Bill Patterson, OFBF president

Ohio Farm Bureau welcomes new leadership

Bill Patterson of Chesterland has been elected the 25th president of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation and now holds the highest elected office in Ohio’s largest and most influential farm and food organization.

Patterson was elected by OFBF’s board of trustees upon the resignation of Frank Burkett of Massillon, who left the OFBF board to stand for election to the Nationwide board of directors. He was elected to the Nationwide board of directors April 1. 

Burkett served as the organization’s president for five years where strengthening partnerships with key groups such as Nationwide was a part of his work. Ohio Farm Bureau founded the Farm Bureau Mutual Automobile Insurance Company in 1926, which later became Nationwide. Today, Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau maintain a close relationship and share a focus of providing valued services for farmers and agriculture. Nationwide is the No. 1 insurer of farms in the nation and supports agriculture nationally. Burkett’s selection to the Nationwide board demonstrates the company’s continued deep connections to the industry.

Patterson, a member of Ohio Farm Bureau’s state board since 2011, has been OFBF’s first vice president for the past five years and previously served as treasurer. He is a 26-year member of the Geauga County Farm Bureau and will continue to serve as the District 4 trustee representing Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake and Trumbull counties.

Patterson farms with his family, raising apples, strawberries, peaches and producing maple syrup. The agritourism operation includes a farm market, bakery, fall fun fest, Pick-Your-Own apples and strawberries and a wedding venue. They also wholesale apple cider throughout northeast Ohio.

Replacing Patterson as first vice president of Ohio Farm Bureau is Cy Prettyman of New Bloomington. He assumes the second highest elected office in the organization and will remain as the District 7 representative, covering Crawford, Marion, Morrow and Richland counties.

Prettyman farms with his family, raising corn and soybeans and has a direct-to-consumer beef enterprise. In addition, he has a 30-year agricultural career serving members in Ohio’s cooperative system. A 25-year member of Marion County Farm Bureau, Prettyman has served as its president and has been active with local and state Pork Producers Councils and Ohio Cattlemen’s Association.

OFBF’s new treasurer, the organization’s third highest elected official, is Lane Osswald of Eldorado, taking over the role previously filled by Prettyman. Osswald will remain the representative for District 18, serving members in Butler, Hamilton, Montgomery and Preble counties.

Osswald’s family grows corn, soybeans, wheat and vegetables and provides custom farming services. He is a licensed commercial pesticide applicator and an experienced crop advisor for many local clients. He has been a member of Preble County Farm Bureau for 22 years, has served on the Ohio Soybean Association Board and is a board member of the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation.

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