Faces of Farm Bureau: Jan Bohling, District 1 education & outreach coordinator

Janet (Jan) Bohling of Porter County became the new District 1 education and outreach coordinator in December.

D01EOC-BohlingJLike many Farm Bureau members, Jan holds a science-related degree from Purdue University, but it’s not in agriculture. She graduated from Purdue North Central with a degree in nursing.

She served in this profession for 33 years, working in the ICU the majority of the time but also acting as a hospital supervisor on occasion. And she sat on various committees, which no doubt helped her as she got involved with Farm Bureau.

Born and raised in Valparaiso, she lived on a farm just a half mile from the 40-acre farm she and her husband, William, purchased. Their farm grew in both property and livestock as they expanded their dairy herd. The Bohlings sold the herd in 2008, but they still raise heifers and Boer goats and farm almost 700 acres in two counties raising corn, soybeans and alfalfa hay.

You could say that the Bohlings officially started with Farm Bureau on the Porter County board, but Jan recalls attending township meetings as a child with her parents.

She worked her way up to district education and outreach coordinator from assistant woman leader/county education and outreach coordinator to Porter County education and outreach coordinator two years ago.

Her responsibilities include District 1’s participation in the Taste From Indiana Farms at the state fair; presiding over district meetings with the director; working with two regional managers covering eight counties; teaching Ag in the Classroom; and, she added, “I’m sure many other duties I don’t know about yet.”

She likes to teach and is excited to learn more and meet new people. She admits she is a little nervous, but has a good mentor to help guide her.

Jan likes to read, do needlework, tend to her garden, preserve produce and work jigsaw puzzles with her mom. Jan and William have three married children and seven grandchildren.

In addition to being a Farm Bureau family, the Bohlings also are a 4-H family – “We like to work with 4-Hers and their animals.” She and William are both 10-year 4-H alumni as are their children. And as Jan put it, their grandchildren “are moving right up.”