Buckeye People



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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Ohio Farm Bureau officers elected, policies set for 2021

Rural broadband, meat processing, water quality efforts, timber management and wildlife management were among the priorities set by delegates at Ohio Farm Bureau’s 102nd annual meeting.

The approved policies set the direction for the organization’s activities in the coming year. A total of 380 delegates representing all county Farm Bureaus participated in the debate and discussion.

The coronavirus pandemic exposed the growing need for reliable broadband connectivity throughout rural parts of Ohio. From precision agriculture to shopping safely for groceries, virtual learning to telehealth, the use of online resources has quickly become a necessity. The expansion of broadband throughout the state will make these options available for all Ohioans.

The challenges of 2020 also put a strain on America’s food supply system, particularly meat processing facilities. Delegates added policy language that would promote growth for more regional facilities to be operational, helping to alleviate over capacity at meat and poultry facilities and allow for more marketing options for Ohio’s livestock producers.… Continue reading

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Kirkpatrick named Ohio Farm Bureau organization director

Trevor Kirkpatrick has been named Ohio Farm Bureau Federation organization director for Carroll, Harrison, Jefferson and Tuscarawas counties.

In his role, Kirkpatrick will serve as a liaison between the county Farm Bureaus and Ohio Farm Bureau. In addition, he will assist county groups in the development and implementation of programs to strengthen their organizations, enhance their ability to serve members and affect positive change at the community level.

Kirkpatrick is a graduate of The Ohio State University with a bachelor’s degree in animal sciences with a specialization in animal industries, and a minor in meat science. He recently worked as a sales representative for Lean Value Sires and as a sales manager for Kimley Feed Store. He is also the owner and co-host of the U.S. show stock industry’s first podcast, Stock Talk.

Ohio Farm Bureau’s mission is working together for Ohio farmers to advance agriculture and strengthen our communities. Learn more at ofbf.orgContinue reading

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Kern joins Ohio Farm Bureau public policy staff

Brandon Kern has been named senior director, state and national policy for Ohio Farm Bureau Federation. He will be responsible for managing the organization’s legislative and regulatory team and will represent the interests of Farm Bureau members with Congress, the General Assembly and with federal and state regulatory agencies.

Kern was formerly on the Farm Bureau public policy team from 2013 – 2018 and rejoins the organization after being director of policy and legislative affairs for Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague. 

Kern has previously filled various policy and legislative roles including serving as legislative aide and policy advisor to the Ohio Senate Majority Caucus in the office of U.S. Sen. George Voinovich.

He is a graduate of Wright State University with a bachelor’s degree in social sciences and is currently completing his master’s degree at Ohio Dominican University. He is active in his local community and also serves as a captain in the U.S.… Continue reading

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CFAES dean reappointed to Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has reappointed Cathann A. Kress, vice president of agricultural administration and dean of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) at The Ohio State University, to the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board.

Kress began her first term on the board in 2017. Her new term began on July 31, 2020, and will end on Jan. 25, 2023.

“Within the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, we take our land-grant mission seriously and seek to connect our science to issues impacting Ohioans,” Kress said. “I am honored to be reappointed to a board that has a critical role in protecting the welfare of livestock raised in Ohio, and balances scientific knowledge with professional experience and ethical and social values.”

Also serving on the board with Kress is Lisa Bielke, assistant professor and poultry scientist from CFAES’ Department of Animal Sciences.  

In 2009, Ohioans passed a constitutional amendment requiring that the state of Ohio establish comprehensive livestock care standards, including topics such as euthanasia, disease prevention, and the housing of animals.… Continue reading

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Holbrook and Manter adds a web location

 Holbrook & Manter has added a fourth URL to their family of websites. H&M is proud to invite online users to visit: www.agribusinessaccounting.com.

Dedicated to showcasing the firm’s expertise in working with those in agribusiness and farming, the new website is easy to navigate and clearly lays out why H&M is the top choice for agribusiness professionals seeking an accounting team that will share in their goals and help them work towards continued financial growth.

H&M has been committed to the agribusiness industry since their inception in 1919.

“Holbrook & Manter’s roots go back over 100 years. In that span, one of our firm’s main objectives has always been to bring awareness to farmers and folks that live in the agribusiness space about the importance of implementing knowledge and best practices to achieve their desired goals,” said Brian Ravencraft, H&M principal, CPA, CGMA shares his thoughts on the launch of this new website.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Fudge on USDA Secretary short list

Ohio Democrat Rep. Marcia Fudge is on the short list of contenders for Secretary of Agriculture in the Biden Administration.

Congresswoman Fudge, from Warrensville Heights, has served on the U.S. House Agriculture Committee since 2011, she has demonstrated her ability to tackle complex issues. In 2019, Fudge served as chair of House Agriculture Subcommittee on Nutrition, Oversight and Department Operations. She has long been a proponent of food aid programs and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). She is garnering support from consumer groups, environmental groups and the Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association (OCWGA).

“Congresswoman Fudge is respected by her peers for her work ethic and ability to bring people together. Her openness and availability to producers and farm groups speaks volumes, and we look forward to working with her as Secretary of the USDA,” said Patty Mann, President of OCWGA. 

Rep. Fudge recently endorsed Georgia Democratic Rep. David Scott for chair the House Agriculture Committee, another position she could have pursued.… Continue reading

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United Producers, Inc. announces hiring of Beef on Dairy Manager

United Producers, Inc. (UPI), the Midwest’s largest livestock marketing cooperative, is pleased to announce that Clay Fredericks has joined its team as the beef on dairy manager.

The new position was created to expand services for UPI members following significant growth in breeding beef on dairy across the country. In 2020, approximately 2 million “beef on dairy calves” were born in the U.S., with 2021 estimates at 2.7 million.

“We are pleased to welcome Clay to our team while expanding new, services for our UPI members who are involved in, or interested in beef on dairy initiatives,” said Mike Bumgarner, UPI president & CEO. “Clay’s extensive experience in this specific area will be a great benefit to our members, and we look forward to seeing him put his skills to work.”

Fredericks’ responsibilities in his new role will include overseeing beef on dairy initiatives, creating new opportunities for dairies, growers and end-users.… Continue reading

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Ohio Soybean Council promotes Julia Brown to Communications Manager

The Ohio Soybean Council (OSC) and the Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) announced today that Julia Brown has been promoted to Communications and Media Relations Manager effective immediately. In her new role, Brown will manage all communication programs and budgets including media relations, communication research, farmer awareness campaigns and consumer outreach.

This promotion follows the departure of Jennifer Coleman, who had served as Director of Communications for 13 years. Coleman joined Aimpoint Research as the Director of Communications.

Brown has worked for OSC since 2018 when she was hired as the Communications and Project Coordinator. In her previous role, she coordinated OSC publications and media relations, and managed OSC’s participation in events such as the Ohio State Fair and Farm Science Review. She also managed the Ohio Soybean Council Foundation scholarship program. Brown earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism from Ohio University.

Emilie Regula Hancock, who has served as OSC’s Marketing and Outreach Manager and OSA’s Policy and Membership Manager since 2017, will take over managing OSC’s strategic planning and industry relations programs.… Continue reading

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