Buckeye People

Wells promoted to OFBF director of digital communications

Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) has promoted Callie Wells of Columbus to director of digital communications.

Wells, who started at Ohio Farm Bureau in 2012 as a communications specialist, will provide leadership for the organization’s website and social media. Last year, Ohio Farm Bureau launched a new website, ofbf.org, which combines the former Farm Bureau and Our Ohio sites into a comprehensive source of useful information and provide access to the organization’s resources. Wells also produces videos as well as contributes to Our Ohio magazine and Buckeye Farm News, Ohio Farm Bureau’s consumer and farm publications.

Wells grew up in Butler County. She has a master’s degree in agricultural communications and a bachelor’s degree in animal science and agricultural education from Ohio State University. She is a 2013 graduate of AgriPOWER, Ohio Farm Bureau’s year-long leadership training program.… Continue reading

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Wilmington College names Brandi Montgomery Agriculture Student Recruiter

When Brandi (Fornshell) Montogmery joined Wilmington College’s admission staff in 2014, she was no stranger to WC, as she is an alumnus from the Class of 2013. Her recent appointment as the College’s primary recruiter of agriculture students was, in turn, especially appropriate as she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in agirculture.

She returned to WC in 2014 after working two years in the agriculture industry.

Adam Lohrey, director of admission, said her job experience, coupled with that gained as a former agriculture student and Student Ambassador with the Admission Office, have set up Brandi for success in her new role.

“She will continue building relationships with high schools and other agriculture programs, in addition to working closely with our faculty in student recruitment and cultivating relationships within the agriculture industry,” he said.

Lohrey said Montgomery will coordinate Wilmington College’s presence at the Ohio, Indiana and National FFA conventions, while also interfacing with FFA and agriculture instructors throughout Ohio and beyond.… Continue reading

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Caraway wins 2016 Ohio Farm Bureau Discussion Meet

Stephen Caraway of West Union is the winner of the 2016 Ohio Farm Bureau Discussion Meet. The final round of the competition was held during Ohio Farm Bureau’s Young Agricultural Professionals Leadership Conference Jan. 29 in Columbus.

The annual contest tests participants’ subject knowledge, problem solving abilities and personal and small group communications skills.

Caraway won $1,000 from Nationwide Insurance, a Polaris Most Versatile Generator and an expense-paid trip to the 2017 American Farm Bureau Annual Meeting in Phoenix where he will represent Ohio in the national Discussion Meet contest.

Caraway, an Adams County Farm Bureau member, serves as an Adams County commissioner. He is a member of West Union Lions Club and numerous other civic organizations. He grew up on an 124-acre pumpkin and agritourism operation.

The other finalists were Mike Derringer of Eaton, Andy Korb of Oxford and Joy Sizemore of Monroeville.

The Discussion Meet is hosted by Ohio Farm Bureau’s Young Agricultural Professionals – singles and married couples ages 18 to 35 who are interested in improving the business of agriculture, learning new ideas and developing leadership skills.Continue reading

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Gearhardt joins Barrett, Easterday, Cunningham & Eselgroth LLP

Larry R. Gearhardt of Covington has joined Barrett, Easterday, Cunningham & Eselgroth LLP (BECE) in an “of counsel” capacity.

Gearhardt’s wealth of experience dovetails well with BECE’s focus on providing legal services to the agricultural industry. Most recently, he has been directing Ohio State University’s Income Tax Schools and serving as the resource person on tax issues for OSU Extension. He serves on the Rural Tax committee, which reviews and edits IRS Publication 225 (the Farmer’s Tax Guide) on behalf of the Internal Revenue Service.

Gearhardt has combined his love of farming and law throughout his career. While actively farming, Gearhardt has engaged in the private practice of law in Miami County. He developed the Legal and Local Affairs department at the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) and gained in-depth knowledge of federal, state, and local government as OFBF”s senior director of State Legislative Affairs.

Gearhardt is known for his ability to communicate complex topics in an understandable way.… Continue reading

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ODA announces senior staff appointments

Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) Director David T. Daniels today announced the appointment of Jared Parko as a new deputy director to the department’s senior management team.

As deputy director, Parko will primarily focus on laboratory operations and animal health, dairy, food safety and meat issues. Prior to his new appointment, Parko served as laboratory operations manager for the Food Safety Net Services in Columbus, Ohio. He also previously worked in the Dairy Food Safety Laboratory at the University of California Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. He is a graduate of Michigan State University, with a master’s degree in food safety and a bachelor’s degree in microbiology.

In addition, ODA has recently made appointments to several senior staff positions:


  • Terri Gerhardt became chief of the Division of Food Safety. Gerhardt has been with ODA since 2000 and previously served as the assistant chief of the Division of Food Safety. She earned her bachelor’s degree in dairy science and her master’s degree in agricultural economics, both from The Ohio State University.
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Boyer appointed Ohio Farm Bureau director of public policy

Korre Boyer of Lucas has been named director of public policy for Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF). In his position, he will manage Ohio Farm Bureau’s public policy outreach team covering livestock, animal care, food policy, food safety and commodity issues.

Boyer’s most recent position was with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources where he served as manager of Malabar Farm State Park and Mohican State Park and oversaw the state parks’ wastewater treatment plants. Previously he was an OFBF organization director in Crawford, Marion, Morrow and Richland counties and a vocational ag teacher for the Lucas Local School District.

A 1999 graduate of Ohio State University, he has a bachelor’s degree in agriculture education and was a member of the 1998 livestock judging team. He is a 13-year member of the Richland County Farm Bureau and a member of the county Cattlemen’s Association. He has a beef cattle operation in Ashland County, and he and his wife, Belinda, have three children.Continue reading

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OFBF Young Ag Professionals State Committee leaders announced

Matt and Liz Funderburgh of North Lewisburg were recently elected chair couple of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) Young Agricultural Professional Advisory Team. Kyle and Ashton Walls of Mount Vernon were elected co-chair couple. Terri Specht of Johnstown was elected secretary.

The team develops and directs programming, activities and contests for Ohio Farm Bureau’s program for young adults who are interested in improving the business of agriculture, learning new ideas and developing leadership skills.

Other team members are Greg and Theresa Corcoran of Chillicothe, Eric and Shelly Prysi of New Philadelphia, Doug Toops of South Vienna, Karl Wedemeyer of La Rue and Jennifer Wilson of Jenera.… Continue reading

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OFBF leaders elected

Steve Hirsch of Chillicothe was re-elected president of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) during the organization’s 97th annual meeting Dec. 2-4. Hirsch holds the highest elected office in the state’s largest and most inclusive farm organization. He is the 23rd president of OFBF, which was founded in 1919.

Hirsch also is District 15 trustee, representing members in Fairfield, Hocking, Pickaway and Ross counties. He began his Farm Bureau career 22 years ago and has served on OFBF’s state board since 2001.

The Hirsch family farm dates back to 1890 and today is run by Steve, his father and his brother. They produce apples, peaches, grapes, strawberries, raspberries and other crops and operate an on-farm and an off-farm retail market and a cider making facility. He and his wife, Kimberly, have three children.

Frank Burkett III of Massillon has been re-elected first vice president of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) as well as District 9 trustee.… Continue reading

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2016 Young Ag Professionals Discussion Meet finalists announced

Four finalists have been named in Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s (OFBF) 2016 Discussion Meet. They are Stephen Caraway of West Union, Mike Derringer of Eaton, Andy Korb of Oxford and Joy Sizemore of Monroeville.

The annual contest tests participants’ subject knowledge, problem solving abilities and personal and small group communications skills. These young agricultural professionals will compete in the finals at the Young Agricultural Professionals’ Leadership Experience at the Hyatt Regency in Columbus Jan. 29.

The finalists were named after a preliminary competition at the Ohio Farm Bureau’s Ohio Farm and Food Leadership Forum in Columbus where they discussed topics impacting the agriculture industry.

“The Discussion Meet contest is a great opportunity for young ag professionals to strengthen their skills in working together to solve issues facing agriculture today. I look forward to watching these finalists compete at the finals in January,” said OFBF Young Agricultural Professionals Coordinator Melinda Witten.

The finalists will compete for a $1,000 cash award from Nationwide Insurance, a Polaris Most Versatile Generator and an expense-paid trip to American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual convention in 2017.… Continue reading

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John Stevenson passed away

John A. Stevenson, 82, of Circleville, passed away October 29, 2015, from a ruptured brain aneurysm.

John was born March 12, 1933, to the late John Beryl and Florence Adah Grimes Stevenson in Circleville, Ohio. He graduated from Circleville High School in 1951 and Ohio State University in 1955, where he joined the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps. In 1955 he was commissioned as a second lieutenant and served as a fighter interceptor pilot flying F-86D jets during the Cold War.

To Ohio agriculture, John was well known for his work on his family farm in Pickaway County and his countless hours spent in service to the industry. John served agriculture in many capacities, including Farm Bureau, county campaign manager for Jim Rhodes, president of Circleville Chamber of Commerce, founder and president of Ohio Corn Growers Association, president National Corn Growers Association, state executive director USDA Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service, federal associate director USDA ASCS, state executive director USDA Farm Service Agency, agricultural specialist for office of Congressman Boehner, agricultural affairs liaison for Senator Voinovich, agriculture specialist for Ohio EPA, and division chief for Ohio Department of Agriculture.… Continue reading

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Baker named Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation director of development

Chris Baker of Hilliard has been named director of development for Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation, a 501 (c) nonprofit, public charitable organization. Established in 1985, the foundation strives for measurable agricultural community improvement in Ohio through the support of projects that focus on agricultural education, environment and economic issues in rural, suburban and urban neighborhoods.

Baker will be developing and executing both annual and special fundraising campaigns for the foundation. He also will be helping secure financial support from individuals, foundations and corporations. Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation’s board consists of Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) board members and staff as well as representatives from industry and the public. The foundation was reorganized this year and now encompasses the Animals for Life Foundation and Ohio Center of Agricultural Law, Inc.

Previously, Baker worked as director of development and marketing for RiteCare of Washington in Seattle and in various executive roles with Boy Scouts of America.… Continue reading

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Ohio Farm Bureau’s Fisher to retire, board seeking new executive

Ohio Farm Bureau Federation has announced the impending retirement of Executive Vice President John C. (Jack) Fisher. The Ohio Farm Bureau board of trustees has begun its search for a successor, with the transition to new leadership expected in mid-2016.

Calling Fisher a “visionary leader,” OFBF President Steve Hirsch said the organization and Ohio agriculture have benefited greatly from Fisher’s management of the state’s largest and most influential food and farm organization.

“Ohio has become a national leader under Jack’s guidance. His insights into complex political, social and economic issues have allowed Ohio Farm Bureau to protect and advance the interests of our state’s largest and most important industry. We congratulate him on a stellar career and are deeply grateful for his service,” Hirsch said.

Hirsch announced that Ohio Farm Bureau First Vice President Frank Burkett III is chairing the search committee, which is composed of the board’s 10-member executive committee.… Continue reading

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Ohio Soybean Association elects officers for 2015-2016

The Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) Board of Trustees elected officers for 2015-2016 during the September board meeting. These executive committee positions include the offices of president, first vice president, vice president, treasurer and secretary.

The immediate-past president continues to serve on the executive committee as chairman of the board. Individuals in these positions are responsible for the implementation of board policies and procedures, as well as carrying out the roles for their respective offices.

Adam Graham of Logan County was elected president of OSA. This is Adam’s third term on the executive committee after previously serving as secretary and first vice president. He has taken on multiple leadership roles on the board and committees. He holds a degree in agriculture from Wilmington College and currently grows soybeans and corn on his farm in North Lewisburg and Marysville.

Elected first vice president was Todd Hesterman of Henry County. This is Todd’s second term on the executive committee, previously serving as treasurer.… Continue reading

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Ohio 4-H member wins National Tractor Championship

Tanner Inkrott of Leipsic in Putnam County won the Tractor competition at the National Youth Engineering Challenge. The event was hosted by Purdue University, Sept. 27-29, at Lafayette, Ind. The

4-H competitors and parents participated in workshops at the Purdue College of Engineering, and toured a Caterpillar plant, which manufactures huge diesel engines.

Tanner is a sophomore at Miller City High School where he is taking engineering prep classes and is in FFA. The Inkrott family (Fred and Rhonda) farms 250 acres of wheat, corn and soybeans, and they feed 200 beef cattle and a few hogs.

Tanner has been driving tractors since he was eight years old. The farm has two Allis-Chalmers tractors and a couple of New Hollands. His driving skills paid off because with five components in the contest, he had the best scores in maneuvering a two-wheel trailer and a four-wheel wagon.… Continue reading

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OFBF contest winners named

Marlene Eick of Radnor has been named winner of Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s 2015 Excellence in Agriculture Award. The award recognizes successful young agricultural professionals who are actively contributing and growing through their involvement with Farm Bureau and agriculture.

Eick will receive an expense-paid trip to Orlando, Fla. to compete in the national Excellence in Agriculture contest during the American Farm Bureau Federation annual convention in January. She also will receive a John Deere Gator courtesy of Farm Credit Mid-America and a $1,000 technology package sponsored by Ohio Farm Bureau.

Eick and her husband, B.J., own Herdmark Media, a visual media company where Eick serves as client lead. They also own a small show pig operation. She has served on the Delaware County Farm Bureau board of trustees, participated statewide in Young Agricultural Professionals programs, is co-leader of the Delaware County Young Agricultural Professionals and is a graduate of AgriPOWER Institute Class VI.… Continue reading

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New Young Ag Professionals state committee members announced

The Ohio Farm Bureau Federation has named the newest members of its Young Agricultural Professionals State Committee: Greg and Theresa Corcoran of Chillicothe, Eric and Shelly Prysi of New Philadelphia, Doug Toops of South Vienna and Jennifer Wilson of Jenera.

As committee members serving two-year terms, they will help develop and conduct activities that provide opportunities for young professionals to become involved in Ohio Farm Bureau programs.

Greg and Theresa Corcoran are Ross County Farm Bureau members where both have been very involved in local activities, and Greg serves on the board of trustees. They have also participated in local and statewide Young Ag Professionals activities. They are part owners of Corcoran Farms, a multi-generational farm in Pike, Ross and Scioto counties producing corn, soybeans, popcorn, wheat and hay. They also own and operate a Certified Angus feedlot with its own cow-calf operation. Theresa also works as a physical therapist at a skilled nursing facility.… Continue reading

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Dobbs joins Seed Consultants

Seed Consultants, Inc., welcomes Dylan Dobbs as a new Area Seedsman covering key parts of southwest Ohio. Dobbs holds a degree in agriculture from Wilmington College. He completed several internships in the seed industry while in college and has a strong background in agriculture growing up on his father’s farm.

“I look forward to Dylan being an integral part of our sales team and making an immediate impact. He’s the type of individual we want to build our sales force around,” said Stuart Yensel, Director of Sales and Marketing for SCI.

 … Continue reading

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Another Reese joins the OCJ/OAN team

Jeff Reese joined the Ohio’s Country Journal/Ohio Ag Net staff in July as the newest marketing specialist. He had been the grain originator and transportation manager at Legacy Farmers Co-op in Findlay. He graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in agricultural communications in 2006.

He grew up in Hancock County working on his family’s Christmas tree farm. He currently resides in Findlay and will be serving clients in that, and other, regions of the state.… Continue reading

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JD Equipment announces staff changes

JD Equipment is pleased to announce the promotion of Ted Miller to the position of Corporate Used Equipment Director and the hiring of Luke Harbage as the London Store Manager.

“Ted has unparalleled knowledge of used equipment and will be a huge asset to marketing and selling

our used inventory and Luke brings extensive experience in management, finance and agriculture” said Jeff Mitchell, CEO. “Both Ted’s promotion and the addition of Luke to our management team strengthen our business and our commitment to our customers as we continue to serve you for the future. “

Miller is a graduate of Muskingum College and began his career at JD Equipment in 2002 as a

Sales Coordinator and was named the London Store Manager in 2005. Harbage comes to JD Equipment with more than 10 years of agricultural lending experience, having worked at Merchants National Bank and Rabobank after beginning his career at Farm Credit Services.… Continue reading

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McMullen named Ohio Farm Bureau organization director

Suzie McMullen of Pickerington has been named Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s organization director for Fairfield, Hocking, Perry, Pickaway and Ross counties. In her position, she will be a liaison between the county Farm Bureaus and Ohio Farm Bureau. She will assist county groups with program development and implementation and enhance their ability to serve members and affect positive change in their communities.

Previously, McMullen was a sales representative for Dow AgroSciences and an intern for Ohio Farm Bureau Executive Vice President Jack Fisher.

She graduated from Ohio State University in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture education and minor in production agriculture. She was named a top 20 senior in Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.… Continue reading

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