Seven county Farm Bureaus were recognized for outstanding achievement during Indiana Farm Bureau’s state convention, held Dec. 12 and 13 in French Lick.
The recognition was through INFB’s county recognition program. All 92 county Farm Bureaus participated in the program.
The seven county Farm Bureaus – Franklin, Jefferson, Kosciusko, Marshall, Montgomery, Pike and Washington – received special recognition for efforts that resulted in a significant impact or an increase in political influence and clout.
Three county Farm Bureaus were honored in the “influential organization” program area:
- Jefferson County for the Madison Schools building project and referendum. They hosted local education meetings, worked with school board members, took ads in the local paper and radio station. Those efforts paid off with 77 percent of the county voting to defeat the referendum.
- Marshall County for its efforts to establish a better relationship with Sen. Dan Coats and his staff and show the senator the diverse agriculture of northern Indiana, its importance to the local economy, and share the issues facing agriculture. They invited 10 surrounding counties meet with Senator Coats and his staff. One hundred and sixty-eight people attended the event including mayors, school superintendents, county officials and town managers and Farm Bureau members.
- Montgomery County Young Farmer group, which hosted a dinner and discussion with federal, state and local lawmakers. The goal was to introduce the younger ag community – including high school students – to their representatives.
- Two county Farm Bureaus were recognized in the “young farmer and youth” category:
- Washington County for its “See What Ag Gives” (or SWAG) campaign to publicly celebrate agriculture at their county fair. There were nightly SWAG searches, an educational ag-focused spinning wheel at their fair booth, a dedicated kid’s day SWAG search, and the first annual Ag Hall of Fame dinner and Farmer’s Health initiative.
- Franklin County’s strong young farmer program for its community outreach. They support local food pantries, buy livestock for underprivileged families at the local 4-H auction, support needy families at Christmas, sell ice cream at the county fair, host a truck and tractor pull each spring, purchased grain rescue tubes for local fire departments. They have 2,500 fans on their Facebook page.
- Three Impact Awards were presented for “public relations and education”:
- Pike County for its county fair-based campaign to increase its public profile. The county financially supported the Pike County 4-H Council, purchased livestock in the 4-H auction, greeted over 300 people at a family fun night Ag in the Classroom event, hosted an Our Food Link function and promoted farm safety to non-farm families.
- Kosciusko County partnered with Lake City radio stations to have a week-long ag trivia contest on two different local radio stations. Each of the 20 winners was awarded a $25 gift card to a local supermarket. They also worked with eight area farmers to sponsor the grand prize, a $500 gift card to the same supermarket.
- Franklin County purchased two grain rescue tubes, two grain evacuation augers, rescue harnesses and rigging for their local fire departments. They also provided training for local farmers and volunteer firemen. A local youth had recently perished in a grain bin accident, so this training event was especially close to their hearts.
Other counties were recognized for their work in INFB’s five program areas: membership outreach; issue engagement; influential organization; young farmers and youth; and public relations and education. Counties could qualify as “cardinals,” “hawks” or “falcons” (the highest level). For a full list of all the county Farm Bureaus and the awards they earned, visit http://conv.infb.org/awards .