Buckeye People



Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association elects officers and board members

The Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association (OCWGA) Board of Directors elected officers for 2021 and filled board vacancies during their December meeting. Executive committee positions include the offices of president, vice-president, treasurer/secretary, and chair. 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. 

Kelly Harsh, a corn and soybean farmer from Delaware County, was elected to serve as the OCWGA president. She has held various leadership roles in the association including vice-president and secretary. Harsh is a member of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) Ethanol Action Team and has been an active member on other committees and is a Certified Public Accountant and crop insurance agent. She farms with her family near Delaware.

Ben Klick was elected vice-president. Klick represents growers in District 5 that includes much of Northeast Ohio: Ashland, Ashtabula, Carroll, Columbiana, Cuyahoga, Erie, Geauga, Harrison, Holmes, Huron, Jefferson, Lake, Lorain, Mahoning, Medina, Portage, Stark, Summit, Trumbull, Tuscarawas, and Wayne Counties.… Continue reading

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OSA and OSC Elect 2021 Board leadership

At the beginning of December, the Board of Trustees for the Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) and Ohio Soybean Council (OSC) elected their board leadership for the upcoming year.

For OSA, President Ryan Rhoades of Marion County and Vice President Patrick Knouff of Shelby County were re-elected to their roles. Rusty Goebel of Williams County will serve as treasurer and Jennifer Wilson-Oechsle of Van Wert County will serve as secretary in the coming year.

“I feel incredibly honored to be reelected to this role and to serve alongside such a passionate group of farmers,” said Ryan Rhoades. “OSA had a really strong year in 2020 and with these people in leadership roles, I know we will continue that momentum into 2021.”

For OSC, Chairman Bill Bateson of Hancock County, Vice Chairman Jeff Magyar of Ashtabula County, Treasurer Bill Bayliss of Logan County and Secretary Dave Dotterer of Wayne County will all continue their respective roles in 2021.… Continue reading

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SHA Scholarship Fund established to honor regenerative ag pioneer Kendra Brandt

The Soil Health Academy (SHA) announced today the establishment of a new scholarship fund to honor soil health and regenerative agriculture pioneer, Kendra Brandt of Carroll, Ohio, who passed away recently.

In memory of Kendra’s legacy, Understanding Ag, LLC (UA), provided an initial endowment to establish the SHA scholarship fund, which is targeted to women and beginning farmers who are committed to growing the regenerative agriculture movement by implementing regenerative principles in their own operations or through regenerative agriculture education, outreach or policy advocacy.

“Kendra, alongside her husband David Brandt, formed a magnificent team that raised children with respect and honor, were vital members of their community and beyond, and stood as pioneers in helping others regenerate our soils, our ecosystems and ultimately our health,” said Allen Williams, SHA instructor and UA partner. “On their model regenerative farm, Kendra and David have graciously hosted thousands of visitors from all over the world, including delegations from China and France.… Continue reading

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Ohio Farm Bureau officers elected, policies set for 2021

Rural broadband, meat processing, water quality efforts, timber management and wildlife management were among the priorities set by delegates at Ohio Farm Bureau’s 102nd annual meeting.

The approved policies set the direction for the organization’s activities in the coming year. A total of 380 delegates representing all county Farm Bureaus participated in the debate and discussion.

The coronavirus pandemic exposed the growing need for reliable broadband connectivity throughout rural parts of Ohio. From precision agriculture to shopping safely for groceries, virtual learning to telehealth, the use of online resources has quickly become a necessity. The expansion of broadband throughout the state will make these options available for all Ohioans.

The challenges of 2020 also put a strain on America’s food supply system, particularly meat processing facilities. Delegates added policy language that would promote growth for more regional facilities to be operational, helping to alleviate over capacity at meat and poultry facilities and allow for more marketing options for Ohio’s livestock producers.… Continue reading

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Kirkpatrick named Ohio Farm Bureau organization director

Trevor Kirkpatrick has been named Ohio Farm Bureau Federation organization director for Carroll, Harrison, Jefferson and Tuscarawas counties.

In his role, Kirkpatrick will serve as a liaison between the county Farm Bureaus and Ohio Farm Bureau. In addition, he will assist county groups in the development and implementation of programs to strengthen their organizations, enhance their ability to serve members and affect positive change at the community level.

Kirkpatrick is a graduate of The Ohio State University with a bachelor’s degree in animal sciences with a specialization in animal industries, and a minor in meat science. He recently worked as a sales representative for Lean Value Sires and as a sales manager for Kimley Feed Store. He is also the owner and co-host of the U.S. show stock industry’s first podcast, Stock Talk.

Ohio Farm Bureau’s mission is working together for Ohio farmers to advance agriculture and strengthen our communities. Learn more at ofbf.orgContinue reading

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Kern joins Ohio Farm Bureau public policy staff

Brandon Kern has been named senior director, state and national policy for Ohio Farm Bureau Federation. He will be responsible for managing the organization’s legislative and regulatory team and will represent the interests of Farm Bureau members with Congress, the General Assembly and with federal and state regulatory agencies.

Kern was formerly on the Farm Bureau public policy team from 2013 – 2018 and rejoins the organization after being director of policy and legislative affairs for Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague. 

Kern has previously filled various policy and legislative roles including serving as legislative aide and policy advisor to the Ohio Senate Majority Caucus in the office of U.S. Sen. George Voinovich.

He is a graduate of Wright State University with a bachelor’s degree in social sciences and is currently completing his master’s degree at Ohio Dominican University. He is active in his local community and also serves as a captain in the U.S.… Continue reading

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CFAES dean reappointed to Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has reappointed Cathann A. Kress, vice president of agricultural administration and dean of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) at The Ohio State University, to the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board.

Kress began her first term on the board in 2017. Her new term began on July 31, 2020, and will end on Jan. 25, 2023.

“Within the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, we take our land-grant mission seriously and seek to connect our science to issues impacting Ohioans,” Kress said. “I am honored to be reappointed to a board that has a critical role in protecting the welfare of livestock raised in Ohio, and balances scientific knowledge with professional experience and ethical and social values.”

Also serving on the board with Kress is Lisa Bielke, assistant professor and poultry scientist from CFAES’ Department of Animal Sciences.  

In 2009, Ohioans passed a constitutional amendment requiring that the state of Ohio establish comprehensive livestock care standards, including topics such as euthanasia, disease prevention, and the housing of animals.… Continue reading

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Holbrook and Manter adds a web location

 Holbrook & Manter has added a fourth URL to their family of websites. H&M is proud to invite online users to visit: www.agribusinessaccounting.com.

Dedicated to showcasing the firm’s expertise in working with those in agribusiness and farming, the new website is easy to navigate and clearly lays out why H&M is the top choice for agribusiness professionals seeking an accounting team that will share in their goals and help them work towards continued financial growth.

H&M has been committed to the agribusiness industry since their inception in 1919.

“Holbrook & Manter’s roots go back over 100 years. In that span, one of our firm’s main objectives has always been to bring awareness to farmers and folks that live in the agribusiness space about the importance of implementing knowledge and best practices to achieve their desired goals,” said Brian Ravencraft, H&M principal, CPA, CGMA shares his thoughts on the launch of this new website.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Fudge on USDA Secretary short list

Ohio Democrat Rep. Marcia Fudge is on the short list of contenders for Secretary of Agriculture in the Biden Administration.

Congresswoman Fudge, from Warrensville Heights, has served on the U.S. House Agriculture Committee since 2011, she has demonstrated her ability to tackle complex issues. In 2019, Fudge served as chair of House Agriculture Subcommittee on Nutrition, Oversight and Department Operations. She has long been a proponent of food aid programs and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). She is garnering support from consumer groups, environmental groups and the Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association (OCWGA).

“Congresswoman Fudge is respected by her peers for her work ethic and ability to bring people together. Her openness and availability to producers and farm groups speaks volumes, and we look forward to working with her as Secretary of the USDA,” said Patty Mann, President of OCWGA. 

Rep. Fudge recently endorsed Georgia Democratic Rep. David Scott for chair the House Agriculture Committee, another position she could have pursued.… Continue reading

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United Producers, Inc. announces hiring of Beef on Dairy Manager

United Producers, Inc. (UPI), the Midwest’s largest livestock marketing cooperative, is pleased to announce that Clay Fredericks has joined its team as the beef on dairy manager.

The new position was created to expand services for UPI members following significant growth in breeding beef on dairy across the country. In 2020, approximately 2 million “beef on dairy calves” were born in the U.S., with 2021 estimates at 2.7 million.

“We are pleased to welcome Clay to our team while expanding new, services for our UPI members who are involved in, or interested in beef on dairy initiatives,” said Mike Bumgarner, UPI president & CEO. “Clay’s extensive experience in this specific area will be a great benefit to our members, and we look forward to seeing him put his skills to work.”

Fredericks’ responsibilities in his new role will include overseeing beef on dairy initiatives, creating new opportunities for dairies, growers and end-users.… Continue reading

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Ohio Soybean Council promotes Julia Brown to Communications Manager

The Ohio Soybean Council (OSC) and the Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) announced today that Julia Brown has been promoted to Communications and Media Relations Manager effective immediately. In her new role, Brown will manage all communication programs and budgets including media relations, communication research, farmer awareness campaigns and consumer outreach.

This promotion follows the departure of Jennifer Coleman, who had served as Director of Communications for 13 years. Coleman joined Aimpoint Research as the Director of Communications.

Brown has worked for OSC since 2018 when she was hired as the Communications and Project Coordinator. In her previous role, she coordinated OSC publications and media relations, and managed OSC’s participation in events such as the Ohio State Fair and Farm Science Review. She also managed the Ohio Soybean Council Foundation scholarship program. Brown earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism from Ohio University.

Emilie Regula Hancock, who has served as OSC’s Marketing and Outreach Manager and OSA’s Policy and Membership Manager since 2017, will take over managing OSC’s strategic planning and industry relations programs.… Continue reading

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Naming of Ohio State center cements Lal’s legacy

The legacy of Rattan Lal, one of the world’s top scientists, has been bolstered with the addition of his name to a center at The Ohio State University. The honor was bestowed on Oct. 15, in a virtual ceremony hosted by Ohio State, Nationwide Insurance, and Ohio Farm Bureau.

Earlier in the day, Lal received the 50th annual World Food Prize, often referred to as the “Nobel Prize in Food and Agriculture.”

Lal serves as Distinguished University Professor at Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) and is the founding director of what will now be known as the CFAES Rattan Lal Carbon Management and Sequestration Center (C-MASC).

“Although it would be an exception for a current faculty member to be acknowledged with an honorific naming, Dr. Lal’s accomplishments and the notoriety he has brought to our university warrants this exception,” said Cathann A. Kress, Ohio State vice president for agricultural administration and dean of CFAES.… Continue reading

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Leonard named new OFBF chief information officer

Pete Leonard of Westerville has been named chief information officer for Ohio Farm Bureau Federation. He will be serving in a newly created leadership position in the organization.

Prior to joining the Ohio Farm Bureau staff, Leonard was in an IT leadership role at Nationwide for 10 years and has been in IT consulting for more than 20 years with HP, Covansys and Claremont Technology Group. He holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

“Pete believes that IT is more than a cost of doing business, but that IT can provide the means for doing all aspects of OFBF business better,” said Ohio Farm Bureau Executive Vice President Adam Sharp. “Creating this new role is an indication of the central role technology will have in our organization to serve our members today and for years to come.”

Leonard and his wife, Bonnie, are parents of two grown daughters Rachael and Sarah.… Continue reading

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Irvin named vice president of public policy for Ohio Farm Bureau

Jack Irvin has been named vice president, public policy for Ohio Farm Bureau Federation. He will be responsible for managing the organization’s policy development process and its legislative, regulatory, political and legal activities at the federal, state and local levels. He has been Ohio Farm Bureau senior director of state and national policy since 2016.

Prior to joining Ohio Farm Bureau, Irvin served as director of government and industry affairs with the Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association where he directed development of public policy and legislative priorities at the state and national levels. He also served that organization by managing communications efforts and developing grassroots volunteers. He also previously served as legislative aide to several senators including Tom Niehaus, Larry Mumper and Doug White.

He received bachelor’s degrees from Miami University in human resources and organizational behavior. He is an active member in Vista Community Church in Worthington. He and his wife, Erika, reside in Columbus with their two daughters.… Continue reading

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Lal to speak at Borlaug Dialogue, receive World Food Prize, and be honored by Ohio State

Rattan Lal, one of the most decorated professors to teach and conduct research at The Ohio State University, will receive the 2020 World Food Prize on Thursday, Oct. 15, during the virtual Borlaug Dialouge streaming from Des Moines, Iowa. That same day, he will also be honored by Ohio State in a virtual ceremony to honor his legacy.

The renowned soil scientist and Distinguished University Professor in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) was named recipient of the 50th World Food Prize in June. He will be honored on Thursday, Oct. 15, at the World Food Prize Laureate Award Ceremony, set for 9 to 10 a.m. CDT and 10 to 11 a.m. EDT. The prize includes a prestigious $250,000 cash award and a sculpture by noted artist and designer, Saul Bass. Join in the special celebration at www.worldfoodprize.org/live.

Later that afternoon, friends and colleagues from Ohio State and around the world are invited to honor the 76-year-old Lal’s legacy by participating in a virtual side event hosted by CFAES.… Continue reading

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OAC scholarships awarded

Each year, the Ohio Agricultural Council offers up to three $1,500 scholarships annually to Ohio high school seniors who plan to pursue a degree in agriculture and up to three $1,500 scholarships to undergraduate college students from Ohio who are currently pursuing a degree in agriculture.

The OAC is pleased to announce the 2020-21 recipients of the Scholarship Program:

• Rachel Barrett of Rockford

• Cora Dorman of Croton

• Faith Hagelberger of Minster

• Mekenzie Jolliff of Kenton

• Ethan Kaper of Baltimore

• Ryan Patton of Logan

Scholarships are selected based on academic record, leadership qualities, community involvement and responses to application essay questions. Scholarship recipients are also provided a one-year complimentary student membership in OAC.

Scholarship applications for the 2021-22 school year will be available at www.OhioAgCouncil.org in fall 2020. Completed applications must be returned to the Ohio Agricultural Council by February 15, 2021.… Continue reading

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Steiners of Wayne County named the winners of 2020 Outstanding Young Farmer Award

Nathan and Lynn Steiner of Wayne County have been named the winners of Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s 2020 Outstanding Young Farmer 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 Steiners won 250 hours free use of an M-series tractor provided by Kubota, $1,000 in Grainger merchandise sponsored by Farm Credit Mid-America and a $1000 cash prize courtesy of Ohio Farm Bureau.

The Steiners are partners in their family dairy and grain farm with Nathan’s father, grandfather and uncle. Nathan grew up working on the family farm and after high school was offered a full-time position. He and Lynn later took over the responsibility of the farm’s herd management, including the calf program, and worked to make it more efficient.… Continue reading

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JobsOhio names new Director of Food and Agribusiness

JobsOhio today announced the hiring of Tim Derickson, a longtime agribusiness entrepreneur and former state legislator, as its new Director of Food and Agribusiness. In his new role, Derickson will oversee a sector that includes hundreds of companies that cultivate, process, package, distribute and market foods and beverages enjoyed around the world.

“Tim understands Ohio and the incredible impact that the food and agribusiness sector has on our economy,” said Dana Saucier, JobsOhio vice president and head of economic development. “There is incredible opportunity to continue growing food and agribusiness jobs and investment in every corner of the state, and we are fortunate to have a person with Tim’s experience to move these critical efforts forward.”

Derickson comes to JobsOhio from the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA), where he worked as the Assistant Director since 2017. He formerly served as ODA’s Interim Director. 

“JobsOhio has proven its ability to retain Ohio business as well as attract new investment to Ohio,” Derickson said.… Continue reading

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Governor names Elizabeth Harsh an Ohio State trustee

Elizabeth A. Harsh, who has been appointed to The Ohio State University Board of Trustees.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine appointed Harsh, executive director of the Ohio Beef Council and the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association, to a term as trustee that began Wednesday and ends May 13, 2029.

“I look forward to this exciting and challenging opportunity to help contribute to the continued success of The Ohio State University,” Harsh said Thursday. “Ohio State has always held such a special place in my life, with my family and my career, and I welcome this new role with great anticipation.”

The board of trustees has full fiduciary authority for both the university’s academic and health sciences organizations, and oversees academic programs, budgets, general administration, and employment of faculty and staff.

Harsh, of Radnor, Ohio, graduated from Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) with a BS in animal sciences in 1983.… Continue reading

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Jed Bower elected to the NCGA Corn Board

Delegates attending the National Corn Growers Association’s Corn Congress, which was held virtually, elected five farmers to serve on the organization’s Corn Board. This included newly elected Ohioan Jed Bower from Fayette County. Bower lives and farms near Washington Court House and will take office Oct. 1.

“I am humbled by the vote of confidence delegates had in casting their vote for me. I look forward to representing both Ohio and national corn farmers as we work to advance an industry we love,” Bower said.

The NCGA Corn Board represents the organization on all matters while directing both policy and supervising day-to-day operations. Board members represent the federation of state organizations, supervise the affairs and activities of NCGA in partnership with the chief executive officer and implement NCGA policy established by the Corn Congress. Members also act as spokesmen for the NCGA and enhance the organization’s public standing on all organizational and policy issues.… Continue reading

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