Buckeye People

NPPC hires Humphreys as new CEO

The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) announced Bryan Humphreys has been chosen as the organization’s new chief executive officer, effective Dec. 21, 2021, following the retirement of long-time leader Neil Dierks. Humphreys brings with him years of experience in the pork industry, including as a former NPPC employee, state association executive and National Pork Board senior vice president, as well as outside the industry as a campaign operative, lobbyist and business owner. 

“I am honored to have been chosen to lead NPPC as its CEO and continue the great work Mr. Dierks has done on behalf of America’s pork producers,” Humphreys said. “This role is not one to take lightly. As CEO, I will strive to advance the industry and protect producers’ freedom to operate through innovative strategies and new partnerships. I look forward to working alongside producers, stakeholders, state associations and the entire team at NPPC to make a lasting impact for farmers across the country.… Continue reading

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Forshey calling hours this Friday

Last week the Ohio Department of Agriculture announced the death of State Veterinarian Tony Forshey.

“It is with heavy hearts that the Ohio Department of Agriculture shares the passing of longtime State Veterinarian Dr. Tony Forshey. Dr. Forshey was a leader in animal health; both well known, and well respected,” said Dorothy Pelanda, ODA Director. “Dr. Forshey had a passion and commitment to agriculture and animal health.”

Forshey received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from The Ohio State University and practiced veterinary medicine for 27 years, with a major interest in swine production. He served as the State Veterinarian and Chief of Animal Health at ODA for 15 years. He held numerous leadership roles at the national level, serving on the Board of Directors for the United States Animal Health Association and Chairman of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the National Institute for Animal Agriculture. He was inducted into the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame in the class of 2020.… Continue reading

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AgCredit Awards $15,000 in Scholarships to Local Students

AgCredit has announced the winners of five $3,000 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 over $138,000 since the scholarship program began in 1989.

AgCredit congratulates the following students for earning scholarships for the 2021-2022 academic year:

  • Claire Meyer of Wood County is a junior at The Ohio State University, where she is studying agricultural communication and agribusiness.
  • Eric Ritter of Hancock County is a senior at The Ohio State University, where he is majoring in agribusiness, applied economics and coaching education.
  • Elizabeth Strine of Marion County is a junior at The Ohio State University, where she is majoring in community leadership and development and strategic communication.
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Ayars honored in Dairy Shrine

Bonnie Ayars was among four recipients for the 2021 outstanding individuals honored with the National Dairy Shrine’s Pioneer Award in recognition of their significant contributions to the dairy industry. Bonnie’s portrait and accomplishments will be displayed in the National Dairy Shrine’s Dairy Hall of Fame and Museum in Ft. Atkinson, Wisconsin. Ayars has been a Dairy Program Specialist in the Ohio State University Department of Animal Sciences since 2006. … Continue reading

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Farm community loses Judy Loudenslager

Known by many in Ohio agriculture, Judith A. “Judy” Loudenslager, age 81, of Marion, died peacefully on Thursday, October 14, 2021, at home surrounded by her loving family.

On November 5, 1939, Judy was born in Marion, Ohio, the only child of the late Robert L. and Evelyn F. (Massie) Campbell. She was raised in Morral, where she was a member of Morral United Methodist Church, and graduated from Morral High School in the class of 1957. Growing up, she also learned the value of hard work, helping at her parent’s grocery store, Morral Market, and at the Morral Supply Company.

In 1954, Judy attended a youth camp with her church up in Lakeside, Ohio, where she fell for her camp counselor, Roy Loudenslager, and from there the rest is history. They dated while she was in high school, and were married a year after she graduated on July 27, 1958, at Epworth United Methodist Church.… Continue reading

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Earl “Doc” Kantner passed away

Earl F. Kantner, age 95, of Canal Winchester, Ohio passed away on Oct. 15, 2021 at home with his loving family by his side. Long time teacher and youth leader born April 24, 1926 on the family farm near Wapakoneta. Son of Charles I. and Blanche Dapper Kantner. WWII Veteran, served in South Pacific theater on Island of Okinawa with U.S. Army famed Seventh Army Infantry Division. Wounded in action June 17, 1945, the last battle of WWII. Youth Director of Ohio’s FFA youth for 21 years, 1963-1984.
   Earl began his education in a one-room country school in 1932 at the age of six and graduated from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in 1950. Taught High School Agricultural classes at Ansonia, Wauseon and Canal Winchester, Ohio High Schools. Joined the OSU faculty in 1958 and in 1963 was appointed Assistant State Supervisor of the Agricultural Education Services, Ohio Department of Education.… Continue reading

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Singh named director of compliance for Versova

Versova, one of the nation’s leading egg-producing companies, has expanded its senior leadership team with the newly created role of Director of Compliance. Ashley Singh will be transitioning from her former role at Trillium Farms, a Versova-owned farm in Ohio, to Director of Compliance for all Versova-managed operations and will lead compliance efforts company-wide. 

In the new role, Singh will focus on Versova’s three pillars of compliance; the production of safe, affordable food; the care, health and well-being of Versova’s flocks; and stewardship of the environment. She will lead Versova’s farm compliance teams in Iowa and Ohio in ensuring that food safety and animal welfare practices are met, working with government and regulatory agencies to implement national quality assurance programs, and continuously improving policies and procedures that will help maintain and exceed compliance industry standards.

“Versova’s guiding principles include both quality and compliance, as well as continuous improvement, and with the addition of the Director of Compliance role, our team has established a leader that will be responsible for ensuring that our farms operate with these guidelines in mind,” said JT Dean, Versova president.… Continue reading

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Epley named associate state 4-H leader

Hannah Epley, an associate professor of Extension education and the interim associate state 4-H leader and Ohio State University Extension specialist for camping and older youth, has been named associate state 4-H leader, effective Sept. 1.

Ohio 4-H, the youth development program of OSU Extension, which is the outreach arm of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), annually offers or sponsors 4-H camps to youth in all 88 of Ohio’s counties.

Epley joined CFAES as the 4-H educator in Fairfield County in 2005, becoming the camping and older youth state 4-H specialist in 2014. During her time as a 4-H educator, Epley provided overall leadership for the county 4-H program, which now has more than 1,600 community club 4-H members, 350-plus 4-H campers, and 1,000-plus youth participating in school enrichment programs.

In her role as associate state 4-H leader, Epley will:

  • plan and implement professional development opportunities and trainings, including one-on-one instruction, for more than 150 Extension 4-H professionals in the areas of risk management, problem solving, critical thinking, and positive youth development.
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Huron County community mourns a terrible loss

Owen Ray Feichtner, 16, of Willard, Ohio passed away on Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021. He was born on May 4, 2005, in Willard to Heath and Joey (Secor) Feicthner.

He was a member of the South Central FFA and had an overwhelming passion for all things agriculture with big dreams for the future of his family farm. As an active 4-H member, Owen showed multiple species including hogs, cattle, lambs, and goats. He was a true people person who enjoyed sharing his love of the showring with young 4-H members and pushed all of those around him to be better. More recently he began to have a passion for breeding and raising pups with his brother Nash, this passion lead Owen all over the state with good friends in search for Bernese Mountain Dogs. Owen also enjoyed deer hunting, riding horses with his Paw and friends, and road trips to livestock shows and activities involving family and friends.… Continue reading

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Gehres joins Jeff Martin Auctioneers, Inc.

Jeff Martin Auctioneers, Inc. (JMA) is happy to announce Peter D. Gehres, CAI, CES, CAS as the company’s new Chief Operating Officer effective Oct. 1. As COO, Gehres will be responsible for overseeing and improving all aspects of auction operations. His role also includes integrating recent acquisitions while streamlining existing processes and procedures. JMA is North America’s fastest-growing Equipment Auction Company. In 2021 the JMA family of companies is on pace to conduct over 150 live and online auction events in 19 states.

Gehres, 41, has worked in the auction industry since he graduated from The Ohio Auction School and The Ohio State University. As an auction professional for the last 18 years, Gehres has experienced nearly every aspect of the auction business and brings a wide array of skills to JMA. In addition to refining existing operations Gehres will lead JMA into new industry segments, sectors, and regions.

“We are excited to have a person of Peter’s talents and passion on our management and leadership team,” said Jeff Martin, CEO and President.… Continue reading

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Nelson named Farm Bureau senior organization director

Chip Nelson of Circleville has been named senior organization director for Ohio Farm Bureau Federation and will serve members in Fairfield, Hocking, Pickaway and Ross counties. He will work with the county Farm Bureaus to address issues important to members and their communities.
Nelson began his Ohio Farm Bureau career 26 years ago as an organization director in Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake and Trumbull counties and most recently was director of field and volunteer development with the organization. He received his bachelor’s degree from Wilmington College, where he majored in agriculture and education.
Prior to joining the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation staff, Nelson taught agriculture education and served as an FFA advisor. He also served as the farm director for a small market radio station.
Nelson is a member of Pickaway County Farm Bureau, and he and his wife, Charla, have two adult children and one grandchild. They attend services at Madison Christian Church in Groveport.… Continue reading

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Farm Bureau names 2021 policy development committee

Twenty Ohio Farm Bureau leaders are serving on the 2021 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 carbon capture markets and climate policy, ethanol and biofuels, the supply chain, property rights associated with wind and solar siting and farmland preservation.

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 Lane Osswald of Eldorado. State trustees on the committee are Matt Aultman of Greenville, Roger Baker of Wooster, Karin Bright of Athens, Danielle Burch of Salem, Al Miller of Marietta, Kyle Smith of South Vienna and Chris Weaver of Lyons.… Continue reading

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Conservation Farm Family Award winners recognized

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) recognized five farming families who are conservation leaders in agriculture from around Ohio at the 59th annual Farm Science Review this week.

The five winners to be honored are: Rodabaugh Family of Hardin County; Sluss Family of Stark County; Jeannie and the late Cliff Miller of Carroll County; Harrod Family of Darke County; and White Clover Farms of Highland County.

The Conservation Farm Family Awards program has recognized Ohio farm families since 1984 for their exemplary efforts in conserving soil, water, woodlands, wildlife and other natural resources on their farmland.… Continue reading

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Davidson elected to Ohio Farm Bureau board of trustees

Paul Davidson of Newark has been elected to the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation board of trustees, representing members in District 12 composed of Coshocton, Holmes, Knox and Licking counties. He was elected during a special election by delegates from that four-county area and fills the unexpired term of Jesse Whinnery of Coshocton. Whinnery stepped down from the Ohio Farm Bureau board earlier this year.

Davidson is a 49-year member of Licking County Farm Bureau and served as its president. He also previously served on the Ohio Farm Bureau board from 2011 to 2018. 

An Ohio State University graduate with a degree in agricultural economics and rural sociology, Davidson produces hay and is a project manager for a local excavating company. He is on the board of directors of the Buckeye Valley Building Industries Association, a 4-H adviser, member of FFA Alumni and currently serves as a trustee on the Licking Land Trust, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection of green space and natural landscapes in and around Licking County.… Continue reading

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Farm Science Review 2021 Hall of Fame inductees

The annual Farm Science Review trade show, now in its 59th year, has announced Jim Karcher of Apple Creek, Gerald Reid of Wooster, and Ken Ulrich of South Charleston as the 2021 inductees into its Hall of Fame.

Each year, the Review, which is hosted by The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), honors individuals who go above and beyond to ensure the best possible experience for visitors and the continued sustainability of the show site, CFAES’ Molly Caren Agricultural Center near London. 

This year’s Review runs Sept. 21–23, with the inductees being honored at a private event.


Jim Karcher

Jim Karcher, former manager of grounds at CFAES Wooster, was selected as an inductee to the Farm Science Review Hall of Fame because of his many contributions to the show, including his work with the field demonstration group, an excellent demonstration of exhibitor relations, and an innovative approach to visitor safety.… Continue reading

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New Young Ag Professionals State Committee members named

The Ohio Farm Bureau Federation has named the newest members of its Young Agricultural Professionals Committee: Hannah DiVencenzo of Lorain County, Ryan Matthews of Highland County, Derek Snider of Hardin County, and Sara Tallmadge of Ashland County. Committee members are selected based on Farm Bureau involvement, leadership potential and community service.
The committee is composed of eight members or couples who suggest, develop and conduct activities that provide opportunities for young farmers and ag professionals to be more involved in Ohio Farm Bureau programs. Duties include planning the yearly YAP winter leadership conference and hosting Young Agricultural Professionals in a variety of in- and out-of-state events.
DiVencenzo, along with her husband Joe, raises pastured poultry for eggs and meat and sells direct to consumers and as a partner with local CSAs. She works as an adjunct instructor at Lorain County Community College teaching in the biology department. DiVencnezo currently serves on the Lorain County Farm Bureau board of trustees and enjoys volunteering her time to improve agriculture in Lorain County.… Continue reading

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Harsh appointed to NCGA Corn Board

The National Corn Growers Association’s Board of Directors has appointed Kelly Harsh, to serve on the organization’s Corn Board. 

Harsh, from Delaware, Ohio currently serves as the President of the Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association. She is being appointed to complete a vacant term.

“I am humbled and honored that the NCGA Corn Board has appointed me to serve on the board,” Harsh said. “This group of leaders represent corn growers from across the country, and I look forward to working hard to advance an industry that we love.” 

Harsh will begin serving her one-year term immediately. She is joined on the Corn Board by fellow Ohioans John Linder (Edison, Ohio) who serves as NCGA President and Jed Bower (Washington Court House). 

“I am excited for Kelly to have this opportunity. She is a valuable member of Ohio Corn & Wheat and the perspective that she will bring to the NCGA Corn Board will be immense,” said Tadd Nicholson, Executive Director of the Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association.… Continue reading

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Seven young Ohio sheep farmers receive OSIA scholarships

Brandon Zuercher (Hancock Co.) received a $2,000 scholarship for the sixth annual Dr. Jack Judy Memorial Scholarship. Zuercher is a sophomore at The Ohio State University majoring in Animal Sciences. 

Jim Stickley (Champaign Co.) received a $1,000 Ralph Grimshaw Memorial Scholarship and Rachel Berk (Franklin Co.) received a $500 Ralph Grimshaw Memorial Scholarship. Stickley is a senior at The Ohio State University and is currently majoring in Agricultural Business with a minor in Political Sciences.  Berk is a sophomore at The Ohio State University majoring in Animal Sciences with a Pre-Veterinary interest. 

Chelsea Graham (Licking Co.) is a senior at Columbus State Community College majoring as a Veterinary Technician; she will be receiving the second annual High Family Memorial Scholarship.  

Emma Peters (Darke Co.), Linsey Eddy (Union Co.) and Ian Johnson (Union Co.) each received a $500 scholarship awarded from the OSIA LEAD Council. Emma Peters is a currently a sophomore at Lincoln Land Community College in Illinois and is majoring in Animal Sciences.  Linsey Eddy will be a freshman at Purdue University and is majoring in Animal Sciences.  Ian Johnson is a sophomore at Iowa State University and is majoring in Animal Science/Agribusiness

The Ohio Sheep Improvement Association in coordination with the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation sponsors the Dr.… Continue reading

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Nationwide honors Ohio’s Ag Educator of the Year, opens 2021-2022 search

Educators serve a critical role in preparing future generations for success. They also devote immeasurable time, and often their own resources, to help students pursue their passions. As the number one insurer of farms and ranches in the United States, Nationwide recently recognized 10 Ohio teachers as finalists for the 2020-2021 Golden Owl Award. In partnership with Ohio Farm Bureau, Ohio FFA, AgCredit and Farm Credit Mid-America, Nationwide recognized Don Hammersmith at Ayersville High School as Ohio’s 2020-2021 Ag Educator of the Year. 

“As a company with deep roots in agriculture, we recognize the essential role agricultural teachers play in their communities and for the future of the industry,” said Brad Liggett, president of Agribusiness at Nationwide. “We’re proud to recognize the incredible work of teachers like Don Hammersmith to make a difference for their students and communities.”

Hammersmith was formally recognized as the Golden Owl Award grand prize winner during the Ohio FFA State Convention.… Continue reading

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Lemmon named assistant general manager

In addition to her duties as managing editor, Kim Lemmon has been named assistant general manager of Ag Net Communications, LLC. In this role she will be assisting general manager Dale Minyo in the behind-the-scenes running of Ag Net Communications, LLC. 

“As we move forward, Kim is the perfect person to help with the growing workload because of her years of experience working with so many facets of the company,” Minyo said. “With her help, we’ll be able to continue to build on our success in Ohio agriculture.”

Lemmon took on her new duties in August. Lemmon graduated from The Ohio State University in June of 1999. Since that time, she has been employed by Ohio’s Country Journal. In 1999 and 2000, she served as graphic designer. In 2000, she was promoted to managing editor and has served in that capacity since then. She has also led the company website and eNewsletter redesigns and manages the advertisements for both of those divisions.… Continue reading

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