OPA announces award winners

The Ohio Poultry Association (OPA) recently announced its 2011 award recipients, named each year at the organization’s annual banquet in Columbus. These awards honor businesses, farms and individuals who have made significant contributions to Ohio’s egg, chicken and turkey sectors.

“I am honored to work with so many talented individuals, farms and businesses who continually seek to go and beyond what is expected of them,” said Jim Chakeres, OPA executive vice president. “This year’s award winners are no exception.”

Awards and recipients at the 26th Annual Banquet included:

Environmental Stewardship Award: Paul Dahlinghaus

The OPA’s Environmental Stewardship Award is given each year in recognition of a farmer’s commitment to his or her neighbors and to the environment as a whole. This year’s recipient is Paul Dahlinghaus of New Bremen, Ohio. The farm has taken a number of actions to make their operation more environmentally friendly. Some of these projects include installing waterways and filter strips to keep fertilizers out of stream waters, and monitoring streams and wells on a regular basis. Additionally, water quality is protected by ensuring that manure management and handling techniques are properly executed at all times.

Golden Egg Award: Andy Rohrer

The Golden Egg Award is given to an individual who has provided extraordinary service to Ohio’s egg, chicken and turkey farmers. Andy Rohrer, of Conyers, Georgia, is the recipient of this year’s prestigious award. Rohrer has been an integral contributor to the poultry community for the past 30 years. His background includes extensive executive experience in the management of private, not-for-profit corporations, and state and federal agencies. Rohrer is currently the senior coordinator of the National Poultry Improvement Plan. He previously founded the Tri-State Poultry Federation, which includes Ohio, Indiana and Michigan.

Family Legacy Award: Hemmelgarn Family

The Legacy Award recognizes individuals who are committed to advancing the mission and values of the state’s egg, chicken and turkey farmers. This year’s award was presented to the Hemmelgarn Family of Coldwater, Ohio. Ed Hemmelgarn started the business in 1930 with a Model T and liquid assets of only $35. Today, Hemmelgarn & Sons has nearly two million chickens between layers and pullets and ranks among the top 40 egg farms nationwide. The next generation of the Hemmelgarn family continues to guide the farm, acknowledging that Ed Hemmelgarn’s $35 investment in 1930 brought a remarkable return and left a far-reaching legacy in the local community and beyond.

Outstanding Service Award: Kalmbach Family / Kalmbach Feeds

The Outstanding Service Award recognizes individuals or farms whose outstanding performance contributes to or enhances the mission of the Ohio Poultry Association and helps create a positive image of the state’s egg, chicken and turkey farmers. This year’s award was presented to the Kalmbach Family/Kalmbach Feeds, a second-generation, family-owned company located in Upper Sandusky that manufactures and sells top quality custom nutritional products for all livestock and poultry species. Since the farm was founded in 1963, the Kalmbach family has been dedicated to helping independent poultry farmers stay in business. Additionally, they have developed and promoted many new concepts and products for the poultry community.

Ohio’s egg, chicken and turkey farms are significant contributors to the success of the state’s economy. Ohio ranks number-two in the nation in egg production – second only to Iowa – and produces more than seven billion eggs per year with a retail value of more than $585 million. Ohio is also eighth in the nation for turkey production and produces more than 338 million pounds of Ohio chicken annually. Ohio’s egg, chicken and turkey farms create more than 16,850 jobs generating $385 million in earnings to the state’s economy.

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