Over the past two years, a sub-group of the Ashland County Farm Bureau has formed called the Ashland/Wayne Young Ag Professionals. This group is composed of 18- to 35-year-old members who are interested and involved in agriculture across Ashland and Wayne counties. The group meets occasionally throughout the year and conducts activities like networking socials, organizing "Careers in Ag" type events, as well as their annual Ag Toy Drive.

The second annual Ag Toy Drive was held on Thursday, Nov. 29 at Bent Ladder Cider and Wine and a total of almost $4,000 was raised to buy toys in the Ashland, Medina and Wayne county area. Nine hundred dollars’ worth of toys were delivered to Associated Charities in Ashland to give the gift of agriculture to local children. We are especially thankful for our Ashland County sponsors who directed their dollars to support Ashland County kids. These sponsors include Fitch Pharm Farm, Commodity Blenders, Loudonville Farmers Equity, Sutton Bank and Nagy’s Collision Centers.

One upcoming event that is highly anticipated throughout the year is the annual YAP Winter Leadership Experience conference. This year’s dates are Friday evening Feb. 1 through Feb. 2. This annual event is held in Columbus and YAPs (over 600!) gather from all over the state. The program includes a keynote speaker as well as opportunities to network and attend breakout sessions that address topics such as how to purchase your own farm, retirement planning, organic production, brewing beer, technology in agriculture and many more.

Ashland County Farm Bureau is interested in supporting any Farm Bureau member from the county who would like to attend and is willing to reimburse $100 of the attendance fee (over half of the cost!). Deadline to register for the conference is Dec. 17.

If you are interested in learning more about the Ashland/Wayne Young Ag Professionals or learning more about the conference, please check out our Facebook page or email ashland@ofbf.org. From left, Berniece Miller, Shirley Bonfiglio, and Rosemarie Donley of Associated Charities with Ag Toy Drive donations from the Ashland/Wayne Young Ag Professionals.

Lindsay Shoup is the organization leader for the Ashland, Wayne, Holmes and Medina Farm Bureaus. She can be reached at 330-465-2854.