Storytime with a farmer

The American Farm Bureau Federation County Activities of Excellence awards celebrate unique, local, volunteer-driven programs that serve as models of innovation for local program development. The winning counties, including 14 from Ohio, receive a stipend to fund their participation in the American Farm Bureau CAE Showcase at the 2023 American Farm Bureau Annual Convention & Trade Show happening Jan. 6-11, in San Juan, Puerto Rico. AFBF received more than 143 entries across all membership categories, with only 24 activities nationwide being selected to present at the convention.

“Once again, Ohio has more CAE winners than any other state,” said Melinda Witten, Ohio Farm Bureau senior director, leadership development. “We are thrilled to see 14 counties recognized by the American Farm Bureau, and we are proud of what each county Farm Bureau across the state does to not only be an integral part of their community, but make it even stronger through these programs”.

Storytime with a Farmer

Helping children learn where food comes from and who grows it was the goal of Fayette County Farm Bureau’s Storytime with a Farmer program. Having farmers read books about agriculture to children at an elementary school, library and online was a highly effective way to build awareness and understanding of the industry. To help promote the program, a farmer was recorded reading a book about farm equipment from his tractor. This video was shared on YouTube and uploaded to the library website and social media allowing an even broader audience to be reached. A variety of accurate agriculture books were donated to each classroom and library, and special activities and mementos were provided for the children.

Representing Fayette County at the annual convention and trade show will be Organization Director Ashley Rose, Kameron Rinehart, Lisa and Bob Peterson and Zach Sollars. While on this trip, they will get to discuss and explain how this program has better helped their community. They also look forward to hearing and learning about other national winning programs.

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

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