The 99th American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention brought big news for an Ohio farm couple.
Greg and Rose Hartschuh of Sycamore were named winners of American Farm Bureau’s Excellence in Agriculture Award. They will receive a new Ford truck, courtesy of Country Financial, and will also receive paid registration to the AFBF YF&R Leadership Conference in Reno, Nevada, Feb. 16-19.
“It was a really unique opportunity to compete and meet the other farmers from around the United States. It was definitely unexpected. We hoped that our Farm Bureau involvement and the things we have done in our community stood out in our applications. We were definitely pleasantly surprised to be named the winners,” Rose said. “Greg and I have been really active with Young Ag Professionals and we are starting to get to the end of the age group for that. It is nice to wrap up our involvement in YAP winning an award like this. Obviously we are still interested in remaining involved with the organization and are looking for other avenues to participate.”
Rose is a seed adviser, contributes to the family farm and manages their additional family businesses. Greg farms full time, raising corn, soybeans and operating a dairy. The Hartschuhs partnered with two other farm families to revitalize a neglected farm property in Bucyrus, which now offers a farm market in one barn and an event venue in another. They also offer agricultural education activities on their farm.
The Hartschuhs were instrumental in coordinating an effort in early 2017 that allowed Ohio farmers to convoy semis full of farm goods to Kansas ranches in need of assistance after devastating wildfires ravaged the area.
“The caliber of competition was definitely high. The people that participated were really involved in the ag industry,” Rose said. “One of the things we really brought to the table was our amount of Farm Bureau involvement. Look for opportunities to get involved. The county Farm Bureau definitely is not going to turn you down as a volunteer. That can lead to other involvement opportunities as well. There is so much you can do through Farm Bureau and you can learn so much through those opportunities.”
The Excellence in Agriculture Award recognizes young farmers and ranchers who do not derive the majority of their income from an agricultural operation, but who actively contribute and grow through their involvement in agriculture, their leadership ability and participation in Farm Bureau and other organizations.