County Farm Bureaus Support Members Through Personal Development and Mental Health Opportunities

Sydney Garrett

Communications Assistant

Through its annual County Activities of Excellence Awards, the American Farm Bureau Federation celebrates county Farm Bureaus for their unique, volunteer-driven programming. Gallia, Clinton and Pike County Farm Bureaus were among 24 county Farm Bureaus recognized for their programs and activities in 2021 and 2022. The programs featured here focused on member services.

Meat your Local Butcher – Gallia County Farm Bureau, Ohio

Gallia County Farm Bureau wanted to provide their members with an opportunity to connect with local butchers and meat science professionals to learn more about meat products and distribution. “Meat Your Local Butcher” accomplished that goal with 30 county members in attendance learning more about the processing sector of the livestock industry.

Each attendee went home with meat cuts breakdown sheets from the lamb, beef and pork associations and a better understanding of the butchers in their area.

A Therapy Benefit for Farmers – Clinton County Farm Bureau, Ohio

Seeking an outlet for their members who struggle with mental health challenges, Clinton County Farm Bureau partnered with BetterHelp, the world’s largest telehealth organization, to provide an easily accessible resource for farmers. BetterHelp can be accessed by smartphone in the comfort and privacy of the user’s home, barn, tractor or elsewhere, at any time.

By September, 23 Clinton County Farm Bureau members had used BetterHelp as a resource. The board felt that even if it only helped one person, the program was worth it.

Farm State of Mind – Pike County Farm Bureau, Ohio

In an effort to draw attention to the topic of mental health, Pike County Farm Bureau partnered with local Extension educators, mental health agencies, and Nationwide insurance agencies to host a Farm State of Mind Members Only event, free to members. The Nationwide Agency had a table set up showing the history of Nationwide and Farm Bureau.

The 75 members in attendance were served a sit-down steak dinner served by the board trustees, supplied literature with mental health hotline numbers, shown a short video about farmers who have struggled with mental health, and listened to two local farmers share their personal experiences and struggles. Many people have shared how impactful the event has been to their mental health.

photo credit: Pike County Farm Bureau

Pike County Farm Bureau members viewed a short video about farmers who have struggled with mental health.

Applications are now open for the 2024 County Activities of Excellence. Up to 24 counties will display their winning activities at the 2024 American Farm Bureau Convention in Salt Lake City in January. County award winners receive up to four free registrations to the Annual Convention (cost of travel and housing not included) and a $2,250 stipend to apply toward the cost of travel and exhibition.

Sydney Garrett is the communications assistant for the American Farm Bureau Federation.