Volume 47 - Number 1 - 2006 | DOI: 10.5032/jae.2006.01053
The purpose of this qualitative study was to determine the leadership expectations, needs, and interests of local Farm Bureau board members. Nine county boards were included in the study, with the chairperson and one other member being interviewed from each board. The focus of the interviews was identification of common leadership-related challenges and perceived development needs of the local Farm Bureau board. Four significant theme areas emerged: organizational appreciation, grassroots involvement, board member training, and board member succession. Within these areas, twelve consistent sub-themes surfaced and are discussed in this paper. Based on these results, the researchers recommended that Florida Farm Bureau: (1) maintain quality field staff as liaisons between the local and state levels; (2) encourage and support district-level leadership programs; (3) develop and facilitate "short courses" on Farm Bureau board governance; (4) design and coordinate new board member orientation programs; (5) expand recognition programs for local board involvement; and (6) continue research efforts that guide local leadership development. Other groups that desire improved local board leadership should consider research efforts similar to this study and the related research with Florida Farm Bureau.