In 2014, your Farm Bureau membership will support more than $700,000 directed to a variety of community projects in Ohio. And that's just the start.
Farm Bureau’s network of volunteers and community advocates extend this investment by responding to local needs and identifying opportunities to make an impact. From farm to fork, the organization’s mission centers on amplifying the benefits provided by Ohio food and agriculture to communities across the state.
Combined with the support of partners like Nationwide, it’s your membership, ideas and involvement that will help make these projects a success.
Ohio Farm Bureau’s core funding program offers more than $500,000 in “seed money” to county Farm Bureaus to help launch local projects. Add to that nearly $200,000 in awards that recognize the most successful and innovative programs.
These are just a few ways county Farm Bureaus are looking to invest in their communities this year.
Cuisine with a cause
The Morrow County Farm Bureau, in partnership with Delaware and Richland County Farm Bureaus, lent their support to Flying Horse Farms, a camp for children with serious illnesses. The groups held a semi-formal dinner and fundraising event that featured local farms and raised money for a children’s garden. Chef Joe Motter of Malabar Farm Restaurant prepared the meals for the event, which raised more than $5,000.
“What an inspiring and humbling place and event for Farm Bureau members to come together and support our local community. If you have a chance, next year, please join us for this enjoyable and heartwarming event.”
~Myra Snider, Delaware County Farm Bureau member
Green and growing
Concern about water quality issues is the motivation for a planned nutrient management and cover crop workshop sponsored by the Putnam County Farm Bureau. The group is looking to help local farmers better protect the environment by exploring topics such as what causes water quality problems, how cover crops can help and steps farmers can take.
Learning about local food
The Darke County Farm Bureau is continuing its Home Grown In Darke County project, a four-part cooking series, and Farmer at the Market, where shoppers at the local farmers market can talk with farmers, check out farm equipment and enjoy cooking demonstrations.
The Fairfield County Farm Bureau will support the Opportunity Center Community Garden where people with developmental and physical disabilities can learn how to grow and market produce. Farm Bureau, which helped start the garden, plans to provide volunteers, marketing and tools.
Keep it growing
Wayne County Farm Bureau is planning ways to nurture the strong relationship between farmers and the local business community to allow agriculture to grow as a part of business development and long-range economic plans.
The Athens County Home Sweet AG Home project will invite residents to learn about locally grown items through partnership with the local farmers market, festivities such as the Paw Paw Festival, the 30-Mile Meal program and tours of farms.
Come and see
A drive-it-yourself Fall Farm Tour planned by Columbiana County Farm Bureau will allow participants to visit four farms to see agriculture up close. Each farm will have educational displays as well as a guided tour of the farm by farm families and volunteers.
Show and tell
The Fayette County Farm Bureau would like to increase its presence at the local farmers market after vendors said many fresh produce buyers don’t know what some items are or how to prepare or preserve them. Plans are to sponsor produce cooking and storage demonstrations and entertain children with market scavenger hunts, taste testing of seasonal produce and agricultural books and activities.
“We’re very excited to put on cooking, grilling and canning demonstrations all using locally grown food from vendors in our market.”
~David Persinger, market manager
Farm to family
The Marion County Farm Bureau’s Farm to Family initiative is offering cooking demonstrations and educational programs to teach families on a budget ways to cook healthy meals.
“In the past we have just given a cash donation to local food pantries but we decided to make the experience more substantial by connecting farmers and consumers and teaching people about food and nutrition.”
~Lisa Shumaker, project volunteer
Caring for animals
With the Humane Society of Sandusky County struggling to keep its doors open, the Farm Bureau is planning to host a square dance fundraiser. The goal is to not only raise money but awareness of other shelter needs such as donations of dog and cat food and blankets.
Lots to learn
Food preservation will be the topic of a school program supported by the Monroe County Farm Bureau that features in-school canning of fruits and vegetables for students to take home.
Neighbors helping neighbors
In Champaign County, an increase in rural crime and decrease in funding for the sheriff’s department led to the creation of Farm Watch. When criminal activity happens in the county, the sheriff’s department will send the information to the county Farm Bureau so it can be sent out to members through email. Farm Bureau is working on Farm Watch signs for members to put up on their property.
Farm Bureau’s financial investment locally is also your invitation as a member to collaborate with the Farm Bureau community. Read a short summary of the projects every county Farm Bureau is working on this year along with contact information. We invite you to let us know how you would like to join us in advancing these community building projects.
Give and Take
When you take advantage of many of Farm Bureau’s member savings opportunities, not only do you receive significant discounts, but you’re helping to invest in Farm Bureau’s mission. Each time you use your membership to save on many products and services, the organization receives a promotional fee that helps fund Farm Bureau programs.
The Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation helps smaller, community-based groups through a series of Agricultural Action and Awareness Grants. The grants help groups that often find the larger-scale, public and private grant solicitation process daunting. The competitively awarded grants support programs and projects focusing on agricultural education and ecological and/or economic development. The foundation awarded $25,000 in grants for the 2014 program year.
Ohio Energy Project to support a series of summer professional development workshops that allow teachers behind-the-scenes access to the energy industry and provide them with unbiased classroom materials.
Preble County Development Partnership, Inc. for its program focusing on ways to bring together farmers, food businesses and consumers to explore the potential for creating a centrally located food co-op facility to help grow the local economy.
Parma Area Historical Society in support of Stearns Farm, the last working farm in the urban community of Parma. Operated by the historical society, the funds would be used to develop currently unused land to grow produce and allow the community to learn about fresh foods and the value of farming.
Shelby County Farm Bureau for a multi-county program offering hands-on educational projects and experiences that help young people learn about the origins of their food and the contributions of agriculture to their daily lives.
Collegiate Young Farmers at Ohio State University for the Farm to Fork Food Dialogues, an educational forum that brought together more than 250 students from varying backgrounds for an evening of dinner and discussion about food and farming issues.
Friends of Sunrock Farm to help bring low-income, at-risk school children to a working farm where they can participate in hands-on farming activities and make the farm-to-food connection.
Nicki Gordon-Coy for her program to bring experts in natural resources, agriculture and biotechnology into northeast Ohio classrooms using Google Hangouts, a video conferencing platform. Students also will be provided with reading materials.
Sycamore Run Farms, LLC for an outreach effort that will invite farm guests to sit in the seat of a combine so they may observe the challenges a farmer may face driving on public roads. The project will work in collaboration with the Crawford County Farm Bureau’s safe-driving campaign.
OWjL Camp at Ohio Wesleyan University to support several agricultural related classes in its summer program for gifted and talented middle school students from economically and culturally diverse backgrounds.