Looking to 2019 and beyond: INFB staff members prioritize staying connected to the mission

Indiana Farm Bureau staff traveled from all parts of the state last month and gathered together to determine the priorities that will drive the organization into next year – a year in which INFB, the state’s largest general farm organization, will celebrate its 100th anniversary.

The planning session was held at Beck’s Research Center in Atlanta, Indiana. INFB staff met in large and small work groups to discuss and determine the three most important focus areas for 2019. These focus areas align with INFB’s 2021 Strategic Plan. They also align with the organization’s mission statement, which is divided up into three key priorities: public education, member engagement and advocating for agricultural and rural needs.

According to Megan Ritter, INFB’s executive director of administration, the group, which included both home office and field staff, was encouraged to “take down biases, think differently and ensure everyone has a voice and is heard.

“There are no wrong answers today, and there is no idea too large,” Ritter said during the brainstorming session.

The top priorities that were identified during the meeting included: creating more positive member experiences; equipping county board members with new skill sets; and ensuring that Farm Bureau remains a valuable resource in the agricultural industry. And while the priorities identified are each unique, they all have one thing in common: to connect all Farm Bureau staff, members and activities to the Farm Bureau mission statement.

“Our emphasis is on teamwork,” said chief operating officer Mark Sigler at the close of the day. “Teamwork is what has made us so successful these past 100 years. And it’s something we all still have to concentrate on every single day.”

As INFB looks to next year, there is still a lot of work to do to refine these priorities into measurable and achievable objectives. Still, the Farm Bureau mission statement will remain at the core of all initiatives.