Bill Patterson’s election took place during Ohio Farm Bureau’s 105th annual meeting, Dec. 7-8 in Columbus.Read More
December in the Farm Bureau family means the annual meeting in Columbus. It is a time for delegates from county farm bureaus across the state to come together to conduct the business of this grass roots organization. Although I was only an observer this year, it was exciting for me to watch this year’s delegates make an impact for agriculture.
Approximately 360 delegates from Ohio’s 88 counties were in attendance at last week’s two-day meeting. They came ready to discuss and vote on proposed policies that will direct the actions of this agricultural advocacy organization during the coming year. But where do these proposed policies come from?
Policy is often driven by issues or problems faced by county residents. They can be of local nature just affecting our county or of a state or national level of concern. Each county’s policy committee gathers this information and presents the policies to the members in attendance at their county annual meetings each fall. The local policies help direct county farm bureau programming and actions. The adopted state and national policies get moved up the line to a state policy committee is made up of five county Farm Bureau members from across the state and five district trustees that serve on the Ohio Farm Bureau Board. This committee is charged with the responsibility to gather and organize all the policies submitted from the counties. Aided by the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation state staff, each of these policies is examined to see if they already exist in policy or conflict with existing policy. If it is a new policy, often times, more information is gathered as the policy is prepared.
Once all of this is done it is ready to be presented to the delegates at the annual meeting. Delegates from each county have the opportunity to discuss and then vote on these policies to determine if they will be adopted by our state Farm Bureau. Because Ohio’s agriculture is very diverse, sometimes the discussion gets a little lively.
You may be thinking… so what? The mission of OFBF is to work together for Ohio farmers to advance agriculture and strengthen our communities. Having established policies of the OFBF which are voted on annually by a delegation of its membership is powerful. When issues come up, OFBF staff doesn’t have to poll our members to see what they think. They go to the policy and see what it says. It is unfortunate that agriculture needs to be protected, but we are very fortunate that we have the Farm Bureau stepping up to do just that.
Bill Patterson, the current state board president, shared with annual meting attendees that he believed that the Ohio Farm Bureau is a successful organization because we meet needs, address changing needs, we are relevant and make a difference. This organization’s true strength is membership as demonstrated through our policy process.
“People have within their own hands the tools to fashion their own destiny,” said Murray D. Lincoln, the first Executive Secretary of Farm Bureau.
Submitted by Mary Smallsreed, a member of the Trumbull County Farm Bureau and grew up on a family dairy farm in northeast Ohio.
OFBF Mission: Working together for Ohio farmers to advance agriculture and strengthen our communities.
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.Farm Labor Resources
I appreciate the benefit of having a strong voice in my corner. The extras that are included in membership are wonderful, but I'm a member because of the positive impact to my local and state agricultural communities.Strong communities
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.Leadership development
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.Young Ag Professionals program
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.Growing our Generation
Knowing that horticulture is under the agriculture umbrella and having Farm Bureau supporting horticulture like it does the rest of ag is very important.Groovy Plants Ranch
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.Washington, D.C. Leadership Experience
Cy Prettyman’s election took place during Ohio Farm Bureau’s 105th annual meeting, Dec. 7-8 in Columbus.Read More
Adele Flynn represents members from Cuyahoga, Erie, Huron and Lorain counties and will help govern Ohio’s largest general farm and food organization.Read More
Matt Vodraska of Doylestown has been elected to his first, three-year term on the board of trustees of Ohio Farm Bureau Federation.Read More