Buckeye People



Ohioans serving wheat growers at the national level

Two Ohioans have been elected to serve the nation’s wheat growers at the national level.

Doug Goyings of Paulding was elected to serve on the U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) executive board during the joint winter USW and National Association of Wheat Growers board meeting in Washington, D.C.

Goyings is a fourth generation grain farmer with more than thirty-five years of experience working on behalf of wheat and agriculture.

“I am honored to serve this industry that is so important to my family and our country,” Goyings said. “We need a strong, united industry guiding us forward as we overcome many pressing issues including future trade agreements. I am honored to continue our positive momentum and serve on the executive board.”

Goyings is a board member of the Ohio Small Grains Checkoff and previously served three terms as chair. He will utilize his hands-on leadership experience from current and past positions during his four-year term on the USW officer committee.… Continue reading

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Burch wins Ohio Farm Bureau Discussion Meet

Danielle Burch of Salem is the winner of the 2017 Ohio Farm Bureau Young Ag Professionals Discussion Meet. The annual contest tests participants’ subject knowledge, problem solving abilities and personal and small group communications skills.

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The final round of the competition was held during Ohio Farm Bureau’s Young Agricultural Professionals Winter Leadership Conference Feb. 3 in Columbus.

Burch won a $1,000 cash award from Nationwide Insurance, a Polaris Most Versatile Generator and an expense-paid trip to the 2017 OFBF Annual Meeting Dec. 6-8 in Columbus. She also won an expense-paid trip to the AFBF Annual Convention in January 2018 in Nashville where she will represent Ohio in the national Discussion Meet competition.

Burch, a Columbiana County Farm Bureau board member, is 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 in Alliance and master’s degree in education at St.… Continue reading

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JD Equipment announces promotions

Ben Butcher has been promoted to Agricultural Sales Director and will lead JD Equipment’s strategy and execution for all agricultural equipment sales. Ben began his career with JD Equipment in 2009 as an equipment salesman and was promoted to manage the Marion Store in 2013. Ben is a native of Kenton and graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in Ag Business and Applied Economics.

Arin Severt has been promoted to Turf and Utility Sales Director and will lead JD Equipment’s strategy and execution for all turf and utility equipment sales. Arin began his career with JD Equipment in 1995 as an equipment salesman and was promoted to manage the New Albany Store in 2014. Arin is a native of Springfield.

Cody Kirkpatrick has been promoted to Aftermarket Sales Director and will lead the company’s strategy and execution for all Parts and Service Departments at JD Equipment. Cody began his career with JD Equipment in 2002 as an equipment salesman and was promoted to manage the Washington Court House Store in 2011.… Continue reading

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The Wendt Group wins big at the Ohio Auctioneers Convention

The Ohio Auctioneers Association (OAA) has recognized The Wendt Group’s exceptional marketing work by naming the company winner of four out of its six categories in its 2017 Ohio Auctioneers Association Marketing Competition.

The 2017 contest included entries from across the state. The Wendt Group’s awards were in the Brochure Design, Newspaper Advertising, Public Relations, Auction Promotion, Photography and Digital & Social Media. The Wendt group was recognized Saturday at the competition reception in Cuyahoga Falls.

“To be recognized by your peers on a state level is a great honor,” said Kevin Wendt, The Wendt Group president. “We’ve also been blessed to be affiliated with Wes Sigler and Blue River Digital to bring award-winning and unique marketing design options to our sellers.”

The Wendt Group consists of full-service real estate professionals serving Ohio, Indiana, and the Midwest, offering both auction and traditional brokerage services. They specialize in farmland, recreational land, and farm equipment and are currently booking auctions for 2017.… Continue reading

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Bower to lead Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association

The Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association (OCWGA) Board of Directors elected officers for 2017. Executive committee positions include the offices of president, vice-president, treasurer and secretary. 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.

Fifth generation Fayette County farmer Jed Bower was elected as OCWGA president. In addition to growing corn and soybeans near Washington Court House, Bower is very involved in National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) as a Risk Management Action Team member and is also a former Fayette County Farm Bureau President. Last year, he served the association as vice-president.

Fairfield County farmer, Jon Miller will serve as this year’s OCWGA vice-president. Miller is a grain farmer from Pleasantville that currently has three generations of the Miller family involved in the day to day operations. He has participated in the DuPont Leadership New Century Farmers program and is currently in the NCGA/Syngenta Leadership At Its Best Program.… Continue reading

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Thompson-Weeman promoted to Vice President of Communications for the Animal Agriculture Alliance

The Animal Agriculture Alliance is pleased to announce the promotion of Hannah Thompson-Weeman to vice president of communications, effective January 1, 2017. In this position, Hannah will assume a greater management role over the communications outreach strategies for the Alliance, as well as the Alliance’s issues management initiatives and other program efforts.

Thompson-Weeman joined the Alliance in December 2014 as director of communications and quickly took on the challenge of overseeing the Alliance’s media and communications efforts, including writing blogs for numerous trade publications, along with engaging members through committees and speaking at numerous stakeholder conferences. In the past year, she has taken on several additional responsibilities, including overseeing our year-round intern program, leading our Issues Management and Supply Channel Committees and planning for the Stakeholders Summit, among other things.

“Given the primary role of the Alliance centers on communications, Hannah has mastered the art of coordinating broader stakeholder input to provide a unified voice for animal agriculture,” said Kay Johnson Smith, Alliance president and CEO.… Continue reading

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Snider attends annual agriculture educator conference

Carley Snider, from Felicity, attended the 2016 National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE) Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Selected from a pool of nationwide candidates, Snider was one of 24 pre-service agricultural education students who participated in the Future Agriscience Teacher (FAST) symposium, five day professional development and networking event that was part of the annual NAAE convention.

The symposium consisted of professional development training, including instruction on inquiry-based teaching methods by National Agriscience Teacher Ambassadors, classroom management, and developing engaging lessons. In addition to professional development, attendees also participated in organizational business, committee and regional meetings.

The FAST symposium provided essential training and support to equip future agriscience teachers with 21st century science, technology, engineering and math skills through practice application in the context of agriculture. Snider attended various workshops geared towards increasing her content knowledge, classroom management skills and abilities to successfully advise an FFA chapter. Information about inquiry-based learning and how to incorporate it into the classroom, as well as learning about curriculum to increase learning opportunities for future students and, were presented to the attendees.… Continue reading

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OSU’s ATI announces new director

Access, affordability and excellence are three major reasons the Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute’s incoming director sought the position.

Kristina M. Boone, Communications and Agricultural Education department head in the College of Agriculture at Kansas State University, will start her new role with ATI April 1, 2017.

Located in Wooster, ATI is an associate degree-granting institute within The Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. ATI provides smooth entry into the college, with all credits transferring for those who wish to pursue a four-year degree.

“The radical concept of a lanPhoto of Kris Booned-grant university is that of accessibility, and ATI reflects this like no other institution,” Boone said. First-generation college students make up 62% of ATI’s student population, and 35% are identified as low income. As with other regional Ohio State campuses, ATI’s tuition is lower than that on the Columbus campus, making it more affordable.

The measures of student success, the access to internships and the hands-on learning opportunities all point to excellence, Boone said.… Continue reading

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CIFT appoints Rebecca A. Singer as president and CEO

The governing board of the Center for Innovative Food Technology (CIFT), the northwest Ohio affiliate of the Ohio Manufacturing Partnership, and a recognized leader in providing technical innovations and solutions to regional manufacturers with special expertise in the food processing industry, appointed Rebecca A. Singer as president and CEO effective Jan. 1, 2017.

After more than eight years at the helm, current CIFT president and CEO Dave Beck announced his retirement in August. Beck has been with the organization since its inception in 1995.

“Rebecca is the perfect choice to lead CIFT on its continued path of success,” said William J. Hirzel, chairman of the board, CIFT. “Rebecca recognizes the importance of the manufacturing sector to our region, and understands the tools that can be used to help it grow.”

One of the senior staff members at CIFT, Singer has identified and evaluated numerous strategies to advance emerging technologies, provided direction to many small business initiatives, and helped to establish a network of regional partners to represent the Ohio MEP throughout the 19 counties of northwest Ohio.… Continue reading

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Hechmer to lead OFBF digital efforts

Rita Hechmer of Hilliard has been named director of digital marketing for Ohio Farm Bureau Federation. She will be responsible for OFBF’s online community building activities including content marketing, membership engagement and sales. She also will be responsible for design of web and print materials.

Hechmer has been employed by Farm Bureau since 2007 as a marketing specialist. She previously worked in marketing with Ohio Newspaper Services and Hyatt Hotels. Hechmer is a graduate of Miami University where she majored in general business with a minor in management information systems. She also completed continuing education courses in design and digital media at Columbus State Community College.Continue reading

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Bret Davis elected to American Soybean Governing Committee

Ohio Soybean Association board member, Bret Davis of Delaware County, was elected to serve on the Governing Committee of the American Soybean Association. Bret joins farmers from around the country who will work to represent the legislative and policy interests of U.S. soybean farmers.
“We congratulate Bret on being elected to the Governing Committee,” said Adam Graham, OSA president and Logan County farmer. “He has been a great leader here in Ohio and I know he will work hard to represent U.S. soybean farmers well.”
Bret Davis farms on Davis Farms near Delaware where he grows over 3,000 acres of soybeans and corn. He serves on both the OSA and Ohio Soybean Council Board of Trustees and is in his second term with ASA. Bret has served as OSA President, Chairman, Vice President and Treasurer. He holds a designation as a Certified Crop Advisor and is a past president of both the FSA Board and the Delaware County Farm Bureau.
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Eighteen participating in OABA LAUNCH Program

Eighteen Ohio agribusiness leaders will soon take part in the Ohio AgriBusiness Association’s (OABA) 2017 LAUNCH (Leaders Achieving Unexpected New Career Heights) program.

Participants were selected by their companies to undergo the robust executive leadership development program, which was created in partnership with Wilt Public Relations to help OABA member companies fill the looming void of leadership talent. More than 50 percent of the agriculture business workforce is expected to retire in the next 10-12 years.

The 18 Ohio AgriBusiness Association members enrolled in the 2017 LAUNCH program include:

  • Adam Brossia, Luckey Farmers, Inc.
  • Matthew Cook, KOVA of Ohio
  • Cody Edwards, Central Ohio Farmers Co-op
  • Doug Eickholt, Mercer Landmark, Inc.
  • David Fierbaugh, OhiGro, Inc.
  • Tracy Lee Flore, Mercer Landmark, Inc.
  • Shane Hyman, The Andersons, Inc.
  • Alex Johnson, Beck’s Hybrids
  • Ryan Mangas, Legacy Farmers Cooperative
  • Amanda Matheny, The Andersons, Inc.
  • Brandon McClure, Morral Companies, LLC
  • David Scott, Morral Companies, LLC
  • Matt Spracklen, Premier Grain, LLC
  • Amanda Stacy Hartman, Barrett, Easterday, Cunningham & Eselgroth, LLP
  • Anthony Theaker, Witmer’s Feed and Grain
  • Shane Vetter, AgCredit
  • Nicole Wallace, Ohio AgriBusiness Association
  • Paxton Wood, Town & Country Co-op, Inc.
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Motter to lead United Soybean Board

Ohio Soybean Council (OSC) board member John Motter was elected this week to lead the national United Soybean Board as its 26th chair. He previously served on the USB executive committee as vice chair and treasurer and has been a board member for eight years. This is the first time since USB was created in 1991 that an Ohio farmer has been elected chair.
“We’d like to congratulate John on his new leadership position,” said Terry McClure, OSC chairman and soybean farmer from Paulding County. “John has an excellent leadership track record both here in Ohio and nationally. His work ethic will undoubtedly benefit all U.S. soybean farmers.”
John farms soybeans and corn in Jenera, Ohio. In addition to his position with USB, he serves on the OSC Board of Trustees, where he has held the position of Chairman, Vice Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary. John is also a member of Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, previously served on the State Extension Advisory Board, and has been an active leader on the Hancock County Fair Board.
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Fennig Equipment announces new sales team members

Fennig Equipment, based near Coldwater is pleased to announce two new additions to their sales team.

Mike Shellenbarger will handle territory in northern Ohio. Shellenbarger hails from Middle Point, Ohio, has an extensive ag sales and service background, having worked the past 12 years for Agro Chem.

Kevin Toschlog lives near Richmond, Ind., and worked as an accounts manager for Climate Corp, and the crop insurance business. In addition to handling territory in southwest Ohio and southern Indiana, Toschlog will also be a part of the Fennig-Homan Agribusiness division.

Both Shellenbarger and Toschlog will handle sales for Fennig Equipment, which includes on-farm visits. They will be promoting demos for Salford and Yetter tillage tools.

“With the farming industry rapidly recognizing the value-added benefits, per bushel, of nutrient placement practices, cover crops, and fertilizer placement, demand is high for the services that Fennig Equipment offers their customers,” said Gary Fennig, president of Fennig Equipment.… Continue reading

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Richards hired as OFBF organization director

Kayla Richards of Bowling Green has joined Ohio Farm Bureau Federation as organization director for Lucas, Ottawa, Sandusky, Seneca and Wood counties.

In her position, Richards will serve as a liaison between the county Farm Bureaus and Ohio Farm Bureau. She will assist the county groups as they develop and implement programs to strengthen their organizations and enhance their ability to serve members and affect positive change in their communities.

Previously, Richards worked for PrimeTIME Agrimarketing Network in Perrysburg, and SmartAuctions, serving as web and print manager and auction administrator. She graduated from Bowling Green State University in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in arts and sciences. She and her husband, Levi, live in Bowling Green where they raise cattle with their three young children. She serves as a mentor for local 4-H and youth groups and is a member of the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association.

Ohio Farm Bureau is the state’s largest and most inclusive farm organization.… Continue reading

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Bush to serve term as National ACT Officer

Amanda Bush, a senior majoring in agricultural communication at The Ohio State University, was elected to serve a one-year term as communications coordinator for National Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT). This election took place at the 2016 Agricultural Media Summit in St. Louis, Missouri.

In her role as communications coordinator, Bush will be responsible for maintaining the National ACT website and social media, as well as assisting the member relations coordinator to promote membership.

Bush attended the Agricultural Media Summit, an annual event that brings together the American Business Media (ABM) Agri Media Council, the American Agricultural Editors’ Association, the Livestock Publication Council and National ACT. Attendees participated in sessions on partnerships, technology, risk communication, media statistics, editorial design and more. Professional organizations also held annual board meetings.

“I had the opportunity to sit in on several meetings with industry professionals to network and discuss what they are doing to promote the agriculture industry,” said Bush.… Continue reading

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Farm Bureau names Lyons to new post

Paul Lyons of South Solon has been named to the new position of senior director, membership for Ohio Farm Bureau Federation. Lyons, a 22-year veteran with Farm Bureau, is now responsible for a team that will develop and implement a comprehensive membership recruiting and retention program. He also will lead county engagement as the organization updates its business relationship with Nationwide, Farm Bureau’s oldest and closest partner.

Lyons first joined Ohio Farm Bureau in 1994 as an organization director serving four counties in northwest Ohio. Since 1999, he has been a regional supervisor responsible for organization directors in multiple counties. Prior to his Farm Bureau career he worked as a veterinary technician, farm store assistant manager and lawn service territory manager. Lyons holds a bachelor’s degree from Ohio State University in agriculture and an associate’s degree from Columbus State Community College in applied science in animal health. He and his wife Diane are the parents of one son.… Continue reading

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Ohioans added to Trump’s Agricultural and Rural Advisory Committee

Just under 100 of some of the nation’s who’s-who of agriculture have been selected to serve on Donald Trump’s Agricultural and Rural Advisory Committee. The list includes two Ohioans: Fred Yoder of Plain City and Bill Richards of Circleville.

Richards is a well-known advocate of conservation and no-till both around the country and on his home farm in Pickaway County where he was among the first in the world to work with no-till. He is a former chief of the USDA Soil Conservation Service and a longtime leader in Ohio agriculture. In 2009 he was named the National No-till Farmer of the Year.

Fred Yoder is a past state and National Corn Growers Association president and is another widely recognized leader in Ohio agriculture. In 2013, he was recognized by President Obama as a “Champion for Change” that honors Americans for doing extraordinary things in their communities to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world.… Continue reading

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U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance unveils the Face of Farming & Ranching winners

From the cotton fields in the South Plains of West Texas and broilers and cattle of Shenandoah Valley in Virginia to America’s Dairyland in Wisconsin and the broad diversity of pigs, sheep, corn and soybeans in Ohio, the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance’s (USFRA) next class of Faces of Farming & Ranching capture the passion behind agriculture and drive for sustainability and technology on today’s farms.

Unveiled at the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB) Convention in Kansas City, the winners include two Ohioans: Emily Buck of Marion County and Lauren Schwab from Butler County.

Buck farms with her husband John and daughter on their 1,000 acres of no-till farmland in the Lake Erie and the Mississippi River watersheds. They farm corn, soybeans and a flock of 40 Southdown ewes.

“I have different hats from the farmer, to the mother to the shepherd, but one of my big roles is an associate professor at Ohio State,” Buck said.… Continue reading

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Ohio Pork Council names Emily Bir director of communications

The Ohio Pork Council announced Emily Bir as the director of communications, effective immediately. Bir will serve as the media relations contact and manage all internal and external communications efforts on behalf of the Ohio Pork Council.

“We are pleased to have Emily join the Ohio Pork Council as the communications director and are confident her professional abilities will benefit the Council, and its members,” said Bill Knapke, Ohio Pork Council president. “We look forward to what Emily’s knowledge and experience will bring to the Ohio Pork Council and working with her in this position.”

Prior to joining the Ohio Pork Council, Bir served in numerous communications roles in Ohio, Michigan and New Hampshire. Most recently, she worked for Strategic Public Partners, a Columbus-based public relations firm, where she managed media relations and grassroots engagement for clients in Ohio, and across the country.

Bir began her career in Michigan where she led communications efforts for several political campaigns and offices, including the Michigan Senate Majority Leader’s office.… Continue reading

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