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Ohio Farm Bureau

The Ohio Farm Bureau news update area is provided by the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation. Find more from Ohio Farm Bureau by visiting their website, www.ofbf.org.

Belmont County Farm Bureau trying to help eradicate drug problem in county

The Belmont County Farm Bureau donated $10,000 to two drug-fighting efforts in Belmont County.

The proceeds came from a farm-to-plate dinner the Farm Bureau held Aug. 23. The goal was to raise money to prevent children from getting started on drugs. The money was divided, with the first $5,000 going to the Belmont County Schools Staying Clean Program and the other $5,000 went to the county’s drug task force.  “Last year we had 1,400 kids that participated. We are anticipating maybe 1,600 this year, I hope it’s 2,000,” said John McFarland, co-commander, Belmont County Drug Task Force. “The more kids we get involved, teaching them the importance of being drug-free, understand what happens to you when you’re on drugs, hopefully it sinks in.”

“Any time there is a donation made to any effort to keep kids off of drugs, obviously the juvenile court is pleased with that and definitely want to give a big shout out, big thanks to the Belmont County Farm Bureau,” Belmont County Juvenile Probate Judge Al Davies said.
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2019 Youth Capital Challenge nominations due Oct. 26

Exceptional community citizenship is one of the values that makes FFA, 4-H and Farm Bureau such successful organizations. These groups are partnering again for the 2019 Ohio Youth Capital Challenge, giving teens the chance to get involved and have a hands-on experience that will enable them to make their communities a better place.

Up to 40 delegates will be selected for the 2019 Challenge. Delegates will travel to an all-expense paid advocacy training in Columbus for Phase One of the challenge and meet with Ohio legislators. Delegates will work in their assigned delegate teams during the following months to develop a public policy issue and proposed solution and prepare a presentation for public hearing. Delegate teams then will come together in Columbus in early spring 2019 to present their proposed policy. Finalist teams will be invited to compete at the Ohio State Fair for scholarship dollars in late summer 2019.

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Growing Our Generation

Stay connected to young Ohio farmers and ag professionals by subscribing to the Growing Our Generation e-newsletter. Discover insights and ideas directly from Ohio’s young farmers and food and agricultural professionals.
Make Connections
Guest editors from across Ohio offer unique outlooks on current issues impacting young farmers.
New Opportunities
Get the latest on statewide events and learn how you can get involved in your community.
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Delivered to your inbox every two weeks.


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Member-only giveaways at Farm Science Review Sept. 18-20

The 56th annual Farm Science Review takes place Sept. 18-20 at the Ohio State University Molly Caren Agricultural Center in London, and Ohio Farm Bureau is right in the middle of all the action at the corner of Beef Street and Friday Avenue.

There are some exciting additions to the building this year, as well as members-only giveaways.

The first 150 members to visit the Farm Bureau building each day at Farm Science Review and show their member ID card will receive a special Farm Bureau car magnet.

In addition, anyone who renews or purchases a new membership at Farm Science Review will receive a custom, one-of-a-kind Ohio Farm Bureau hitch pin, while supplies last. Memberships must be renewed or purchased on site at the event, and there is a limit of one hitch pin per membership.

“We are excited for a great event this year and are thrilled we can offer this unique item to members, as a thank you for investing in a membership with Farm Bureau,” said Paul Lyons, senior director of membership.

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Field Day with Jordan Hoewischer: The Nature Conservancy

Ohio Farm Bureau’s Director of Water Quality and Research Jordan Hoewischer talked with Dr. Jessica D’Ambrosio of The Nature Conservancy earlier this summer. On this edition of Field Day, Hoewischer and D’Ambrosio discussed the role of The Nature Conservancy and how the organization works with farmers to help make positive impacts on water quality.

Field Day with Jordan Hoewischer is an ongoing series of conversations with experts and leaders who are helping to shape and secure the future of Ohio’s ag industry for generations to come.

Following are some highlights from Episode 8.  Complete transcript



Q: Give us an overview of The Nature Conservancy and how farmers and environmentalists can work together.

A: The Nature Conservancy is the largest conservation organization in the world. We’ve got offices in all 50 states in the U.S. and in more than 60 countries across the world. It’s our mission to preserve the land and water upon which all life depends.

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Following the policy development process

Ohio Farm Bureau is directed by its members, at all levels of the organization. They define the positions the organization takes on issues affecting farmers and rural residents through an annual policy development process. The grassroots process leads to the creation of policy positions that guide legislative and regulatory action by the organization on important issues. The 2017 process culminated at the American Farm Bureau annual convention in January 2018.

Larry Antosch, Ohio Farm Bureau senior director of policy development and environmental policy, said county Farm Bureau boards select their county policy development teams, and then begin to develop a plan of work, timeline and strategies to write the county’s policy proposals.

“Policy development is an opportunity for our members to study in-depth and identify areas of concern in their county and of agriculture.” Antosch said. “Policy development is one of the best means to assure that grassroots input from our members is addressed.”

How the process works

County policy development teams are made of Farm Bureau members from a variety of involvement areas within the county organization.

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Farm Bureau policy committee begins work

Twenty Ohio Farm Bureau leaders are serving on the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation Policy Development Committee. The committee collects and organizes public policy recommendations from county Farm Bureaus and presents the final policy suggestions to be voted on by Ohio Farm Bureau’s delegates during the state annual meeting in December.  

In its initial session, the committee heard from government leaders, subject matter experts and Farm Bureau staff on topics such as the shortage of large animal veterinarians, Ohio’s fertilizer guidelines, managing nutrient loss, education policy, infrastructure funding, engagement in the Ohio Power Siting evaluation process, deer and wildlife management, abandoned railways and trails, land conservation programs and industrial hemp.

The policy committee consists of 10 members from Ohio Farm Bureau’s board of trustees and 10 representatives of county Farm Bureaus.   

The committee is chaired by Ohio Farm Bureau First Vice President Bill Patterson of Chesterland and includes OFBF President Frank Burkett of Massillon and Treasurer Cy Prettyman of New Bloomington.

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2018 Washington, D.C. Leadership Experience

Ohio Farm Bureau’s AgriPOWER Class IX and Young Ag Professionals group spent an educational three days in Washington, D.C. Sept. 11-13. The purpose of the trip was to share their ideas with members of Congress and to learn about international agriculture and how to grow personally and professionally. The trip included a visit with congressional representatives, 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.

Day 3, Thursday, Sept. 13
The third and final day of the Leadership Experience was focused on congressional visits. The hallmark of the trip is the opportunity for our members to meet with their representatives, bringing relevancy of the national issues facing agriculture to their farms and businesses in Ohio. Before heading up to the Hill, the group had the fortune to tour the White House.

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Ohio Farm Bureau Centennial

Dec. 6-7, Ohio Farm Bureau will hold its 100th Annual Meeting in Columbus, kicking off a yearlong celebration of our Centennial in 2019. Ohio Farm Bureau was founded Jan. 27, 1919 on the campus of Ohio State University.

The centennial is a celebration of the people who have each played a part in Farm Bureau’s success over the years, and members are invited to participate in this milestone for our organization.

Centennial Concert with Chase Bryant

Chase BryantDec. 7

8:30 p.m.

Columbus Convention Center

Free admission for Ohio Farm Bureau members. This is a private, members only event. Tickets will be available in early October.

Update your member profile to receive concert and centennial updates via email.

Chase Bryant is a Texas native and was named named one of the “Best Things We Saw” at CMA Music Fest 2014‚ by Rolling Stone. His songs include “Room to Breathe,” “Little Bit of You,” “Change Your Name” and his debut single “Take It On Back.” Learn more about Chase at chasebryant.com.

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Members save with energy program, more benefits

The Ohio Farm Bureau Energy Program has saved members substantial money on their utility bills, and three members also received a “bonus” when their names were drawn for a $500 sweepstakes. Ohio Farm Bureau Energy Program sweepstakes winners Kraig and Stacy Schafer are Huron County Farm Bureau members and Kraig serves on the county board of trustees. He enrolled in the energy program and estimates he’ll save $636 annually with a 59 percent rate reduction. He said he has been active in recommending folks to the program. Other winners for this first round in the sweepstakes include Janet Hays, a Columbiana County Farm Bureau member since 1965, and Zachary Zak, a Farm Bureau member in Cuyahoga County.

In other member benefits news, there is now more member savings available at Ohio state parks. Great Ohio Lodges now includes discounts at the following lodge and conference centers: Burr Oak, Deer Creek, Hueston Woods, Maumee Bay, Mohican, Punderson Manor, Salt Fork and Shawnee.

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How AgriPOWER inspired me to become a county board member — AgriPOWER Session 2 blog

By Doug Franz, AgriPOWER Class X participant

Session two of AgriPOWER Class X was held in Findlay, Ohio. All 17 members were present and engaged in various trainings and informative sessions to broaden our knowledge of current issues facing the agriculture community. There was a strong focus on media relations and legislative engagement, but what peaked my interest the most was our sessions on leadership. Several guest instructors focused on the importance of developing leaders within the agriculture community. Coming from a long military career, I have a vested interest in learning from, and developing effective leaders at all levels. Why is this important? Because effective leaders have the ability to shape the future of initiatives they become engaged in, regardless of the basis.  Effective leaders adapt to the environment and make decisions based on the analysis of facts and implement those decisions through the influence of others.

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Legal With Leah: Ag Districts

A North Carolina judge has awarded rural residents millions of dollars because nearby hog farms smell, attract flies and increase truck traffic. Can that happen in Ohio? Farm Bureau Policy Counsel Leah Curtis has some answers.

Listen to Legal with Leah, a podcast featuring Ohio Farm Bureau’s Policy Counsel Leah Curtis discussing topics impacting farmers and landowners.

Ohio Farm Bureau membership

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Opioid roundtable discussion sparks hope, tears

Rita Lahmers was substitute teaching one day in eastern Ohio when one of her elementary school students sought her out as a “safe adult” to talk to about his dilemma. This young boy’s father was using drugs, again, and he was worried that his little sister might get hurt. He asked if Lahmers could help him.

She did and social services was on-site that same day. What the little boy didn’t know is that Lahmers, a Tuscarawas County Farm Bureau member, has been at the forefront of efforts in her community to help combat the opioid epidemic through prevention efforts in partnership with others in eastern Ohio.

Her story was one of many shared Aug. 17 with USDA Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett. Ohio Farm Bureau hosted a roundtable discussion on the impacts of the opioid epidemic on rural communities. Farm Bureau and about 20 other key partners participated in the discussion, which covered various angles in relation to the epidemic such as challenges associated with substance use disorder; strategies for prevention, treatment and recovery; and how these measures can be replicated to effectively address the epidemic in other rural communities.

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Radio panel shows challenge of talking about water issues


As Lake Erie water issues escalated this summer, strident environmental activists made it increasingly difficult to have a rational discussion about the issue and science-based solutions.

Ann Arbor’s public radio station invited Ohio Farm Bureau to participate in a panel discussion about the causes of and solutions for Lake Erie’s ongoing toxic algal blooms. Yvonne Lesicko, vice president of public policy, represented OFBF. She was joined by (Toledo) Blade environmental reporter Tom Henry, Ohio EPA official Karl Gebhart and Lake Erie activist Sandy Bihn. Radio host Lester Graham was the moderator.

That the crowd of about 100 was unfriendly to agriculture’s ideas was no surprise. Most attendees had little interest as Lesicko calmly and patiently explained how farmers view the challenges and responded to inaccurate statements from her fellow panelists. A small group of farmers in the audience witnessed both the animosity of the Toledo activists and Lesicko’s professionalism under fire.

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State Auditor Candidates on Town Hall Ohio

In a few short months, Ohioans will head to the polls to elect a new Governor, Auditor, Treasurer, Secretary of State and Attorney General. We’ll also elect a U.S. Senator, Supreme Court Justices and numerous state lawmakers. Between now and election day, Town Hall Ohio plans to host the candidates for statewide office. Today, our guests are seeking your vote to be State Auditor: Republican Keith Faber and Democrat Zack Space.

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Regional Hope for Ohio events planned this fall

Helping young people fight the opioid epidemic is the goal of Hope for Ohio, a project of Ohio Farm Bureau and other supporting organizations. The program works with 4-H and FFA members to encourage peer-to-peer prevention measures.

Five regional Hope for Ohio events will welcome youth, parents, advisers and others. At each event, speakers will share stories and information that will provide youth with tools needed to be prevention leaders in their communities.

The regional events are:

These regional events are a follow-up to last year’s statewide Hope for Ohio event held on the campus of Ohio State University and is one of several projects by Ohio and county Farm Bureaus to combat Ohio’s opioid crisis.

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Ag Innovation Challenge offers startup funds for entrepreneurs

The American Farm Bureau Federation, in partnership with Farm Credit, has opened online applications for its 2019 Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge. Entrepreneurs will compete for $145,000 in startup funds.

The competition provides an opportunity for individuals to showcase ideas and business innovations in agriculture. This is the fifth year of the challenge, formerly known as the Rural Entrepreneurship Challenge. It is the first national business competition focused exclusively on rural entrepreneurs launching food and agriculture businesses.

Competitors are invited to submit for-profit business ideas related to food and agriculture online by Sept. 24.

“Farm Bureau is proud to carry on our long tradition of strengthening the communities we live and farm in by encouraging new businesses across rural America,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “Starting a business takes faith, courage and creativity, but rural entrepreneurs face added challenges including limited access to broadband, high transportation costs and a lack of access to business networks.

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