Buckeye People



Cosby appointed NRCS chief

President Biden announced the appointment of Terry Cosby to be Chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).  

“Terry has spent more than 40 years working at USDA to protect agricultural lands and help producers implement sustainable farming practices,” said U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture. “I’ve worked with Terry for many years on conservation priorities in Ohio and know that no one is more qualified for this role. With Terry on the job, Ohioans will know they have a trusted voice at USDA to help farmers get back on their feet from the pandemic, ensure that American agriculture is a leader in fighting climate change, and protect our lands and keep our waters safe for the next generation.”

Cosby began his career with the agency in 1979 as a student trainee in Iowa. He was raised on a cotton farm with his eight siblings in Tallahatchie County, Mississippi.… Continue reading

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Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation awards nearly $50,000 in scholarships

Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation recently awarded nearly $50,000 in scholarships to students across the state. The foundation annually recognizes Ohio students for their academic effort, community engagement and career interests that link agriculture to community service, education or scientific research.

Bill and Helen Swank Scholarship

Kameron Rinehart of Jeffersonville is the recipient of this scholarship. Over the course of his 40-year career with Farm Bureau, Dr. C. William (Bill) Swank enriched countless lives in the farm and food community. This fund honors the legacies of Bill and his wife, Helen, with a scholarship for the next generation of agricultural leaders.

Yvonne Lesicko Memorial Scholarship

Receiving the scholarship is Haven Hileman of Stout. This fund was established in honor of Yvonne Lesicko, Ohio Farm Bureau’s vice president of public policy, who passed away in 2020, to provide support for the next generation of student leaders. The income from this endowment will provide scholarship assistance in perpetuity to students majoring in agricultural and environmental policy or agriculture-related fields, such as food production, scientific research, education/outreach, policymaking, advocacy, or leadership development for women.… Continue reading

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Staff promotions at OFBF

Amanda Kolitsos has been named director of graphic design for Ohio Farm Bureau. She joined the organization nearly six years ago as a communications specialist. In her new role, Kolitsos will design Ohio Farm Bureau publications Buckeye Farm News and Our Ohio magazine, among other design projects, in addition to overseeing Ohio Farm Bureau brand management.

Prior to her time at Ohio Farm Bureau, Kolitsos was the communications director for the Ohio Nursery and Landscape Association.

Kolitsos is a graduate of Brookville High School and holds an agricultural communications degree from The Ohio State University. She is a proud FFA and 4-H alum and a member of the Franklin County Farm Bureau.

Dave Gore of Marysville has been named communications specialist for Ohio Farm Bureau. He was previously the organization’s print services coordinator since 2013. As part of his new role, Gore will help Ohio Farm Bureau and county Farm Bureaus with design projects, in addition to helping with photography and video production.… Continue reading

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Hunker wins fundraising auction competition

Roger Hunker, auctioneer and Realtor of United Country Real Estate | Walton Realty & Auction Co, LLC in Bellevue is the 2020 winner of the Fundraiser Auction Competition held by United Country Auction Services. He completed the most benefit/fundraiser auctions in 2020. 

Hunker, along with his companies Breeders World and BW Final Drive, conducted over 40 benefit auctions for numerous livestock organizations, FFA, 4-H, local community foundations and some local community members throughout the United States. These online auctions totaled over 7,500 lots covering over a dozen states.

“It is so rewarding to be able to give back to the organizations that helped me as a young person.” Hunker said. 

The United Country | Auction Services Fundraising Competition was created to recognize and promote the tremendous amount of charitable auctions conducted each year by United Country affiliates and auctioneers. Benefit and charity auctions have a long history in the world of auctioneering.… Continue reading

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Ohio Agricultural Council announces 2021 Hall of Fame inductees

Four Ohioans who have committed their lives to working in, promoting and advocating for Ohio’s farm community will be honored Friday, August 6, by the Ohio Agricultural Council (OAC), when they are inducted into the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame.

The Ohio Agricultural Council (OAC) will induct Monte Anderson of Wilmington, Randy Brown of Nevada, Tim Corcoran of Chillicothe, and Keith Stimpert of Worthington, into the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame. 

The 55th annual event normally attracts more than 600 guests to honor the four professionals for their lifetime of service and dedication to Ohio’s agriculture community.

“We are pleased to recognize this outstanding class of Hall of Fame inductees,” said Mike Bumgarner, president of the Ohio Agricultural Council and president and CEO of United Producers, Inc. “Though our 2021 inductees represent diverse elements of the agriculture industry, from education to associations to those who dedicate their lives on the farm, all  inductees have demonstrated deep dedication to the lasting improvement of Ohio’s agriculture industry, through their leadership, mentorship and advocacy efforts.”… Continue reading

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Bain Wilson joins CFAES as livestock evaluation specialist, new Ohio State ATI coaching position announced

The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) has announced the appointment of Bain Wilson as livestock evaluation specialist.

Wilson will join the CFAES Department of Animal Sciences, effective August 2021, as assistant professor, professional practice. He will lead the Ohio State Livestock Judging Team, teach the department’s livestock evaluation course, and begin connecting with Ohio 4-H livestock evaluation teams across the state.

“We are excited for Dr. Wilson to join the faculty and to lead the livestock evaluation courses and team. His arrival is part of a larger plan of pursuing excellence for our judging team,” said John Foltz, chair of the Department of Animal Sciences.

Wilson currently serves as an assistant professor in beef production and youth livestock at Virginia Tech. His position there involves teaching, research, and Extension. He has served as the coordinator of the intercollegiate livestock judging team at Virginia Tech, as well as the coach for both the Virginia and Illinois state 4-H livestock judging teams.… Continue reading

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Peak demand energy management strategies for agriculture

As agricultural systems have become more sophisticated and automated, the electrical demands of many farms have increased, requiring enhanced needs for high quality electric to power equipment. Due to increased electrical usage, many farms are now on a commercial rate structure. Unlike residential rates, which are based primarily on total energy usage measured in kilowatt hours (kWh), commercial accounts are also charged for the highest peak demand usage spike over a short time period measured in kilowatts (kW). 

To better understand how peak electric demand affects agricultural facilities, Ohio State University Extension is collecting energy usage data for individual motor loads across six swine and dairy facilities experiencing high energy demand costs.  

To collect the data, Ohio State University researchers installed multifunction energy meters capable of recording energy usage for up to 24 critical loads on the farm. By collecting granular electric usage data, the trends of energy consumption, peak demand, and power factor for each measured circuit can be analyzed.… Continue reading

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United Producers, Inc. announces hiring of new senior regional credit officer

United Producers, Inc. (UPI), the Midwest’s largest livestock marketing cooperative, is pleased to announce that Brian Fracker will be joining the cooperative’s credit services division as senior regional credit officer.

Fracker will serve the financing needs of farmers and farming operations throughout Ohio, offering a full range of loan products and services to help them grow and succeed.

“We are pleased to welcome Brian to our team,” said Bob Siegel, Vice President of Credit. “His extensive experience in agriculture financing will be a tremendous asset to our current members, while also allowing us to introduce UPI to non-members who would benefit from our cooperative’s services.”

Fracker’s experience spans 30 years in banking and finance in Ohio, assisting clients in reaching their financial goals by helping them acquire real estate, equipment, and lines of credit for their operations. Fracker has loaned more than $300 million dollars in his lifetime and brings a wealth of knowledge and credentials to the UPI team.… Continue reading

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Ohio Farm Bureau welcomes new leadership

Bill Patterson of Chesterland has been elected the 25th president of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation and now holds the highest elected office in Ohio’s largest and most influential farm and food organization.

Patterson was elected by OFBF’s board of trustees upon the resignation of Frank Burkett of Massillon, who left the OFBF board to stand for election to the Nationwide board of directors. He was elected to the Nationwide board of directors April 1. 

Burkett served as the organization’s president for five years where strengthening partnerships with key groups such as Nationwide was a part of his work. Ohio Farm Bureau founded the Farm Bureau Mutual Automobile Insurance Company in 1926, which later became Nationwide. Today, Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau maintain a close relationship and share a focus of providing valued services for farmers and agriculture. Nationwide is the No. 1 insurer of farms in the nation and supports agriculture nationally.… Continue reading

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OABA announces newly elected Board of Directors

The Ohio AgriBusiness Association is pleased to announce the newly elected members to the Board of Directors. 

  • Representing the Agrichemical industry: Nick Franks, Tyler Grain & Fertilizer Co.
  • Representing the Feed industry: Anne Staugler, Big K Mills, Inc. 
  • Representing the Grain industry: Travis Algren, Consolidated Grain & Barge Inc.
  • Representing the Members-at-Large: Heath Barnes, Mercer Landmark and Jeff Osentoski, Heritage Cooperative 

“Our Board of Directors contribute their time, experience and expertise for the good of the industry and the association,” said Chris Henney, OABA president and CEO. “We are pleased to welcome our newest board members and congratulate those that were reelected.”

The newly elected members were announced at the OABA Annual Meeting on March 24. Algren and Barnes are new members on the board; Franks, Osentoski and Staugler were reelected by OABA members. The respective terms for these board members will expire on Dec. 31, 2023.

Below is the complete list of Board members:

  • Chairwoman: Jackie Seiber —  L W Seibert Farms, LLC
  • Vice Chairman: Robert Mullen — Nutrien
  • Immediate Past Chairman: Nathan Louiso — Axis Seed 
  • Travis Algren — Consolidated Grain & Barge Inc. 
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Nutrien Ag Solutions Leipsic/Ottawa achieves Year Three Certification in 4R Nutrient Stewardship

Continuing its commitment to improving water quality in the Western Lake Erie Basin, Nutrien Ag Solutions Leipsic/Ottawa has achieved certified status for year three through the 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program.

The voluntary certification program is a concentrated effort by the agriculture industry to significantly reduce and prevent applied nutrients from running off fields, which has contributed to water quality issues in Lake Erie. Facilities are required to meet certain program goals each year to retain certified status. 

With the program in its seventh year, Nutrien Ag Solutions Leipsic/Ottawa joins a long list of retailers to achieve year three certification.

“The 4R Certification has helped us transition more growers to grid soil sampling,” said Logan Kaufman, Certified Crop Adviser and crop consultant for Nutrien Ag Solutions. “We are able to assure our growers that the nutrients being applied are being placed where they are needed, in hopes of improving water quality.”… Continue reading

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Ohio AgriBusiness Association awards 2020-2021 scholarships

Each year, the Ohio AgriBusiness Association Educational Trust scholarship program awards scholarship dollars to students enrolled in an agriculture-related field attending The Ohio State University and Ohio State’s Agricultural Technical Institute, Central State University, Clark State Community College and Wilmington College. Scholarships were awarded through the OABA Educational Trust, the George Greenleaf Agri-Industry Endowment and the OABA Endowed Scholarship Fund. 

The OABA Educational Trust scholarship fund is supported by donations from OABA member companies, and through four primary fundraising activities: a Bowling for Scholarships event, two Golf for Scholarships outings and a Target: Scholarships sporting clays event. 

This year, OABA awarded $28,000 in scholarship dollars to the following individuals. 

Central State University 

• Destiny Cooper of Chicago, Ilinois 

• Nellie Rowland of Sardinia, Ohio 

Clark State Community College 

• Joseph Perry of Yellow Springs, Ohio 

• Christopher Raleigh of Mount Orab, Ohio 

• Hailey Williams of Springfield, Ohio 

The Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute 

• Megan Gibboney of Orient, Ohio 

• Olivia Merrin of Bowerston, Ohio 

• Brooke Wiseman of New Lexington, Ohio 

Wilmington College Morgan McFarland of Ashville, Ohio 

• Alexzandria Lusk of Enon, Ohio 

• Grace Storck of New Carlisle, Ohio 

The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences 

• Samantha Augustine of Loudonville, Ohio 

• Lydia Dunaway of Pleasant Plain, Ohio 

• Madelyn Eggelman of Springfield, Ohio 

• Troy Elwer of Delphos, Ohio 

• Chase Gasser of Creston, Ohio 

• Madison Layman of Johnstown, Ohio 

• Corinne Lee of Marysville, Ohio 

• Aaron Smith of Norwalk, Ohio 

• Hannah Smith of Jackson, Ohio 

• Joshua Strine of Calednonia, Ohio 

• Alayna Teiga of Loudonville, Ohio 

The George G.… Continue reading

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OFSWCD officers elected

The Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (OFSWCD) is pleased to announce the officer slate for 2020-21 as confirmed by the OFSWCD Board and Delegates. 

During the Annual Conservation Partnership Meeting, held virtually this year, Matt Peart, a Wayne Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) supervisor, assumed the role of the President. Peart is a first-generation farmer from West Salem.

“It is not one person, committee or game plan that makes the difference. It is a team with the same heart and the same goals that will make an impact and a difference for the betterment of conservation in Ohio,” Peart said. 

In addition, Jeff Duling, a Putnam SWCD supervisor, assumed the role of 1st Vice President. Samantha Steiner, a Warren SWCD supervisor, assumed the role of 2nd Vice President. Dave Anspach, a Clermont SWCD supervisor, remained in the Secretary-Treasurer role and, Bob Short, a Williams SWCD supervisor, who completed his two-year role as President moved into the Past President role. … Continue reading

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Wolf wins essay contest

Lily Wolf of Hamilton has been named the Ohio state winner of the 2021 GROWMARK essay contest for FFA members. The theme of this year’s contest was “If you could invent a new technology to improve agriculture, what would it be?” Students were encouraged to think creatively, not necessarily realistically, as they described their ideal invention.

In her contest entry, Wolf said: “Imagine if we created biodegradable field signs made from petrochemicals. Not only would this help the environment, but it would also be cheaper in the long run.”
Wolf is a student at Edgewood High School and a member of the Edgewood/Butler Tech FFA chapter. Her FFA advisor is Kellie Beiser. As the contest winner, Wolf will receive a $500 award from GROWMARK. The Edgewood/Butler Tech FFA Chapter will also receive a $300 award in honor of her accomplishment.
Four state runners-up will each receive a $125 award. The runners-up and their FFA chapters are, in alphabetical order: Ava Knapke, Celina FFA, Celina, Ohio; Cassandra Mavis, Fairview FFA, Edgerton, Ohio; Luke Meyer, Fort Loramie FFA, Anna, Ohio; and Cassidy Mrakuzic, Black River FFA, Homerville, Ohio.… Continue reading

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Lauren Eyre joins Aimpoint Research Agri-Food WatchDesk team

Aimpoint Research, a global, strategic intelligence firm, recently welcomed Lauren Schwab Eyre of Eaton, Ohio as an Agri-Food WatchDesk Analyst. A second-generation livestock farmer, Lauren brings tremendous agricultural knowledge, communication experience, and a passionate drive to support the future of the industry.

“I’m delighted to welcome Lauren to the Agri-Food WatchDesk,” said Brett Sciotto, Aimpoint Research CEO. “She brings a wealth of agricultural experience, especially in the livestock sector, to our diverse team as we continue to provide critical, strategic intelligence to our clients.”

Lauren is a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Women’s Studies, as well as a Master of Science in Family Studies after completing her thesis, focused on food insecurity. Lauren is a recipient of the American FFA Degree and previously served as a National Collegiate Agriculture Ambassador for the National FFA.

She is a former Farrowing House Manager for her family farm operation and handled all consumer communications and education.… Continue reading

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OEFFA announces 2021 award recipients

The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) has named the 2021 recipients of its Stewardship and Service awards.  

Jan Dawson and Andy Reinhart of Logan County received the Stewardship Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to the sustainable agriculture community, and Steve Edwards of Warren County received the Service Award, which recognizes extraordinary service in support of sustainable agriculture.

“Over the course of more than 40 years, this organization and the broader sustainable food and farm movement, have been built by the tireless efforts of farmers, conscientious consumers, educators, researchers, retailers, and others. It is breathtaking how far we’ve come, from a handful of folks with a shared vision to a societal-wide understanding of the economic, environmental, and social significance of local and sustainable food systems,” said Carol Goland, Executive Director of OEFFA. “Jan, Andy, and Steve have made lasting contributions to this effort, and we are both grateful and pleased to be able to recognize these truly remarkable individuals for their hard work and accomplishments.”… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Amanda Bush wins NCGA Fields-of-corn Photo Contest

It was a challenging year for so many, yet photographers continued to share essential farmers’ stories of perseverance through the seventh National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) Fields-of-Corn Photo Contest.

Also unprecedented was the number of social shares, breaking records overall for NCGA’s photo contest. NCGA awarded two Grand Prizes.  A grand prize was awarded for the single most popular photo, taken by Amanda Bush of Ohio, “Cotton Candy Harvest,” which gained more than 1,700 likes on Facebook. Also, one selected by a panel of judges, submitted by McCullum Steen from Illinois with the photo titled “Harvest 2020.”

“Grit and grace characterize the photos of the year,” said Beth Musgrove, NCGA Graphic Communications Manager . “The Facebook engagement this year is telling that people are appreciative of the beauty of rural America in their daily feed.”

Bush is the executive communications assistant for Ohio Farm Bureau and she grew up on a farm in Morrow County.… Continue reading

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Anderson wins 2021 Discussion Meet

Stacie Anderson of Wood County is the winner of Ohio Farm Bureau’s Young Agricultural Professionals 2021 Discussion Meet competition. The results were announced Jan. 29 during the YAP Winter Leadership Experience Virtual Conference.  

The Discussion Meet tests participants’ subject knowledge, problem solving abilities and personal and small group communications skills. It is designed for young agricultural professionals to work together to find solutions around issues facing agriculture today.

Anderson is a Wood County Farm Bureau member. She, along with her husband Brian, grow corn, soybeans and wheat, as well as raise 4000 meat chickens, 500 laying hens, 200 fresh Thanksgiving turkeys, and a small herd of beef cattle. Off the farm, Anderson is the agronomy sales manager for Legacy Farmers Cooperative, where she manages sales of all crop nutrients, chemicals, seed, and precision products.

As the winner, she receives a $1,000 cash award from Nationwide, an expense-paid trip to the Ohio Farm Bureau Annual Meeting in December 2021 and an expense-paid trip to represent Ohio at the national competition during the American Farm Bureau Annual Convention in Atlanta in January 2022.… Continue reading

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2021 YAP State Committee leadership announced

Leading Ohio Farm Bureau’s Young Agricultural Professionals State Committee for 2021 are Chaircouple Megan and Tyrone Brannon of Tuscarawas County, Co-chair Kameron Rinehart of Fayette County and Secretary Bailey Elchinger of Henry County.

The Brannons are first-generation farmers who raise laying hens, pastured poultry, produce, herbs and specialize in microgreens. They market directly to consumers or at a local farmers market. Off the farm, Tyrone works for TMK Bakersville, and Megan is a graduate teaching and research assistant at Kent State University where she teaches undergraduate educational technology and takes part in research projects that advance the field of educational technology. She is a PhD candidate beginning work on her dissertation this spring.

Rinehart is a graduate research assistant at Ohio State University studying Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership. He has grown up in and around agriculture including FFA where he served as a state officer, and 4-H, where he was president of the Ohio 4-H Teen Leadership Council and a member of the Ohio 4-H Foundation board of trustees.… Continue reading

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Shultz named ASI president

By Matt Reese

Susan Shultz, from Logan County, is the new president of the American Sheep Industry Association.

Susan and her husband Bill raise production-oriented sheep on their Bunker Hill Farm near DeGraff. Susan was elected president on Jan. 29 through the virtual 2021 American Sheep Industry Convention. Both Susan and Bill have been very involved at the state and national levels of the sheep industry.

“I got very involved in Production Education Research Council, which was kind of a natural since I was a retired teacher. I am very interested in research and education outreach at the national level,” Susan said in a 2019 interview for the couple’s Master Shepherd Award. “Then there was an opportunity to become a regional director and I represented six states.”

In her role at the national level, Susan is an advocate for the wide array of issues facing the U.S sheep industry.

“There are many challenges.… Continue reading

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