COLUMBUS, Ohio – Stephanie Leis of Columbus (formerly of Greenville) is one of 19 farmers and agribusiness professionals who recently graduated from Ohio Farm Bureau’s AgriPOWER Institute, Class VII. Leis is a public information officer for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and recently completed a master’s degree in agricultural communication at Ohio State University. She was raised on a farm in Darke County where her family grows 1,600 acres of corn, soybeans and wheat as well as raise beef cattle. She is a member of Darke County Farm Bureau.
Ohio Farm Bureau launched AgriPOWER in 2008. It is an elite training program designed to help participants become leaders and advocates for agriculture. The yearlong program consists of seven two-to-three-day training sessions that focus on public policy issues confronting agriculture and the food industry.
Topics covered include public policy issues facing local communities, the state of Ohio, the nation and the world. Specific sessions help class members develop important skills necessary to becoming an effective leader and advocate, including spokesperson and media training, etiquette training, social networking, communications and more. One of the institute programs was held in Washington, D.C. to help class members gain a valuable understanding of national and global issues.
“Now more than ever, there is a demand for trained leaders to take the agriculture industry to the next level,” said Melinda Witten, AgriPOWER coordinator. “AgriPOWER Institute has prepared these graduates to do just that.”
In addition to Ohio Farm Bureau, AgriPOWER partners include Nationwide Insurance, Ohio Soybean Council, Southern Ohio Agricultural & Community Development Foundation, Farm Credit Mid-America, Ohio Pork Council, Ohio Cattlemen’s Association, Ohio Beef Council, Farm and Dairy, Cargill, Ag Credit, AgriPOWER alumni, and Farm Bureaus in Brown, Fayette, Licking and Unioncounties.
Applications for the next class, Class VIII, are due April 15. Visitofbf.org/agripower for applications and more information.