website- Member Spotlight

Bev and Bruce Riddle operate Irish Ridge Farm and are long-time members of Jefferson County Farm Bureau.

Bev shared their personal account of why they belong to Jefferson County Farm Bureau. 

“We are in the Ohio Farm Bureau because 50 years ago, William Packer, Sr. encouraged
our group of friends to start a Farm Bureau Advisory Council. Each month we discussed a guide on an important issue that affects farm families in Ohio and reported our opinions to the Ohio Farm Bureau. The next month we received feedback on the guide. Most of the policies that were directed by the Ohio Farm Bureau came from these grassroots advisory councils. We felt that we had a better understanding and made an important contribution to the policies that were voted on at the Annual Meeting. Ours and our sons’ closest friends developed from those meetings.

“Our council was our mental safety net. We meet monthly to laugh, discuss what is going
on in our lives and share fellowship along with the guides. When one member was diagnosed with cancer, we spearheaded and helped to buy and install an updated milking system, so that he could continue to milk. When my husband was killed in an accident on our farm, our council members repaired frozen water lines, visited often, and helped finish the addition that we had started on our house. When one of us was hosting a farm tour, we all pitched in and helped get ready. They are the family that you can count on, and we still meet monthly.

“Because of the council, I served on the county board. Bruce and I served as leaders for
the Jolly Ranchers Farm Bureau Youth Council where we had discussion guides concerning
issues that face farm youth. Many members attended Farm Bureau [youth] camps, learned and taught about farm safety through skits and presentations and even won the National Safety Council top award three times. The friendships that they formed in that group are still there.”

Since farmers are less than 2% of the population, we need an organization that can
represent us in the halls of Congress. Farm Bureau is the largest farm organization in the United States and is well respected for their opinions by our Senators and Representatives. It is difficult to stay abreast of all the issues that face farmers as we are such a diverse group, but Our Ohio helps us to do just that.”

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

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