Buckeye People

Best of the Buckeye scholarships awarded

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) awarded 16 Best of the Buckeye scholarships at the Ohio Beef Expo on Saturday, March 17. The Best of the Buckeye program is coordinated by OCA and held in conjunction with the Ohio Beef Expo and Ohio State Fair. The Best of the Buckeye Scholarship Division is sponsored by Ohio Ag Equipment and Ohio Cat.

The Best of the Buckeye program awarded $500 scholarships to program participants to offset the cost of purchasing, raising and exhibiting a Best of the Buckeye nominated calf awarded based on show experience and need. These scholarships were awarded to participants of all ages, whether they are looking for a boost to get started or they are a more experienced showman, but could use a little help offsetting the cost of a steer or heifer project.

Recipients of the scholarship are as follows: Brandon Barr, Xenia, Ohio; Raymond Beneker, Hamilton, Ohio; Brooklyn Cunningham, Howard, Ohio; Jordan Flax, London, Ohio; Russell Fox, Tiffin, Ohio; Claire French, Wakeman, Ohio; Shala Graham, Frazeysburg, Ohio; Blaine Grant, Hicksville, Ohio; Heath Hamer, Green Springs, Ohio; Emma Lewis, Litchfield, Ohio; Lukas Perry, Woodville, Ohio; Tatumn Poff, Chardon, Ohio; Brock Retcher, Defiance, Ohio; Gracie Stirm, Galion, Ohio; Alexis Watkins, Carey, Ohio; and Connor Yochum, Hillsboro, Ohio.… Continue reading

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Sen. Portman honored with Farm Bureau Golden Plow Award

The American Farm Bureau Federation and Ohio Farm Bureau today presented Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) with AFBF’s Golden Plow award. The Golden Plow is the highest honor the organization gives to sitting members of Congress.

“Senator Portman is a champion for farmers, particularly on regulatory reform,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. As lead sponsor of the Regulatory Accountability Act, he “is working to bring common sense to the federal rule-making process,” Duvall noted. “Farm Bureau is grateful for his dedicated service to agriculture and rural America.”

Ohio Farm Bureau endorsed Portman for the award because of his commitment in Congress to issues important to farmers and ranchers. Ohio Farm Bureau appreciates that the senator’s priorities align with those of its members. 

“Senator Portman has always been an advocate for Ohio’s farmers,” said Frank Burkett III, president, Ohio Farm Bureau. “His leadership on issues such as regulatory reform is appreciated and valued.Continue reading

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Cave named VP of Product Support at Redline Equipment

Case IH dealer Redline Equipment has named Paul Cave Vice President of Product Support of their CASE IH dealership. In this new position he will lead all facets of aftermarket support, focusing on the customer experience and bringing value to customers.

“We have been working to build a dynamic group of parts and service team members,” said Zach Hetterick, Redline Equipment CEO. “With our strong focus on product and aftersales support, we needed this role to bring everything together to one point in the organization.”

“Paul brings excitement, motivation and passion for customer service. Plus, he has a proven track record of brining multiple locations together and improving functions.”

Cave comes from Whayne Supply where he was the Ag and Growth Industries Sales Manager. Prior to that he served as Product Support Sales Manager and Regional Sales Manager. He previously worked at Miles Farm Supply, where he was the General Manager and started his career at Richway Industries as Ag Sales Manager.… Continue reading

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Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation appoints officers, new board members

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

New to the board are Angela Cauley, CEO & co-founder of Coalescence LLC; Rose Vargo McFarland, attorney with the Steely Law Office; Bobby Moser, retired dean of the Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences; Annalies Corbin, president and CEO of the PAST Foundation; Jane Scott, president and CEO of the Columbus Metropolitan Club, and Wade Smith, Northwest regional trustee for Ohio Farm Bureau. They replace outgoing board members: Todd Beckwith of CHS Inc.; Janice Welsheimer, director of educational programs for the Ohio AgriBusiness Association; Dave Rule, Ohio Farm Bureau’s senior director of organization development; Dale Arnold, Ohio Farm Bureau’s director of energy, utility, and local government policy, and Kayla Jones, Ohio Farm Bureau organization director.

The board also elected officers of the 15-member board. Ohio Farm Bureau Trustee Katherine Harrison was named president; Heather Thiltgen, senior vice president of individual and Medicare sales for Medical Mutual, was elected vice president, and Ohio Farm Bureau Treasurer Cy Prettyman was named as the foundation’s treasurer.… Continue reading

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2018 On the Farm STEM participants announced

The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture has announced participants selected for On the Farm STEM professional development events in Fort Worth, Texas, (March 26-28); Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, (May 16-18); and Portland, Oregon, (May 23-25). The training is designed to bring science to life for participants with the help of American beef cattle ranchers, researchers, nutritionists and veterinarians.

Nearly 350 applications were received for 40 spots in Fort Worth, 30 spots in Philadelphia and 40 spots in Portland. Applications closed Jan. 1 and participants were notified of acceptance for the On the Farm STEM events. Two Ohioans were selected for the program.

Leslie Cooksey, Ohio State University, 4-H Extension Educator from Lancaster, Ohio was selected for the Fort Worth event. Cindy Cassell, Vista Grand Ranch, Educator, from New Richmond was selected for the Philadelphia event.… Continue reading

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Watters honored as International Certified Crop Adviser of the Year

The International Certified Crop Adviser (ICCA) Program and American Society of Agronomy have named Harold Watters of Ohio the 2018 ICCA of the Year.

The award recognizes a CCA who delivers exceptional customer service, is highly innovative, shows leadership, and contributes substantially to the exchange of ideas and transfer of agronomic knowledge.

Watters was recognized at the Commodity Classic on Feb. 28. He will also be recognized at the American Society of Agronomy (ASA) Annual Meeting in November.

“Growers and the fellow agronomists submit the nominations. We are proud to honor Watters on a stage surrounded by those individuals,” said Luther Smith, Director of Certification. “His contributions highlight the many science-informed decisions applied to agriculture.”

Watters’ work as an associate professor in Extension at The Ohio State University puts him at the center of a communication hub. Weekly newsletters, monthly columns, field days, academic papers, and presentations at various conferences are part of his repertoire.… Continue reading

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Heimerl named NPPC president

The National Pork Producers Council elected new officers and members to its board of directors at the National Pork Industry Forum.

Elected as president of the organization was Jim Heimerl, of Johnstown, Ohio. Heimerl and his wife Kathy, along with three sons and a daughter-in-law, run three farrow-to-finish farms in Ohio and own 80 contract finishing farms in several states. Heimerl Farms LTD also consists of crops and cattle, as well as a trucking division and feed mill. Among other positions, Heimerl previously served as president of the Ohio Pork Council and as a board member of the Ohio Soybean Association.

Heimerl takes over from Ken Maschhoff, a pork producer from Carlyle, Ill., chairman of Maschhoff Family Foods and co-owner and chairman of The Maschhoffs, the third-largest pork producer in the United States. Maschhoff now is NPPC immediate past president and chairman of the organization’s Trade Policy Committee.… Continue reading

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Isler honored by NPPC

The National Pork Producers Council joined the National Pork Board in presenting former Ohio Pork Council Executive Vice President Dick Isler with the Paulson-Whitmore State Executive Award at the National Pork Industry Forum.

The award, named after Don Paulson, past Minnesota state pork executive, and Rex Whitmore, past Wisconsin state pork executive, recognizes the outstanding leadership and commitment of state pork organization executives.

Beginning his role with Ohio Pork in 1973 as the organization’s first full-time employee, Isler’s early career focused on promoting the nutritional value of pork to consumers and building support for the voluntary Pork Checkoff program. His tenure paralleled the industry’s changing structure and move toward increased efficiency.

Isler helped establish the Ohio Pork Congress in the late 1970s, leading it to become the second largest swine trade show in the nation during the 1980s. In 1998, when the industry faced the challenge of historically low hog prices, he worked to ensure that producers were provided adequate support and direction toward a solution.… Continue reading

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Ohio couple selected as National Outstanding Young Farmers

Nick and Sunny Cummings of Washington Court House were selected national winners at the 62nd annual National Outstanding Young Farmers Awards Congress held Feb. 15-18 in Sacramento, Cal. Four national winners were selected from a group of 10 finalists for the award based on their progress in an agricultural career, extent of soil and water conservation practices, and contributions to the well-being of the community, state, and nation. National winners received a savings bond from corporate sponsor John Deere and the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C., during National Ag Week in 2019.

Nick Cummings credits his involvement in 4-H and FFA with cultivating an interest in agriculture that would lead to his future career. When a local farmer gave him a job moving wagons of grain from the field to the grain bins at age 16, he knew that somehow he would become a first-generation farmer. At 17, Nick convinced a local banker to loan him enough money to buy a baler.… Continue reading

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OEFFA recognizes Larry and Cynthia Ringer and Sean McGovern

The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) has named the 2018 recipients for the Stewardship and Service awards.

Larry and Cynthia Ringer of Stark County received the Stewardship Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to the sustainable agriculture community, and Sean McGovern of Franklin County received the Service Award, which recognizes extraordinary service in support of sustainable agriculture.

2018 Stewardship Award Winner — Larry and Cynthia Ringer

Larry and Cynthia Ringer founded Ohio Earth Food in 1972 with Cynthia’s family, in the midst of the chemical agriculture boom. At the time, they were working on the vegetable farm of Cynthia’s dad and early organic farmer, Glenn Graber. After observing the benefits of kelp and concerned about the effects of conventional farming on the environment and human health, they realized there could be an emergent market for organic fertilizers, and started selling kelp products and rock phosphate.

“We were in the organic business before organic was the buzzword it is today,” Larry said.… Continue reading

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Specht wins OFBF Discussion Meet

Annie Specht of Columbus is the winner of the 2018 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.

Specht won a $1,000 cash award from Nationwide Insurance, an expense-paid trip to the 2018 Ohio Farm Bureau Annual Meeting in Columbus and an expense-paid trip to the 2019 American Farm Bureau Annual Convention in New Orleans, where she will represent Ohio in the national Discussion Meet competition.

Specht, a Tuscarawas County Farm Bureau member, is an assistant professor of agricultural communication at Ohio State University. She is a member of the American Association for Agricultural Education, North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture and the Association for Communications Excellence. She earned two bachelor’s degrees and a master’s degree in agricultural and Extension education at Ohio State University and her doctorate in agricultural leadership, education and communications at Texas A&M University.… Continue reading

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Everman named to senior position at Ohio Farm Bureau


Rebecca Everman of Westerville has been named Senior Executive Assistant and Assistant Secretary to the Board of Trustees for the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation.

Everman’s senior officer position includes being the communications liaison between the Board of Trustees, management, and high level external partners. She also assists Executive Vice President Adam Sharp with administrative duties.

Sharp said the search to fill the important position was extensive. “For 18 years, Rebecca has been a key contributor to the OFBF communications team. Her record of excellent work positioned her well for this new role.”

Since 2010, Everman served as executive assistant to OFBF’s vice president of communications and previously served 10 years as an administrative assistant. She was raised on an Illinois farm and received a diploma from Indiana Business College. Her civic engagement includes the Blendon Township Parks Advisory Committee and the Blendon Township Community Outreach, Prevention and Education program. She and her husband, James, are the parents of two children.Continue reading

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NCGA media and policy training takes advocacy to new heights

A group of veteran farmer leaders from across the country met in Washington this week to take part in the NCGA Policy and Media Training program co-sponsored by the National Corn Growers Association and Syngenta. This program, which replaces Advanced Leadership, offers high-level training for a select group of Leadership At Its Best alumni. During the program, participants received an insider’s view of how lobbyists work on Capitol Hill and talked through some tough issues facing the association and American agriculture.
“The program provides an impactful way to sharpen the skills gained through Leadership At Its Best in a short time,” said NCGA President Kevin Skunes, himself a graduate of the program. “These farmers have stepped up as leaders, volunteering their time and talent on behalf of corn farmers and the entire agricultural community. They are passionate about farming. We aim to give them the knowledge and tools to harness that passion and effectively drive positive change.”
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Ohio SWCD supervisor recognized with national award

The National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) honored conservation leaders from across the country during the organization’s 72nd Annual Meeting in Nashville, Tenn. at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center.

The NACD along with the USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) “Olin Sims Conservation Leadership Award” is presented annually to an individual, district or organization that has gone above and beyond in promoting conservation on private lands. This year’s award was presented by Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Acting Chief Leonard Jordan to Kris Swartz, a Wood Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) Supervisor.

Swartz is a fifth-generation farmer from Perrysburg, Ohio. He and his wife, Sue, operate a 2,000-acre farm in Wood County where they grow soybeans, corn and wheat. Swartz is the past president of the Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (OFSWCD). Under his leadership, Ohio became one of the leading states in adding Soil Health Champions to NACD’s Soil Health Champion Network. … Continue reading

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Watters named International Certified Crop Adviser of the Year

The American Society of Agronomy (ASA) recently announced that Harold D. Watters, Ohio State University has been named the International Certified Crop Adviser of the Year.

The annual award is presented for outstanding contributions to agronomy through education, national and international service, and research.

An associate professor and field specialist, Watters works directly with agronomic crop producers, crop advisers and Extension educators to provide relevant information in a timely manner with emphasis on web and media outlets. Recruited as a team coordinator in 2004 for the OSU Agronomic Crops Team, Watters has influence on Ohio agronomic crop production education as co-coordinator of this 80-member team. Watters’ work is in the areas of agronomic crop production practices, systematic data evaluation and field research done locally to confirm best practices.

Watters serves as editorial coordinator of the Crop Observation and Recommendation Network (CORN) newsletter and is a regular OCJ contributor through his monthly CORN to go… page.… Continue reading

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Anthony Wayne High School agriculture teacher selected for national educator award

17-ATOTY-R4-W.ShortWhitney Short, agricultural educator at Anthony Wayne High School in Whitehouse, Ohio, is one of only six individuals nationwide who received the 2017 National Agriscience Teacher of the Year Award. The award was presented in December at the National Association of Agricultural Educators’ annual convention in Nashville.

The National Agriscience Teacher of the Year award recognizes teachers who have inspired and enlightened their students through engaging and interactive lessons in the science of agriculture.

Although it is located at Anthony Wayne High School, the agriculture program is actually a satellite of the Penta Career Center. When Short realized that enrollment was declining, she renewed student interest by creating an agriculture biotechnology pathway. Through the new course of study, students have the opportunity to explore biotech in both animal and plant systems. The popularity of the new pathway has led Short to steadily increase science-based agriculture offerings at Anthony Wayne.

An integral piece of the agriculture program at Anthony Wayne is project-based learning.… Continue reading

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Morrow County teens attend National Youth Summit on Agri-Science in Washington, D.C.

In order to continue to fuel the discovery of new solutions and solve big challenges in human health, agriculture and food, it will be critical to cultivate the next generation of leaders in science. Emma Burchett, Jacob Kirkland, Jacob Serio, and Lucy Smith recently got their chance to hone their agri-science skills at the National Youth Summit on Agri-Science in Washington, D.C.

Amanda Forquer, OSU Extension 4-H Educator in Morrow County, escorted the youth to this four-day Summit which was held at the National 4-H Conference Center, in Chevy Chase, Maryland. Nearly 250 youth were immersed in an agenda focused on a variety of agri-science topics relevant to agriculture including: soil health, animal biosecurity, agribusiness, drones, honey bees, and precision farming.

Attendees from across the country had the opportunity to build their science skills in more than 15 sessions led by a number of industry leaders and mentors.

“Because of the attendees being from so many different states I really enjoyed the diversity of everyone’s ideas.… Continue reading

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Jepsen to lead International Society of Agricultural Safety and Health

Dee Jepsen was recently named President of the International Society for Agricultural Safety and Health (ISASH). Jepsen will serve on the Board of Directors for a two-year term through the summer of 2019.

ISASH is an organization dedicated to the professional development of agricultural safety and health professionals, providing national and international leadership in preventing agricultural injuries and illnesses to the agricultural community. ISASH provides opportunities for sharing information about research and intervention programs, improving professional skills and knowledge, networking and other supportive activities.

Dee Jepsen is an Associate Professor in the Department of Food, Agricultural, and Biological Engineering at The Ohio State University and State Leader for the OSU Extension Agricultural Safety & Health Program. Many of her efforts around the state have gained her a national reputation for leadership in community safety initiatives. She also is a regular OCJ contributor.

During her term, Jepsen hopes to foster additional international connections within the Society.… Continue reading

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S.I. Distributing hires new sales manager

S.I. Distributing welcomed Nathan Vandenbroek as the new sales manager.

Vandenbroek comes with a wealth of knowledge and experience within the industry. Nathan recently graduated from the Ohio Farm Bureau’s AgriPOWER leadership training program. This program helps class members develop important skills necessary to becoming effective leaders and advocates, including spokesperson and media training, etiquette training, social networking, communications and more.

He hopes to use these skills and apply them to his success at S.I.

“I am excited to start a new position within S.I. Distributing and look forward to working with the team to further develop their already extensive product and service suite. I am fortunate to be joining such a respected company that prides itself on top quality service,” Vandenbroek said.… Continue reading

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Kasler joins Farm Bureau staff

Ashley Kasler of Athens has been named organization director for Ohio Farm Bureau. She will work with

leaders and members of the Athens-Meigs, Gallia and Lawrence County Farm Bureaus as they address issues important to members and their communities.

Kasler grew up on a crop and livestock farm in Highland County. She obtained an associate’s degree from OSU Agricultural Technical Instaitute and a bachelor’s degree from Ohio State University. She received both the State and American Farmer degrees from FFA. Prior to joining Farm Bureau, she was employed by Heimerl Farms and was active with the Athens-Meigs Farm Bureau as a board member.

She and her husband, Brent, farm with his family and are the parents of a young daughter. They attend Christ Community Wesleyan Church in Albany and are members of the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association and American Angus Association.


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