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From Life-Changing to World-Changing: Keynote Speaker to Share Power of Giving Back

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The Ohio AgriBusiness Association is pleased to welcome Shirley Brooks-Jones as the Industry Dinner keynote speaker at the upcoming 2020 OABA Industry Conference.

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A native of Vinton County, Ohio, Shirley Brooks-Jones was a staff member at The Ohio State University for nearly 35 years, retiring with Emeritus status. In addition to interacting with local, state and federal entities, she was also involved with Ohio State programs in India, Brazil, Somalia, Uganda, Poland, Colombia, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. Following her retirement, a portion of Brooks-Jones’ time has been devoted to volunteer activities, both long- and short-term.

Brooks-Jones’ life was forever changed when her plane was diverted to Newfoundland, Canada on September 11th. She and her fellow passengers experienced the boundless hospitality of the locals, which in turn inspired the passengers to launch a scholarship initiative for the youth of the community. To date, 291 students have received the scholarship, which was initiated on June 21, 2002.

“The events of September 11th touched lives in many different ways, and Shirley’s story is sure to resonate with attendees at the Industry Dinner,” said Chris Henney, OABA president and CEO. “Shirley’s unique experience will inspire attendees to look for ways to give back to their own communities and beyond.”

The Industry Conference, Jan. 29-31, 2020 in Columbus, is packed with widely-respected speakers and industry professionals, sharing their expertise on a variety of topics relating to agronomy, grain and feed, safety and more. In addition to the keynote, the conference features a wide array of general and breakout sessions. Two conference enhancements are available to attendees this year: the Safety & Risk Management Pre-event Day on January 29 and the Advancing Modern Professionals for Tomorrow (AMP’T) leadership program on January 31.

Continuing education units (CEUs) are available for both Certified Crop Advisers and state licensed pesticide applicators that attend the conference. An agenda is available at

All-inclusive registration for the event covers admission to the two main days of educational programming (Jan 30-31), all meals, including the Industry Networking Reception & Dinner and the OABA Annual Meeting. Registration fees are as follows:

Member: $275 ($350 after Jan. 10, 2020)

Non-Member: $425 ($500 after Jan. 10, 2020)

Individual day and reception/dinner-only registrations are also available, as are exhibitor and sponsorship opportunities. Visit for more information and to register.

Hotel accommodations for the Renaissance Columbus Westerville-Polaris Hotel can be made online by visiting or by calling 614-791-1000. The OABA hotel block reservation deadline is Jan. 10, 2020.

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