Rep. James J. Zehringer to be new director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture

State Rep. James J. Zehringer of Fort Recovery

Gov.-elect John Kasich is naming another member of his cabinet today, state Rep. James J. Zehringer of Fort Recovery as director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

Kasich had an 11:30 a.m. press conference at Wright State University Lake Campus in Celina to announce the selection.

Zehringer, 58, a former farmer and owner and operator of Meiring Poultry and Fish Farm, was appointed to the House in February 2007 and was unopposed for re-election this fall. His district covers Mercer and Preble counties and portions of Darke County.

The following statement was issued jointly by Ohio’s livestock and poultry organizations regarding the naming of Zehringer as Director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture:

“In his selection of State Representative Jim Zehringer as the next Director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture, Governor-Elect John Kasich has made an exceptional choice that will benefit all Ohioans, especially those who farm in the state’s rural communities. This appointment reflects the commitment of the new administration to strong farm policies and to the role of agriculture in maintaining and increasing the viability of the state’s economy.

“Representative Zehringer has demonstrated himself as a committed public servant and thoughtful policy maker during his years of service as a Mercer County commissioner and as a state legislator. While that work will be of significant value in his new role as Director, our organizations also are pleased to have a leader with firsthand experience as a family farmer, because he will bring to the position a unique understanding of the challenges facing Ohio’s farm community today.

“His knowledge will be particularly evident in his service as Chair of the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board, as he works with the Board in setting sound policies and standards for how farm animals are cared for in our state. Representative Zehringer’s leadership on the Board will be a critical factor in ensuring the long-term stability of Ohio’s livestock and poultry farms.

“Ohio’s livestock and poultry farmers and our respective organizations look forward to working collaboratively with Representative Zehringer in his new role as Director of Agriculture and with the office of Governor-Elect Kasich in the coming administration.”

The following statement is issued jointly by the Ohio Corn Growers Association and the Ohio Wheat Growers Association regarding Zehringer’s appointment:

“Ohio’s corn and wheat farmers and our respective organizations look forward to working with Representative Zehringer in his new role as director of agriculture. We are pleased to have a leader with firsthand experience as a family farmer, policy maker and entrepreneur. Zehringer understands the economic importance of Ohio farms and the advancements of markets such as corn ethanol, bioproducts, exports and improving nutrition with whole- wheat grains. Governor-Elect John Kasich has made an exceptional choice that will benefit all Ohioans.

“Representative Zehringer understands that one in six Ohioans has an agriculture-related job. Ohio’s corn industry alone contributes 150,000 jobs to the state’s workforce. This appointment reflects the commitment of the new administration to strong farm policies and to the role of agriculture in maintaining and increasing the viability of the state’s economy.

“Our organizations look forward to a strong relationship with Representative Zehringer in continued efforts to advance Ohio grains. His commitment to agriculture throughout the years will serve him well at the Department of Agriculture and we are fortunate that Representative Zehringer was chosen to carry on the tradition of strong agricultural advocates in the position of director of agriculture.”

Zehringer and his wife Sharon have three children and two grandchildren.

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One comment

  1. Dr. William C. Zehringer

    July 8, 2011

    Dear Jim:

    Well, now, who knows just
    what the day will bring? I
    have just discovered that I
    share a last name, ZEHRINGER,
    with the recently appointed
    Secretary of Agriculture for
    the State of Ohio. Please
    accept my congratulations.

    What happened is this. I
    was just bringing up my name
    on Google, in order to check
    the status of my writing. For
    you see, Jim, I am a former
    college writing instructor,
    a medievalist and a free-
    lance author. And that’s
    when I saw your name on the
    page.

    Could we be, in some distant
    way, related? How about if I
    tell you, in brief, how our part
    of the Zehringer family came to
    America? In 1866, Alexander
    Zehringer, my great-grand-
    father, immigrated to this
    country from France, having
    arrived from the province of
    Alsace-Lorraine, and landing
    in Philadelphia. His brother,
    Louis, remained in France.

    So, all of our people on my
    father’s side of the family
    are descended from Alexander
    and his wife Elizabeth, who
    was English.

    Hope this helps to show you
    where my own ancestry begins.
    In any event, Jim, perhaps
    we might correspond.

    Once again, best wishes in
    your present office.

    Regards,

    Bill Zehringer

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