County Farm Bureaus Promote Community Engagement and Agricultural Education

Sydney Garrett

Communications Assistant

The American Farm Bureau Federation celebrates county Farm Bureaus for their unique, volunteer-driven programming.

photo credit: Fulton County Farm Bureau, used with permission

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.

Farm Bureau Market Night –Mercer County Farm Bureau, Kentucky

Mercer County Farm Bureau hosted a Farm Bureau Market Night to encourage members to buy locally grown products. Educational signage was displayed throughout the event explaining the value that buying local adds to the community.

The event was held during the annual county meeting and attracted over 250 members. Eight vendors participated, including the agritourism venue where the market night was held.

Attendees and vendors enjoyed being able to connect and build relationships. Mercer County Farm Bureau plans to continue hosting this event with the goal of increasing their vendors and attendees each year.

Choo Choo Choose Agriculture! –Cape Girardeau County Farm Bureau, Missouri

With a goal of reaching a new audience within their community, Cape Girardeau County Farm Bureau sponsored a historic train ride. Normally, just one train ride takes place each Saturday, but the idea of an agricultural-related theme ride was so well received they held two rides to accommodate all the interested community members.

The event also featured agricultural vendors, activities for participants and programming on the train. Activities included a reading of an accurate agriculture book, scavenger hunt, a commodity booth and play areas. Choo Choo Choose Agriculture reached over 150 community members with many of them asking for additional resources related to agriculture.

Small Agriculture ConferenceClark County Farm Bureau, Nevada

Clark County Farm Bureau held an agriculture-focused conference to provide small-scale and urban agricultural producers with educational opportunities and a chance to network with one another. The conference featured breakout sessions on beekeeping, vegetable production, hydroponics, poultry, agritourism, value-added agriculture and research from the local demonstration garden.

In addition, there were breakout sessions that focused on time and stress management, business planning, marketing and promotion, and farm taxes. Two panels were held – an update and discussion on meat processing in Nevada and opportunities in Farm Bureau, which featured four members representing different Farm Bureau programs. USDA’s Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Service and Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education also presented on their programs, loan opportunities, insurance programs and grants.

Farm to Fork Goes to TownFayette County Farm Bureau, Ohio

Each year Fayette County Farm Bureau hosts a farm-to-fork event highlighting different members of the community. In 2023, Fayette County Farm Bureau focused on reaching their urban residences through “Farm to Fork Goes to Town,” an educational mix-and-mingle. Attendees created their very own butter board by visiting seven stations of locally produced products.

At the stations, attendees were educated on how each ingredient was grown or produced and processed to reach their butter board. Each attendee was given a passport card to fill out as they visited each mix-and-mingle station. The stations included dairy, grains, herbs, beef and pollinators.

Tomato to Table, A Breakfast on the Farm EventFulton County Farm Bureau, Ohio

To better inform consumers about how farmers produce quality food while caring for the environment, Fulton County Farm Bureau hosted “Tomato to Table,” an on-farm event that allowed local community members to travel to a Farm Bureau member’s tomato farm. On the day of the event, over 3,000 attendees were fed a healthy breakfast made with products from their local community. Due to the large turnout, an additional 17 stations were created, covering a variety of topics related to machinery, animal agriculture, crops and safety.

County Ag Tour - Okmulgee County Farm Bureau, Oklahoma

Recognizing the need for a fun and engaging way to educate the public about the different aspects of agriculture and connect consumers with local farmers, Okmulgee County Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee held a county ag tour.

Attendees gathered on a tour bus that took them to various farms within the county. Presenters talked about a variety of topics and answered questions from the group. Many community members have since inquired about when the next farm tour would take place; Okmulgee County Farm Bureau looks forward to expanding future tours.

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.