Welcome to the first column from the Delaware County Farm Bureau! We’re thrilled to be a part of The Gazette and look forward to using this space as a way to begin conversations with our community.
As the president, I thought I’d give you some background on who we are and what you can expect from upcoming columns.
But first, a little about me: My wife, Stephanie, and I farm with my father and stepmother in a family operation on the west side of the county. I’m a fifth-generation farmer. If my daughter is inclined, she’ll be our family’s sixth generation to farm. We raise corn, soybeans, wheat and hay, plus hogs, horses and rodeo bulls. I’m also a seed dealer for Beck’s Superior Hybrids. I’ve been a Farm Bureau member for eight years and began serving on the board in 2012. This is my first year as president.
What is Farm Bureau?
From its beginning, Ohio Farm Bureau brought people together to improve their lives through coordinated action. The organization has a rich history. The improvement of economic conditions and the quality of rural life were greatly improved in Farm Bureau’s first decades of existence, with the organization’s help in rural electrification, group purchasing of farm supplies and marketing of farm commodities and insurance.
Today, Ohio Farm Bureau is a federation of independent county Farm Bureaus. Our mission is to forge a partnership between farmers and consumers. Locally, the county board, comprised of volunteers elected by their peers, oversees the county finances, sets the annual agenda and implements county activities. Delaware County Farm Bureau has just over 3,300 members, including farmers, food and wine enthusiasts, gardeners, teachers and more. I’d be remiss if I didn’t invite you to join. For more information on the benefits of membership, visit our Facebook page and click on the “sign up” button near the top of the page.
Delaware County Farm Bureau works to grow our community. To that end, we get involved in activities, issues and events with two simple goals in mind: make life better for our members and improve our community. One issue we worked on last year was hunger. Our Benefit in the Barn was a one-of-a-kind event which included a Central Ohio Symphony performance on a local century farm with a picnic dinner provided by City Barbeque. Event proceeds were donated to Mid-Ohio Foodbank to support Delaware county initiatives. With help from more than 500 guests and our community partners, we raised $20,000, equating to 80,000 meals.
Looking forward, we’re excited about the new ventures we’ll be working on this year. As we meet with community partners, we’ll be sharing more news on these unique collaborations. In the meantime, if you or your business or organization are working on an idea that improves our community and supports food or agriculture, and are looking for a possible partner, we’d love to learn more!
Engaging the Community
We’re committed to engaging our community and collaborating with partners to solve problems. To help continue the conversation, we invite you to weigh in on our Facebook page (Delaware County Farm Bureau) with questions, comments or thoughts on how we might collaborate. Other ways we connect:
• Our Young Ag Professionals program enables us to work with and learn from community members ages 18 to 35 who farm or work in the agricultural industry.
• Workshops and other learning opportunities invite participants to interact with members and experts to learn new techniques and skills.
• The Barnyard, hosted by Farm Bureau during the county fair, is a fun, interactive exhibit with live animals and agricultural information. Hundreds of guests visit each year to meet local farmers and discuss food and farming.
In future columns, we hope to have a dialog about food production, share our experiences, and talk about what’s happening on the farm. But we also want to hear from you. What’s going on in your garden? Would you like to start farming? What are your challenges? How can we help? We believe the best communications begin with listening. We’re listening.
Zach Taylor is president of the Delaware County Farm Bureau.