The Ohio Farm Bureau Federation recently sent about 30 young people, staff and state board members to Washington, D.C., on the Young Agricultural Professionals annual trip.
Young professionals with strong leadership potential are hand-selected each year to share their ideas with members of Congress and to learn about international agriculture and how to grow personally and professionally. Trumbull County's own Christen Clemson of Cortland was one of the participants.
The group participated in the Farm Bill Now rally and learned about the U.S. political process. The trip included a workshop on effective ways of lobbying and a group discussion with congressional aides about how Washington works, a visit to the South Korean Embassy, tour of the Capitol building, congressional office visits, a briefing on the Senate Agriculture Committee and a tour of the American Farm Bureau Federation.
Agriculture has many faces, just like young professionals. 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. Farmers take on the role of chemist, veterinarian, human resources director, marketing expert, mechanic, and much more. All of these are professional skills for a professional industry.
Young Agricultural Professionals are full- and part-time farmers, OSU Extension agents, teachers, consumer educators, former OFBF Youth members, FFA and 4-H alumni, farm media communicators, livestock and equine enthusiasts, wine makers, alpaca breeders, seed representatives, bee keepers, and more. Young Agricultural Professionals county leaders, with the assistance of OFBF and county staff, help to plan and organize local events that reach out to young professionals and the community.
Young Agricultural Professionals can also participate in annual leadership conferences which offer information, education, fun, and relaxation while allowing young farmers to meet other young farmers from across the state.
An event that Clemson participated in is the OFBF hosted discussion meet. This meet is not a panel discussion or debate, but rather an exercise in cooperative problem solving, designed to give participants experience in leading a group discussion and in chairing a committee. Christen was a semifinalist at the regional competition this summer and will represent us in the finals at the OFBF Annual Meeting. The finalist will represent Ohio in January at the American Farm Bureau annual meeting in Nashville, Tenn. Good luck, Christen!
If you have any questions about any of the opportunities mentioned or other Trumbull County Farm Bureau opportunities, look for us on Facebook or call our office at 440-437-8700.
Mary Smallsreed is a member of Trumbull County Farm Bureau and grew up on a family dairy farm in northeast Ohio.