AgriPOWER Class XIV Session 2
Dierdre Christy and Mary Wilhelm
I’m pictured with fellow classmate, Dierdre Christy.

Session 2 for AgriPOWER Class XIV was a great opportunity to network with other agricultural professionals while attending the OFBF annual meeting. We were able to attend the general session, a breakout session, and the luncheon of the annual meeting. I attended the OFB Ag Literacy session to learn more about the program. I found that the session was very informative and I learned a great deal about the program. The program helps bring agriculture into classrooms.

We started Session 2 with supper with the OFBF board of trustees. It was a great networking opportunity getting to know some of the trustees that represent the great state of Ohio and Ohio agriculture. We listened to Dr. Jeff King with Ohio State University Leadership Center after supper. Dr. King presented to us change style preferences and how we interact with each other based on our style. This training helped me to identify ways to be more aware of how I interact with others. Once aware of any differences, I can make adjustments to understand others on a deeper level to help accomplish our goals and effectively communicate.

On Thursday we enjoyed an industry panel with commodity group leaders. In attendance for the panel was Elizabeth Harsh with Ohio Beef Council & Ohio Cattlemen’s Association and Madi Layman with the Ohio Soybean Council. Both ladies told us that it is okay not to know everything all at once; we can keep adding to our toolbox as we continue to learn and grow. It is important to remain an active learner and to always be curious.

We also met with Nationwide Directors Jeff Zellers and Paul Wenger on Thursday afternoon. Jeff is the Chairman & President of K.W. Zellers & Son, Inc., a seasonal business of Arrow brand fresh salad vegetables. Paul Wenger is a third-generation almond and walnut farmer who owns and operates Wood Colony Nut Company. Both Jeff and Paul provided us stories that helped give us solid advice that we can use in our personal and professional lives. They told us that change is a good thing: learn from it and evolve yourself.

Melanie Wilt Shift-ology
Melanie Wilt Shift-ology

To finish off our session we met with Melanie Wilt with Shift•ology Communication. Melanie spoke on Authentic Voices, and it was my favorite session. She taught us to Be Confident, Be Proactive and most importantly Be Yourself. These skills can be utilized in agriculture by helping to identify where you fit into the industry, understanding the audience, and presenting individual truth. These steps will help the audience better understand your viewpoint and help you to articulate your thoughts clearly. Melanie taught us how to communicate effectively and use less words doing so. We try to tell our side of the story with too many words and that’s how we can lose our audience. By learning how to communicate more effectively, we become better advocates for the industry we love.

I look forward to the new challenges, networking and opportunities for growth we will be experiencing as the Farm Bureau AgriPOWER Class XIV.

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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