The Hoosier Farmer called seven of the 500+ members who participated in the strategic planning process and asked them for their reactions. Here are some of their responses.
Q: Why did you decide to participate?
Bob Bishop, Kosciusko County: “The future of INFB depends on how we plan for it. The future holds a lot that we don’t know, and we need to prepare for that as best we can.”
Roby Webster, Montgomery County: “I wanted to be part of the future of Farm Bureau.”
Jeremy Barron, Noble County: “I think it’s really important for the future of our organization. A lot of times we react in the moment, and everybody’s busy. It’s important to take the time and the resources to think about where we are and where we want to be.”
Allison Chalfant, Randolph County: “My husband and I had just been accepted as district Young Farmer representatives. So I considered it a chance to see the strengths and weaknesses – to visualize the future – and get us prepared for involvement in Farm Bureau.”
Q: Did you think it was valuable? Why?
Carla Schenk, Posey County: “I think it’s valuable because the things that we had to say and the ideas that we came up with are inevitably the future of Farm Bureau, to lead Farm Bureau in the right direction.”
Cynthia Maasberg, Vanderburgh County: “Honestly I was impressed by the turnout and the openness of the members who attended and felt it was extremely worthwhile. People were very open – which was, I think, the intent.”
Bob Bishop, Kosciusko County: “I thought it was valuable from the standpoint that there were willing to ask the membership – the grassroots – what they think is important for Indiana Farm Bureau rather than the office staff or the officers.”
Q: Did anything about the experience surprise you?
Bruce Herr, Wells County: “As far as turnout, that surprised me the most. We had 4-H kids all the way up to the older generation of retired farmers.”
Jeremy Barron, Noble County: “Once everyone got past the surface and really started digging in and thinking about some of those more challenging questions, I was really surprised at the amount of thought people put into their responses.”
Allison Chalfant, Randolph County: “I was surprised by all the different parts of Farm Bureau. Farm Bureau has so many facets…and it’s interesting to see those come together.”