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Preparing volunteers for leadership focus of new AFBF, INFB initiatives

Both the American Farm Bureau Federation and Indiana Farm Bureau are creating opportunities to help volunteers be more successful in their leadership roles.

“It demonstrates how important grassroots leaders are to Farm Bureau and how much we value them,” said Megan Ritter, INFB executive director of administration.

county leader week_zippy AFBFAFBF will roll out its new leadership development initiative March 12-16, an initiative the organization is calling “Farm Bureau County Leader Week.” Open to any interested member, the event will offer a full range of online opportunities to foster county leaders’ growth and development. Planned activities include Facebook Live interviews, podcasts, games and opportunities to connect with county leaders and staff from across the country.

Meanwhile, INFB is developing a program that will take a fresh look at how the organization helps prepare new board members for their leadership roles. The idea is that new board members will learn what it means to be a Farm Bureau board member and their importance to sustaining the grassroots organization. Staff will create leadership development programming to grow member enthusiasm for their volunteer roles and create tools to enhance the impact their leadership has at the local, state and national levels.

“Farm Bureau is proud of the leadership of our grassroots membership and looks forward to continuing to work with them on behalf of agriculture,” said Laura Ruhlman, a regional manager in southwestern Indiana who is working on INFB’s initiative.

 AFBF has tentatively planned the following for County Leader Week:

  • Monday, March 12 – “Being a Board Member,” a Facebook Live kick-off.
  • Tuesday, March 13 – “Governance,” a podcast featuring Farm Bureau guests.
  • Wednesday, March 14 – “Planning,” video interviews with “planning superstars.”
  • Thursday, March 15 – “Advocacy & Policy Development,” a live-audience panel discussion.
  • Friday, March 16 – “The Membership Cycle,” a virtual membership workshop.

To participate in County Leader Week activities, members should sign up for Farm Bureau University, AFBF’s online learning resource. Other ways to participate are by liking American Farm Bureau Federation on Facebook and following @FarmBureau on Twitter for updates.

Members and staff who participate in the online engagement activities will be eligible to win prizes such as Farm Bureau Bank gift cards, Farm Bureau prize packs, professional development resources, catering for a county meeting, or even a phone call from AFBF President Zippy Duvall.   

More information about the event can be found on AFBF’s website,