Ohio Farm Bureau Young Agricultural Professionals are 18 to 35, singles and married, who are interested in improving the business of agriculture, learning new ideas and developing leadership skills. Whether you have a half-acre or 5,000 acres or work in the food and farming industry, Ohio Farm Bureau’s Young Ag Professionals has a place for you! Farm Bureau Young Agricultural Professionals are full- and part-time farmers, OSU Extension agents, teachers, consumer educators, former Ohio Farm Bureau Youth members, FFA and 4-H alumni, farm media communicators, livestock and equine enthusiasts, wine makers, alpaca breeders, seed representatives, beekeepers, green industry employees, gardeners, foodies and more.
Attendance at the Young Ag Professionals Winter Leadership Experience is just one benefit of being an Ohio Farm Bureau member. If you are not yet an OFB member, learn more about membership or join now. And then register to join us at the conference!
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County level Young Ag Professionals groups are popping up across the state. Each group’s activities is driven by those who participate, with some focusing on educational activities, some on social activities, and some combine both. Find out where these local groups are, and if there is not a group near you, contact your county Farm Bureau about starting one!
There are a variety of ways to get involved with Young Ag Professionals including:
- Winter Leadership Experience
- Washington, D.C. Leadership Experience
- State Committee
- Excellence in Agriculture Contest
- Discussion Meet Contest
- Outstanding Young Farmer Contest
YAP Activities and Opportunities
The Young Ag Professionals Winter Leadership Experience is an annual conference with the opportunity to build personal and professional skills, network with agricultural leaders, and learn how to make a difference in your community, Farm Bureau and agriculture. Conference sessions cover topics ranging from traditional agriculture, niche farming/marketing to consumer education topics. Check out all the highlights from the 2016 conference. The 2017 conference is Feb 3-4, 2017. Learn more and register.
Young professionals with strong leadership potential are hand-selected each year to share their ideas with members of congress and to learn about international agriculture and how to grow personally and professionally. The trip takes place in September and includes a visit with the young professional’s congressional representative, meeting with American Farm Bureau staff members for industry and issues updates, a behind-the-scenes look at how Washington really works, networking with other young professionals, and exploring a world view of agriculture during a visit to an embassy. Learn more or contact your county Farm Bureau if you are interested in the annual trip.
State Committee members assist with creating educational and leadership development programs for Ohio Farm Bureau’s Young Agricultural Professionals. A total of eight positions are on the team, and a position may be filled by either a single individual or a married couple. Members serve a two-year term with four returning and four new positions each year.
Craig Pohlman of Venedocia is the winner of Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s 2016 Outstanding Young Farmer Award.
The Outstanding Young Farmer Contest is designed to recognize successful young farmers, age 35 or younger, for achievements in the business of farming and leadership in the agricultural community. Applicants should have a majority of their income subject to normal production risks as well as ownership (or part ownership) of the operation/business. Each year, the top three applicants have a 20-minute interview with a panel of three judges in September. The winner is recognized at the Ohio Farm Bureau annual meeting in December and receives an expense-paid trip to compete in the national contest at the AFBF annual meeting the following January, which in 2017 is in Phoenix. Additionally, this year’s winner, Craig Pohlman receives 250 hours free use of an M-series tractor provided by Kubota, a Polaris Ranger provided by Polaris and $1,000 in Grainger merchandise sponsored by Farm Credit Mid-America.
The application period has closed for 2016.
Excellence in Agriculture
Aaron and Sarah Heilers of Anna are the winners of Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s 2016 Excellence in Agriculture Award.
If you work off the farm and are a leader in Farm Bureau and the community, then this contest is for you. This award is designed to recognize successful young agricultural professionals (singles or couples) who are actively contributing and growing through their involvement with Farm Bureau and agriculture but do not have the majority of his or her income subject to normal production risk. Each year, the top three applicants will have a 25-minute presentation before a panel of judges in September. The statewide winner is recognized at the Ohio Farm Bureau annual meeting in December and receives an expense-paid trip to compete in the national contest at the AFBF annual meeting, which in 2017 will be in Phoenix. This year’s winners, the Heilers, will receive a John Deere Gator courtesy of Farm Credit Mid-America and a $1,000 technology package sponsored by Ohio Farm Bureau.
The application period has closed for 2016.
2016 Discussion Meet winner Stephen Caraway of Adams County delivering his closing statements. He will compete in the national contest in January 2017 in Phoenix.
If you are a good conversationalist, then this contest is for you. The Discussion Meet is a competitive event designed to simulate a committee meeting where discussion and active participation are expected from each participant. This competition is evaluated on an exchange of ideas and information on a pre-determined topic. Participants build basic discussion skills, develop a keen understanding of important agricultural issues and explore how groups can pool knowledge to reach consensus and solve problems. The statewide winner is recognized at the Ohio Farm Bureau annual meeting and receives an expense-paid trip to compete in the national contest at the AFBF annual meeting in January, which is in Nashville in 2018. The winner will receive a $1,000 prize from Nationwide Insurance.
Discussion meet applications are due Oct. 31, 2016. Semi finals are held at the Ohio Farm Bureau annual meeting in December 2016 and finals are held at the Young Ag Professionals Winter Leadership Experience in February 2017.