. After visiting this row crop operation in northwest Ohio, I learned how large the issue happens to be and what farmers in the area are doing to make the situation better.

Our next stop was a Christmas tree farm, and I must say that I really enjoyed this visit. Picking a Christmas tree is my favorite holiday tradition, so getting to learn more about the behind-the-scenes operations that go into an operation that makes majority of their profit two to three months of the year was very eye-opening.

Getting to go behind-the-scenes of an operation that makes majority of their profit two to three months of the year was very eye-opening.

The last stop, and arguably my favorite, was a Standardbred breeding facility. For my day job, I work at a bull stud, so I found it very interesting to learn about the same sector of a different industry. Some of the similarities and differences of the two industry was astounding to me.

As I drove home from Session 2, I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude to be able to learn from industry professionals and visit incredible farms that perfectly showcase Ohio agriculture.

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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