Kelly Fager

My Internship with Ohio Farm Bureau Federation

Week 8 – Final Touches

Crazy to think that the Ohio State Fair is exactly 33 days away.  As I sit here typing this, I think back to my very first day on the job.  I was beyond overwhelmed by all the components it takes to pull off the Land and Living exhibit.  Now those components are almost complete with just final touches being added.  All of this done in just 8 weeks!

This week we were able to just work with very few meetings.  On Tuesday, we had a meeting with our supervisors, their supervior and the interns to go through the building exhibit by exhibit and discuss other details.  This allowed all six of us to be on the same page.  We also had a meeting to discuss collegiate level and 18-25 year old levels for potential membership options.  That was a nice meeting to be a part of to share ideas and things that I would want in a membership.

I was put in-charge of all the communication with media and public relations work this week.  I made a press release, media advisory, and social media plan.  The press release will be going out 10 days before the start of the fair.  I will then follow up with certain media personnel that we definitely want in our building.  I also will be making contact with channel 4, 6, and 10 personnel to have come out to the building to either do live broadcast or do snippets for different segments.  I contacted other agriculture broadcasters to invite them to do live broadcasts on stage.  I am hoping to hear back from these personnel next week.  I am working on a social media plan to get tweets and posts scheduled ahead of fair so that they will automatically publish to the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation social media pages.

I also was able to do many lists and components for state fair that are necessary.  I typed up agendas for both the staff luncheon and also building training.  Was able to put together all of the packet material by redoing previous years and adding this year’s exhibits.  I was able to make morning and evening shift to-do lists.  Made the beginning of shift list for ambassador meetings.  Just little things that needed done and are finally crossed off my list!

Next week I will be finishing up more of my to-do lists and continuing to finalize the building.  The countdown has begun….33 days until fair opening!

 

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Week 7- Full Approval = Forge Ahead

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Kelly, Kelly and Ian have been hard at work all summer but sometimes we like to have fun as well!

After 7 weeks, it’s finally official! We are able to forge ahead with our building plan for the Ohio State Fair Land and Living exhibit. This week we were able to meet with Jack Fisher, Executive Vice President for Ohio Farm Bureau Federation and get the final approval. He gave several suggestions to think about as a fairgoer and what else could be done to have more interaction within exhibits. I’m excited to begin moving past the brainstorming stage by being able to purchase and start putting together exhibits. Since we have officially ended the corn wall era and are now having a Country Connection stage, it’s important for us to find special draws for the public to come into our building. We will be having remote control tractors in an exhibit we call, “Farming at Your Fingertips.” Some other new exhibits this year will include: Wilmington College Community Garden, Ohio State University Sustainability Zero Waste Project, Ohio FFA Association, and many others! It is our hope that these new attractions will make fairgoers happy.  Mr. Fisher was very pleased with the new contacts we have for this year.

This week was also our Ambassador Training day. On Thursday, 26 of the 29 ambassadors were present at Lazer Kraze from 12 to 4:00 for a training and then had opportunity to play a game of laser tag. During the training, all final paperwork was collected. All ambassadors participated in an icebreaker game, played “Ambassador Feud” to understand expectations and rules, and finally went through a Conversation with EASE Training with Dr. Leah Dorman. Ambassadors were required to attend EASE so that they understood how to correctly address the public and talk about agriculture in a correct way. Our ambassadors heard expectations on media from Dan Toland and also were welcomed by Jack Fisher. This training was a success and I’m looking forward to working with these ambassadors during fair!

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Ambassadors being welcomed by Jack Fisher, Executive Vice President of Ohio Farm Bureau during training.

Andy Vance, an agricultural journalist stopped by the OFBF office to talk with the interns about what is happening in agriculture today, top “hot” issues in ag, how to address public, and talking about agriculture through personal experience. This was a very informative meeting since addressing the public is key at the Ohio State Fair. I learned many tips and ways to continuous educate myself through experience, reading both sides of agriculture, and getting out talking to public.

Matt Reese from Ohio Country Journal wrote a blog post this week that  the OFBF interns were featured in. (http://ocj.com/2013/06/ash-holes-butt-pans-and-other-obstacles-of-inter-generational-communication/).

It has been a crazy week with meetings, training, and such but a very productive week for the exhibit. It’s crazy to think 7 weeks ago we were literally trying to figure out what to put in the building to now starting to build or buy things for the various exhibits.  I’m ready for next week to see all that we can accomplish with keeping these exhibits moving forward!

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Week 6- Putting Everything Together

As the summer is quickly happening, the Ohio State Fair is quickly approaching. Now that we have hit June, all the plans are beginning to fall in place. Next week the interns will present the final building layout to Jack Fisher, Executive Vice President at Ohio Farm Bureau. He will be putting his stamp of approval on the building.

This week we were able to present to the Organization Department the latest happenings of state fair and was given feedback that we all took into consideration. We also had the opportunity to attend a Clippers vs. Mud Hens baseball game. Signage is an important aspect this week that we all are concentrating on due to needing graphic designers to make the designs and then have a print shop be ready to print all the signs needed. A part of my responsibilities is to keep track of all the ambassador paperwork as it comes in and make proper markings in my Excel document. The ambassadors have steadily been turning paperwork in. Next week is Ambassador Training so we were putting together various discussion points and also doing name tags. I’m really excited for this training so that I can meet everyone and prepare them for the state fair.

Everything has been going pretty smooth so far and definitely have grown as a leader so far. Next week is full of meetings again in preparation for Ambassador Training. Then having a meeting with Jack Fisher for final approval will be something we all are preparing for. Ambassador Training is next Thursday at Lazer Kraze so making sure everything is around. We also will be finalizing all of our plans and turning in various aspects to Ohio State Fair’s committee. Any following up with individuals will also occur next week with getting preparations done for exhibits. Looking forward to all that is in store for next week!

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