OFBF gaining new members

The Ohio Farm Bureau Federation has announced an increase in its active membership for 2016, with a total of 61,459 Ohioans.

Seventy-five county farm bureaus increased their active membership in the past year.

“This accomplishment is largely thanks to our members,” said Adam Sharp, OFBF’s executive vice president. “Our current members were out knocking on doors, talking on the phone, and helping people in their communities see the value of Farm Bureau and asking them to join our cause.”

Sharp noted that a record eight Farm Bureau members won the Murray Lincoln award for signing 50 or more new members. In addition, 108 members earned the Ambassador Club award for signing a minimum of 10 new members.

The active classification makes a member eligible to vote on Farm Bureau policies and hold elective office in the organization. The active status historically was reserved for farmers and rural landowners, but members voted to broaden the category in 2016 to include Ohioans whose professions are directly impacted by the health of the state’s agricultural sector. Ohio Farm Bureau traditionally represents approximately 80 percent of the farmers in the state. These farmers are now joined by others who have a direct stake in the issues advocated for by Farm Bureau.

Membership in Farm Bureau is not limited to the active category, according to Keith Stimpert, Farm Bureau senior vice president, organization. The community membership is for “anyone interested in local foods, property rights, and protecting Ohio’s family farming heritage,” he said.

Stimpert said there is also a young active membership category that provides young Ohioans the opportunity to get involved at a reduced dues rate.

“Farm Bureau members also enjoy an array of benefit programs that provide cost savings on a wide range of products and services,” Stimpert said. Some of the most popular benefits include member savings on some Nationwide insurance products, discounts on GM vehicles, small business Health Benefits Plans, discounts on hotels and tourist activities, savings on Rocky Brands and Lehigh Outfitters, and the Member Savings Advantage program that provides discounts on shopping and dining at many local and national businesses.

To learn more about joining Farm Bureau’s efforts to improve local economies and Ohioans’ quality of life, visit ofbf.org.