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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- Sept. 29: Beck’s research farm facility, London, 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.
- Oct. 20: Ohio Christian University, Circleville, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Nov. 3: FFA Camp Muskingum, Carrollton, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Nov. 10: Spencerville High School, Spencerville, Noon to 3 p.m.
- Nov. 17, Clermont County, time and location to be determined.
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.
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.
New, lower CAUV valuations will be applied this year in 24 Ohio counties. Farm Bureau Policy Counsel Leah Curtis talks about what this means and how it came to be.
Listen to Legal with Leah, a podcast featuring Ohio Farm Bureau’s Policy Counsel Leah Curtis discussing topics impacting farmers and landowners.
Dairy farmers are being offered a new insurance program through American Farm Bureau Insurance Services to help bring an extra level of support to a sector that has been battered by losses over the past four years.
The Dairy Revenue Protection insurance policy covers potential revenue loss over five quarterly insurance periods. Producers opting for insurance protection are not precluded from participation in the USDA Farm Service Agency’s Margin Protection Program.
The insurance product was developed by American Farm Bureau Federation Chief Economist John Newton in partnership with the organization’s insurance services and economists from the University of Minnesota and Cornell University. It fills a demand not met by previous products and has the support t of USDA.
“Farmers have been suffering, and dairy farmers especially,” American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said. “The number of dairies that have had to close or sell to larger operations is shocking.”
Dairy farmers will have the option to select between class or component pricing options.
Several Farm Bureau members from FFA chapters around the state, 90 youths in total, recently attended Ohio Leadership Camp at FFA Camp Muskingum in Carrollton via scholarships sponsored by Nationwide Insurance and Ohio Farm Bureau. Scholarships were presented by Kolesen McCoy, president of the Ohio FFA association and Melinda Witten, director of leadership programming for Ohio Farm Bureau. Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau have been sponsors of Ohio FFA for 58 years.
While at camp, the youth took part in leadership training sessions, which were conducted by National FFA leadership development staff. Through various activities, the campers experienced the importance of leadership, teamwork and diversity in a group setting. This was enhanced by the campers’ participation in a mock school board meeting called “Advocate 2018” and FFA Camp Muskingum’s Co-Initiative Course.
The small business sector in Ohio is vital to many stakeholders. The Center for Innovative Food Technology (CIFT) and the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation sponsored the Ohio Signature Food Contest which showcases many new, innovative products ready to take that next step – actual product development.
CIFT President & CEO, Rebecca Singer announced the winners selected in recognition of their product concepts:
- Sarah Steinbrunner and Taylor Crooks of Sandusky, Ohio with their Bean Nut Butter: A delicious non-GMO and vegan nut butter that is free of the top eight allergens. Uniquely incorporates garbanzo beans which are high in protein and fiber, but lack high calorie and fat content association with regular nuts.
- Tina Smith and Ashtabula Farm Bureau member Nate Bissell of Jefferson, Ohio with their Sweet and Spicy Maple BBQ Sauce: A unique, all-natural barbecue sauce made with a kick of hot peppers but offering a special ingredient – the sweetness of pure Ohio maple syrup.
Farm Bureau’s annual Discussion Meet competition is intended to develop young agricultural professionals’ skills in working through thoughtful, courteous discussion to solve problems.
This competitive event simulates 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 (listed below). 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.
- Must be a farmer/voting member of a county Farm Bureau.
- Must be 18-35 years of age prior to Jan. 31, 2020.
- Must not have received a public speaking fee or honorarium in the past 24 months.
- Previous state winners and current Young Agricultural Professionals Advisory Team are ineligible.
- Past and present members of the AFBF YF&R Committee may not apply.
Seventeen farmers and agribusiness professionals have been selected for the 2018-2019 AgriPOWER Institute, Ohio Farm Bureau’s elite training program designed to help participants become community leaders and advocates for agriculture. The yearlong program consists of multiple two-to-three-day training sessions that focus on public policy issues facing agriculture and the food industry.
Class X members are Megan Dresbach of Circleville, Katie Esselburn of Shreve, Kayla Finton of Coshocton, Doug Franz of Mt. Gilead, Amy Hamilton of Hillsboro, Amanda Hill of Marion, Jacob Hoelscher of Osgood, Sarah Ison of Moscow, Bailey Morrell of Wooster, Vicky Popp of Cincinnati, Trish Preston of Canal Winchester, Ashley Rose of New Vienna, Aubry Fowler-Shaw of Thornville, Sara Tallmadge of Loudonville, Lindsey Walls of Defiance, Laramie Wells of Russellville and Jonathan Zucker of Marion.
Throughout the year, Class X participants will learn about public policy matters important to their communities as well as the state of Ohio, nation and world.
The Ohio State Fair Sale of Champions livestock auction, held Sunday afternoon Aug. 5 in the WCOL Celeste Center, showcased Ohio’s premium livestock, premier junior fair exhibitors and generous supporters. On the sale bill were grand champion and reserve champion of many species, including market beef, market barrows, market lambs and market chickens, as well as the grand champion market goat, market turkey and a block of Swiss cheese to represent the seven dairy champions. In full, the livestock was auctioned for a total of $255,000.
Ohio Farm Bureau and Bob Evans Farms, Kale Marketing, Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association, Event Marketing Strategies and Huffman’s Market purchased the Reserve Grand Champion Market Barrow for $33,000, setting a new state fair record with the purchase.
“We wouldn’t have such a successful Sale of Champions if it weren’t for our talented and dedicated youth and our incredibly supportive buyers.
Friends – When the agriculture community gets together to solve a problem, good things happen. As we make plans for this year’s Cultivating a Cure, I get the feeling we might be creating a new tradition of excellent collaboration and teamwork. As a result of your participation, the Ohio agricultural leadership community was able to support cancer treatment and prevention research at The Comprehensive Cancer Center—Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute at The Ohio State University with a contribution of more than $430,000.
This year’s event will be held Sunday, August 19th, at the Clardale Farms in Canal Fulton, Ohio. Please accept this invitation for you and your guest, and share this opportunity with your network of friends, family and community partners. Children also are welcome to this family-friendly event with activities for all ages. Our goal is to involve as many people as possible in our efforts to connect as an agricultural community and recognize our responsibility to support efforts to find a cure to a disease that has impacted many of our lives and families.… Continue reading
September 28–30, 9am–5pm
This free statewide event features self-guided, guided or open house tours in each region of the state and highlights homes, businesses, and public buildings that are using green technologies such as solar, wind, geothermal, green design, energy efficiency and more.
- Learn about the residential renewable energy process
- Educate themselves on the technical details and components of different renewable energy systems
- Network with other Ohio residents who have a passion for renewable energy
- Talk with industry leaders from the renewable energy sector around the state
- See commercial and corporate energy installations and hear about the benefits to businesses
Presented by Green Energy Ohio.
Tour stops needed
Each tour is made possible through site owners who share their hands-on experiences with participants who want to learn more about clean energy technologies. When registering, please indicate which days and times the property will be available for tour participants.… Continue reading
Grazing Workshop, Hillsboro, July 24
Farm Bureau Fundraising Night at Texas Roadhouse, Niles, July 24
Manure Science Review, Forest, July 25
Home Canning and Food Safety, Canfield, July 26
Muck Crops Field Day, Willard, July 26
Selling Timber, Bryan, July 26
Union County Local Food Fight, Marysville, July 28
Agriculture Acre at Medina County Fair, Medina, July 29-Aug. 5
Ohio State Fair 50 Year Club Meeting, Columbus, July 30
Monroe County Annual Meeting, Sardis, Aug. 2
Dinner in the Fields, New Vienna, Aug. 3
From Tap to Flush Tour, Norwalk, Aug. 3
Vintage Ohio, Kirtland, Aug. 3-4
Destination Farm Bureau, Richland County Fair, Aug. 5-11
Essentials of Farm Transition Planning, South Bloomfield, Aug. 6
Highland County Annual Meeting, Hillsboro, Aug. 7
Guernsey County Annual Meeting, Cambridge, Aug. 7
Hardin County Annual Meeting, Kenton, Aug.
“We’ve had a longstanding relationship with Farm Bureau and when they came out with (the energy program), I said ‘holy mackerel, this works for us.’ Farm Bureau has always worked to satisfy membership and not stockholders. You’ve got to trust who you’re doing business with and having Farm Bureau offer this program made the decision very easy for us,” said Yingling, a fourth-generation Huron County Farm Bureau member who grain farms with his brother.
About the energy program
The Ohio Farm Bureau Energy Program assists members in making energy choices, shopping for energy, learning about rebate options and finding the best ways to manage their energy resources. Ohio Farm Bureau has partnered with an Ohio-based energy management firm, Community Energy Advisors, to run the program.