Buckeye People



Kettler named Indiana Director of Agriculture

Indiana’s Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch recently announced Bruce Kettler — an experienced member of

the agriculture community — will serve as the new director of Indiana State Department of Agriculture effective Jan. 8, 2018.

Kettler most recently operated as the director of public relations for Beck’s Hybrids, where he also was a field sales manager, area team leader and sales consultant over the course of the last 11 years. He began his career at Dow AgroSciences where he started out as a sales representative, and spanned his career through the company as a regional credit manager, advertising and communications manager and finished after being with the company for 17 years as a senior sales representative for pest management.

Kettler grew up in Ohio and was an Anna FFA member elected in 1982 to National FFA office. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from The Ohio State University, resides in Westfield, Ind.… Continue reading

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Dotterer appointed to United Soybean Board

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the appointment of 19 members and 3 alternate members to serve on the United Soybean Board. The producers from around the country appointed to serve three-year terms included Dave Dotterer from Rittman, Ohio.

“I truly appreciate the time and expertise that these individuals have agreed to provide, and know U.S. soybean producers will be well served by these men and women,” Perdue said.

The board is composed of 73 members representing 29 states and Eastern and Western regions. To become a member, you must be a soybean producer and be nominated by a qualified state soybean board. The board is authorized by the Soybean Promotion, Research, and Information Act.

It became effective July 9, 1991, when the Soybean Promotion and Research Order was implemented. Since 1966, Congress has authorized the establishment of 22 industry-funded research and promotion boards.  They empower farmers and ranchers to leverage their own resources to develop new markets, strengthen existing markets, and conduct important research and promotion activities. … Continue reading

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Bane-Welker hires a new salesman

Bane-Welker Equipment is proud to introduce George Wilson to the Eaton sales team.

George will be covering counties in extreme western Ohio and eastern Indiana. He has been working as a leasing agent and consultant in those same areas. George has 17 years of experience in the ag equipment business, having worked for Smith Implements in Greenfield, Ind.

Prior to working for John Deere, George was a loan officer with Farm Credit Services in Muncie, Ind. George, his wife Stephanie, and their daughter Abby live in rural Henry County, outside Middletown, Ind. George is an avid sports fan and is a big Pittsburgh Steelers and Chicago Blackhawks backer. He loves to power walk and has done 35 half marathons and one full marathon since 2005. George is a Purdue graduate and enjoys going to Boilermaker football and basketball games.

George will represent the following brands at Bane-Welker in Eaton (Case IH, Ashland Industries, Dixie Chopper, J&M, Kuhn, Land Pride, MacDon, Unverferth and Woods) at 1980 US Route 35 East.… Continue reading

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Perdue announces Farm Service Agency and Rural Development state directors

In early November U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced a slate of Farm Service Agency (FSA) and Rural Development (RD) State Directors, all serving as appointees of President Donald J. Trump. These FSA State Directors help implement U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) policies in planning, organizing, and administering FSA programs in their respective states. They are also responsible for running the day-to-day activities of the state FSA office. Similarly, RD State Directors work to help improve the economy and quality of life in rural America.

“These state directors will help ensure that USDA is offering the best customer service to our farmers, ranchers, foresters, and agricultural producers across the country,” Secretary Perdue said. “FSA and RD both play a critical role in helping the people of agriculture, and are able to connect with people in their home states. They are the initial points of contact for millions of our USDA customers.… Continue reading

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Burch completes Farm Bureau communications program

Danielle Burch of Salem, president of the Columbiana County Farm Bureau, is one of 15 national farm and ranch leaders honored as graduates of the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 11th annual Women’s Communications Boot Camp. The group was recognized after completing an intensive three-day course featuring sessions on working with the media, public speaking, testifying and messaging.

“Women’s Communication Boot Camp is the experience of a lifetime,” said Sherry Saylor, an Arizona row crop farmer and chair of the AFB Women’s Leadership Committee. “Graduates of this program are persuasive and effective advocates for agriculture, with a passion for connecting with influencers at the local, state and national levels.”

Burch, who won Ohio Farm Bureau’s 2017 Discussion Meet competition, is also a county action team leader and served on the OFBF Young Ag Professionals State Committee from 2013-2016. She received her bachelor’s degree in political science and history at the University of Mount Union and master’s degree in education at St.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Senate Ag Committee Chair Cliff Hite resigns

Early this week, State Sen. Cliff Hite, R-Findlay, resigned, effective immediately.

Hite represented Ohio’s 1st Senate District since early 2011.

In his resignation letter, Hite cited “personal health” issues as a reason for his departure.

“It has been an honor and privilege to serve my constituents and the people of Ohio. I look forward to focusing on my personal health and spending more time with my family,” Hite wrote.

Hite was serving in his third General Assembly as a member of the Ohio Senate, representing the 1st Senate District, which encompasses an 11 county region of Northwest Ohio including all or part of Auglaize, Defiance, Fulton, Hancock, Hardin, Henry, Logan, Paulding, Putnam, Van Wert, and Williams Counties. Prior to his appointment to the Senate, Hite served two terms in the Ohio House of Representatives.

For the fourth time during his tenure in the Senate, Hite presided as the Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Agriculture.… Continue reading

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Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation awards scholarships

Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation recently awarded scholarships to recipients pursuing further education in an agriculture-related industry. Scholarships were awarded in amounts between $1,000-$2,200. Recipients receive the award after their first academic term at their listed college or university.

Cindy Hollingshead Scholarship Fund: Established in 2011, the objective of the fund is to assist students who plan to pursue careers focusing on agriculture, community service and association leadership. This year’s scholarship recipients are:

  • Brittany Conkey, Defiance County, University of Findlay
  • Christine Balint, Erie County, Ohio State University
  • Meredith Oglesby, Highland County, Ohio State University
  • Cassidy Corcoran, Ross County, University of Findlay

Darwin Bryan Scholarship Fund: Established in 1985, it assists students who have been active in the Farm Bureau youth program and/or whose parents are Farm Bureau members. This year’s scholarship recipients are:

  • Matthew Klopfenstein, Paulding County, Ohio State University
  • Sierra Jepsen, Fairfield County, Ohio State University
  • Meredith Oglesby, Highland County, Ohio State University
  • Hannah Jarvis, Columbiana County, Ohio State University
  • Todd Peterson, Fayette County, Ohio State University

Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation Scholar: The award recognizes students for academic effort, community service and career interests that use agriculture to enhance the partnership between producers and consumers in rural, suburban and/or urban settings.… Continue reading

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Davis receives Kenny Walter scholarship

Kady Davis of Carrollton is the first recipient of the Kenny Walter Scholarship presented by the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation.

Walter was a long-time Farm Bureau leader and advocate for rural Ohio. The foundation assisted Walter’s family with the creation of the fund to honor his service and generous spirit.

Davis is a graduate of Carrollton High School where she was active in student council, French club, volleyball and track. In FFA she was chapter vice president, student advisor and secretary. She received her Greenhand, Chapter and State FFA degrees. Davis also received Academic Hall of Fame honors, was on the Distinguished Honor Roll for 4 years, was class salutatorian and homecoming queen. She also was active in 4-H.

She is the daughter of Todd and Kim Davis and her family is active in Farm Bureau.

She is enrolled at Ohio State University where she is a member of the Saddle and Sirloin Club, Sigma Alpha Professional Agricultural Sorority and running club.… Continue reading

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CFAES researcher part of new project studying conservation incentives, farming practices

An Ohio State University researcher is part of a new $750,000 project to determine whether conservation incentives provided by the federal Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) are meeting one of their goals: to get more farmers to adopt measures that preserve water quality.

Robyn Wilson, associate professor of risk analysis and decision science in Ohio State’s School of Environment and Natural Resources, part of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), will co-lead the project’s social component along with Stephen Gasteyer of Michigan State University.

The overall leader of the two-year project, called Researching Effectiveness of Agricultural Programs, or REAP, is the binational Great Lakes Commission (GLC) based in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Since 2010, the GLRI has provided farmers in the Great Lakes basin with more than $100 million to increase their adoption of conservation practices by making them more affordable. The practices include growing cover crops and reducing tillage, for example.… Continue reading

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Seven Ohioans named to Young Ag Professionals state committee

Ohio Farm Bureau Federation has named the newest members of its Young Agricultural Professionals State Committee: Luke and Cassandra Dull of Englewood, Nick and Jessica Dailey of Sardinia, Emily Krikke of Greenwich and Bennett and Liza Musselman of Orient.

The seven new committee members will serve two-year terms and help develop and conduct activities that provide opportunities for young professionals to become involved in Ohio Farm Bureau programs.

The Dulls are the fifth generation on the family’s Montgomery County farm where they raise hogs, cattle and grow seed corn and row crops. Both are Montgomery County Farm Bureau members. Luke is manager of Harvest Land Co-op in Verona. He has been involved in several local and state Farm Bureau activities and has participated in Land O’Lakes’ leadership and advocacy training sessions. Cassandra works at Christian Life Center where she is event/marketing, hospitality, curriculum and nursery coordinator. Previously she was a fourth grade teacher in West Carrollton.… Continue reading

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Ohio Sea Grant Researcher receives NOAA grant to study when algal blooms become harmful

Justin Chaffin, research scientist for The Ohio State University’s Stone Lab and Ohio Sea Grant, along with partners across Ohio and Michigan, has received funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to study what causes Lake Erie algal blooms to become toxic. The study, which will incorporate both computer modeling and hands-on laboratory experiments, is focused on providing more guidance to water utilities on when they should plan to treat drinking water for algal toxins.

The NOAA grant of $248,413 supports the first year of this new research project, part of an anticipated total $749,525 pending availability of future agency funding. The project is funded through the Ecology and Oceanography of Harmful Algal Blooms (ECOHAB) research program, administered by the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) in NOAA’s National Ocean Service.

Chaffin, based at Ohio State’s Stone Lab, is partnering with researchers from LimnoTech, Bowling Green State University, Michigan Technological University, The University of Toledo and Wayne State University on the three-year project.… Continue reading

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New Animal Sciences chair named

The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) announced the appointment of John Foltz as chair of the Department of Animal Sciences. He will join CFAES for a four-year appointment on Oct. 9, 2017.

“I am extremely excited to return to my alma mater to head an important department in CFAES,” Foltz said. “Livestock and companion animals play an extremely important role in both Ohio and American agriculture. I look forward to working closely with the faculty, staff, students and stakeholders to bring their vision to fruition.”

Foltz comes to CFAES from the University of Idaho where he serves as special assistant to the President for Agricultural Initiatives, leading two livestock-focused projects. Prior to that, he served as dean of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences where he had oversight for the college’s teaching, research and extension missions across the state of Idaho. That included 360 faculty and staff statewide, 1,200 students, 10 research and extension centers, 42 county extension offices and a budget of nearly $80 million.… Continue reading

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Ohioan wins Ag Leader’s $25,000 giveaway

Lora Howell from Danville won $25,000 worth of precision equipment for her farming operation from Ag Leader Technology.

With the help of Evan Watson with Precision Agri Services, Inc., Howell created a video to share her story and participate in the national contest. The video of her farm to got her into the top three and Ag Leader selected the winner and announced the results in early August.

“In case you don’t know us and our story, my dad passed away a few years back and when most people told my mom to downsize, she said, ‘I can do this,’” said Linsey Howell, Lora’s daughter. “Today, my mom and 14-year-old brother Justin, are successfully farming 500 acres and running livestock all while showing sheep competitively across the country!”

She was the only Ohio contestant that made the top three and Ohio voters supported her until the July 20 deadline.… Continue reading

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Jeffries announces formation of Seed Genetics—DIRECT, LLC

Chris Jeffries from Washington Court House recently announced the formation of a new company, Seed Genetics—DIRECT, LLC.

“Seed Genetics—DIRECT, LLC will be a direct sales company offering a pricing structure that will be fair to all customers, not just the larger farmer. Seed Genetics—DIRECT will eliminate the middle man and deal directly with growers,” Jeffries said. “We will eliminate costly marketing programs that benefit a few, but are paid for by all. Our pricing will allow growers to pick and choose which programs work best in their management system and of course, we will only sell the highest quality and best performing seed genetics.”

Always a proponent of research and testing, Seed Genetics—DIRECT, LLC will team with Agricultural Research & Testing from Williamsburg, Ind. as their testing partner. In 2017, Ag Research & Testing’s corn and soybean plots span from Galesburg, Ill. to Tiffin, Ohio and from Concord, Mich. to Danville, Ky.… Continue reading

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Ohio student creating Fast Farm

Raised on a corn and soybean farm in Kenton, Brandi Barrett was destined to become an agricultural entrepreneur.

Barrett is a recent graduate in agricultural business at Iowa State University. This summer, Barrett was selected and is currently going through a 10-week summer accelerator at Iowa State University called CYstarters. The program is led by the ISU Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship for students or recent graduates to focus on their startup or business idea. Students receive $6,000 for individual or up to $12,000 per student team for the opportunity to spend their summer dedicated to achieving their startup goals and pursuing entrepreneurial aspirations.

She is working on a business plan called Fast Farm. Fast Farm helps farm equipment dealers find qualified leads so they can make more sales and save more time. On the flip-side, Fast Farm helps rural American farmers find necessary farm equipment in a timely manner so their time can be spent on what matters most — livestock, crops and family.… Continue reading

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Farmers help Ohio students earn scholarships

With the help of local farmers, 22 Ohio students have been awarded scholarships from the America’s Farmers Grow Ag Leaders program, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund. The program, established in 2014, seeks to raise awareness of the job prospects in agriculture and provides scholarships to students pursuing studies in ag-related fields.

While agriculture has become one of the most promising sectors for job growth — 57,900 high-skilled jobs are created annually in food, agriculture, renewable natural resources and environmental fields in the United States, according to the USDA — a recent survey, sponsored by America’s Farmers Grow Ag Leaders, found that fewer than one in five students surveyed feel they understand the diverse array of career opportunities in the agriculture field. The Grow Ag Leaders program aims to change that by awarding deserving students with scholarships to pursue an education in any ag-related field of study, including agronomy, education, engineering and many others.

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Ohio family recognized for historic Angus herd

James Rentz of Creek Side Farm in Coldwater is well known in the industry for his 65 years of dedication raising high-quality Angus cattle and making monumental impacts within the breed and its Association.

The American Angus Association is proud to recognize Rentz as a recipient of the Historic Angus Herd award as a way to showcase his commitment to the Angus breed. This award is presented to active Angus breeders and immediate family members who have been in continuous production of registered Angus cattle for 50 or more years.

Since joining the American Angus Association in 1953, Creek Side Farm has participated in shows and sales at the local, state and national level. Rentz and his wife, Judy, have three children who were active in the Ohio Junior Angus Association and successfully exhibited cattle at several National Junior Angus Shows (NJAS). He and his family have bred and exhibited multiple winners and sale topper cattle throughout the years.… Continue reading

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McDonald new SCI director of agronomic services

Seed Consultants welcomes Bill McDonald as their new Director of Agronomic Services. Bill has a long track record of providing excellent agronomic advice to growers in the eastern Corn Belt. Additionally, he is a past Ohio Certified Crop Advisor of the year.

“Bill brings an outstanding track record of providing excellent agronomic advice as well as impeccable customer service to Seed Consultants. He will be a great addition to lead our agronomic support staff,” said Daniel Call, general manager for Seed Consultants.… Continue reading

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Brown selected as nationwide Teach Ag ambassador

Kelse Brown, of Edgerton was recently selected as a National Teach Ag Ambassador, an outreach program of the National Council for Agricultural Education, led by the National Association of Agricultural Educators to promote the agricultural education profession.

Over the next year, Brown will be one of 12 future agriculture teachers from across the nation who will serve as National Teach Ag Ambassadors. The selected students were chosen from a nationwide pool of applicants. The primary goal for the ambassadors is to encourage others to consider a career as an agriculture teacher, by sharing their passion and enthusiasm with others. Specifically, Brown and his fellow ambassadors will represent the National Teach Ag Campaign at the 2017 National FFA Convention in Indianapolis Oct. 25 to 28. The ambassadors will also work with local and state leaders in agricultural education to encourage students to pursue a major in agricultural education throughout their year of service.… Continue reading

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Wehrkamp takes leadership of Animal Agriculture Alliance board

Terry Wehrkamp, director of live production, Cooper Farms, is now chairperson of The Animal Agriculture Alliance Board of Directors. Cooper Farms has been a member of the Alliance for more than 10 years and Wehrkamp has served on the board since 2014. Wehrkamp accepted the gavel at the spring board meeting earlier this month from immediate past chairperson Sherrie Webb, director of animal welfare for the National Pork Board.

As director of live production, Wehrkamp manages the teams caring for the company’s turkeys, hogs and chickens and its feed production. A well-respected industry leader, Wehrkamp was inducted into The Ohio State University Department of Animal Sciences Hall of Fame in December 2015 and was awarded the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Distinguished Alumni Award in 2010.

 … Continue reading

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