Friday, July 17, 2015

The Circle of Life

I was recently interviewed for a local non-farm magazine, and one of the questions that I was asked is one that I often hear: how do you find peace with the slaughter process when it is obvious you love your animals?  I am very comfortable raising animals for meat, I work hard to raise my livestock well, and I am proud that I have the skills to personally butcher my own meat.  To be able to say that, though, has been a journey for me.



When I was a child, my grandfather was raising hundreds of sheep at Harrison Farm.  I loved to spend time with him on the farm, and he was quite appreciative of a willing helper.  I learned quickly as a child how to drive a tractor, castrate a lamb, stack hay in the barn, and trim hooves on sheep.  I knew that my grandfather's father had earned extra income as a butcher, but my only connection to meat processing as a child was simply the knowledge that the sheep were raised for meat.  It was on my 21st birthday that I actually ate lamb for the first time!  As an adult, however, it became very important to me to better understand the products that I raised.  Thus, I eventually followed in my great-grandfather's footsteps and began processing my own meat.



When I began raising my own herd of goats as an adult, I started with a small group.  There is nothing cuter in the world than a baby goat, and I became attached to all the babies born that first year -- even the three boys.  I initially hated the thought of selling them for meat.  Nature, though, seems to prepare us for every task.  All these years later, I still learn the lesson every season that the adorable baby boys grow into aggressive beasts that head butt me leaving painful bruises, knock over buckets of grain wasting valuable feed for the herd, and relentlessly bother the adult females as soon as testosterone kicks in.  These traits become nature's way of telling me that it is time for the boys to fulfill their destiny.

  

When I began to work at the slaughterhouse, I initially thought I would just do paperwork.  Then I thought I would package the meat, but not cut it.  That evolved into doing basically every task except those on the kill floor.  Eventually, though, I realized that a responsibility of managing a business is understanding every task that you ask of your employees.  Thus, I began working the kill floor and doing everything from bleeding to skinning to eviscerating.  When you work on a kill floor, it forces you to examine your feelings about life & death.  I knew how hard I worked to raise my own animals.  As I began to buy animals from other farmers for the slaughterhouse, I realized that my experience was not unique -- livestock farmers are a remarkably dedicated group that will forego their own personal wishes to ensure that their animals are well.  If it a holiday, animals must be fed.  Whether the farmer is healthy or sick, the animals still need care.  Even if a farmer wants to take a vacation, animals must have attention.  

Along with the recognition that farmers work incredibly hard to raise their animals well, I also gained the understanding that humane slaughter is a quick & respectful end.  I openly use the term "love" when I speak of my sheep & goats.  I care for the mothers on a daily basis and know their individual nuances. I look after the babies from their birth, and spend long days -- and late nights -- ensuring their health.  It is important to me that they receive prudent care during their life and that they are shown respect in death.  The humane standards under which American slaughterhouses operate are dedicated to ensuring that death is quick & respectful for the animals that offer their life to provide nourishment for humans.  Working on a kill floor permitted me to completely understand the role that animals play in the circle of life, it forced me to contemplate my own role, and it allowed me to gain skills to be able process meat -- thus feeding my family & my community.  I work hard to earn money to buy quality feed & hay for my goats, and in my "free time" I labor in my barn to provide good care for my animals.  Eventually I know that I will die, and the worms will eat me, and their efforts will improve the grasses, that will ultimately feed more animals.  It is truly a circle of life.



This week I sold five goats & a lamb.  They were healthy & hearty creatures.  I am extremely proud of the hard work that I put into raising them, and I am grateful that they grew into fine creatures.  I miss how adorable they were as babies -- but I still have a massive bruise on my arm that reminds me of their aggressiveness as adults.  They will nourish people in my community, and their sale allows funds to support the rest of my herds.  I am grateful that my grandfather taught me the importance of investing hard work into raising animals.  I am fortunate to have had opportunities that allowed me to discern my own feelings about the value of life & the experience of death.  My only regret as I sent those boys down the road to the auction this past week was that I did not get to eat them myself.  It is gratifying as a farmer to see successful results from hard work!


Friday, July 10, 2015

The Confederate Battle Flag

Full disclosure: my favorite book since the age of 8 has been Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.  I fell deeply in love with the story as a child, and as an adult I am still fascinated by the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.  My enthusiasm for the story extends to the movie as well, and I value it as the story of a deeply flawed character who refuses to give up despite the challenges placed in her way.  I have a (nearly) life size poster of Rhett Butler in my office, I have numerous books about the movie, and I posses an endless array of Scarlett & Rhett items (even a Christmas tree ornament of a teddy bear named Rhett Beartler).  When my mother was alive, we usually watched the movie together over Christmas break.  One of the most powerful scenes in the film is when Scarlett tries to find Dr. Meade to assist with Melanie's terrible childbirth as the City of Atlanta is under siege.  She races to the train depot, where she finds complete chaos and endless rows of dead and dying men.  The camera focuses on Scarlett's complete dismay and total fear as she observes the death around her, and then -- using a specially developed camera for a memorable long shot -- it pulls back to show the hundreds of bodies piled up at the train depot.  As that long shot concludes, a tattered Confederate battle flag is shown flying above the scene of death below.  

For the historian in me, that scene from a fictional movie captures the existence of the Confederate Battle Flag during the time that the Confederate States of America existed.  The people who flew it were humans -- humans who experienced joy and pain and folly, just as we do today.  My direct ancestors fought for the Union, but their cousins still in Virginia fought for the Confederacy.  It truly was a war that divided families, ruined lives, and set our country back developmentally.  I am not offended when I see the Confederate Battle Flag depicted in a historical manner: example given, at the Alamo there is a collection of the seven flags that have flown over Texas, including the flag of the Confederacy.  I do, however, applaud the state of South Carolina for removing the flag from being flown under state auspices at their capital.  The reality is that this flag is the emblem of a defeated nation; it should not fly in an official capacity.

During the time I spent as a McCloy Fellow in Germany, I was intrigued by the efforts of the German people to learn from their country's actions that led to World War II.  The German people have worked to renounce the atrocities, learn from them, and move forward.  The historic sites which we visited were very straight forward in explanations of historic fact.  The German people of today seem to own the past in order to learn from it, and then move forward away from it.  The old axiom is true that those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.  

I thought of my time in Germany this morning, and my observations on that country's efforts to learn from its own divisive history.  The Wall Street Journal carried articles today on the signing of the law to remove the Confederate Battle Flag from the South Carolina capital, as well as another article on efforts to remove other symbols from the Confederate era.  I wholeheartedly support removing the flag from a state capital: the insignia of another nation -- and one that tried to defeat our own -- should not fly in an official capacity.  Nor should it be used for political purposes that detract from our efforts as humans to promote a society of understanding, love, and respect.  The historian in me, however, is quite concerned to see further efforts to remove all Confederate symbols.  If we remove our history, we cannot learn from it, and we set up future generations to repeat it.  History must be a continual education for those of us in present times, that we might create a better future.  

When I read Gone with the Wind, it is clear how the author utilized older characters to try to tell the young how terrible war truly is.  The young men are full of fervor for battle, convinced that they know best -- and they ignore the older generation who is opposed to war having lived through the Mexican-American War and the Cherokee uprising.  As the book plays out, it becomes clear that those voices of experience who argued against war were the wise ones. This fictional interpretation illustrates the folly of ignoring history.  History happened.  Learn from it, and become a better person.  Be a part of building a better world for the future.  We must make wise decisions to improve our world -- even our own individual daily choices -- and unless we learn from our common history as humans, we can never move beyond the poor choices of previous generations.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Thoughts on Weddings from a Butcher

I do not write much about my work outside of my own farm, largely because it is still hard for me to believe that most of my work involves weddings.  I still view myself as a butcher -- even though it has nearly been five years since I worked full-time at a slaughterhouse.  When someone refers to me as a wedding planner, my instinct is still to correct them that I am a butcher.  Beyond my internal perception of myself, it is often hard to explain the difference between a wedding planner and an event coordinator.  A wedding planner helps to establish the vision for the event and atmosphere of the reception.  An event coordinator ensures that details of the day actually happen.  Example given: a wedding planner decorates the venue and helps select vendors; an event coordinator makes sure the venue is prepared for the event and the vendors actually do their jobs.  Wedding Planners design the atmosphere . . .  And I use the organizational skill set developed on a kill floor to make sure the event actually happens.  Running a slaughterhouse was excellent preparation for running weddings.



Pinterest is my enemy.  It creates false perceptions of what an event should be, and misleads brides into thinking that their wedding will be a failure unless they have 250 multi-colored fluff balls hanging from the ceiling, individual hand-decorated Mason jars for each guest with their name on them, and dramatic DIY doors with stained glass to create an "entrance" to an outdoor ceremony space.  My least favorite phrase in the world is "my special day" . . . Yes, it should be an amazing day.  But it is only one day, and your marriage -- God willing -- will be many years of joyful adventures as a couple.  If your wedding day is truly the Best Day Ever, you will apparently be confined thereafter to a meaningless and monotonous existence.  The brides I enjoy the most are the ones who want to be married, and the brides I enjoy the least are the ones who want have a wedding.  

I have run enough weddings now that I have seen nearly everything.  I have seen brides that had breakdowns over minor details, and I have seen brides that were so happy to be married that they did not care if it poured down rain the entire time.  I have run many processionals that included dogs, one that had a cat for a ring bearer, and even one with a trained duck for the flower girl.  I have seen receptions with margarita machines, waffles for dessert, a bounce house, and the OSU marching band.  I have called an ambulance, cleaned up body spills, and looked after a lost grandmother that everyone thought had a ride home with some other relative.  I have known three grooms that I seriously considered the ethics of advising the young man to run (if your fiancĂ©e yells at you during the rehearsal, in front of your family & closest friends, prayerfully consider if this is the person with whom you want to spend your life).  I have shut down DJs, broken up fist fights, and dealt with clogged toilets.  I have met couples who kept my faith in the sanctity of marriages, and I have met those that severely tested it.  I have worked with brides young enough to be my daughter.  One of them nearly broke me when she began crying after I told her it was time to start the processional.  I put my arms around her and told her she could take all the time she wanted, but I started to tear up when she looked at me and said, "Can we just go?  I just want it to be over."  I never want to experience that again.



The mothers are often the toughest to manage.  We have had mothers who brought a personal security guard to the reception, who tried to cancel the wedding without their children knowing it, and who accused our team of taking their precious Pinterest decorations (which are always sitting out in plain sight to those who have not been drinking wine all evening).  I tend to work with some awesome brides & grooms, but I never quite know how the rest of the family will be!  Sometimes they are absolutely amazing, which makes my job a pleasure.  I like people, and I like to help.  Do I like my work?  There are many other things I would rather do with my time, but the work is worthwhile and I am good at it.  Plus I like to have a cell phone, and health insurance, and food -- so I appreciate the opportunity to earn income whether people are pleasant to me or not.  Money from grumpy clients spends just as well.



It is rare that I have a ceremony that actually impresses me in a good way.  While I lead most processionals, I rarely stay to listen to a ceremony.  The wedding today, though, was one of the most sincere with which I have been involved.  It was a young couple on a strict budget who got married on a Monday to save money, witnessed by their 45 closest friends & family.  We only met once before the wedding, and we talked far more about how they fell in love & what they wanted to do with their life together than we did about layout or vendors.  They were loving toward each other, respectful toward their guests, and appreciative of our efforts.  Couples like that are the reason I keep doing my job.

If I could give advice to parents it would be to remind them how blessed they are to see their children married to a good partner.  Support whatever celebration (within reason) the couple wants.  If your child wants to have a Pirate themed wedding or wants to get married at a venue that you do not like, JUST GO . . . and remember that many parents do not get the privilege of celebrating a child's marriage.  Mine did not.

Advice to bridesmaids & groomsmen?  Do not get drunk.  Everyone will make fun of you.  Especially me.

Finally, if I could offer any thought to couples preparing to marry it would be this: Marriage is for life and a wedding is for one day.  Focus on preparing for the marriage -- and the wedding will fall together seamlessly.

And don't have fluff balls.


Monday, June 1, 2015

June News from the Central Ohio Young Farmers

June News from the Central Ohio Young Farmers

Save the Date: 
Please join us Tuesday 6/2/15 to meet State Supreme Court Justice Judi French!  This is an amazing opportunity to have dinner & discussion with a member of the Supreme Court of Ohio!  We will meet at Manifesto in downtown Columbus starting at 6:30pm, with Justice French presenting at 7:00pm.  Manifesto has just launched a new menu and revamped their space, and the restaurant is reserving a table for our group to be able to dine & convive with Justice French.  Parking is available at meters around the restaurant (21 East State Street 43215), or at the Columbus Commons parking garage. We look forward to seeing you!

Huge thanks to Pam Snyder of the Fort Hayes Career Center for a FANTASTIC tour in May!  Pam is the director of BioSciences Technology at this urban career center and she is doing amazing work educating young people on the biosciences.  Students also become part of the FFA program, and are exposed to many new ideas about agriculture & professional development through this.  It was impressive to see how Pam incorporates the FFA program into an urban school -- and especially impressive to realize how she is changing lives by providing instruction that translates into real career opportunities for young people.  Our council looks forward to partnering in the future with the Ft. Hayes FFA Chapter, as part of our goals to connect urban consumers with farming and to further opportunities for young people in agriculture.



Did you catch the Food Dialogues event on water hosted by the United States Farm & Ranch Association?  If not, you can still catch it online!  Visit www.fooddialogues.com to watch the panel discussion on water quality issues in Ohio and in our country.  Our council had great discussion with Jordan Hoewischer in May on water challenges for agriculture and accomplishments by farmers thus far.  Watching this event online is a great way to learn more about the challenges that farmers will face to protect our earth and produce food for our community.

Breakfast on the Farm is coming up on Saturday 6/6!  This event is free to the public and is a fun opportunity to share a meal on a farm.  Breakfast on the Farm is hosted by Madison County & Franklin County Farm Bureau, and the chair of the event is our council member Cassie Williams!  If you are interested in attending, please contact the Franklin County office to register at franklin@ofbf.org.  Better yet, if you are interested in volunteering, please contact Cassie at williams.3826@buckeyemail.osu.edu to sign up.



Congratulations to Jaclyn Ritchey & Trey Rogers for their marriage on 5/9/15!  Our council was well-represented to celebrate their wedding.  We send them best wishes for a life of wonderful adventures together!



What is Farm Bureau?  Ohio Farm Bureau is made up of county organizations that work to promote farms, connect farmers with consumers, provide education & networking opportunities, and support policy that benefits the farm community.  As part of its grassroots efforts, county Farm Bureaus encourage the development of councils: groups of individuals who socialize, debate ideas, and support each other in our farm endeavors.  The Central Ohio Young Farmers (and young at heart) council was started in 2007, and is congenially known as the Irish Pirates.  It encompasses Both Madison & Franklin county farmers, and strives to address issues relative to being a BMF farmer!

Save the Date . . .
6/2 Delaware County Policy Breakfast
6/2 Union County Policy Breakfast
6/2 COUNCIL MEETING: special guest Justice Judi French of the Ohio Supreme Court
6/3 Union County board meeting
6/6 Breakfast on the Farm hosted by Madison & Franklin Counties
6/23 Madison County board meeting
6/23 Delaware County board meeting
6/27 OFBF Young Ag Professionals Summer Reach Out tours
7/11 Ice cream with a Farmer hosted by Union County
7/12 COUNCIL MEETING: summer picnic at Neall Weber's
7/12-7/18 Madison County Fair
7/16 Madison County Farm Bureau Annual Meeting
7/18-7/25 Franklin County Fair
7/26-8/1 Union County Fair
8/7 Applications due for the Excellence in Ag & Outstanding Young Farmer contests
8/12-8/16 Farm Days at COSI
8/17 Franklin County Farm Bureau Annual Meeting
8/22 Delaware County fundraiser for Flying Horse Farms
8/25 Delaware County Farm Bureau Annual Meeting

Have an idea for a council event?  Want to highlight an activity in the council e-newsletter?  Curious how to get involved?  Contact Katherine Harrison at harrisonfarm13@gmail.com with your ideas!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Happy The Grandmother's Birthday

Today is my grandmother's 98th birthday, and I am always amazed by the changes which she has seen in the world during her years.  When Ina Marie Rostorfer was born on 31 May 1917, the president was Woodrow Wilson, the United States was engaged in World War I, and most of the world was still ruled by monarchies & colonial powers.  Her father Lawrence Rostorfer farmed with a team of horses, and her mother Mabel Viola Watts carried out the household chores by hand (no dishwasher, no washing machine, no electric iron, no microwave, etc).  



I remember my grandmother telling about her vivid memory of the day this picture was taken.  It was before her younger sister Lucille and her younger brother Grant were born.  Grandmother said that she was frightened of the photographer, as it was an old style camera where the photographer would duck under a cloth that covered the back of the camera.  As a child getting her first picture taken, Grandmother found it scary that the man would be "hiding" behind the camera.  

One of my favorite stories that Grandmother would tell was about her childhood experience of helping her father re-plant corn.  If an area of the field did not show plants growing, she was responsible to plant seeds by hand to replace lost plants.  Grandmother said that one day as a child she was hot and tired, and did not want to finish the task.  So, she dumped the rest of the seeds under a rock.  Her father was very disappointed when several of the seeds sprouted corn plants that grew out from under the stone!

Grandmother was always good at telling stories about her youth.  I learned about her anger when her new baby sister broke many of her toys, I marveled that there was a world without electric and telephones and indoor bathrooms, I heard of her love for her cousin Ray and her sadness when he died during the Battle of the Bulge, and I was enchanted by stories of her courtship with my grandfather.  I am very glad that she shared many of these experiences with me, as it gave me an early appreciation for the changes she saw during her life.



One of my favorite pictures of the two of us is this one taken in 1985.  I was wearing a dress that had belonged to my mother when she was a child, and my grandmother wore a favorite dress of hers from the early 1960s.  My friends may recognize that I still have that particular dress of Grandmother's and love to wear it during summer months.  Items like that are important to me as tangible connections to my family.  I am glad that I was able to spend so much time with my grandparents during my childhood, when Grandmother was in good health and able to share her time & experiences with me.

Monday, May 4, 2015

May News from the Central Ohio Young Farmers

May News from the Central Ohio Young Farmers

Save the Date: 
Please join us Tuesday 5/5/15 for a special tour of the Fort Hayes FFA!  We will meet at 6:00pm for a special tour with Pam Snyder, the director of BioSciences Technology at Ft. Hayes Career Center in the Columbus School System.  We will have an opportunity to learn about this urban FFA chapter in Franklin County.  The address is 546 Jack Gibbs Boulevard 43215.  We will be meeting in Room 213 of the Health Building.  Please feel free to call 614.271.0304 for further directions.  After our tour at 6:00pm, we will then gather for dinner & libations.  This will be a fantastic opportunity to learn more about urban agriculture education, and then relax over a meal with friends!

Huge thanks to Jordan Hoewischer for joining our council in April to discuss water quality issues!  Jordan shared details of his new position with Ohio Farm Bureau, and offered ideas on how to provide tools for farmers to address water quality concerns.  Discussion was enjoyable & covered a wide range of topics -- even opera!  We met at Gresso's, a favorite of our council . . . And our council was even featured in Gresso's e-newsletter!



Congratulations to two of our council members on the birth of sons!  Neall Weber is the proud father of Vonn Jacob Weber, and Kylene Dietemyer welcomed John Prescott Dietemyer.  We are very excited to have two new babies as future young Ag professionals!  Congratulations to Neall, Kylene, and both their families!

Congratulations also go to two of our council members on their election as incoming county Farm Bureau board presidents!  Jeff Schilling was recently elected to serve as the 2015-2016 Franklin County Farm Bureau president, and Ron Burns will have the honor of leading the Union County Farm Bureau board as president for the upcoming year.  We are very excited to commend these gentlemen on their election!

Yet more exciting news: congratulations to Emma Bratton on her acceptance to The Ohio State University's School of Veterinary Medicine!  We are very excited for Emma as she begins her veterinary studies this fall!

What is Farm Bureau?  Ohio Farm Bureau is made up of county organizations that work to promote farms, connect farmers with consumers, provide education & networking opportunities, and support policy that benefits the farm community.  As part of its grassroots efforts, county Farm Bureaus encourage the development of councils: groups of individuals who socialize, debate ideas, and support each other in our farm endeavors.  The Central Ohio Young Farmers (and young at heart) council was started in 2007, and is congenially known as the Irish Pirates.  It encompasses Both Madison & Franklin county farmers, and strives to address issues relative to being a BMF farmer!

Save the Date . . .
5/5 COUNCIL MEETING: special tour of the Ft. Hayes FFA Chapter
5/18 Franklin County Board Meeting
5/26 Union County Board Meeting
5/28 Union County Farm Bureau Grow & Know event at Mitchell's Berries
6/2 Union County Policy Breakfast
6/2 COUNCIL MEETING: special guest Justice Judi French of the Ohio Supreme Court
6/3 Union County board meeting
6/6 Breakfast on the Farm hosted by Madison & Franklin Counties
6/23 Madison County board meeting
6/23 Delaware County board meeting
7/11 Ice cream with a Farmer hosted by Union County
7/12 COUNCIL MEETING: summer picnic at Neall Weber's
7/12-7/18 Madison County Fair
7/16 Madison County Annual Meeting

Have an idea for a council event?  Want to highlight an activity in the council e-newsletter?  Curious how to get involved?  Contact Katherine Harrison at harrisonfarm13@gmail.com with your ideas!

Friday, April 10, 2015

April News from the Central Ohio Young Farmers

April News from the Central Ohio Young Farmers

Save the Date: our next meeting of the Central Ohio Young Farmers council will be Tuesday 4/14.  Our special guest will be Jordan Hoewischer, Ohio Farm Bureau's new water quality specialist!  Jordan has served as a member of the Franklin County Farm Bureau Board, and is a graduate of the AgriPower program.  He will join our council to share what Ohio Farm Bureau is doing to promote water quality in Ohio, and how his new role will serve as a part of Farm Bureau's commitment to healthy waters.  Please join us at Gresso's at 961 South High Street, in German Village (same location as our Holiday party).  Cocktails start at 6:30pm, with Jordan presenting at approximately 7pm.  This will be a very fun social activity, and a great way to meet other young professionals in agriculture!

Special thanks go to Kylene Dietemyer, Cassie Williams, and Amy Zwayer for their efforts to plan the 2015 Women in Agriculture celebration at Jorgensen Farms!  The delicious brunch was catered by PBJ Catering of Ashville, and this local business did a fantastic job.  The honor of 2014 Woman of the Year was presented to Wilma Roberts.  Known affectionately as "Grandma", this dynamic lady volunteers her time to teach children at the Highland Youth Gardens.  Franklin County Farm Bureau supports this urban garden financially to assist with its mission of introducing children to raising produce.  The Franklin County Farm Bureau Board was delighted to honor Grandma Roberts for her dedication to teaching children, improving her community, and inspiring appreciation for gardening in an urban setting!



Several members of our council travelled to Clark County for the regional young agricultural professionals event on 3/21/15.  Two educational tracks were offered for attendees during the afternoon portion: one focused on small farms and the other addressed larger farms.  Thanks to Kylene Dietemyer of Franklin County Farm Bureau for helping to organize this event!  Kylene led a session which highlighted farm equipment, and did an outstanding job.  Neall Weber & Katherine Harrison had the opportunity to have dinner with keynote speaker Drew Hastings.  Mayor Hastings of Hillsboro was a fantastic speaker, and even gave a memorable shout out to Neall during his presentation!  Be sure to ask Neall about this!



Huge props go to the amazing Jody Carney for organizing Farm to City Day at Norwood Elementary School in West Jefferson!  This is an annual program that Madison County Farm Bureau puts on to teach young people about farming.  Each year, volunteers visit a different elementary school in Madison County.  Jody did a fantastic job of planning this event, and even recruited Katherine Harrison & Rebekah Headings to teach students about sheep & goats!  This program is a great example of how Farm Bureau members work to connect with their local community on farming.



DON'T FORGET: Applications for AgriPower are due on 4/17 to Ohio Farm Bureau.  Our council member Rebekah Headings graduated last month from this leadership program for individuals involved in agriculture!  It is an amazing opportunity to learn more about agriculture, gain an understanding of policy issues, and network with leaders from across the state of Ohio.  In addition, you are guaranteed to meet amazing  individuals who will be your AgriPower classmates!  For more information, visit www.ofbf.org or ask Rebekah about her experiences!



What is Farm Bureau?  Ohio Farm Bureau is made up of county organizations that work to promote farms, connect farmers with consumers, provide education & networking opportunities, and support policy that benefits the farm community.  As part of its grassroots efforts, county Farm Bureaus encourage the development of councils: groups of individuals who socialize, debate ideas, and support each other in our farm endeavors.  The Central Ohio Young Farmers (and young at heart) council was started in 2007, and is congenially known as the Irish Pirates.  It encompasses Both Madison & Franklin county farmers, and strives to address issues relative to being a BMF farmer!

Save the Date . . .
4/16 Madison County Policy Lunch
4/20 Franklin County board meeting
4/28 Delaware County Board Meeting
5/5 COUNCIL MEETING: special tour of the Ft. Hayes FFA Chapter
5/18 Franklin County Board Meeting
5/28 Union County Farm Bureau Grow & Know event at Mitchell's Berries
6/2 Union County Policy Breakfast
6/2 COUNCIL MEETING: special guest Justice Judi French of the Ohio Supreme Court
6/3 Union County board meeting
6/6 Breakfast on the Farm hosted by Madison & Franklin Counties
6/23 Madison County board meeting
7/11 Ice cream with a Farmer hosted by Union County
7/12 COUNCIL MEETING: tentative date for summer picnic

Have an idea for a council event?  Want to highlight an activity in the council e-newsletter?  Curious how to get involved?  Contact Katherine Harrison at harrisonfarm13@gmail.com with your ideas!