Buckeye People

OSU scientist recognized for work with poultry

Ohio State University’s Sandra Velleman helps turkeys and the industry around them get stronger.

A scientist in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), Velleman studies the genetic and cellular mechanisms governing how turkey muscles grow and develop — key to improving the birds’ growth rate, keeping them lean and raising them efficiently for food. Then she helps the poultry industry and poultry producers develop management practices that put those findings to use.

The Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) recently honored Velleman for her contributions by presenting her with its 2014 Distinguished Senior Faculty Research Award. The award honors outstanding achievements by an OARDC faculty member at the rank of professor.

Velleman, who last year earned Expertscape’s No. 1 world ranking for turkey research based on her published expertise, is a professor in the college’s Department of Animal Sciences.

Her findings have led to the development, for example, of turkey production practices that maximize muscle growth and reduce fat conversion, the result being to maintain the low-fat turkey breast meat consumers prefer.… Continue reading

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Boysel named supervisor of Select Sires’ Kellgren and Hecker Centers

Select Sires is excited to announce that Joel Boysel is the new supervisor of the Kellgren and Hecker Centers at their Plain City, Ohio facility. He is filling the position after the retirement of Barry Slack who worked at Select Sires for more than 40 years. In this role, Boysel will provide leadership and manage the 125 bulls that reside in these facilities.
Boysel has been employed as a livestock technician at Select Sires Inc. since September of 2013. He previously served as the bull program director at Prairie State/Select Sires in Hampshire, Ill. Prior to that he was the production manager for Harmony Agriculture Products in Marysville, Ohio. Boysel has experience with reproduction and genetics through working with beef cattle on his family’s farm. He resides in Zanesfield, Ohio with his wife, Breanna and two-year-old son, Hollis.… Continue reading

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Jessica Swihart joins Ohio Farm Bureau’s field staff

Jessica Swihart has joined Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s field staff to help support county Farm Bureaus in their operations. Swihart, who was hired in anticipation of future staffing needs, will be training under Darren Frank, organization director of Lucas, Ottawa, Sandusky, Seneca, Wood and Wyandot counties. Swihart’s duties will be helping leaders strengthen county Farm Bureaus through program development and implementation and identifying ways to serve members and their communities.

Swihart has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Findlay with a major in animal science and minor in business management. Before coming to Ohio Farm Bureau, she was a veterinarian assistant for Town & Country Animal Healthcare in Bowling Green and worked as a farm hand at Eckel Cattle Co. She is a co-owner/manager of the family sheep farm, Swihart’s Moonlight Tunis Farms in Perrysburg.

“Jessica will be a real asset to county Farm Bureau leaders who work hard to represent members and make the organization a guiding force in their communities.… Continue reading

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Ohio Agricultural Council announces 49th class of 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 1, 2014, by the Ohio Agricultural Council (OAC), when they are inducted into the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame.

The Ohio Agricultural Council will induct Bernard Heisner of Hilliard, Don Ralph of Morral, John Watkins of Prospect, and the late William Hoewischer of Sidney into the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame during a special breakfast ceremony held in the Rhodes Youth Center at the Ohio Expo Center. The 49th annual event will attract approximately 500 guests to honor these four professionals for their lifetime of service and dedication to Ohio’s agriculture community.

“Our Board is pleased to be honoring such a diverse group of inductees into this year’s class,” said Jenny Hubble, OAC president. “Each inductee stands out individually for his exceptional contributions to Ohio’s agriculture industry, but together they represent the passion, leadership and hard work evidenced by their collective decades of unmatched experience in farming and agriculture.”… Continue reading

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Condolences for the McNutt family

We were sad to hear that former OCJ contributor William “Bill” McNutt, of Worthington, Ohio, age 88, passed away March 12, 2014.

He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Lorraine; and children, Carol (Carl) Krohn, Donald (Heather) McNutt, Laurel (Duane) Allyn; six siblings and one deceased brother. There are seven grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

McNutt was a World War II veteran, drafted immediately after his graduation from high school; and recipient of the Purple Heart during action in the European Theater. After being discharged he attended and graduated from OSU, then taught Vocational Agriculture prior to his employment by the Ohio Farm Bureau. He retired from the Ohio Farm Bureau in 1990 after 35 years of service as Director of Advisory Councils. Following retirement he was a freelance writer for various agricultural publications, most often in the field of specialty fruit and vegetable production, plus writing occasional commentary for the Suburban News publications.… Continue reading

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Daniels presented with the 2014 Distinguished Service Award by the Ohio-West Virginia Youth Leadership Association

Ohio Department of Agriculture Director David T. Daniels was presented the 2014 Distinguished Service Award by the Ohio-West Virginia Youth Leadership Association at the Statehouse during the 63rd Ohio Youth in Government program. The award is presented annually to one who actively advances programs and opportunities for Ohio youth, and champions their accomplishments.

Daniels is a strong supporter of Jr. Livestock Exhibitions at county and independent fairs and the Ohio State Fair, which teach 4-H and FFA youth about responsible food animal production and leadership skills. Under Daniels’ leadership, the Ohio Department of Agriculture operates a program for college students to develop leadership skills and increase awareness of the Ohio Department of Agriculture as a career. Daniels has also formed a partnership with Ohio FFA on an Agricultural and Rural Community Outreach grant program, which helps local FFA chapters finance worthy community development projects. This partnership helps students fund community projects that teach them the value of giving back to their communities while gaining experience as agricultural leaders.… Continue reading

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Smith announces retirement

Keith L. Smith, director of Ohio State University Extension since 1992, has announced his retirement effective June 30, 2015.

Smith, who also serves as Ohio State University’s associate vice president for agricultural administration, associate dean of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), and Gist Chair in Extension Education and Leadership, made the announcement April 3.

“Keith Smith has been a tireless advocate for the university’s Extension initiatives for more than two decades,” said Ohio State Interim President Joseph A. Alutto. “The university and the citizens of Ohio will continue to benefit from his leadership in both program and policy development for years to come.”

Smith came to Ohio State in 1980, working in personnel development for OSU Extension, and later served as associate director of Extension. He also worked in Extension at Iowa State University, and as a vocational agriculture teacher and Extension agent in Utah.

“During his 20-plus years as director of Extension, Keith has led the organization through significant growth and continues to be a steady guide as the organization adjusts to rapid, societal changes,” said Bruce McPheron, Ohio State’s vice president for agricultural administration and dean of CFAES.… Continue reading

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Tucker to serve as OAMP president

Jim Tucker of Tucker Packing in Marshallville will serve as the president of the Ohio Association of Meat Processors (OAMP) for the upcoming year. Tucker was elected to continue his term of the office at the recently held OAMP Convention in Columbus on

March 21-22, 2014.

Other officers for the upcoming year include: Joe Mezinger of Cherry Valley Processing in Dorset, will serve as the vice president; Levi King of King and Sons Poultry in Bradford will serve as the Director at Large; and Marion Pacula of Winesburg Meats in Winesburg will serve as the past president.

The OAMP Convention was also highlighted by a Product Competition. Over 160 products were entered in the competition. Newswanger Meats of Shiloh, Ohio won the Best of Show.

The OAMP is a non-profit organization that works for the betterment of the meat industry in Ohio.… Continue reading

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2014 Ohio Poultry Association Celebration Banquet

The Ohio Poultry Association recently held its 29th Annual Ohio Poultry Association Celebration Banquet.

“I’ve been working in this industry for more than 22 years and have only seen consistent improvement in the way we care for our flocks, protect the environment, and produce safe, wholesome food for our families and consumers,” Tom Stoller, president of the Ohio Poultry Association, told the group at the event. “These achievements wouldn’t be possible without the time commitment each of you makes to our industry — through advocating and supporting important poultry issues, to making continuous innovations on individual farms and in serving as leaders for state and national agriculture organizations.”

As always, the food was well received (though the turkey producers liked the turkey better than the other poultry industry offerings), and the OPA recognized award winners.

Retired Ohio State professor and poultry consultant Glyde Marsh received the Golden Egg Award. The colorful 95-year-old was sure to mention that he had actually gotten the same award many years before, but nobody else remembers it.… Continue reading

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George named regional sales manager for Seed Consultants, Inc.

Brian George has been promoted to the position of regional sales manager for Seed Consultants, Inc. As the regional sales manager, George will lead sales efforts with area seedsman and grow SCI’s market share in target growth areas.

A graduate of Bowling Green State University, with a degree in Business, George has worked for Seed Consultants since 2009 as an area seedsman covering Northwest Ohio.

“Brian has strong passion for this business and the experience that will help build our brand and grow our sales footprint. Brian will play a vital role in the continued growth of SCI,” said Stuart Yensel, director of sales and marketing.… Continue reading

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Buck wins a Case IH Farmall Tractor

Maintaining its support for young producers who show leadership in the agriculture industry, Case IH awarded nine new Farmall® tractors to the runners-up of the 2014 American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Young Farmers & Ranchers awards. One of those tractors, a Farmall 45A,will go to Dr. Emily Buck and her husband, John, of New Bloomington, Ohio, for being a finalist for the Excellence in Agriculture award.

The winners, announced at the AFBF 95th Annual Meeting Jan. 12-15 in San Antonio, Texas, were selected for having an extensive agriculture background, possessing leadership skills and being advocates for their agricultural values.

“Case IH is proud to support these outstanding individuals as they continue to pursue a future in the agriculture industry,” says Zach Hetterick, Case IH Livestock Marketing Manager. “At Case IH, we strive to provide the tools and resources to help young producers develop a strong foundation for their future.”

The Bucks currently operate the farm that was started by John’s grandparents.… Continue reading

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Rob and Christy Leeds inducted into the NAFDMA Hall of Fame

Rob Leeds, Ohio State University Extension Educator in Delaware County and his wife, Christy, OSU Extension Educator in Union County, are devoted supporters of North American Farmers’ Direct Marketing Association (NAFDMA) and passionate advocates of farm direct marketing and agritourism. They were recently inducted into the NAFDMA Hall of Fame.

The Leeds, who own and operate Leeds Farm of Ostrander were selected for the honor by the NAFDMA Board of Directors. They received the recognition during the Celebrate Excellence Banquet at the North American Farmers’ Direct Marketing Convention. The 2014 Convention was held in Kansas City, Missouri in February.

Rob served as a leader on the Board of Directors in nearly every position over more than a decade. Christy brought teaching techniques and activities to the association that led to the building and sharing of ideas, and ultimately to the prosperity for agritourism enterprises across the continent. Most importantly, Rob and Christy have been that iconic couple whose complimentary skills, talents, and personalities demonstrate what success looks and acts like.… Continue reading

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Graves named communications specialist

Amy Beth Graves has been named communications specialist for Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF). She’ll write, edit and do photography for OFBF’s publications Our Ohio magazine and Buckeye Farm News as well as contribute to the organization’s web and marketing teams.

Graves has written about Ohio’s agriculture industry for the past 10 years. She was communications specialist for Farm Bureau from 2004-2006 and since then has been a freelance writer, photographer and proofreader for Ohio Farm Bureau, Ohio Livestock Coalition, Ohio Cattlemen’s Association and the Ohio AgriBusiness Association. Before that, she was a reporter and editor for The Associated Press in Columbus and Cleveland and The Times-Reporter in New Philadelphia.

Graves has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Ohio University and lives in Columbus with her family.

“The quality of Amy’s work and her interest in agricultural issues will serve the organization and our members well,” said Pat Petzel, OFBF vice president, communications.… Continue reading

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ODNR recognizes Richards

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Director James Zehringer honored Bill Richards, a farmer from Circleville, with the 2013 ODNR Hall of Fame award, the department’s highest honor. Zehringer presented the award to Richards at the annual meeting for the Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts in Columbus.

“Bill Richards has been a champion of using the most innovative science and technology that allows farmers to have productive farming practices that do not harm the environment,” said Zehringer. “As an agricultural and conservation pioneer, he continues to educate others about the importance of soil conservation and preserving resources through natural resource management efforts.”

Throughout his life, Richards has educated farmers around the nation and the world about the importance of managing their land in a productive way while still protecting the environment. For more than 40 years, this no-till farming pioneer and his family have utilized the no-till process on their Circleville farm to improve their crop yields while limiting soil and nutrient runoff.

… Continue reading

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NFU recognizes Ohioans

National Farmers Union (NFU) recognized members, county and local organizations and state divisions for excellence in membership recruitment and outreach in the past year. Individuals recognized for membership recruitment included Holly Finnarn and Linda Riefers of Ohio.

“Peer recruitment is a powerful and important part of growing and maintaining membership in our organization,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “The passion and dedication these members exude for Farmers Union is something in which we take great pride.”… Continue reading

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Young Ohioans participate in national Farm Bureau contest

John Schoenhals of Archbold and Caroline Weihl of Perrysburg recently represented Ohio in the national Collegiate Discussion Meet, a contest promoted by the Young Farmers and Ranchers (YF&R) program of the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF).

Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) sponsored their participation in the contest at the recent YF&R Leadership Conference in Virginia Beach, Va. Schoenhals finished among the top 16 contestants. Both he and Weihl were awarded $250 scholarships from AFBF.

The Collegiate Discussion Meet simulates a committee meeting and requires contestants to demonstrate leadership skills and knowledge of issues.

Schoenhals is a senior at Ohio State University where he is studying plant pathology and agronomy. He is vice president of the Ohio State Collegiate Young Farmers organization. His family has a farm in Fulton County.

Weihl is also an Ohio State University senior and is studying agricultural communications. She has been active in Farm Bureau. Her family farms in Wood County.… Continue reading

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Davis now serving as CED for the Stark County FSA

State Executive Director for Ohio’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), Steve Maurer, would like to announce that Patty Davis has been selected as the County Executive Director (CED) for the Stark County FSA office. Patty began her new duties on February 10, 2014.

Patty began to work for the FSA in 1978 as a Program Technician for Carroll County and was responsible for Compliance, Price Support, Common Programs, Payment Limitations and computer operations and provided support on all other programs.

In 1996, she was selected into the County Operations Trainee (COT) program for Ohio and traveled throughout the state to study FSA programs and learn county office operations. After completing the formal COT training program, Patty was stationed in many county offices where she continued to learn from the FSA County office employees.

In 1998, she was chosen as the County Executive Director for the Trumbull County FSA office. Wanting to return closer to home, Patty made the difficult decision to leave Trumbull County and accept the CED position in Stark County.… Continue reading

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John T. Mount passes away at 95

John T. Mount brought to his work a characteristic ability to develop individual potential to the fullest. He dedicated his life, in fact, to helping generations of Ohio State students achieve their goals.

“His personality was magnetic and he was highly regarded and respected by all,” said Bobby Moser, former vice president for Agricultural Administration and dean of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. “He was a Buckeye through and through. His love of Ohio State; the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, and, most importantly, the thousands of people whose lives he touched is unsurpassed. He will truly be missed.”

Reared on a farm in Middleton, Ohio, John earned his first money as a boy with a 4-H swine project. A few years later, in 1932, he raised a grand champion steer that sold for 24 cents a pound. He also worked in a steel mill before his 4-H membership led to connections with Ohio State and a scholarship to the university.… Continue reading

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Ohio couple named National Outstanding Young Farmers

Brian and Jennifer Harbage of South Charleston, Ohio, were selected national winners at the 58th annual National Outstanding Young Farmers Awards Congress held Feb. 13 to16 in Rapid City, S.D.

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. The three other national winners for 2014 are from Louisiana, Michigan, and Wyoming. 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 2015.

Brian and Jennifer Harbage raise corn, soybeans, wheat, hay, and beef cattle. To diversify the operation, they have opened a “cow spa” to house dry cows for two local dairies. The barns used in this venture are registered with the state historical society, but they have been modernized for energy efficiency with the addition of solar panels.… Continue reading

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OFBF names discussion meet finalists

Four finalists have been named in Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s (OFBF) 2014 Discussion Meet. They are Elaine Beekman of Wellington, Christen Clemson of Cortland, Elizabeth Mead of Mechanicsburg and Victoria Shaw of Litchfield.

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’ Summer Reach Out Conference June 28 at Mohican State Park.

The finalists were named after preliminary competition at the annual Young Agricultural Professionals Winter Conference in Columbus. The topics discussed were “How should Farm Bureau engage diverse members and help them work together to better promote a more positive image of agriculture?” and “What are the best practices for youth working on farms and ranches to ensure their safety and provide them learning opportunities in the area of agriculture production?”

“I am very excited with the performance of the Discussion Meet finalists.… Continue reading

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