Message from Isabella Chism
Life never gives us two days exactly alike, which allows us the opportunity to learn something new each day. It also helps us see things from a new perspective, if we choose. As we welcome new leaders and new staff, let's choose to see ourselves and our organization through their eyes. Doing so provides us with a new perspective that can help.
One year ago we welcomed Julie Taylor as the Education Coordinator. She is your Ag in the Classroom contact at the office.
Meggie Foster joined our team in September of last year. She is the Young Farmer and Women's Program Coordinator. You will want to contact her for anything related to your role as County Woman Leader.
This week we welcome Ashley Beasley. She is the Program Assistant to Julie and Meggie. She comes to us from the Insurance company. We are excited to have her on our team. You will probably be calling her the most. When you do you will find out she is a very positive, high energy person whose goal is to help you be the best you can be. Help me welcome her to another part of Indiana Farm Bureau.
As we move into 2014 I ask three things of you;
- Ask members that do not serve on your County Board to attend Spring Conference with you and later help with an event or program.
- Evaluate each program or event with your County leadership team to make it the best it can be and reach the audience you intend. Also, let us know how we can improve our programs to better serve the ag community.
- Reach across county lines to learn from each other, and work together to make the best use of your resources.
We are all here to help you accomplish your goals and assist you in any way we can. Call, email or text. Thank you for all you do for Farm Bureau and agriculture.
Thank you and God bless you for all you do,
Food Check-Out Week Rebranded for Today’s Consumer
Food Check-Out Week has been a long-standing Farm Bureau tradition. Created to educate consumers about where their food comes from, the message that the average American family has earned enough money by mid-to late February to purchase enough food for the entire year got lost in translation over the years. That’s why AFBF has updated the name to Our Food Link to encourage Farm Bureaus across the country to host events to educate consumers about where their food, fiber and fuel comes from all twelve months of the year.
Our Food Link – Engage to Educate
Our Food Link is a year-round program that county and state Farm Bureau volunteers can use to reach consumers of all ages and backgrounds with information about today’s agriculture. AFBF Women’s Leadership Program has created a planning toolkit that is designed to get you started thinking about projects that you can use to educate your community. Included in this toolkit are dozens of sample activity ideas, media outreach sample text and graphics. We encourage county Farm Bureaus to create a collaborative team of their county woman leader, education and promotion chairperson, public relations coordinator and other talented individuals to plan and implement an Our Food Link event sometime during 2014. Your county probably already hosts at least one event that could fall under the Our Food Link umbrella with an added or updated educational element. There are a total of 18 themes in the toolkit, each with a list of volunteer project ideas, suggestions for micro-volunteering opportunities and a few potential connection/fundraising possibilities to consider. AFBF’s Women’s Leadership Committee is a non-profit partner with the Ronald McDonald House Charities and many of the connection/fundraising ideas are suggestions to further support RMHC. Planning committees are encouraged to focus on the agriculture that is unique to their county or district and personalize signage, handouts, and giveaways with their county Farm Bureau logo.
Our Food Link – Staff Picks
- Collaborate with a local FFA chapter or group of youth to read books and/or do hands-on activities that relate to agriculture. Try this during Teacher Appreciation Week in May (pg. 4).
- Fill backpacks with food and other donated resources – don’t forget to include an Accurate Ag book (pg. 5).
- Plan a scavenger hunt for children and adults at your county fair (pg. 6).
- Host an interactive booth (prize wheel, etc) to engage attendees at farmers markets (pg. 7).
- Work with a grocery store to organize a marketing campaign to share “local faces” of agriculture and feature local products (pg. 12).
- Schedule time to talk with a local civic group or your legislator about agriculture’s role in local or regional economic or policy issues, and/or organize a showcase and sampling of foods grown and processed in the area (pg. 14).
- Send AgMags or informational brochures to classes related to your county's agriculture (pg. 3).
- Order American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture materials to distribute to promote agriculture literacy (pg. 4).
- Provide information about agriculture to consumers before or during an event (pg. 12).
Indiana Farm Bureau’s Spring Conference is just around the corner!
We hope that you plan on joining us March 7-8 at the Marriott East in Indianapolis. We have a fantastic variety of breakout sessions on farm, business, home, health, education and communication topics, including PARP certification! Additional features include a two-day youth hunter education course being offered by Indiana DNR and a State Young Farmer Committee reunion and networking session for 5, 10 and 15 year committee members. We are also very pleased to feature Sarah Fisher as our keynote speaker Friday evening she will present “Racing to Win: On the Track, In Business, In Life.” Among her many accomplishments, Fisher holds the record for the most starts in the Indianapolis 500 by a woman — nine in total — and is the first female team owner to win an IndyCar Series race.
We will also announce winners of the Ag Education and Promotional Development Grant, scholarships and name the 2014 ACE Ambassadors, who will travel to Michigan later this year.
Click here for a full list of breakouts and sessions available at the 2014 Spring Conference.
Below you will find some frequently asked questions. If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact our office.
Registration – If you did not receive an email on February 4th asking you to register, you can find the link on the front page of our website www.infarmbureau.org on the rotating window. If you do not have internet access you can call Tracie Trent at 317-692-7846 and register over the phone.
Meal tickets – Will be available at registration when you arrive at the Marriott East. All meal charges will be invoiced to your county at the conclusion of the conference.
Hotel – If you register online, you will find a link to the hotel once you finish your conference registration. You can alsocall the hotel directly at 1-800-228-9290. If you contact the hotel, make sure you tell them you are with the Indiana Farm Bureau Spring Conference. The hotel block will be open until February 20, 2014. After that date, rooms will be released and we cannot guarantee that there will be room at the Marriott East.
Auctions – We will once again be hosting a live and silent auction, and we need your help! The live auction will be held Friday evening. If you would like your donation to be considered for the live auction. It will need to be dropped off Friday by 6 p.m. All other items will be a part of the silent auction that will take place Saturday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Proceeds this year will benefit the School on Wheels charity, which helps to equip children impacted by homelessness with the educational tools necessary to achieve success in life and break the cycle of homelessness. Registrants are encouraged to bring an item to donate to the School on Wheels charity with them to registration. For a list of urgent needs, please see the 7 most needed items at www.indyschoolonwheels.org/wishlist/.
The success of this conference relies on YOU to help us share the invitation with other Farm Bureau members of any age or gender. We’re looking forward to seeing you at Spring Conference for educational sessions and networking opportunities with your fellow Farm Bureau members!
Ag in the Classroom – AITC volunteers and classroom teachers have the opportunity to attend that National Ag in the Classroom Conference in Hershey, PA June 23-27th. Registration, travel and lodging will be paid for one or more individuals. Those interested should complete the application and submit it to ODT@infarmbureau.org by 4:30 p.m. Friday, February 28th. The winner(s) will be announced at Spring Conference on March 7-8. Registration and hotel reservations are now open for the conference and available online.
As always, you can contact us with any questions or information you may need.
Isabella Chism, 2nd Vice President & WLC Chair – firstname.lastname@example.org; 317-692-7803 (office); 765-513-6575 (mobile)
Meggie Foster, Young Farmer & Women’s Program Coordinator – email@example.com; 317-692-7183 (office); 317-383-9250 (mobile)
Ashley Beasley, Program Assistant -- firstname.lastname@example.org; 317-692-7830 (office)