Indiana Farm Bureau is strengthening its team to continue to provide top-tier support for its members in all 92 counties across Indiana. A new position, field operations manager, was created to provide strategic direction to regional membership-support staff across the state.
Laura Ruhlman, who previously served as a regional manager for INFB’s districts 7 and 9, has been promoted to INFB’s new role. As field operations manager, Ruhlman will provide leadership and direction for the 15 regional managers who work with county Farm Bureaus across the state. She will work directly with those regional managers to provide support to county Farm Bureau leadership, as they strive to strengthen their local organizations.
“Having a strong team of regional managers benefits the county Farm Bureaus in many ways,” said Ruhlman. “Thriving county organizations also make INFB stronger and more impactful at the state and national level.”
Ruhlman has extensive experience in working with volunteers, developing staff and volunteers, and program management. She started her Farm Bureau career with Maryland Farm Bureau where she served in a variety of roles during her almost 20 year tenure, including regional manager, Young Farmer coordinator, Women’s Leadership Committee coordinator and director of field services and organization. She joined INFB in June of 2015. Ruhlman holds of bachelor’s degree from Villa Julie College (now Stevenson University) in Maryland.
INFB has also hired a new regional-support staff member, Leslie Hickman. Hickman joined INFB as a regional manager for part of District 4, which includes Grant, Howard, Huntington, Miami, Tipton and Wabash counties. Hickman, who most recently worked as a financial officer for Farm Credit Mid-America in Howard County, will work closely with all six county Farm Bureaus in that region to provide state-level support.
“I will be working directly with our members, helping to ensure that they have the information and resources needed to make them and their county organizations successful,” said Hickman.
Hickman holds a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from Purdue University. Her involvement in her local community, including as a board member of the Howard County Farm Bureau, will be an asset to her in her new role as an INFB regional manager.
In addition, Blaire Bennett joins the INFB organizational development team as a special projects coordinator, supporting programing for INFB members. Bennett is a graduate of Oklahoma State University and holds a bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications. She also brings experience from her time working for American Farmers and Ranchers and the American Shorthorn Association.
Source: Indiana Farm Bureau