Ohio Farm Bureau’s Young Ag Professionals

Winter Leadership Experience

Jan. 31-Feb. 1, 2020



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
Many county Farm Bureaus offer full or partial scholarships for this conference. Discounts available for Group Membership participants. Contact your county Farm Bureau for details. 

Please share your thoughts on the conference and how you would like to engage with Ohio Farm Bureau through this quick survey.



Friday, Feb. 1

5:30 p.m. Registration and Food
5:30 p.m. Trade Show and Commodity Networking Night
6 p.m. First time Attendee Reception
7 p.m. Opening Session – 100 Year Celebration
8 p.m. Discussion Meet Finals
9 p.m. Casino Night and Ag Relief Fundraiser
10:30 p.m. Adjourn


Saturday, Feb. 2

7:30 a.m. Breakfast
8 a.m. General Session–Speaker: Vance Crowe
9 a.m. Break and Trade show

9:30 a.m. Round 1 Workshops

11 a.m. Round 2 Workshops

Noon Lunch and General Session

1:30 p.m. Break and Trade Show

2 p.m. Round 3 Workshops

3:15 p.m. General Session — Speaker: Chad Colby

4 p.m. Extended Learning Session

5:30 p.m. Adjourn

*Qualifies for 1 CEU from Certified Crop Advisors

Round 1 Workshops

The Squeeze From All Sides: How Farmers Can Leverage Analytics, Networking and Data-Driven Insights to Bring Profit Back to the Farm*
Nick Lund, Regional Manager, Farmers Business Network

During this session, farmers will get a better understanding of the power of the data they are already collecting to help make better, more profitable decision making. Hear from FBN’s chief economist on how to ground marketing decisions in data, rather than instinct. Get first-hand accounts on the power of price transparency around all production inputs (seed, chem, and fertilizer) and actionable insight on how to can gain leverage in an environment that continues to squeeze the farmer with already thin margins.

What is Your Most Important Crop?
Mary Courtney, Courtney Farms, LLC
Wife. Mother. Farmer. See how Mary Courtney keeps her priorities in that order, as she shares her challenges, successes and failures of a “start from scratch” farming operation with four young children. She will share experiences of walking the talk of protecting, promoting, and working to preserve farming for our children’s generation as part of my role. Conveying her journey will encourage other farm women to keep going when the going gets tough. Her passion and vulnerability will be contagious.

Starting your retirement plan now
Nationwide Land as Your Legacy

Save now for the future you want! 401ks, Compounding Interest, Diversification. Learn tips from the pros on how to start investing in your retirement plan now so you can have the future you dream of.

Buying a Farm Can Be Challenging
Bennett Musselman and Seth Middleton, Heartland Bank

How do you financially position yourself to buy your first farm? There are many programs available to assist young farmers with their first farm purchase. In this session, go through real life loan examples on how to take advantage of those programs and to prepare to purchase your first farm.

Water Quality and Nutrient Management Update*
Aaron Heilers, Blanchard River Demonstration Farms Network; Dr. Winslow, SEA Org 

Water quality and nutrient management are not optional. Learn about the research being done on the Blanchard River Demonstration Farms and what you need to know to be compliant with water quality and nutrient management regulations.

Round 2 Workshops

Market Volatility: Good or Bad? YOUR CHOICE!*
Bailey Elchinger, INTL FCStone

Everyone in agriculture faces market volatility on a daily basis. Some don’t know they are at risk, some don’t understand this risk and most do not know how to manage their price risk. This session will help you identify, understand and manage price risk and even how to take advantage and benefit from market volatility.

Diversifying with Direct to Consumer Marketing
Nick Carter, Market Wagon

Technologies like ecommerce and social media have made buying food direct from the farm easier than ever for consumers to do, and the market is easier than ever for farmers to enter. An Indianapolis-based company, Market Wagon, is on the leading edge of this trend. In this session, hear examples of how farms diversified with direct-to-consumer channels, what the market opportunity is for farmers today, how fast it’s growing, and what it could mean for your farm to get involved.

Chaos is a Ladder: How the breakup of traditional media creates unprecedented opportunity for farmers to shape the future*
Vance Crowe, Monsanto

Crowe will dive deeper into the chaotic change happening within media and describe who is coming to the forefront of popular culture. The session will cover how to explore these new mediums without becoming overwhelmed and describe where there are opportunities for the farming community to express their ideas in ways that others will listen.

What can Farm Bureau do for you?
Panel of Ohio Farm Bureau staff members: John Marihugh, Jenna Beadle and Paul Lyons

Are you new to Farm Bureau? Learn about the benefits of being a Farm Bureau member and how to make the most of being a member in this great organization.

Neighbor Relations on Your Livestock Farm
Panel Discussion: Josh Berry, Berry Grain Farm, Dave Heisler, Fine Swine LLC, Rob Clendening, SWCD

Hear from industry leaders on how to avoid harsh confrontation from your neighbors when diversifying your operation.

Round 3 Workshops

Beck’s Practical Farm Research*
Jared Chester, Beck’s Hybrids

Learn about the research and results being done at the Beck’s Practical Farm Research site in London, Ohio.

Is Organic Production for you?
Panel Discussion: Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association members: Elizabeth Coleman, Sweet Grass Dairy; Ron Meyer, Strawberry Hill Farm, Ltd.; and Jordan Settlage, co-owner, Settlage and Settlage

Have you been considering transitioning your farm to organic production? Are you planning to start a new certified organic farm business but are not quite sure if you are ready? During this session, a panel of organic farmers will share their personal stories about how they got started farming, why they chose to get certified to USDA’s National Organic Program Standards, and how this holistic production system and third-party certification affects their farms’ natural resources, their personal goals and their business’ bottom line.

Life Lessons from Dwight Schrute
Rose Hartschuh, Entrepreneur and Community Volunteer

Laugh along with everybody’s favorite character from The Office, Dwight Schrute. Rose will share Dwight’s life lessons as well as her own personal experiences to help college students and early-career professionals put their best feet forward.

Financial Benchmarking for Grain Operations*
Victoria Popp and Jonathan Carter, Farm Credit Mid-America

Young farmers are constantly working to balance growing their operations vs. building their financial position. Join this session to see how you stack up to similar operations through financial benchmarks provided by Farm Credit Mid-America.

Gene Editing in Livestock
Bo Harstine, Select Sires

Livestock producers are trying out a set of powerful new tools which have the potential to revolutionize agricultural practices and provide consumers with more healthy and safe food options.

Extended Learning Sessions

Food Evolution Screening: Faces of Farm and Ranching

Enjoy a screening of Food Evolution featuring some of the leading voices on all sides of the debate on agricultural genetic engineering, including scientists, farmers and activists, Food Evolution takes viewers from the trenches of the anti-GMO movement, around the world to farmers’ fields, and to laboratories of scientists tackling some of the most pressing agricultural challenges of our time.

Brewing Beer – Home Scale to Microbrewery
Nick Moeller, owner, Moeller Brew Barn

Join Nick to see his home brew system on display and walk through the basics of brewing beer at home. Scaling up to a microbrewery is just one big leap away!

Meal Prep for a Farm Family
Jennifer Osterholt, Marketing Consultant/Influencer at PlowingThroughLife.com

It is planting or harvest season and the troops need fed. But you are at a loss for what to fix! Join Jennifer and State YAP Committee members for a recipe swap and learn simple tips for preparing meals on the go for the family. Bring your favorites recipes to share!

Technology in Agriculture*
Chad Colby, Colby AgTech

Attend this in-depth session to learn more about Colby’s views on and expertise in agricultural technology including the use of UAV (drones) in production agriculture.

Homestead Meatsmithing
Katherine Harrison, Harrison Farms

This learning session is intended to give those growing their own livestock the knowledge to breakdown the meat for home use.

*Qualifies for 1 CEU from Certified Crop Advisors

Download the conference app to stay up-to-date on the activities at the event.


Are you an event speaker, sponsor or part of an OFBF group membership?

To register, please contact [email protected].

Where can I get a list of workshops being offered at this year’s event?

There are 20 workshops to choose from during the conference ~ check them out here.

What is the registration deadline?

Jan. 4, 2019

Are there ID or minimum age requirements to enter the event?

The conference is for current, paid Ohio Farm Bureau members between the ages of 18-35.

When will I receive confirmation of my registration?

You will receive a confirmation email for your event registration when you register. If you do not receive it, check your spam filter. Still don’t see it? You can contact [email protected] for help.

What’s the refund policy?

Registration cancelled before Jan. 4, 2019 is eligible for a full refund. After Jan. 4, 2019, please contact [email protected].

How can I contact the organizer with additional questions?

Send an email to [email protected].


Casino Night and Ag Relief Fundraiser

Feeling Lucky? If you play your cards right, you could be a big winner at our Casino Night. We will be playing with fake money. Cash is encouraged though to support the Ag Relief Fundraiser.


Vance Crowe, Monsanto

It has been said for years that traditional media is being disrupted, but what is replacing it?  Who will people listen to when the major media institutions are no longer the primary medium for individuals to understand what is happening in the world around them? Certain platforms are dying while others are thriving and contrary to popular sentiment, it isn’t only young people creating this tumultuous change. Vance  will discuss the chaotic change happening within media and describe who is coming to the forefront of popular culture.

Chad Colby, ColbyAgTech

From growing up as an Illinois farm kid to a self-professed technology nerd, Chad Colby has emerged as one of the most sought-after agricultural technology experts in this country and around the globe. Chad will share his explanations of current and emerging technologies in a manner that will leave you embracing concepts and ready to adopt cutting-edge production practices.


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.

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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.