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Ohio Farm Bureau’s Young Ag Professionals

Winter Leadership Experience

February 2-3, 2018



Agriculture has many faces, just like our young ag professionals. We are young adults, single and married, who share a passion for farming, rural living, and/or local foods. We’re full and part-time farmers, Extension agents, teachers, consumer educators, media reporters, livestock and equine enthusiasts, beekeepers, green industry employees, gardeners, foodies and more! We invite you to join us for leadership experience, building personal and professional skills, networking with agricultural leaders, and making a difference in our communities, Farm Bureau and agriculture. Join us for a time of personal and professional development, meeting other young professionals from around Ohio, fun, food and fellowship!

Hyatt Regency
350 N. High Street | Columbus, OH 43215
 $100 a person with no hotel room
$180 a person with hotel room
$225 for two people sharing a hotel room
Many county Farm Bureaus offer full or partial scholarships for this conference.

Help Ohio Farm Bureau GROW

incentiveA special opportunity for YAP Conference attendees.

We want to invite you to be part of the team that is working to ensure Farm Bureau’s future.  Ask a friend, family member or coworker to join you, and become a member of Farm Bureau. You may also qualify for the gift by purchasing or renewing your own membership.

If you bring one (1) new membership to the conference, you will receive an official *Ohio Farm Bureau stainless steel mug or a stadium blanket while supplies last!

Your membership and the membership of other Farm Bureau members help to support programming for events just like this and many others.

*To be eligible for a gift, you must bring completed membership application and payment to the conference. Limit one gift per person. While supplies last. All memberships submitted at conference will also count towards the OFBF membership prizes.



Friday, February 2

5 p.m. Registration Opens, Tradeshow

5:45 p.m. Commodity Networking Sessions – Food available

7 p.m. Opening Session

8 p.m. Discussion Meet Finals

9 p.m. Big Bang Dueling Pianos
Games, prizes and food. Brought to you by Heartland Bank

10:30 p.m. Social Hour


Saturday, February 3

8 a.m. Breakfast and hotel checkout

8:15 a.m. Keynote Speaker – Kelly Barnes, Great Moments More Often

9:30 a.m. Round 1 Workshops

10:45 a.m. Round 2 Workshops

11:45 a.m. Lunch

1:15 p.m. Round 3 Workshops

2:30 p.m. Round 4 Workshops

3:45 p.m. Closing Session | Remarks from YAP chairs, door prizes

4:30 p.m. Adjourn

Round 1 Workshops

Educating the Confused Consumer Using Words We All Understand
Dr. Paige Pratt, Kansas Farm Bureau

GMO, Organic, Grass-Fed. The list of words used to describe food is endless and hard to interpret. Learn about the science of our food and how to describe practices and processing to consumers in layman’s terms so trust is built.

What You Need to Know About Insuring Your Operation and Grain Insurance
Paul Hall, Hall Nationwide Agency and
Jeremy Etzler, ProAg Crop Insurance

Does just hearing the word insurance confuse you? Visit with two pros to learn more about properly insuring your operation and grain commodities.

Canning and Preserving Your Backyard Garden
Derek Schmitt, Schmitt Farms

Canning can be more than basic green beans and tomato sauce! Learn the basics and gain the courage to can the food you grow for your family to enjoy all year long.

Small Business Planning
Jonathan Carter and Victoria Popp, Farm Credit Mid-America

Business plans are essential to growing your operation. Learn the simple steps to create a business plan to take your operation to the next level and maximize your lending opportunities.

Emerging Ag Careers – Panel
Chris Henney, Ohio AgriBusiness
Association; Andrew Gladden, Luckey Farmers, Inc; and Logan Haake, Legacy Farmers Co-Op

The agriculture industry is exploding with new careers. Learn about emerging careers in the agricultural industry, focusing on ag precision and technology.

Round 2 Workshops

Meet Ohio Farm Bureau’s Leadership
Adam Sharp, OFBF executive vice president and Frank Burkett, OFBF president

2017-2018 has been full of change for Ohio Farm Bureau leadership. Get to know Ohio Farm Bureau’s Executive Vice President, Adam Sharp and President, Frank Burkett and hear about their vision for the organization’s future.

Good, Bad and In Laws – Farm Transition Planning
Dr. Paige Pratt, Kansas Farm Bureau

Farm family transitions can be filled with challenges and rewards.Tips for a smooth transition will be discussed as well as the personal farm transition experiences that the presenter had during her farm family transition.

Using Local Food For Quick Meal Prep
Lyndsey Murphy, The Hive

Learn how to turn local ingredients into easy and delicious meals for your farm family or farm field crew! See quick and delicious recipes, along with a few tips and tricks to keep things in the kitchen fun!

Agricultural Grant Opportunities-How to Grow Your Farm Via Grants
Hannah Scott and Ivory Harlow, The Ohio State University CFAES Center for Cooperatives

Federal, state and private grant funds support local and regional food systems and benefit farm operations- But how do farmers find grants, determine eligibility and apply for funds? You’ll hear success stories from farmers who have utilized federal, state and private grant programs to grow their agribusinesses, better manage pasture and croplands, accomplish on-farm research, transition to organic and add on-farm energy, high-tunnels or honeybees to their farms.

What Did We Learn From The ‘80s – How to Survive a Down Ag Economy
Panel Discussion: Fred Yoder, Yoder Ag Service; Warren Graeff, PNC; Andrea Flower, Cargill; and David Shoup, Shoup Brothers Farms

The horror stories of farming in the ‘80s are a topic of conversation with the current ag economy. Hear from a panel of agriculturists who lived through it.

Round 3 Workshops

Managing the Process of Conflict
Lindsay Calvert, American Farm Bureau

The key to conflict is not to avoid it, but to learn how to identify and
use conflict to achieve successful outcomes that everyone can live with.
Come learn how personal conflict styles work and how to choose the
appropriate style for any situation.

Farm Labor: Laws, Programs and More
Panel Discussion: Leah Curtis, Ohio Farm Bureau; Scott Witten, Witten Farms;
and Chris Weaver, Bridgewater Dairy

Finding labor that meets the demands of the farm is one of the biggest
issues farmers face. Join this session to hear from Leah Curtis to learn
about laws, regulations and guest worker programs available to the
ag industry. Then hear from two very different farmers and how they
address farm labor issues on their farms.

3…2…1… Action! Creating Farm Videos
Renee McCauley, AFBF Promotion and Education Committee

Explore how you could advocate through video marketing. Have you
ever thought how you could incorporate videos into your farm messaging? Learn methods to develop video messaging to incorporate into your social media toolset.

Key Grazing Principles for Success
Roy Lewandowski, OSU Extension

“The best way to control livestock is to give them a green pasture.” Learn how to start and manage a grazing program for livestock.

Understanding Your Credit Score
Bennett Musselman and Seth Middleton, Heartland Bank

Credit scores! We hear that term so often but what does it mean? Discover the basics of a credit score: what it is, why it is important, how to improve it and make it work for you.

Round 4 Workshops

The Untapped Talent Pool: Female Leaders
Lindsay Calvert, American Farm Bureau

Ninety-two percent of of the respondents in the 2015 American Farm Women in Ag Survey agree: “There should be more women in leadership roles in the ag industry”. However, only 66 percent agree that they “have the opportunity to lead” in organizations. This session will explore what the research says about why there aren’t more female leaders and other specific implications.

Traits of an Effective Farmer
Panel Discussion:(Hosted by Ag Credit) Nate and Mariah Schroeder, Stephen Hirzel, Ryan and Nikki McClure and Tom Marquart

You may be familiar with Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. This session will focus on the habits and traits successful, productive and efficient family farmers and agribusinesses have developed, adopted and implemented.

How to Make Your Own Soap
Shannon Hillard, Oregonia Soap Works

Learn the tricks of the soap making trade from the expert, Shannon. Explore the wonderful science to crafting your own soap at home for personal use or for future sales.

Using Social Media Strategically
Dr. Emily Buck, Ohio State University

We all know what we can do with social media in our personal lives, but how can we strategically use it for our farms? Buck will go over some tips and best practices to using social media accounts to engage others in discussions about agriculture.

Tips And Tricks For Starting Your Own Business
Rodney Creech, Lawn Plus & 1808 Cafe

Want to be your own boss but don’t think that you can make that reality? Join Rodney as he discusses how to be successful starting your own business based off his experience.

WOW! More than 650 Young Ag Professionals have registered to attend the 2018 Ohio Farm Bureau Young Agricultural Professionals Winter Leadership Conference. We have an exciting program planned for you and the other conference participants. Here are a few details to help you plan your visit:

Location: The conference will be held at the Hyatt Regency in downtown
Columbus at 50 North High St. | Columbus, OH 43215. For specific driving directions to the parking garage, please use 44 East Chestnut Street. Once you are in the Chestnut Street garage, go to floor 3 to the skywalk and follow signs to the Hyatt.

Parking: Parking is covered by your registration fee, however, you must park in the Chestnut Street Parking Garage (44 East Chestnut Street) in order for your parking to be covered. Valet parking is not covered. Please take your parking ticket to the hotel front desk to be validated. If you are not staying the night, please park at the Chestnut Street Parking Garage and present your ticket to the front desk to be validated.

Registration: Starting Friday at 5 p.m. and ending at 8 p.m., a registration table will be available in the Delaware Foyer, located on the second floor of the Hyatt hotel. At registration, you will receive a name tag and conference packet.

Harvest for All T-Shirt Sales: Ohio Farm Bureau’s Young Agricultural Professionals are again selling T-shirts to raise money for the Ag Relief Fund. There are more options, new designs and calendars available this year.

Friday Night Food: There will be an open reception with heavy hors d’oeuvres. Food will be served from 6 p.m. until the start of the General Session at 7 p.m. Nonalcoholic beverages will be available at no charge, as well as a cash bar for those who are of legal age. Please note: no outside beverages (what you bring) will be permitted in hotel public areas as per hotel rules.

What’s on the Agenda for Friday Night after General Session? Enjoy the fun of two dueling pianos, right at our hotel. We will also have a few game options for those who wish to have a quieter evening. Also, stop by and visit with our conference sponsors in the Battelle Ballroom, as many of them will have a display.

Discussion Meet: The Discussion Meet contest state finals will be held Friday evening at 8 p.m. Please root on our finalists Casey Ellington, Jacob Hoelscher, Seth Middleton and Annie Specht.

Attire: The entire conference is casual dress: jeans, button-down shirts/polos/sweaters.

Incidentals: In-room services, nongroup food and parking (if you did not park in the parking garage mentioned above) are your responsibility and are not covered with your registration. You will be asked to provide the hotel front desk with your credit card upon check in for any incidentals.

Special Membership Offer: If you bring one (1) new membership to the conference, you will receive an official Ohio Farm Bureau steel mug or a stadium blanket.

Nationwide Survey: Is your farm ready and fully protected for whatever hits it? Complete this survey and you will automatically receive a FREE Agriculture is America’s Backbone T-shirt at the Conference. You will also be entered in to win an OHIO STATE WEEKEND! As a young ag professional, take the time to understand your risks. Answer these questions to help guide you through your current protections in place or possible risks you aren’t covered for. Don’t forget to visit the Nationwide booth at YAP and find out how to protect what matters most to you and your family.

If you have any additional questions, please contact Melinda Witten at 614-519-8761. Thank you again for attending the conference. See you there!


  • What’s the refund policy?
    Registration cancelled before January 5, 2018 is eligible for a full refund. After January 5, 2018, please contact [email protected]
  • How can I contact the organizer with additional questions?
    Send an email to [email protected]

Young Ag Professionals Clothing


Help Ohio’s Young Ag Professionals raise money for Agriculture Relief Efforts across the United States!

Download the conference app

Download the conference app to have the full agenda, program and lot of conference extras in the palm of your hand! 


The Big Bang Dueling Pianos

Join us for fun filled evening singing along with best dueling pianos Columbus has to offer. Fun games, contests and prizes will also be available!


Kelly Barnes; Great Moments More Often

Kelly Barnes, Professional Speaker/Leadership Coach

Kelly will make you laugh, make you think, and most importantly make you realize the power of the things we do on a daily basis to make great moments more often!



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.

Stay connected by subscribing to the Growing Our Generation e-newsletter.

Young Agricultural Professionals is a part of Ohio Farm Bureau Federation. If you are not an Ohio Farm Bureau member, find out more about membership or join now. We’d love to have you as a member.