Value of Farm Bureau Membership

Working together for Ohio farmers to advance and strengthen our communities is the mission of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation. This grassroots membership organization was founded in 1919 is committed to supporting our farm and food community.

If you are a follower of this column and my articles, you probably already know that I am passionate about this organization. Farm Bureau is the voice for agriculture, but also for consumers. Farm Bureau is open to all who support our mission, whether you work professionally in the agricultural industry or simply appreciate and understand the value of agriculture in your community.

I think there are a lot of things that Farm Bureau is doing and advocating for that you care about and possibly benefit from. So, I’m going to share with you some of our priority issues and accomplishments.

When COVID-19 hit, weak links in the food supply chain became evident. Farm Bureau secured $10 million in state funding for meat processing grants to help existing plants in Ohio expand capacity and fund new construction, and continues to promote policies and programs to increase meat and poultry processing capacity in Ohio to make the food system more resilient for farmers and consumers.

Farm Bureau advocates for rural Ohioans. The organization works to secure resources to rebuild, repair, or modernize transportation infrastructure, including rural roads and bridges, ports, and inland waterway locks and dams.

Another priority issue is Ohio Rural Broadband Expansion. It has been a slow process, but Farm Bureau is fighting to get rural Ohioans connected.

Available health care is another priority. Farm Bureau supports the expansion of telehealth into rural communities to provide critical health care needs, including access to behavioral health care. They also manage OFB Health Benefits Plan.

When Farm Bureau advocates for farm businesses, it is advocating for all small businesses. It defended Ohio’s small business tax deduction, making the first $250K of business income nontaxed. It has saved Ohio employers an estimated $72.1 million in workers’ compensation premiums through group rating programs.

Do you care about 4-H, FFA and the county and state fair? Farm Bureau is advocating for and preserving funding for local services including OSU Extension, Soil and Water, high school ag education career tech and FFA. Plus, Farm Bureau is working with nine major Ohio agricultural groups to bring forth a set of recommendations to modernize the Ohio Expo Center and State Fair. They have made sure that the agricultural community was at the discussion table.

ExploreAg is a program I can’t talk enough about. This program offers free summer camps and experiences to any Ohio high schooler who is interested. It is a fun way to explore careers that will support our food and agricultural industries. The Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation works with an ever-growing list of collaborators: OSU, University of Findlay, Wilmington College, Hocking College, Central State University, and more.

This is not an exhaustive list of benefits to nonfarming members, but hopefully some things that you hadn’t thought of before. Consider this: The average age of today’s U.S. farmers is increasing, and the total number of farmers continues to decrease, yet they are feeding more people than ever each year.

If benefits listed do not make you want to become a Farm Bureau member, knowing that your support to those that feed us every day should. Interested? Call 440-426.2195 or email [email protected] or visit

Submitted by Mary Smallsreed, a member of the Trumbull County Farm Bureau and grew up on a family dairy farm in northeast Ohio.

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

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.
Ernie Welch's avatar
Ernie Welch

Van Wert County Farm Bureau

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.
Matt Aultman's avatar
Matt Aultman

Darke County Farm Bureau

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.
Jaclyn De Candio's avatar
Jaclyn De Candio

Clark County Farm Bureau

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.
Jenna Gregorich's avatar
Jenna Gregorich

Coshocton County Farm Bureau

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.
Jared Hughes's avatar
Jared Hughes

Groovy Plants Ranch

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.
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

Suggested Tags: