Lindsay and I were honored and humbled last week at the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s Annual Meeting in Cincinnati as the group selected us to receive the Federation’s Excellence in Agriculture Award. Recognizing young agriculture professionals who are not full-time farmers, the Excellence in Ag Award program is a highlight of Farm Bureau’s recognition program at both the state and national levels. Last year’s state winner Katy Endsley and national finalist Heath Eisele are both old friends, and were part of the inspiration for Lindsay and me getting involved in the program.
Farm Bureau is a key partner of ours, and several key staffers are close friends and mentors. I think relationships are the most important part of our business at ABN Radio, and in the farm community in general, and my experience at the Farm Bureau Annual Meeting reminded me of that ever-present fact. From a great meal at the Montgomery Inn with members of the Young Ag Professionals Advisory Committee to post-meeting social time with members and Organization Directors, to mingling with farmers in the halls between sessions and talking shop, my favorite part of the Winter meeting season is renewing acquaintances and catching up with old friends.
I think, in fact, our ability to network and forge lasting relationships is one of the reasons farmers are so successful, and why our member organizations continually succeed in advocacy efforts in Columbus and Washington, DC.
Lindsay and I will travel to Seattle, Washington in a few weeks to represent the Ohio Farm Bureau in the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Excellence in Agriculture competition. We’ll submit our application to AFBF early next week, and from that application the organization will select the Top 10 contestants to make a presentation to a live studio audience at the AFBF Annual Meeting. We’re excited about the prospect of representing Ohio, and looking forward to joining several dozen Ohio Farm Bureau members involved in activities at the Annual Meeting, including Discussion Meet winner Cassie Palsgrove of Pickerington and Outstanding Young Farmers Brandon and Julia Weber of Jackson.
Thank you to the Ohio Farm Bureau for involving us in this program, and to Farm Credit Services of Mid America for their sponsorship of the Excellence in Agriculture program.