Farm Bureau…What’s It All About?

Who is the Ohio Farm Bureau? With over 230,000 members, the Ohio Farm Bureau is Ohio's largest general farm organization. The Ohio Farm Bureau is a federation of 87 county Farm Bureaus representing all 88 counties.

Farm Bureau members in every county in the state serve on boards and committees working on legislation, regulations, and issues which affect agriculture, rural areas, and Ohio citizens in general. These hard-working members are supported by a staff of professionals working to assist them in their action-oriented activities.

How is the Farm Bureau structured? The Ohio Farm Bureau is a federation of 87 county Farm Bureaus. Each county has its own board of directors and committees. The North Coast Farm Bureau supports the boards of Erie, Huron, and Lorain Counties. Statewide, the Farm Bureau is governed by a 26-member board of trustees elected by delegates from the member county organizations.

Is the Farm Bureau a government agency? No. The Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) is a private, dues-paying membership organization. OFBF works on behalf of members at our nation's capital and Ohio's Statehouse, with regulatory agencies, and locally in every county in Ohio.

Who can be a member? Anyone, but only active members are permitted to create policy and vote on OFBF issues. Active members are those who are engaged in agricultural production. Non-agricultural members are associate members.

Why would someone who isn't a farmer join the Farm Bureau? The Ohio Farm Bureau has many money-saving member benefits that all members can enjoy. In addition to special rates on Nationwide Insurance, members can save money on everything from new trucks to prescription drugs and natural gas. Plus, many of the issues of concern to the Farm Bureau don't just affect farmers: they also impact agricultural consumers, taxpayers, and property owners.

Is there a national Farm Bureau? Yes. The American Farm Bureau is composed of 50 state Farm Bureaus and Puerto Rico.

Why was the Ohio Farm Bureau founded? Back in 1919, Ohio farmers needed to organize themselves for the betterment of their businesses. In those early days, the Farm Bureau worked on such issues as rural electrification, group purchasing of farm supplies and marketing of farm commodities and insurance.

Insurance? Rural Ohioans were tired of paying the same rates for auto insurance as their city neighbors. It didn't make sense: Rural people drove their cars less and had fewer claims, so why weren't their insurance rates lower? So, in 1926 the Ohio Farm Bureau Mutual Automobile Insurance Company was formed. In 1955 this company became what we now know as Nationwide.

What issues does the Ohio Farm Bureau work on now? The Farm Bureau addresses a variety of issues, such as legislation concerning the environment, taxes, trade, regulation, livestock, land use, health and safety, property rights and wildlife. The Farm Bureau also develops and promotes various education campaigns and programs.

How does the Farm Bureau decide what position to take on issues? OFBF uses a structured policy development process. Suggestions and policy ideas come directly from members who propose and vote on them at county Farm Bureau annual meetings. Policy ideas work their way up to the state annual meeting where delegate-members vote on the proposals. This process continues on nationally as well.