Ohio Farm Bureau advocates for Ohio agriculture

American Farm Bureau Federation is accepting nominations for its Partners in Advocacy Leadership program. The program is designed to help today’s agricultural leaders ages 30-45 accelerate their engagement abilities and solidify their role as powerful advocates for agriculture. The PAL program focuses on taking young members who have already begun their personal development journey and moving them to the next level. The curriculum focuses on core competencies such as self-awareness, industry knowledge, message development, message delivery, policy engagement and interpersonal skills.

Ohio is asking that all members who are interested submit their applications to Melinda Witten by Monday, March 11 to [email protected]. Applications will be reviewed by a panel of Ohio Farm Bureau staff members, and two applications will be chosen to submit to American Farm Bureau.

Candidate qualifications

Ideal candidates will be interested in advocacy and policy and are eager to use social media. Please note eligible candidates need to be between the ages of 30-45 at some point during program years 2024-2025. The following criteria below are not required, but desired:

• State winner of a Young Ag Professionals competitive event such as Discussion Meet, Outstanding Young Farmer or Excellence in Agriculture.
• Retired member of any AFBF national committee.
• Retired chairs of a state Farm Bureau committee.
• Finalists from PAL nominations who were not previously selected.
• Graduate of a state leadership or advocacy development program such as AgriPOWER or a commodity group program.
• Demonstrated excellence in advocacy or political outreach on the state or national level.

Service commitments

PAL class members must attend four training modules and graduation from June 2024 to March 2025. Modules are tentatively scheduled for: 

-June 23-27, 2024 

-Sept. 22-26, 2024

-March 23-27, 2025

-Sept. 19-25, 2025 (reliant upon international location’s holiday schedule)

-February 2026 (Graduation tentatively set for AFBF Young Farmer and Rancher Leadership conference)

Entry Form and Application Guidelines

-Do not use abbreviations or acronyms.

-Properly complete the application through electronic submission. 

-Attach one portrait headshot 

Application (PDF)

If you have questions about this program specifically, please contact Johnna Miller, senior director of media and advocacy training at American Farm Bureau: [email protected] or 202-406-3650. 

Online Extra

Sarah Ison from Clermont County participated in the PAL program, completing it in 2022. Read about her experience.

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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