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Nineteen leaders graduate from AgriPOWER Institute

COLUMBUS, OH -- Nineteen select leaders and advocates recently graduated from Ohio Farm Bureau’s AgriPOWER Institute Class VII. The intensive, yearlong leadership training program was launched in 2008 to help farmers and agricultural professionals gain influence over public policy issues that impact their businesses.

Class VII graduates are Jeff Adams of Urbana, Elaine Beekman of Wellington, Libby Bender of Prospect, Sara Campbell of Ripley, Shelly Detwiler of Marysville, Jessica Elson of Ashland, Josh Henderson of New Concord, Kayla Jones of Newark, Chris Kick of Wooster, Stephanie Leis of Columbus, Jenny Meyer of Bloomingburg, Steven Ruggles of Findlay, Matt Schlegel of Shreve, Victoria Shaw of Medina, Angela Shoemaker of Louisville, Lara Staples of Hamersville, Mandy Way of Chillicothe, Heidi White of Lebanon and Jami Willard of Interlaken, NY.

Over the last year, AgriPOWER participants attended multi-day sessions where they learned about public policy issues facing local communities, the state of Ohio, the nation and the world. The sessions helped participants develop important skills necessary to becoming an effective leader and advocate including spokesperson and media training, etiquette training, social networking, communications and more.

“These graduates were already leaders in their communities and various organizations, and now AgriPOWER has given them the tools and network to continue to grow and to lead at a higher level,” said Melinda Witten, AgriPOWER coordinator.

In addition to Ohio Farm Bureau, AgriPOWER partners include Nationwide Insurance, Ohio Soybean Council, Southern Ohio Agricultural & Community Development Foundation, Farm Credit Mid-America, Ohio Pork Council, Ohio Cattlemen’s Association, Ohio Beef Council, Farm and Dairy, Cargill, Ag Credit, AgriPOWER alumni, and Farm Bureaus in Brown, Fayette, Licking and Union counties.

Applications for the next class, Class VIII, are due April 15. Visit for the application and more information.