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County Farm Bureaus Facilitate Leadership Development within their Communities

Sydney Garrett

Communications Assistant

County Activities of Excellence recognizes the following counties for programs focused on education and agricultural promotion.

Through its annual County Activities of Excellence Awards, the American Farm Bureau Federation celebrates county Farm Bureaus for their unique, volunteer-driven programming. The following counties are being recognized for their programs and activities in 2022 and 2023. The programs featured here focused on education and agricultural promotion.

YF&R Shindig Social – Webster, Greene and Christian County Farm Bureaus, Missouri

The annual YF&R Shindig is a gathering focused on food, fellowship and family fun hosted by Webster, Greene and Christian County Farm Bureaus. The event was created to encourage networking across the region while also providing an opportunity for interaction with potential new Farm Bureau members.

Members from 14 counties attended the 2022 Shindig, accounting for 74% of counties in the region and doubling attendance from 2021. The event included a complimentary steak dinner, dessert and trivia.

Piggies, Pie, Play Ball, and Putt-Putt – Clinton County Farm Bureau, Ohio

Clinton County Farm Bureau’s Piggies, Pie, Play Ball, and Putt-Putt is designed to help at-risk youth learn responsibility, ownership and leadership skills by raising a hog for the county fair. The program provides at least one pig per year to a child with money raised through an annual dessert auction.

While providing at-risk youth an outlet outside of traditional community service, Piggies, Pie, Play Ball, and Putt-Putt also connects them with Farm Bureau members who provide mentorship.

Shine in the Show Ring – Henry County Farm Bureau, Ohio

Shine in the Show Ring is a one-of-a-kind livestock show that connects individuals with developmental disabilities with junior livestock exhibitors who provide individualized training to elevate the participants’ strengths and self-esteem. Two Farm Bureau members led a committee of 14 members who developed and implemented a plan for this event, which paired 32 participants with 40 mentors.

Over 750 people attended Shine in the Show Ring to cheer on the participants and mentors. The event also garnered media attention, bringing positive exposure to Farm Bureau. Fifteen additional county Farm Bureaus have since implemented this show in their own counties across multiple states.

Youth Discussion Meet and Public Speaking Contest – Montgomery County Farm Bureau, Texas

To provide opportunities for youth development and urban outreach within their county, Montgomery County Farm Bureau created a youth discussion meet and public speaking contest. The contest provided educational opportunities and helped students develop workplace skills.

Sixty-three youth contestants participated in the event while spreading awareness about various agricultural topics to fair attendees. In addition to receiving one-on-one feedback from judges, the youth also learned about agriculture-related career opportunities.

These counties displayed their winning activities at the 2024 American Farm Bureau Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah, in January. County award winners received up to four free registrations to the Convention (cost of travel and housing not included) and a $2,250 stipend to apply toward the cost of travel and exhibition. More information on the County Activities of Excellence can be found here.