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Advisory Councils have new platform to discuss issues

Published Oct. 15, 2009 | Discuss this article on Facebook
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Buckeye Farm News

With a new Advisory Council section, Buckeye Farm News is now home to an important part of Ohio Farm Bureau’s grassroots policy development process.

The addition is designed to make the Advisory Council program more prominent and accessible to all members and to elicit feedback on a variety of current topics.

Building on a more than 70-year history, the Advisory Council program consists of small groups of Farm Bureau members who meet regularly to discuss farm and rural issues. The input they provide is reviewed by OFBF’s public policy team to help guide the policy development process. OFBF has 450 Advisory Councils, which serve as a sort of book group for policy issues.

“Advisory Councils are clearly an important part of what Farm Bureau does,” said Chris Henney, OFBF director of legislative relations. “We are excited to put a new focus on the program through the Buckeye Farm News.”

Previously, Advisory Councils received 10 council guides annually, each centered on a single topic. Buckeye Farm News is mailed 16 times per year and will have discussion questions that reflect the wide scope of issues in which OFBF is involved. This will give Advisory Councils more opportunity to focus on topics that are timely and important to their community.

“Advisory Councils will have flexibility to discuss the topics most relevant to their members while providing information on an array of current issues,” Henney said. “In addition, Farm Bureau members who are not involved in Advisory Councils will be able to follow important council discussions through Buckeye Farm News.”

Advisory Councils will have the option to submit their responses through the mail or online as they have always done. The councils will be provided with general response sheets that they can use throughout the year.

Responses from Advisory Council discussions will be featured in upcoming editions of Buckeye Farm News, just as had been done in monthly council guides. The monthly drawing for a honey baked ham will also be continued.

“To meet the needs of all of our members, we need to think beyond a one-size-fits all approach,” Henney said. “By including the Advisory Councils in Farm Bureau’s primary member publication, we hope to attract more interest while also providing more options.”

To join or create an advisory council, contact your local organization director.

OFBF is also creating a discussion forum on its Facebook page where all members are welcome to join in real time policy discussions. Visit www.facebook.com/OhioFarmBureau, and click on the Discussions tab.



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