Buckeye People



Bain Wilson joins CFAES as livestock evaluation specialist, new Ohio State ATI coaching position announced

The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) has announced the appointment of Bain Wilson as livestock evaluation specialist.

Wilson will join the CFAES Department of Animal Sciences, effective August 2021, as assistant professor, professional practice. He will lead the Ohio State Livestock Judging Team, teach the department’s livestock evaluation course, and begin connecting with Ohio 4-H livestock evaluation teams across the state.

“We are excited for Dr. Wilson to join the faculty and to lead the livestock evaluation courses and team. His arrival is part of a larger plan of pursuing excellence for our judging team,” said John Foltz, chair of the Department of Animal Sciences.

Wilson currently serves as an assistant professor in beef production and youth livestock at Virginia Tech. His position there involves teaching, research, and Extension. He has served as the coordinator of the intercollegiate livestock judging team at Virginia Tech, as well as the coach for both the Virginia and Illinois state 4-H livestock judging teams.… Continue reading

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Peak demand energy management strategies for agriculture

As agricultural systems have become more sophisticated and automated, the electrical demands of many farms have increased, requiring enhanced needs for high quality electric to power equipment. Due to increased electrical usage, many farms are now on a commercial rate structure. Unlike residential rates, which are based primarily on total energy usage measured in kilowatt hours (kWh), commercial accounts are also charged for the highest peak demand usage spike over a short time period measured in kilowatts (kW). 

To better understand how peak electric demand affects agricultural facilities, Ohio State University Extension is collecting energy usage data for individual motor loads across six swine and dairy facilities experiencing high energy demand costs.  

To collect the data, Ohio State University researchers installed multifunction energy meters capable of recording energy usage for up to 24 critical loads on the farm. By collecting granular electric usage data, the trends of energy consumption, peak demand, and power factor for each measured circuit can be analyzed.… Continue reading

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United Producers, Inc. announces hiring of new senior regional credit officer

United Producers, Inc. (UPI), the Midwest’s largest livestock marketing cooperative, is pleased to announce that Brian Fracker will be joining the cooperative’s credit services division as senior regional credit officer.

Fracker will serve the financing needs of farmers and farming operations throughout Ohio, offering a full range of loan products and services to help them grow and succeed.

“We are pleased to welcome Brian to our team,” said Bob Siegel, Vice President of Credit. “His extensive experience in agriculture financing will be a tremendous asset to our current members, while also allowing us to introduce UPI to non-members who would benefit from our cooperative’s services.”

Fracker’s experience spans 30 years in banking and finance in Ohio, assisting clients in reaching their financial goals by helping them acquire real estate, equipment, and lines of credit for their operations. Fracker has loaned more than $300 million dollars in his lifetime and brings a wealth of knowledge and credentials to the UPI team.… Continue reading

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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.… Continue reading

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OABA announces newly elected Board of Directors

The Ohio AgriBusiness Association is pleased to announce the newly elected members to the Board of Directors. 

  • Representing the Agrichemical industry: Nick Franks, Tyler Grain & Fertilizer Co.
  • Representing the Feed industry: Anne Staugler, Big K Mills, Inc. 
  • Representing the Grain industry: Travis Algren, Consolidated Grain & Barge Inc.
  • Representing the Members-at-Large: Heath Barnes, Mercer Landmark and Jeff Osentoski, Heritage Cooperative 

“Our Board of Directors contribute their time, experience and expertise for the good of the industry and the association,” said Chris Henney, OABA president and CEO. “We are pleased to welcome our newest board members and congratulate those that were reelected.”

The newly elected members were announced at the OABA Annual Meeting on March 24. Algren and Barnes are new members on the board; Franks, Osentoski and Staugler were reelected by OABA members. The respective terms for these board members will expire on Dec. 31, 2023.

Below is the complete list of Board members:

  • Chairwoman: Jackie Seiber —  L W Seibert Farms, LLC
  • Vice Chairman: Robert Mullen — Nutrien
  • Immediate Past Chairman: Nathan Louiso — Axis Seed 
  • Travis Algren — Consolidated Grain & Barge Inc. 
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Nutrien Ag Solutions Leipsic/Ottawa achieves Year Three Certification in 4R Nutrient Stewardship

Continuing its commitment to improving water quality in the Western Lake Erie Basin, Nutrien Ag Solutions Leipsic/Ottawa has achieved certified status for year three through the 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program.

The voluntary certification program is a concentrated effort by the agriculture industry to significantly reduce and prevent applied nutrients from running off fields, which has contributed to water quality issues in Lake Erie. Facilities are required to meet certain program goals each year to retain certified status. 

With the program in its seventh year, Nutrien Ag Solutions Leipsic/Ottawa joins a long list of retailers to achieve year three certification.

“The 4R Certification has helped us transition more growers to grid soil sampling,” said Logan Kaufman, Certified Crop Adviser and crop consultant for Nutrien Ag Solutions. “We are able to assure our growers that the nutrients being applied are being placed where they are needed, in hopes of improving water quality.”… Continue reading

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Ohio AgriBusiness Association awards 2020-2021 scholarships

Each year, the Ohio AgriBusiness Association Educational Trust scholarship program awards scholarship dollars to students enrolled in an agriculture-related field attending The Ohio State University and Ohio State’s Agricultural Technical Institute, Central State University, Clark State Community College and Wilmington College. Scholarships were awarded through the OABA Educational Trust, the George Greenleaf Agri-Industry Endowment and the OABA Endowed Scholarship Fund. 

The OABA Educational Trust scholarship fund is supported by donations from OABA member companies, and through four primary fundraising activities: a Bowling for Scholarships event, two Golf for Scholarships outings and a Target: Scholarships sporting clays event. 

This year, OABA awarded $28,000 in scholarship dollars to the following individuals. 

Central State University 

• Destiny Cooper of Chicago, Ilinois 

• Nellie Rowland of Sardinia, Ohio 

Clark State Community College 

• Joseph Perry of Yellow Springs, Ohio 

• Christopher Raleigh of Mount Orab, Ohio 

• Hailey Williams of Springfield, Ohio 

The Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute 

• Megan Gibboney of Orient, Ohio 

• Olivia Merrin of Bowerston, Ohio 

• Brooke Wiseman of New Lexington, Ohio 

Wilmington College Morgan McFarland of Ashville, Ohio 

• Alexzandria Lusk of Enon, Ohio 

• Grace Storck of New Carlisle, Ohio 

The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences 

• Samantha Augustine of Loudonville, Ohio 

• Lydia Dunaway of Pleasant Plain, Ohio 

• Madelyn Eggelman of Springfield, Ohio 

• Troy Elwer of Delphos, Ohio 

• Chase Gasser of Creston, Ohio 

• Madison Layman of Johnstown, Ohio 

• Corinne Lee of Marysville, Ohio 

• Aaron Smith of Norwalk, Ohio 

• Hannah Smith of Jackson, Ohio 

• Joshua Strine of Calednonia, Ohio 

• Alayna Teiga of Loudonville, Ohio 

The George G.… Continue reading

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OFSWCD officers elected

The Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (OFSWCD) is pleased to announce the officer slate for 2020-21 as confirmed by the OFSWCD Board and Delegates. 

During the Annual Conservation Partnership Meeting, held virtually this year, Matt Peart, a Wayne Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) supervisor, assumed the role of the President. Peart is a first-generation farmer from West Salem.

“It is not one person, committee or game plan that makes the difference. It is a team with the same heart and the same goals that will make an impact and a difference for the betterment of conservation in Ohio,” Peart said. 

In addition, Jeff Duling, a Putnam SWCD supervisor, assumed the role of 1st Vice President. Samantha Steiner, a Warren SWCD supervisor, assumed the role of 2nd Vice President. Dave Anspach, a Clermont SWCD supervisor, remained in the Secretary-Treasurer role and, Bob Short, a Williams SWCD supervisor, who completed his two-year role as President moved into the Past President role. … Continue reading

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Wolf wins essay contest

Lily Wolf of Hamilton has been named the Ohio state winner of the 2021 GROWMARK essay contest for FFA members. The theme of this year’s contest was “If you could invent a new technology to improve agriculture, what would it be?” Students were encouraged to think creatively, not necessarily realistically, as they described their ideal invention.

In her contest entry, Wolf said: “Imagine if we created biodegradable field signs made from petrochemicals. Not only would this help the environment, but it would also be cheaper in the long run.”
Wolf is a student at Edgewood High School and a member of the Edgewood/Butler Tech FFA chapter. Her FFA advisor is Kellie Beiser. As the contest winner, Wolf will receive a $500 award from GROWMARK. The Edgewood/Butler Tech FFA Chapter will also receive a $300 award in honor of her accomplishment.
Four state runners-up will each receive a $125 award. The runners-up and their FFA chapters are, in alphabetical order: Ava Knapke, Celina FFA, Celina, Ohio; Cassandra Mavis, Fairview FFA, Edgerton, Ohio; Luke Meyer, Fort Loramie FFA, Anna, Ohio; and Cassidy Mrakuzic, Black River FFA, Homerville, Ohio.… Continue reading

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Lauren Eyre joins Aimpoint Research Agri-Food WatchDesk team

Aimpoint Research, a global, strategic intelligence firm, recently welcomed Lauren Schwab Eyre of Eaton, Ohio as an Agri-Food WatchDesk Analyst. A second-generation livestock farmer, Lauren brings tremendous agricultural knowledge, communication experience, and a passionate drive to support the future of the industry.

“I’m delighted to welcome Lauren to the Agri-Food WatchDesk,” said Brett Sciotto, Aimpoint Research CEO. “She brings a wealth of agricultural experience, especially in the livestock sector, to our diverse team as we continue to provide critical, strategic intelligence to our clients.”

Lauren is a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Women’s Studies, as well as a Master of Science in Family Studies after completing her thesis, focused on food insecurity. Lauren is a recipient of the American FFA Degree and previously served as a National Collegiate Agriculture Ambassador for the National FFA.

She is a former Farrowing House Manager for her family farm operation and handled all consumer communications and education.… Continue reading

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OEFFA announces 2021 award recipients

The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) has named the 2021 recipients of its Stewardship and Service awards.  

Jan Dawson and Andy Reinhart of Logan County received the Stewardship Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to the sustainable agriculture community, and Steve Edwards of Warren County received the Service Award, which recognizes extraordinary service in support of sustainable agriculture.

“Over the course of more than 40 years, this organization and the broader sustainable food and farm movement, have been built by the tireless efforts of farmers, conscientious consumers, educators, researchers, retailers, and others. It is breathtaking how far we’ve come, from a handful of folks with a shared vision to a societal-wide understanding of the economic, environmental, and social significance of local and sustainable food systems,” said Carol Goland, Executive Director of OEFFA. “Jan, Andy, and Steve have made lasting contributions to this effort, and we are both grateful and pleased to be able to recognize these truly remarkable individuals for their hard work and accomplishments.”… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Amanda Bush wins NCGA Fields-of-corn Photo Contest

It was a challenging year for so many, yet photographers continued to share essential farmers’ stories of perseverance through the seventh National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) Fields-of-Corn Photo Contest.

Also unprecedented was the number of social shares, breaking records overall for NCGA’s photo contest. NCGA awarded two Grand Prizes.  A grand prize was awarded for the single most popular photo, taken by Amanda Bush of Ohio, “Cotton Candy Harvest,” which gained more than 1,700 likes on Facebook. Also, one selected by a panel of judges, submitted by McCullum Steen from Illinois with the photo titled “Harvest 2020.”

“Grit and grace characterize the photos of the year,” said Beth Musgrove, NCGA Graphic Communications Manager . “The Facebook engagement this year is telling that people are appreciative of the beauty of rural America in their daily feed.”

Bush is the executive communications assistant for Ohio Farm Bureau and she grew up on a farm in Morrow County.… Continue reading

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Anderson wins 2021 Discussion Meet

Stacie Anderson of Wood County is the winner of Ohio Farm Bureau’s Young Agricultural Professionals 2021 Discussion Meet competition. The results were announced Jan. 29 during the YAP Winter Leadership Experience Virtual Conference.  

The Discussion Meet tests participants’ subject knowledge, problem solving abilities and personal and small group communications skills. It is designed for young agricultural professionals to work together to find solutions around issues facing agriculture today.

Anderson is a Wood County Farm Bureau member. She, along with her husband Brian, grow corn, soybeans and wheat, as well as raise 4000 meat chickens, 500 laying hens, 200 fresh Thanksgiving turkeys, and a small herd of beef cattle. Off the farm, Anderson is the agronomy sales manager for Legacy Farmers Cooperative, where she manages sales of all crop nutrients, chemicals, seed, and precision products.

As the winner, she receives a $1,000 cash award from Nationwide, an expense-paid trip to the Ohio Farm Bureau Annual Meeting in December 2021 and an expense-paid trip to represent Ohio at the national competition during the American Farm Bureau Annual Convention in Atlanta in January 2022.… Continue reading

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2021 YAP State Committee leadership announced

Leading Ohio Farm Bureau’s Young Agricultural Professionals State Committee for 2021 are Chaircouple Megan and Tyrone Brannon of Tuscarawas County, Co-chair Kameron Rinehart of Fayette County and Secretary Bailey Elchinger of Henry County.

The Brannons are first-generation farmers who raise laying hens, pastured poultry, produce, herbs and specialize in microgreens. They market directly to consumers or at a local farmers market. Off the farm, Tyrone works for TMK Bakersville, and Megan is a graduate teaching and research assistant at Kent State University where she teaches undergraduate educational technology and takes part in research projects that advance the field of educational technology. She is a PhD candidate beginning work on her dissertation this spring.

Rinehart is a graduate research assistant at Ohio State University studying Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership. He has grown up in and around agriculture including FFA where he served as a state officer, and 4-H, where he was president of the Ohio 4-H Teen Leadership Council and a member of the Ohio 4-H Foundation board of trustees.… Continue reading

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Shultz named ASI president

By Matt Reese

Susan Shultz, from Logan County, is the new president of the American Sheep Industry Association.

Susan and her husband Bill raise production-oriented sheep on their Bunker Hill Farm near DeGraff. Susan was elected president on Jan. 29 through the virtual 2021 American Sheep Industry Convention. Both Susan and Bill have been very involved at the state and national levels of the sheep industry.

“I got very involved in Production Education Research Council, which was kind of a natural since I was a retired teacher. I am very interested in research and education outreach at the national level,” Susan said in a 2019 interview for the couple’s Master Shepherd Award. “Then there was an opportunity to become a regional director and I represented six states.”

In her role at the national level, Susan is an advocate for the wide array of issues facing the U.S sheep industry.

“There are many challenges.… Continue reading

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John Foltz passed away Jan. 7

John Charles Foltz passed on Jan. 7, 2021 at Friendship Village of Dublin from complications of COVID-19, with his family at his side. He was 87 years old. 

He was born in West Lafayette, Ohio on February 23, 1933, just as FDR closed the banks. All of his father’s funds were in the local bank and with no money to pay the hospital,  he was born at home. 

Foltz was a native of Fairfield County and retired as deputy undersecretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and agency administrator. He was also the former executive director of the Ohio Grain, Feed and Fertilizer Association and a leader in the agricultural industry with a distinguished career. A graduate of The Ohio State University, he also served in positions with the Ohio Department of Agriculture and as the first executive of the Ohio Agribusiness Association. Foltz also held several other federally appointed positions in the agriculture field. … Continue reading

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Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation appoints new leaders, adds YAP member

Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation recently added two new board members and elected 2021 officers of the board, which oversees the charitable, nonprofit organization.

New to the board is Jenny Cox, southeast regional trustee for the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation.

Also joining the board is Jenna Gregorich, Bird Health Programs manager for the Ohio Poultry Association. She fills the newly added seat on the foundation board, dedicated to a Young Agricultural Professionals member.

Dan Durheim, associate vice president Sponsor Relations, Nationwide was reappointed to the board as was Tara Durbin, senior vice president Agricultural Lending, Farm Credit Mid-America.

The board also elected officers of the 16-member board. Mike Townsley, chairman, Bob Evans Farms/Post Refrigerated Retail was named president; Ohio Farm Bureau Trustee Lane Osswald was elected first vice president; Durbin was elected second vice president; and Ohio Farm Bureau Treasurer Cy Prettyman was named the foundation’s treasurer.

The Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation, a 501(c) (3) charitable, nonprofit organization, understands the need to inspire innovation and cultivate investment in Ohio’s farm and food community.… Continue reading

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Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association elects officers and board members

The Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association (OCWGA) Board of Directors elected officers for 2021 and filled board vacancies during their December meeting. Executive committee positions include the offices of president, vice-president, treasurer/secretary, and chair. Those elected to an officer position are responsible for the implementation of board policies and procedures, as well as carrying out the roles for their respective office. 

Kelly Harsh, a corn and soybean farmer from Delaware County, was elected to serve as the OCWGA president. She has held various leadership roles in the association including vice-president and secretary. Harsh is a member of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) Ethanol Action Team and has been an active member on other committees and is a Certified Public Accountant and crop insurance agent. She farms with her family near Delaware.

Ben Klick was elected vice-president. Klick represents growers in District 5 that includes much of Northeast Ohio: Ashland, Ashtabula, Carroll, Columbiana, Cuyahoga, Erie, Geauga, Harrison, Holmes, Huron, Jefferson, Lake, Lorain, Mahoning, Medina, Portage, Stark, Summit, Trumbull, Tuscarawas, and Wayne Counties.… Continue reading

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OSA and OSC Elect 2021 Board leadership

At the beginning of December, the Board of Trustees for the Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) and Ohio Soybean Council (OSC) elected their board leadership for the upcoming year.

For OSA, President Ryan Rhoades of Marion County and Vice President Patrick Knouff of Shelby County were re-elected to their roles. Rusty Goebel of Williams County will serve as treasurer and Jennifer Wilson-Oechsle of Van Wert County will serve as secretary in the coming year.

“I feel incredibly honored to be reelected to this role and to serve alongside such a passionate group of farmers,” said Ryan Rhoades. “OSA had a really strong year in 2020 and with these people in leadership roles, I know we will continue that momentum into 2021.”

For OSC, Chairman Bill Bateson of Hancock County, Vice Chairman Jeff Magyar of Ashtabula County, Treasurer Bill Bayliss of Logan County and Secretary Dave Dotterer of Wayne County will all continue their respective roles in 2021.… Continue reading

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SHA Scholarship Fund established to honor regenerative ag pioneer Kendra Brandt

The Soil Health Academy (SHA) announced today the establishment of a new scholarship fund to honor soil health and regenerative agriculture pioneer, Kendra Brandt of Carroll, Ohio, who passed away recently.

In memory of Kendra’s legacy, Understanding Ag, LLC (UA), provided an initial endowment to establish the SHA scholarship fund, which is targeted to women and beginning farmers who are committed to growing the regenerative agriculture movement by implementing regenerative principles in their own operations or through regenerative agriculture education, outreach or policy advocacy.

“Kendra, alongside her husband David Brandt, formed a magnificent team that raised children with respect and honor, were vital members of their community and beyond, and stood as pioneers in helping others regenerate our soils, our ecosystems and ultimately our health,” said Allen Williams, SHA instructor and UA partner. “On their model regenerative farm, Kendra and David have graciously hosted thousands of visitors from all over the world, including delegations from China and France.… Continue reading

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