COURTESY OF OHIO FARM BUREAU
Kim Harless is Ohio Farm Bureau’s Senior Organization Director and leads the Farm Bureau Rotary of Jackson. She says the organization impacts the region in a variety of ways and educates the region on agricultural issues and more.
By AMBER GINTER
Southern Ohio Today
In the early 1940s, Farm Bureau Rotary of Jackson started as an insurance company for farmers.
Its rich history is at the heart of its mission today, serving Farm Bureaus in Jackson, Pike, Scioto and Vinton counties.
Kim Harless is Ohio Farm Bureau’s Senior Organization Director in the region and says the organization is fueled by the support it receives from area communities. As a membership-based non-profit, Farm Bureau Rotary operates through volunteer county boards.
The organization has numerous free educational and informative events for members and Harless said Farm Bureau Rotary provides landowners and others who choose to participate with valuable resources.
“We hold educational events and free field trips for kids to attend to learn about agriculture and where their food comes from. In addition, the Rotary holds events for senior citizens and seniors in High School,” Harless said. “Through the local high school, we have a youth group called ‘Interact’ that assists the local adult Rotary Club with our events.”
Harless said that her passion for Rotary, an organization that strives for the worldwide elimination of polio, was born out of an intense desire to help serve and educate those within her community.
“Farm Bureau has many members locally and statewide who usually join because they believe in the organization,” said Harless, who added it is also the largest lobbying group for agriculture in the state of Ohio.
She also wants to clarify a common misconception, that people do not have to be farmers to be a Farm Bureau member.
“You do not have to be a Farmer, and we care about educating everyone. We say if you like to eat, then you should be a Farm Bureau member to help support the farmers and producers who do feed us,” she said. “Support local agriculture.”
Farm Bureau Rotary still partners with Nationwide Insurance, and if anyone owns and operates a farm, they get a discounted rate on policies with Nationwide.
“That’s where the partnership of starting Nationwide Insurance many years ago comes in to play still to this day,” she said. “But regardless, our Rotary matters.”
In years past, Harless served as President of the Jackson City School Board where she now serves as a board member.
“I believe in sharing the love of being in a leadership position in organizations and boards as well, and the Rotary is one of many of those,” she said.
For more information on the Farm Bureau Rotary of Jackson or upcoming events, visit the Jackson-Vinton, Pike and Scioto Facebook Page, or ofbf.org.