Ohio Farm Bureau reorganizing

Following up on a feasibility study conducted in 2021, the Ohio Farm Bureau is poised to streamline how it interacts with county Farm Bureau offices.
The Ohio Farm Bureau conducted the study to provide data on how county bureaus are utilizing office space, facility costs and the potential for collaboration.
After reviewing the study, the OFBF board of trustees recommended sharing it with county bureaus but left any decisions regarding local offices up to the county bureaus.
At the same time, the strategic plan outlines a need for new options for how service is delivered to members. The study identified core functions it said county bureaus do best such as member engagement, quality programs, and philanthropy and activities best done in a more centralized office -invoicing, accounting, and IT.
A recent staffing change in northwest Ohio provided an opportunity to test a new arrangement involving eight bureaus. The pilot project is being conducted in Hancock, Hardin, Lucas, Ottawa, Sandusky, Seneca, Wood and Wyandot counties.
“We are excited about the opportunity to test a new service delivery model in cooperation with these county Farm Bureaus,” said Paul Lyons, vice president of membership with Ohio Farm Bureau. “This project is designed to test possible solutions that our research, and county leader and member feedback have identified. These include the need to lead with the value of the organization, increase engagement with members, create new approaches to retain and invite new members into the organization and foster a culture that attracts and retains exceptional talent.”
The project will test a combination of staffing and service delivery over eight counties instead of the typical four-county model. New positions have been added to provide more specialized, in-person membership engagement.
Another factor in recruiting and retaining employees is to offer benefits such as health insurance and retirement plans. In this pilot, Ohio Farm Bureau is partnering with participating county Farm Bureaus to share costs for salaries and benefits.
The pilot project will be led by Kayla Richards, who moved from her role as organization director to assume the role as district director for the eight counties. Richards will lead a team of Ohio Farm Bureau employees that includes:
Amy Kearns, who will be advancing from her role of county office administrator to assume the role of district administrator. She will provide front-line member care by answering member inquiries, creating outbound communications and providing on-site assistance for upcoming events and activities.
Kirsten Ameling, who has taken a new position as member service specialist. Her job is to work with members individually to connect them to business solutions and build relationships with local agribusinesses. In addition, she will assist the county bureaus in delivering programs that grow membership.
Shelly Bumb, who has taken a new position of membership marketing specialist. She will execute campaigns to grow and maintain membership. She also will work to build member profile information so members can be served better with relevant information.
Julie Haag, the new accounting specialist will provide day-to-day accounting services. She will work with 13 other counties in Northeast Ohio that are serviced from the North Royalton office.


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