Buckeye People

Ohio FFA Foundation announces new leadership

Amy Jo Baughman will join the Ohio FFA Foundation as the executive director starting on October 16, 2023, concluding a search led by the Ohio FFA Foundation board of trustees. She will oversee two staff members, Lauren Corry, director of communication and stewardship, and Shelby Brown, program manager.

Baughman brings a wealth of knowledge from her previous role with The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) Office of Advancement as the director of alumni engagement. She is a two-time alumna of The Ohio State University CFAES, earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the department of agricultural communication, education, and leadership. She was raised on a sheep farm in Fayette County and has a strong FFA background.

“I’m beyond excited for this unique opportunity. This role is a perfect blend of my personal connection to and passion for FFA, technical training in agricultural education, and professional experience in CFAES Advancement,” Baughman said.  … Continue reading

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Ohio Farm Bureau names 2023 policy development committee

Twenty Ohio Farm Bureau leaders are serving on the 2023 Ohio Farm Bureau Federation Policy Development Committee. The committee collects and organizes public policy recommendations from county Farm Bureaus and presents the final policy suggestions to be voted on by Ohio Farm Bureau’s delegates during the state annual meeting in December.

In its initial session, the committee heard from government leaders, subject matter experts and Farm Bureau staff on topics such as CAUV and property taxes; farmland preservation and local development planning; feral swine; ballot initiatives on minimum wage, clean water programs and marijuana; artificial intelligence; solar; Endangered Species Act and US EPA pesticide rules and insurance risk management and future casting due to climate factors.

The policy committee consists of 10 members from Ohio Farm Bureau’s board of trustees and 10 representatives of county Farm Bureaus.

The committee is chaired by Ohio Farm Bureau First Vice President Cy Prettyman of New Bloomington and includes OFBF President Bill Patterson of Chesterland and Treasurer Chris Weaver of Lyons.… Continue reading

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AgCredit announces 2023 scholarship winners

AgCredit has announced the winners of the 2023 scholarships awarded through the cooperative’s Joe Leiser Memorial Scholarship program.

Leiser served as the first president and chief executive officer of AgCredit, which is one of northern Ohio’s largest lenders, serving farmers, agribusinesses and rural homeowners. The annual program recognizes dependent family members of AgCredit voting stockholders who are enrolled in an agriculture-related field of study at a post-secondary educational institution. The cooperative has awarded scholarships to 37 deserving students over the past 10 years.

AgCredit congratulates the following students for earning scholarships for the 2023-2024 academic year:

  • Allison Michaels of Sandusky County is a senior at Wilmington College majoring in agricultural education with a minor in chemistry.
  • Candace Bouillon of Seneca County is a freshman at The Ohio State University majoring in agribusiness.
  • Linsey Eddy of Union County is a sophomore at Purdue University majoring in business analytics and information management with a minor in food and agribusiness management.
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FSR inducts three into Hall of Fame

Farm Science Review inducted three individuals who have supported the show in numerous capacities into its Hall of Fame Wednesday night at its annual recognition banquet. Kevin King, Ben Overholser and John K. Victor were recognized as the 2023 honorees. 

Kevin King, of Westerville, Ohio 

Kevin King got his start with Farm Science Review in his early years as a student in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. “In the spring of 1978, I started working for Farm Science Review as a student employee out at Don Scott Airfield when the show was out there,” said King. 

Being a student worker for FSR was just the beginning for King, “I continued working there through college and then had the opportunity to move into an expanded role and get my graduate degree.” 

After obtaining his master’s degree, King was hired to be the assistant manager in 1983 and served in that role until 1995. … Continue reading

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Minter named Extension Field Specialist, Specialty Crops Production Systems at Ohio State

Logan Minter has been hired as field specialist, specialty crops production systems, for Ohio State University Extension in The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

Minter, who previously worked as an associate professor of biology at Shawnee State University, began his new position Aug. 1, said Jacqueline Kirby Wilkins, associate dean and director, OSU Extension.

“In this new role, Logan will provide overall leadership for a comprehensive outreach, applied research, and teaching agenda for Extension’s statewide agriculture and natural resources program,” Wilkins said. “Logan’s work with specialty crops will be relevant to Extension professionals, growers, industry contacts, and other Extension clientele throughout Ohio.”

Specialty crops as defined by the United States Department of Agriculture include fruits, vegetables, nuts, nursery crops, flowers, and other horticultural crops. Minter will address several priority production issues such as pest control, disease management, production methods, organization systems, and breeding and varietal trials of new cultivars.… Continue reading

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Frost named accounting coordinator for Ohio Farm Bureau

Lisa Frost of Bloomingburg has been named accounting coordinator for Ohio Farm Bureau. In her new role, she will provide general business support, payroll, and accounting functions and activities.

Frost grew up on a grain farm in southeastern Michigan, where she was a proud 4-H member for 11 years. Today, she and her husband own and operate Frostaire Farms, where they raise registered Suffolk sheep that they show and sell at the local, state and national levels.

Before joining the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation staff, Frost was the finance director for Heritage Memorial Church in Washington Court House and served as the Ohio State Fair Sheep Department office manager.

A 30-year member of Fayette County Farm Bureau, Frost studied agriculture communications at Michigan State University and is an inductee of the Ohio State Fair Hall of Fame.… Continue reading

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Ohio Soybean Association welcomes new Director of Public Affairs

The Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) welcomes Brandon Kern as its new Director of Public Policy and Issues Analysis. In this role, Kern will lead the development of state and federal policy priorities and positions, provide strategic advice and guidance on issues of importance to Ohio soybean farmers and stakeholders, and drive farmer and partner engagement on key policy issues. 

Kern most recently served as the Senior Director of State and National Policy for Ohio Farm Bureau.

“We are excited to have Brandon lead OSA’s policy efforts at the Statehouse,” said Patrick Knouff, OSA president and Shelby County soybean farmer. “His passion for both policy and agriculture will be crucial to advancing legislation and policy that benefit soybean farmers and the soybean industry.” 

Kern previously served as Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs in the Office of Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague, was a Military Intelligence Officer with the U.S. Army Reserve, and filled various policy and legislative roles in the Ohio Senate Majority Caucus and in the office of U.S.… Continue reading

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Ohio Farm Bureau hires ExploreAg and ag literacy program specialist

Mary Klopfenstein of Delphos has been named ExploreAg and ag literacy program specialist for Ohio Farm Bureau. She will oversee planning, marketing and implementation of the ExploreAg program, as well as create a comprehensive ag literacy program that aligns with the ExploreAg workforce development program.

A former Ohio FFA state president, Klopfenstein grew up on a small row crop farm in McCartyville, where her love for agriculture blossomed as she showed horses through 4-H and sold sweet corn as her Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) for FFA.

Before joining the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation staff, Klopfenstein was at Illinois Farm Bureau as a youth & collegiate program coordinator. She currently serves as the northwest Ohio representative on the CFAES Alumni Society Board of Directors and is an Allen County Farm Bureau member.

She is a graduate of The Ohio State University, earning a bachelor’s degree in agriculture, majoring in agribusiness and applied economics with minors in international economic development and youth development.… Continue reading

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Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 309 | Strickler reflects on 30 years with Ohio State Fair

Long-time Ohio Expo Center and State Fair General Manager Virgil Strickler is retiring after 30 years with the Ohio State Fair. In his tenure, major changes to the fair and junior livestock programs have taken place. In this podcast, Ohio’s Country Journal’s Matt Reese and Ohio Ag Net’s Joel Penhorwood joins him to discuss the success of the Ohio State Fair under his charge, challenges along the way, and his perspective on leadership.

Other interviews in this episode of the podcast include…

Between the Rows highlight with Lawrence Onweller

Matt talks with Fulton County farmer Lawrence Onweller about the major rain variability in his part of the state and how the crop is shaping up in 2023.

Jed Bower re-elected to National Corn Board

Ohio Ag Net’s Dusty Sonnenberg hears from Fayette County corn grower Jed Bower about his re-election to the National Corn Board.

Farmhand Mike

Mike Less of Darke County, better known as Farmhand Mike on social media, joins Joel from the recent Fennig Equipment ride and drive event to introduce their new offering of Deutz-Fahr tractors.… Continue reading

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Bower re-elected to National Corn Board

Jed Bower, a Fayette County corn grower, has been re-elected to serve a second term on the National Corn Growers Association’s Corn Board.

Bower, who also serves on the Ohio Corn Marketing Program’s Board of Directors, was elected by delegates at the Corn Congress meeting in Washington, D.C. He will serve a three-year term, representing the interests of the country’s corn growers.

“I’m excited for the opportunity to continue serving on the Corn Board in this second term,” Bower said. “The work this organization does advocating for our fellow growers is incredibly important and I’m proud of the progress we’re making fighting for our farms. As we move forward, I’m particularly focused on the Next Generation Fuels Act and what it can do for demand of U.S. corn.”

Bower has served on several NCGA Action Teams, served as liaison to the National Pork Producers Council, and co-chaired Corn Vision 2020. Additionally, he is a past president of both Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association and Fayette County Farm Bureau.… Continue reading

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Three Ohioans among FFA American Star finalists

The National FFA Organization has announced the 16 finalists for its 2023 top achievement awards: American Star Farmer, American Star in Agribusiness, American Star in Agricultural Placement and American Star in Agriscience.

Three Ohioans are among the coveted ranks: Luke Jennings from Felicity-Franklin FFA Chapter, Riley Berger from the Ridgewood FFA Chapter, and Audrey Pinger from the Felicity-Franklin FFA Chapter.

The American Star Awards represent the best of the best among thousands of American FFA Degree recipients. The award recognizes FFA members who have developed outstanding agricultural skills and competencies by completing a supervised agricultural experience (SAE) program. A required activity in FFA, an SAE allows members to learn by doing. Members can own and operate an agricultural business, intern at an agricultural business, or conduct an agriculture-based scientific experiment and report the results.

Other requirements to achieve the award include demonstrating top management skills; completing key agricultural education, scholastic and leadership requirements; and earning an American FFA Degree, the organization’s highest level of student accomplishment.… Continue reading

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FFA Foundation looking for new executive director

The Ohio FFA Foundation Board of Trustees recently accepted Jessica Parrish’s resignation as executive director. Parrish will continue to serve as executive director through September 8, 2023, to facilitate a successful transition. Parrish has served in this role since 2016. Prior to serving as executive director, she worked as the foundation’s program manager for two years. In the fall, Parrish will begin a new role as the Director, Staff Operations at Nationwide.

“With a mix of sadness and gratitude, on behalf of the Ohio FFA Foundation Board, we wish to thank Jessica for her nearly 10 years of exceptional service to Ohio FFA. The board is tremendously excited for Jessica as she enters her new career opportunity. We wish her the very best,” said Kent Fisher, board chair.

Under Parrish’s leadership, the Ohio FFA Foundation has doubled the number of annual donors, increased revenue, and created programs to serve and support Ohio FFA members and advisors in new ways.… Continue reading

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Bowers joins OFBF state policy team

Whittney Bowers of Amanda has been named director of state policy and grassroots engagement for Ohio Farm Bureau.

Bowers returns to the Ohio Farm Bureau policy team after previously serving as the director of grassroots and political outreach from 2015 to 2017, then as a contract employee to manage the organization’s Agriculture for Good Government Political Action Committee (AGGPAC) activities.

She is a graduate of The Ohio State University, earning a bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications and Kent State University, with a master’s degree in journalism and mass communication.

Bowers, her husband, Brad, and their two children, reside on a multi-generation family grain farm with a cattle feedlot operation. They are Fairfield County Farm Bureau members.… Continue reading

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Camp Canopy awards over $8,000 in scholarships

The Ohio Forestry Association Foundation concluded its annual Camp Canopy and presented graduation awards on June 16, 2023, at Ohio FFA Camp Muskingum. This year, eight scholarships were awarded to campers pursuing a major within forestry, wildlife, or environmental sciences for a total of $8,250.

  • Addison Woerner (Nashport, Ohio) – $1,000, Ohio Forestry Association Foundation
  • Sierra Roy (Hubbard, Ohio) – $1,250, The Ohio State University
  • Job Busic (Newark, Ohio) – $1,000, The Ohio State University
  • Samuel Cox (Fayette, Ohio) – $1,000, Hocking College
  • Jacob Nelson (Steubenville, Ohio) – $1,000, Hocking College
  • John O’Donnell (North Canton, Ohio) – $1,000, Milligan Tree Farm
  • Gabriella Anzelmo (New Albany, Ohio) – $1,000, Milligan Tree Farm
  • Zeva Sheets (Mt. Vernon, Ohio) – $1,000, North East Ohio Forestry Association

The Ohio Forestry Association Foundation hosts Camp Canopy each year to expose students to the career opportunities in the natural resources field, educate them in technical skills for forestry, wildlife, and conservation, and help campers achieve their goals of higher education in a related field.… Continue reading

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Linder elected president of MAIZALL

John Linder, an Ohio corn grower and former president of the National Corn Growers Association, was elected today to serve as president of MAIZALL, an international farmer’s organization that focuses on eliminating regulatory obstacles to innovation in agriculture. The group contains members from the U.S., Brazil and Argentina.

Linder, from Morrow County, begins his one-year term on Monday, July 3.

“John is a dedicated leader, and he will no doubt do an outstanding job leading MAIZALL,” said Tom Haag, NCGA President. “We are very proud to see a fellow corn grower take the lead at a group that does so much to advance the agenda of farmers in the international arena.”
MAIZALL engages private sector stakeholders, national government officials and leaders from international organizations, such as the World Trade Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization, to work towards alignment on regulatory barriers to trade.

Linder, who served as president of NCGA in 2020-21, said he looks forward to serving as president of the group.… Continue reading

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Thomas family champions the small dairy farm

Step with us into the picturesque landscape of north Champaign County and witness the extraordinary journey of the Thomas family as they dedicate themselves to the small dairy farm.

Nathan and Jenny Thomas, along with their 35-cow herd at Triple-T Holsteins near North Lewisburg, have carved out a unique niche in the dairy industry. Focusing on show genetics and prize-winning cattle, they have earned a global reputation for their exceptional breeding program, all while participating in a unique milk market.

Join Ohio Ag Net’s Joel Penhorwood to discover the relentless passion, hard work, and unwavering commitment of the Thomas family as they navigate the challenges of modern agriculture, showcase their cattle at prestigious events across the country, and uphold their deeply rooted values of cow care and sustainability.… Continue reading

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Zajkowski joins Ohio Ag Net

Jake Zajkowski is a sophomore at Cornell University, in Ithaca, New York. He is originally from the Buckeye State but now shares time in agriculture between both states. The Lucas County native is studying agriculture science with a concentration in policy analysis and minors in horticulture and applied economics and management. 

Zajkowski joined the Ohio Ag Net team in January of 2023. He grew up in the suburbs where car rides with the family would consist of country music, talk shows, and news — never a world he thought he would find himself working in. Zajkowski now works both as the afternoon farm broadcaster and summer intern for Ohio Ag Net. Throughout the week, he keeps up to date on markets and agriculture news and then produces, records, and edits farm shows for radio affiliates in Ohio. He also works on digital marketing campaigns, supports the video team and edits podcasts. … Continue reading

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Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation awards nearly $60,000 in scholarships

 Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation recently awarded nearly $60,000 in scholarships to students across the state.

According to Jenny Cox, Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation board president, the foundation has put intentional focus on its purpose and its work, and scholarship awards directly impact that purpose: to inspire and educate the next generation of agriculture.

“One in eight jobs in Ohio are related to food and agriculture. As the demands for employees to fill these roles increase, we want to do our part to cultivate the next generation of workers to grow their careers in agriculture. The opportunity to work with and get to know some of these young people and learn about all of their accomplishments and activities through reviewing scholarship applications is incredibly rewarding. The stories and successes of these young people confirm to me that the future of agriculture is bright.”

Annually, the foundation recognizes Ohio students for their academic effort, community engagement and career interests that link agriculture to community service, education or scientific research.… Continue reading

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Strickler announces retirement

Virgil Strickler announced that he intends to retire as general manager of the Ohio State Fair after this year. Strickler is the longest serving general manager of the Ohio State Fair and is known for implementing the Ohio State Fair’s nationally recognized Youth Reserve Program in 1995.

“Today is bittersweet. I will be forever grateful for the last three decades at the Ohio State Fair,” Strickler said. “I’ve grown up at fairs, and Ohio’s county and independent fairs are what makes our State Fair so strong. I’ve watched my children, and now grandchildren, grow up here. The State Fair means so much to generations of Ohioans, and I’m proud of the strong partnerships we’ve developed over the years, and how they have helped our State Fair grow and improve each year.”

Strickler began working at the Ohio Expo Center in 1993 as agriculture director and was named general manager in 2004. In the wake of Strickler’s announcement, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced that a nationwide search for the next general manager of the Ohio Expo Center & State Fair is now underway.… Continue reading

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Funeral arrangements for Dave Brandt of Fairfield County

David Brandt, of Fairfield County, passed away at the age of 76 from complications resulting from an automobile accident. 

He was known around the world as the face of a meme associated with honest work. In agricultural circles, Brandt will be remembered as a global leader in no-till, cover crops, soil health, nutrient dense crops, and direct marketing. Agriculturalists from around the world visited his Fairfield County farm each year to see his soils first-hand and learn from his many years of experience. He also traveled the world speaking about his farm. Brandt served as a Marine and was a Vietnam veteran who returned home to farm in the late 1960s, but soon after his return, Brandt’s father died in a farming accident. He and his wife, Kendra (who passed away in 2020), were forced to sell the farm and start over with very little equipment. No-till was a way to reduce costs.… Continue reading

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