Buckeye People



ODNR announces new chief of the Division of Soil and Water

Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Director James Zehringer announced that Mike Bailey has been named chief of the ODNR Division of Soil and Water Resources. Bailey has served as deputy chief of the division since 2012.

“His agricultural background and experience in the field of soil and water made Mike the ideal candidate for this job,” Zehringer said. “Behind his leadership, I anticipate the division will make great strides in furthering ODNR’s efforts to improve the health of Ohio’s waters and lands.”

Karl Gebhardt, former chief of the division, has been serving as division chief and deputy director. He will continue to serve in his role as deputy director of the department.

As chief of the division, Mike will be responsible for day-to-day operations, including issues related to agricultural nutrients, soil and water conservation districts, watershed programs, water resource issues and dam safety.

Previously, Bailey worked at the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) for eight years in various capacities.… Continue reading

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Grum attends Agriculture Future of America Leaders Conference

Frankie Grum from Thornville joined more than 550 of the top collegiate agriculture students on Nov. 7-10 in Kansas City, Mo., to engage in career preparation training at the Agriculture Future of America Leaders Conference.

For four days, Grum, who studies agricultural systems and technology at the Ohio State Ag Tech Institute, participated in soft skill training provided by agriculture, education and facilitation professionals. In the conference environment, Grum was surrounded by like-minded students, who are passionate about agriculture, and by agriculture professionals, who have invested financially as well as relationally in these students’ lives.

Cargill is one organization that partners with AFA to make this training possible. The company specifically invested in developing a relationship with Grum. While at the conference, Grum was invited to a special breakfast hosted by Cargill. During this breakfast, Cargill representatives and Grum were able to connect and discuss Cargill’s career opportunities and Grum’s interests.… Continue reading

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Wuebker joins agricultural law firm

The law firm of Barrett,Easteday, Cunningham & Eselgroth LLP (BECE) is pleased to announce that Matt Wuebker will become the firm’s newest associate attorney. The Supreme Court of Ohio announced on Oct. 25 that Matt was among those who passed the July 2013 Ohio bar examination. The oath of office as an attorney and counselor at law were administered on Monday, Nov. 4, to Matt and other successful applicants who have also satisfied all of the Ohio Supreme Court’s other requirements for admission. Matt has been working as a law clerk at BECE since graduating in May from the University of Dayton School of Law. Matt grew up near Maria Stein, Ohio, where his parents operate a farm. Matt is a member of Marion Local Young Farmers Association and is an active outdoorsman. He obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in marketing from Wright State University in Dayton and earned his Juris Doctorate in an accelerated 2-year program at the University of Dayton School of Law.… Continue reading

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Ohioan appointed to American Lamb Board

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced four appointments to the 2014 Lamb Promotion, Research and Information Board, more commonly referred to as the American Lamb Board (ALB). Each appointee will serve a three-year term.

The newly appointed board members representing producers include Jim Percival from Ohio, a first-time members to the board.

The American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) nominated Percival as sheep producer directors. ASI president Clint Krebs expressed appreciation with the appointments so that the new directors can weigh in on the new funding available this year with the increase in the checkoff assessment supported by ASI. ALB is composed of six producers, three feeders, one seedstock producer, three first handlers and a member of the general public.… Continue reading

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OFBF announces staff promotions

The Ohio Farm Bureau Federation recently announced a number of staff promotions.

Chad Endsley has been promoted to general counsel for the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation. Endsley will guide the organization in all legal matters and serve as legal adviser to the board of trustees, executive vice president and senior administrators.

Endsley, who was raised on his family’s farm near Coshocton, Ohio, joined Ohio Farm Bureau in 2010 as director of agricultural law. He previously was in private practice concentrating on corporate and agricultural law, business transactions, real estate and estate planning. He received his bachelor’s degree in agriculture and Juris Doctor from Ohio State University. He and his wife, Katy, are the parents of three children and reside near Pickerington.

“It’s essential that Ohio Farm Bureau meets and exceeds all its legal responsibilities in order to serve its members, and Chad will make sure we meet that goal,” said John C.… Continue reading

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Londo to serve as Assistant Director for Agriculture and Natural Resources for OSU Extension

Andy Londo is the newest Assistant Director for Agriculture and Natural Resources for OSU Extension and started in September. He wants to meet producers, supporters and suppliers for production agriculture in Ohio, and this is one great place to do that. In the Assistant Director role, Andy will help shape the education, research and extension activities of the department of Extension. And he is my new boss.

Originally from Michigan, Andy Londo earned his bachelor’s degree in forestry from Michigan Technological University, his master’s degree in forest science from Texas A&M University and his doctorate in forest science from Michigan Technological University. A respected scholar, Londo is known for his research in prescribed fire, forest health, mine reclamation, carbon sequestration, soils, forest management, intensive pine silviculture and non-industrial private forest landowner issues.

Londo has worked as Extension forestry coordinator at Mississippi State University since 2005, where he was responsible for supervising Extension associates, coordinating Extension programing and seeking funding to support programming.… Continue reading

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Ag Credit promotes Ricker

Ag Credit is pleased to announce the Board of Directors selected Brian Ricker as Chief Operations Officer at their August board meeting.  Brian will assume these duties on October 1.

Neil Jordan, CEO, has announced his retirement effective February 1, 2014.  Brian Ricker will step into the CEO position at that time.

“I am honored for the opportunity to serve our cooperative in this role and look forward to a smooth transition” said Ricker.

Ricker, (44), currently serves as Chief Credit Officer, a position he has held for the past year. He has more than 16 years of experience with the Farm Credit System, becoming the branch manager for Ag Credit’s Van Wert office in 1997 and then moving into the position of Relationship Manager in 2009. Ricker earned his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the Ohio State University in 1988.  He earned his Master’s Degree in Executive Management from Ashland University in 1998.  … Continue reading

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Ohio Farm Bureau selects award winners

Nathan and Jennifer Brown of Hillsboro have been named winners of Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s (OFBF) 2013 Outstanding Young Farmer Award and Emily Buck of New Bloomington has been named winner of the 2013 Excellence in Agriculture Award.

The contest is designed to help young farmers strengthen their business skills, develop marketing opportunities and receive recognition for their accomplishments. Contestants are judged on the growth of their farm businesses and involvement in Farm Bureau and their community.

The Browns win 250 hours free use of an M–series tractor provided by Kubota, $1,000 in Grainger merchandise sponsored by Farm Credit Services of Mid-America and an expense-paid trip to the 2013 American Farm Bureau Federation annual meeting in San Antonio.

Nathan and Jennifer are members of Highland County Farm Bureau, and Nathan serves as vice president. Both are active in many county and statewide Farm Bureau activities. They operate a 900-acre grain farm along with an additional 400 acres of custom grain crops and hay.… Continue reading

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United Producers Inc. hires Mike Bumgarner as Chief Operating Officer

United Producers Inc. (UPI), which operates livestock marketing facilities throughout the Midwest and is headquartered in Columbus has hired long-tenured agriculture leader Mike Bumgarner as its chief operating officer.

Bumgarner, who previously spent nearly 20 years with UPI, will return to the company in mid-September. Most recently, Bumgarner spent four years at the helm of the Ohio Farm Bureau’s Center for Food and Animal Issues as vice president. The Center was created in 2009 to engage farmers, consumers and others who have connections to animals in a public dialog over the proper role of animals in society, and to advance their shared values.

“As you can imagine, Mike has helped Farm Bureau manage through numerous challenges that are facing animal agriculture in the state and region,” said Dennis Bolling, president and CEO, UPI. “This unique perspective will no doubt help UPI as we continue to help our farmers navigate such challenges on their own farms in the communities we serve.… Continue reading

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Herms honored for entomology work with EAB

Daniel Herms, a professor and chair in the Department of Entomology at The Ohio State University has been recognized by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) with the R.W. Harris Author’s Citation.

Herms has written more than 200 publications, including more than 70 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters on topics such as emerald ash borer. His current work on EAB and the development of EAB-resistant trees is considered to have great promise for the future of the urban forest.

Herms has also been influential with the use of a biological calendar to predict when insects will emerge to improve scheduling of pest management activities.… Continue reading

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Ohioan selected in National Anthem contest

Four agricultural students, including Noelle Goodson from Fayette, Ohio, will win scholarship prizes in this year’s FMC “Stand & Be Heard Anthem Singing Contest.” The students were selected by a panel of judges and then traveled to Nashville to take part in a professional Music City recording experience.

Goodson has been involved in FFA since eighth grade. Through FFA, she has competed in soil judging and dairy foods contests, and she served on the parliamentary procedure team. This past year, Goodson served as chapter president. She has sung the National Anthem for sporting events throughout high school, including the Division IV State Boys Varsity Basketball Championship game at The Ohio State University. Goodson plans to attend Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, Mich.

“The quality of this year’s finalists illustrates the great future for agriculture. From across the nation, we had a number of excellent students participate and the finalists exemplify the best of the best,” said Tim Thompson, FMC Agricultural Solutions North America product manager.… Continue reading

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Wright Law adds attorney

Wright Law Company welcomed agricultural attorney Kent Jorgensen to their firm.

Jorgensen grew up on a farm in Idaho, raising corn, wheat, hay, and pinto beans on his family’s farm; he also participated in FFA. understands the issues facing agriculture today. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Communications with a minor in Spanish from Brigham Young University-Idaho in 2009. Jorgensen also worked for several years for Syngenta as a field manager for hybrid sweet corn seed production, he worked almost exclusively with migrant work crews coordinating communications and resolving disputes. Kent speaks Spanish fluently.

He attended Michigan State University College of law, with a focus on business and agricultural law, earning his J.D. degree in May 2013. His legal interests include business establishment, oil and gas law, contracts, real estate transactions, and farm labor mediation. Jorgensen worked as an intern for Wright Law over the summer of 2012, and Wright Law is happy to welcome him as the newest member of their team.… Continue reading

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Faulkner will represent Ohio as National FFA officer candidate

When she first joined the A.B. Graham FFA Chapter in eighth grade, Shelby Faulkner was a timid girl with no agricultural background. However, she soon discovered a passion for the industry and began her FFA story.

Faulkner became involved in her chapter by competing on teams, serving as chapter treasurer and president and completing Supervised Agricultural Experiences in livestock and crop entrepreneurship. Her excitement for the organization grew and she wanted to do more. In 2011, she became state sentinel on the Ohio FFA Officer Team. Faulkner’s love for the FFA evolved and she knew her time was not finished. She continued a consecutive year to serve the Ohio FFA Association as the 2012-2013 State FFA President.

Her term has concluded after attending first session of Ohio FFA Camp Muskingum earlier this summer. What is next? Faulkner has just completed her Early Field Experience at Miami East FFA Chapter and is taking summer classes at The Ohio State University, where she is pursuing a degree in agriscience education.… Continue reading

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Young Agricultural Professionals leaders named

The Ohio Farm Bureau Federation has named the newest members of its Young Agricultural Professionals Advisory Team: Nathan and Jennifer Brown of Hillsboro, Andy and Danielle Burch of Salem, Brad Heimerl of Johnstown and Greg and Janet McGlinch of Versailles. As team members serving two year terms, they will help develop and conduct activities that provide opportunities for young people to become involved in Ohio Farm Bureau programs.

Nathan and Jennifer Brown are members of Highland County Farm Bureau, and Nathan serves as vice president. Both are active in county and statewide Farm Bureau activities. They operate a 900 acre grain farm along with an additional 400 acres of custom grain crops and hay. They also raise beef cattle. Jennifer is employed with the United State Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development office. Nathan also serves as a township trustee. Both are active with their local church, Ohio Corn Growers Association and Ohio Soybean Council.… Continue reading

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Harbage joins Rabo AgriFiance in Ohio

Rabo AgriFinance announces the appointment of Luke Harbage as senior relationship manager in Ohio. Harbage will work from the new office in Columbus, Ohio.

Rabo AgriFinance is a provider of capital and financial solutions to U.S. agricultural producers and agribusinesses. Harbage will work closely with farmers to provide them with the capital to purchase and operate their respective enterprises to help ensure their success.

“Luke brings over 9 years of experience in agriculture lending in the Ohio region,” says Larry Davis, vice president and team leader for Rabo AgriFinance. “Rabo AgriFinance has shown strong growth in the Ohio territory and adding Luke’s expertise will only add to that strength.”

Harbage’s previous lending experience includes providing financial products for Farm Credit Services Mid America, and is a graduate of Ohio State University.

“I look forward to bringing my experience and lending expertise to Rabo AgriFinance to help farmers and producers in Ohio,” says Harbage.… Continue reading

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2013 Farm Science Review Hall of Fame Inductees Announced

The Farm Science Review Hall of Fame will welcome its 24th class of inductees at the Vice President’s Luncheon on September 17 during the 2013 Review. Don Breece, Dan Kush and Marti Smith have been selected for induction in recognition of their contributions to the success of the Farm Science Review.

“The unique aspect of our show is that certain individuals take ownership of the Review, putting their heart and soul into changing things for the better,” said Chuck Gamble, Farm Science Review Manager. “Each of these inductees hold a special place in the show’s history and are very worthy of being recognized for their contributions to the Review.”

Don Breece 

Don retired from Ohio State University Extension in May after most recently serving as the Assistant Director of the Agriculture and Natural Resources program area. Don chaired both the Farm Science Review Program and Policy Committee and the Farm Science Review Steering Committee during his tenure as Assistant Director.… Continue reading

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