who's eating your cookies?

writer douglas adams, author of the book, "the hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy", tells a great story about jumping to conclusions about people.

adams was sitting in the waiting area of a railroad station and had placed a package of cookies and a newspaper on the table in front of him.

a stranger sitting next to him suddenly reached across, opened the bag of cookies and started to eat them.

adams, annoyed, said nothing, but calmly took a cookie from the bag as well. soon the bag was empty as the men both ate from it.

when the stranger left for his train, adams picked up his newspaper - and found his bag of cookies underneath it. rather than a stranger eating his cookies, he'd been eating someone else's.

teachable moment: look to yourself first before you assume anything of another person. "otherwise", as adams quipped, "you'll wonder why it seems that someone else is eating your cookies."

making a difference

what is your impact on the people around you? it might be more thank you think!

we all make an impact - either positive or negative. it is up to us to choose what that impact will be. to give yourself a bigger footprint, we need to make a few life decisions.

people are attracted to those who invest time in them as a leader and person. get into the HABIT of expecting yourself and your other volunteer leaders to cultivate new leaders by reaching out to others.

here are a few gems from the book "how full is your bucket" by don clifton and tom rath.

positive impact questions

  • I have helped someone in the last 24 hours.
  • I am an exceptionally courteous person.
  • I like being around positive people.
  • I have praised someone in the last 24 hours.
  • I have developed a knack for making other people feel good.
  • I am more productive when I am around positive people.
  • In the last 24 hours, I have told someone that I cared about him or her.
  • I make it a point to become acquainted with people wherever I go.
  • When I receive recognition, it makes me want to give recognition to someone else.
  • In the last week, I have listened to someone talk through his or her goals and ambitions.
  • I make unhappy people laugh.
  • I make it a point to call each of my associates by the name she or he likes to be called.
  • I notice what my colleagues do at a level of excellence.
  • I always smile when I meet people.
  • I feel good about giving praise whenever I see good behavior."

thank you to the higher ground and quest staff for making an impact this summer!

higher ground

kudos to a wonderful bunch of teens, staff and youth leaders that made higher ground a rousing success!

what a week of great learning about leadership skills like:

  • listening
  • goal setting
  • respect
  • speaking out on political issues
  • teamwork
  • business management
  • peer mentoring
  • and so much more!!!
For those of you who were there, some other unforgettable highlights include:
  • announcements in a box
  • farming through the seasons
  • the gorillarena
  • "this is why we can't go nice places."
  • llama lips
  • synchronized nose pinching
  • uncle boudreaux
  • leadership journals
  • affirmation circle
  • yonder come day
never forget the impact you made on others and the power you have to change the world.

You have one life... do something.

the garbage truck*

one day i hopped in a taxi and we took off for the airport. we were driving in the right lane when suddenly a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. my taxi driver slammed on his brakes, skidded, and missed the other car by just inches!

the driver of the other car whipped his head around and started yelling at us. my taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. and i mean, he was really friendly.

so i asked, "why did you just do that? that guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!"

this is when my taxi driver taught me what i now call, "the law of the garbage truck."
he explained that many people are like garbage trucks. they run around full of garbage -- frustration, anger, disappointment. as their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it and sometimes they'll dump it on you. don't take it personally. just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. don't take their garbage and spread it to other people at work, at home, or on the streets.

the bottom line is that successful people do not let garbage trucks take over their day. love the people who treat you right. pray for the ones who don't.
life is ten percent what you make it and ninety percent how you take it!

* taken from "mikey's funnies"

new ofbf website launch

greetings all.

just time for a quick update this morning. watch the ofbf website this week as we launch the new look! you'll want to check out upd
ates on the youth page that include:

  • photos via flickr.com
  • youth advisor materials
  • resources for parents
  • youth conference registration forms
  • youth advisory team
  • youth advisory team applications
  • scholarship information
  • and more
share your comments and let us know what you think of the new website. as with all new sites, we still have a few bugs - if you find one, let us know.

taste your toes lately?

foot-in-mouth disease.

we've all made those mistakes by saying something inappropriate, at the wrong time, in the wrong way or to the wrong person.

here are some tips for keeping your foot out of your mouth and dealing diplomatically with others.

Ask yourself these questions before you say anything:

  • is this helpful? does it communicate caring for the person or just help YOU feel better?
  • is it necessary? ss this a question that needs to be asked immediately or can it wait?
  • is my question/statement phrased to show caring or communicating clearly?
  • put people first in your communication. if you don't know exactly what to say or do, focus on the people that you want to reach out to and take the focus off yourself and not being sure what to say/do. yes, it's awkward, but once you begin to focus on the other person, it gets much easier.

This is an excerpt from the new leadership buffet workshop, "etiquette: the art of self-confidence while putting others at ease."

yat may meeting

great meeting yesterday with the youth advisory team (formerly known as the state youth committee).

we had a busy day planning for summer activities. the major topic of discussion was the higher ground conference. we're wanting to involve more youth in leadership positions at the conference and provide an opportunity for youth to being mentoring each other during the conference.

we also took time to do some public speaking training: how to introduce guest speakers and training in impromptu speaking.

next month, we plan to have an action-packed day that includes:

  • a tour of ohio farm bureau offices
  • a tour of nationwide insurance
  • an etiquette training meal
  • media/spokesperson training
it looks like it's going to be a great team this year! look out 2009!

ohio farm bureau youth facebook page up and running

hi all,

just a quick note to let you know that the fby facebook page is up and running.

check it out at


see you there!

meet the youth advisory team

the dynamic, fun-loving and irresistible group that provides leadership to the farm bureau youth program is made up of eight individuals.

let's meet them!

kristi moff (team chair)
year in school: college sophmore.
favorite activities: i like to line dance and ride horses.
top strengths: working with kids and coming up with alternatives for things.
if i had one super strength it would be: super strength so I could be amazing at shot and discus.
i am involved in farm bureau youth because i love the people involved and the programs are amazing and have helped e alot over the years.

steven cain

year in school: sophomore

Favorite pastimes: I like to fly R/C airplanes, I love to play frisbee golf, and occasionally write music that makes me feel all fuzzy (a good kind of fuzzy) inside

Top strengths: One of my top strengths is my leadership experience, and teaching others how to be great leaders as well

If I could have one superpower it would be: If I could have one superpower it would be the ability to heal very quickly not just on the outside but on the inside as well.

Why I’m involved in Farm Bureau Youth: I’m involved in Farm Bureau Youth because I was once the camper looking up to the SYC that were at the camps, and now I have a chance to share that same leadership with some more people.

nicholas colston

year in school: junior

hobbies: i don’t have many pastimes because sports takes up most of my time but i like to take hikes or go fishing.

top strengths: are working with people and playing sports.

if i could have one superpower: to be be-able to fly.

why i'm involved: i am involved in farm bureau youth because it is so much fun. you make many good friends and friendships that will last forever.

to meet more of the members, go to www.ofbf.org and visit our youth page!


Welcome to the first-ever OFBF Leadership Buffet Blog that is just for teens! We're glad you're here!

Interested in sharpening your leadership skills? Looking for some ideas or would like to share an idea? Please do!

This is a great place to make friends, renew friendships and be encouraged!

Check back frequently as we get rolling!

Until next time, you have one life.... do something!