More than 250 producers and leaders in the beef industry assembled at the Columbus Marriott Northwest in Dublin, Ohio on Jan. 26, 2013 for the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association’s (OCA) annual meeting and awards banquet. The event featured policy development sessions, OCA’s annual meeting and the OCA’s award banquet. Annual meeting and banquet sponsors who contributed to the success of the event include COBA/Select Sires, CompManagement, Inc., Farm Credit Mid-America, United Producers, Inc., Stark County Cattlemen’s Association and Steve R. Rauch.
During the annual meeting, Ohio cattlemen welcomed Kent Bacus, Associate Director of Legislative Affairs in the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Washington, DC office, who gave an update on NCBA activities and discussed many of the issues NCBA is working on for the beef industry. Bacus shared with Ohio’s cattlemen the status of trade agreements with Japan, the outlook on Congress following the election and the current tax situation.
Bruce McPheron, Dean and Vice President for Agricultural Administration in the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, discussed the importance of new livestock facilities to student success and the university.
OCA President Sam Sutherly of Troy, Ohio, coordinated the policy development portion of the meeting. These resolutions covered a broad range from agriculture policy to cattle health, international markets, live cattle marketing, property rights and environmental issues. In addition, Sutherly shared with members that a committee was formed to further explore an increase to the Ohio Beef Checkoff and that OCA will move forward on the issue when membership indicates their support for holding a referendum.
Glen Arnold, OSU Extension Field Specialist, Manure Nutrient Management Systems, presented on the Ohio water quality and nutrient management initiative. He encouraged OCA members to be proactive in taking responsibility to properly manage nutrients in their operation. He noted that this affects livestock and crop farmers, those who apply manure or use fertilizer, in every Ohio county.
Dale Arnold, Director of Energy Services at the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, provided background information on the oil and gas severance tax and how it could affect Ohio. Policy opposing the state’s current severance tax proposal was adopted among others related to the issue.
In addition, OCA’s Membership Committee recognized the members of OCA’s Top Hand Recruiting Club. Land O’Lakes Feed and Quality Liquid Feed sponsored the awards. OCA’s officers reported that 2012 was a very strong year for the association and membership renewals for 2013 are on track with previous years. The Beef Improvement Committee gave an update on the Seedstock Improvement Sales and the Ohio Beef Expo.
OCA members and guests reconvened that evening for the banquet to celebrate another successful year. An early highlight of the banquet was naming the 2013 Ohio Beef Ambassadors. In its first year of the program, sponsored by the Ohio CattleWomen’s Association and the Ohio Beef Council, 17 youth, ages 16 to 19 competed for the title. Hayley Beck, Huron County; Sierra Jepson, Fairfield County; and Josie Vanco, Gallia County, were chosen to spend the next year sharing their story of agriculture and educating consumers on beef consumption and the industry.
Ten scholarships were presented to outstanding youth during the awards banquet. Steve R. Rauch Benchmark of Excellence scholarship recipients included Megan Hunker, Huron County; Bailey Harsh, Delaware County; and Lindsey Grimes, Highland County. Jordan Bonham, Fayette County; Sierra Jepsen, Fairfield County; Shyla Kreager, Licking County; and Justin O’Flaherty, Cuyahoga County were awarded $1,000 Tagged for Greatness Scholarships, which are funded with the sales of the Ohio Beef license plate.
Lauren Prettyman, Marion County; Laura Schmuki, Stark County; and Lydia Ulry, Licking County, received a $1,000 Country Club Scholarship, which was funded by the putt putt course at the 2012 Ohio State Fair. The Ohio CattleWomen’s Association awarded scholarships to Kayla Hinds, Tuscarawas County; Amber Watkins, Logan County; and Sandra “Molly” DePue, Geauga County.
OCA also recognized county associations that incorporated new or creative activities to build stronger relationships with the state group, to promote beef or to emphasize community involvement. Fairfield County was announced as the outstanding county affiliate and received a $500 award. Highland County won second place outstanding county affiliate and received a $300 award while Stark County was the winner of the third place outstanding affiliate award and received $200.
The banquet concluded with OCA presenting five prestigious awards to deserving cattlemen and supporters of Ohio’s beef industry. Christian Hoffman of Hoffman Farms, Fairfield County received the Commercial Producer of the Year award; Tim and Peg Brinkman of Missing Rail Simmental in Henry County was awarded Seedstock Producer of the Year; Young Cattleman of the Year was Allan Robison, Champaign County; Dr. Tony Forshey, State Veterinarian for the Ohio Department of Agriculture, received the Industry Service Award; and Kris and Becky Vincent, Stark County, was awarded with Industry Excellence.
Awards in these categories were sponsored by the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association with Farm and Dairy, Farm World, Ohio Farmer, Ohio’s Country Journal, and Brownfield Ag Network respectively.