Growing as a person and bettering myself is important to me. Sometimes that simply takes the form of being consistent and washing my face everyday and other times it is a bigger investment of my time. The AgriPOWER Institute hosted by the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation is recently one of the bigger investments I decided to make for myself. The AgriPOWER “program focuses on public policy issues confronting agriculture and the food industry such as consumer relations, regulations, energy, and trade policies.” It is open to any agricultural professional, farmer or advocate in the state of Ohio.
In our first session we dove deep into learning about each other and ourselves. In our class we have a grain originator, a master’s student, a hair stylist, a grain farmer, a trucking and fabrication business owner, a loan officer, a biotech marketer and a mom/sheep farmer. Now, we all have more to offer than just those titles but there is one thing that we all share; a love for agriculture. I knew a couple of the people in my class but for the large majority we were all brand new to each other. By the end of the first session, we were fairly comfortable with each other.
We spent a lot of time learning about our strengths and emotional intelligence; how to use and leverage these to be better people and members of all the roles we play in our lives. My top five strengths were context, harmony, responsibility, deliberative, and discipline. I’m a very analytical person that wants everyone to feel comfortable and satisfied with whatever is happening. Planning something and then executing the plan are my thing; my jam. Although there are definite positives to that, it also comes with some negatives. The biggest being that I tend to over analyze things. Like everything – past and present. How did it go, what could I have done differently, and should we offer this again are all questions that I think about incessantly after an event or really big conversation.
Another topic we spent a good bit of time on was leadership. Marlene Eick, an Ohio native and life coach, dissected Dr. John Maxwell’s 5 Levels of Leadership with us. The 5 Levels of Leadership are Position, Permission, Productivity, People Development and Personhood. The 5 Ps each coordinate with an R word. They are rights, relationships, results, reproduction and respect respectively. You can read more about the 5 Levels of Leadership here on Dr. Maxwell’s blog. Marlene said two specific things that have stuck with me. First, “Leadership is influence. Nothing more, nothing less.” You can lead and influence people in a lot of different ways – your words, actions and ideas are just the start. The other thing that has stuck with me is in terms of building the relationships which you wish to influence through leadership and that is, “just do what you say you’re going to do.”
Ohio Farm Bureau is a membership organization devoted to bettering Ohio’s agricultural industry and protecting the interests of agriculture through our states legislative policy. Farm Bureau members across the state decide which topics and policies are prevalent and impacting our farming operations in the present.
You can find out more about AgriPOWER and Ohio Farm Bureau here: https://ofbf.org/community/agripower/