Tuesday, August 21, 2012

My Involvement in the Dairy Association and Farm Bureau

I love agriculture and enjoy being around others who share the same passion. Last week I had that opportunity. I traveled to Columbus, Ohio to participate in an American Dairy Association Mideast Board meeting and Ohio Farm Bureau Leadership Conference.

The American Dairy Association Mideast (ADA Mideast) is the local dairy checkoff program for dairy farmers in Ohio and West Virginia. ADA Mideast works on behalf of dairy farmers to increase sales and demand of U.S. dairy products and ingredients. The good work of the staff has earned them status as a trusted source for science-based nutrition information. ADA Mideast staff work with educators, school nutrition directors, health professionals, academia, industry, consumers and media who share a commitment to fostering a healthier society.

Dairy farmers invest $.10 per 100 pounds of milk to fund ADA Mideast. A Board of Directors, consisting of 15 dairy farmers, set policy, approves budgets and provides direction. I serve on this Board that meets quarterly. In addition to promoting dairy products, ADA Mideast strives to share the stories of dairy farm families. I like serving on this Board to learn about the latest dairy promotion efforts, be involved in the discussion and decision making process and oversee how check off funds are spent.

One of many projects of this group is the Meet Ohio Dairy Farmers website. The “Hear Our Stories section features videos about popular topics such as antibiotics in milk, organic or regular milk, farm size, calf care and more. This site also features pictures and videos from dairy farm families all over Ohio. It’s a great source of information about dairy farming, milk questions, and animal care topics. I hope you’ll check it out!

After my ADA Mideast Board meeting, I participated in the 2-day Ohio Farm Bureau  Annual Leadership Conference.  The purpose of this event is to bring together leaders from county farm bureaus for training, fellowship and information sharing. I currently serve Geauga County Farm Bureau as President. 

The Ohio Farm Bureau Leadership Conference
The Farm Bureau represents all sectors of agriculture from livestock to grain to specialty crops and farms of all sizes. A focal point of the conference was encouraging farmers to engage people in conversations to share the story of their farm. We in agriculture recognize that people have questions about how their food is produced and we want to do a better job answering your questions. 

Dinner with friends (I'm in the middle)
Having fun at the evening activities - Picture by Roger Baker
I’m involved in Farm Bureau is because I’m passionate about sharing what we do on our farm. I support this organization that gives agriculture a voice in state and federal policy, which can have an impact on how we do things on our farm.

As I looked around at the 300+ attendees, I was reminded that agriculture is a family-based business. The room was filled with people of all ages from a variety of farms across Ohio. These are real people who love what they do; for many it’s been in their family for generations. I value that about agriculture.

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Thank you for reading my blog and taking the time to comment! I’m opening the doors of our farm to share with you and enjoy engaging in discussion. Please be respectful in your comments. I reserve the right to remove posts that include name calling, slander, and vulgar language or contain links to websites that assault animal agriculture.

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