Bill Patterson 2023 annual meeting

On Dec. 7 and 8, our Ohio Farm Bureau held its 105th annual meeting in Columbus, and it was a truly inspiring experience. More than 350 dedicated delegates, along with 750 passionate members and guests, gathered to represent our county Farm Bureaus.

It’s incredible to think that these individuals, busy with their farms, ag businesses, and jobs, set aside time to ensure that the voices of their fellow county members were not just heard but truly understood.

The beauty of this gathering lies in its grassroots process — a process filled with robust discussions, thorough research and thoughtful deliberation. It’s the very core of our organization — policy. Policy discussions ranged from the realms of artificial intelligence and community solar projects, to the more tangible issues of feral swine, livestock shows, and the support for the use of Food and Drug Administration and Food Residue Avoidance Databank standards.

In the wake of recent disasters, the importance of local emergency management agencies collaborating with the agricultural community was an important topic as well. Farm Bureau also stood firm in advocating for the ongoing monitoring and assessment of air, land, plant and water resources in areas affected by disasters – a crucial step toward recovery.

What struck me most during the meeting was witnessing people from diverse backgrounds – large and small farmers, ag business owners, organic and conventional farmers – coming together. Despite varying beliefs, opinions and experiences, they shared a common goal: working together to ensure the future of agriculture.

It’s a call to unity that goes beyond the meeting halls. If you’re a member, I encourage you to share your thoughts and opinions with your county board. Your voice matters. If you’re involved in agriculture, consider joining Farm Bureau – it’s an opportunity to be part of a collective effort to shape the future of our industry.

Now, more than ever, our industry needs advocates. It needs people who are willing to stand up and fight for its survival and prosperity. The challenges we face are vast, but together, as a united force, we can overcome them.

So, let’s keep the spirit of collaboration alive, let’s keep those conversations flowing, and let’s work together to ensure a bright and resilient future for agriculture in Ohio. After all, it’s the passion, simplicity, and friendliness of individuals like you that make our rural communities truly special.

Submitted by Mandy Orahood, the organization director at the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation for Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake and Trumbull counties.


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.
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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