Buckeye People

Connie Hendershot passed away

The sheep industry lost a great booster this past week with the passing of Connie S. Hendershot. Many in Ohio agriculture may know of Connie through her husband Bob Hendershot, who has been Ohio Sheep Improvement Association president and has served on the Ohio Sheep and Wool Program. Connie loved working at the Ohio State Fair “Taste of Ohio Cafe” and traveling with sheep production groups around the world. Connie will be greatly missed by her family and friends.

She was born Jan. 31, 1953, in Marion and graduated from River Valley High School of Marion in 1971, then graduated from The Ohio State University in 1976 with a major in education. She was an active member of Crossroads Church of Christ in Christian Union, where she enjoyed serving on the missionary committee. She was honored by being named the Mission Minded Woman of the Year in 2010. Connie was privileged to be part of 16 mission teams since 2000.… Continue reading

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Kasich names Butler interim Ohio EPA director after Nally resignation

Gov. John Kasich recently announced that he will appoint Craig Butler interim director of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency following the sudden resignation of Scott Nally. Butler is currently senior policy advisor for the administration on environmental, energy, public utility and agricultural issues.

Nally is pursuing other opportunities.

“I am grateful for Scott’s service to the state and wish him well in his next endeavor,” Kasich said. “For the past three years, Scott worked hard to keep Ohioans and our environment safe, but he also helped begin to make the agency more business-friendly. Today, Ohio has some of the strongest environmental regulations in the nation, but they are also grounded in common sense. I value his counsel and will continue to rely on it. I have no doubt that Craig will work to continue to improve the agency and ensure both a safe and healthy environment for Ohioans, as well as a predictable and consistent business climate for Ohio’s job-creators.”… Continue reading

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Ohio FFA member receives $1,000 grant from National FFA Foundation

The National FFA Foundation has awarded a $1,000 grant to FFA member Miranda Maggart of Casstown.

Maggart is a member of the Miami East-MVCTC FFA Chapter and was selected over 600 applicants nationwide. Maggart will use the grant funding to expand her specialty crop supervised agricultural experience (SAE).

Maggart raises pink pumpkins, the Porcelain Doll, and donates half of all proceeds to breast cancer research. The grant money will be used to purchase her own gardening equipment so she will not have

to borrow from her family. She also raises chrysanthemums that she markets at the Troy Farmers Market in the fall. She offers a variety of colors to her customers and will use the grant money to expand her plants by 50% so that she can offer more selection to her customers.

“I had some family members that had cancer and I knew people who had breast cancer. The money goes toward research for finding cures for cancer,” she said.… Continue reading

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Kerrick Wilson named Beck’s Young Farm Leader of the Year

The Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) and Beck’s Hybrids are proud to announce that Kerrick Wilson of Preble County was named Beck’s Young Farm Leader of the Year.

The Beck’s Young Farm Leader Program was established to highlight young Ohio farmers who have taken leadership roles in their communities while developing a foundation for farming success.

“OSA is proud to have Kerrick representing the Beck’s Young Farm Leader Program,” said Jerry Bambauer, OSA president and soybean farmer from Auglaize County. “He showcases commitment and perseverance through his involvement with the agriculture community and wants to be a part of solving issues facing Ohio soybean farmers.”

Each Beck’s Young Farm Leader was chosen quarterly by a selection committee consisting of OSA and Beck’s Hybrids representatives with one farmer selected as the Beck’s Young Farm Leader of the Year. The 2013 Beck’s Young Farm Leaders included: Jeff Adams of Champaign County, Nathan Brown of Highland County and Kerrick Wilson.… Continue reading

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OFBF Young Ag Professionals Advisory Team leaders announced

Latham and Katie Farley of Clayton were recently elected chairs of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) Young Agricultural Professional Advisory Team.

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

Also elected to leadership positions for the coming year were Aaron and Sarah Heilers from Anna as co-chairs, Jennifer and Nathan Brown of Hillsboro as secretaries and Katie Farley and Brad Heimerl of Johnstown as the social media co-chairs.

Other team members are Andrew and Danielle Burch of Salem, Ron Burns of Milford Center, Greg and Janet McGlinch of Versailles and Duayne and Monica Wetherell of Mingo Junction.

Latham Farley manages the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency office for Shelby County and helps his father-in-law farm. Katie works as a graphic designer. Latham earned a degree in biology from Mississippi State University and Katie graduated from Miami University with a degree in graphic design.… Continue reading

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A dynamic duo for Ohio’s sheep industry

There are two things that are undeniable as you take a tour of the farm of Sam and Pat Wiford near Wapakoneta — the gray house with the scarlet roof and block Os everywhere make it no secret that they love The Ohio State Buckeyes and nicely kept barns full of beautiful sheep showcase their pride to be a part of Ohio’s sheep industry. As many would tell you, the Wifords have the same passion, drive, and top-notch performance as their beloved football team, and the winning record to prove it.

Last weekend, the Wifords were recognized for their career achievements by their industry peers when they received the Charles Boyles Master Shepherd of The Year Award at the 2013 Buckeye Shepherd Symposium.… Continue reading

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2013 Ohio Agriculture Women Award winners announced

Ohio First Lady Karen W. Kasich and Ohio Agriculture Director David T. Daniels announced four 2013 Ohio Agriculture Women of the Year Award winners at a reception at the Ohio Governor’s Residence and Heritage Gardens.

“These compelling Ohio women have spent their lives working to strengthen and advance the state’s largest industry,” said Mrs. Kasich. “I am so pleased to honor their incredible accomplishments and help share their stories.”


Joanne Kick-Raack (Pataskala)

Kick-Raack has more than 35 years in the agriculture industry. In her capacity as the state director for the Pesticide Safety Education Program at The Ohio State University Extension, she built a community of cooperation and participation for the education needs of the 30,000 licensed pesticides applicators in Ohio. She was also instrumental in creating the certification process and implementation for the Ohio Certified Crop Advisor program.


Lisa Schacht (Canal Winchester)

Schacht and her husband, David, manage their family farm, the Schacht Farm Market located in Canal Winchester.… Continue reading

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Kinder elected as Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

James Kinder, interim director of the Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute (Ohio State ATI), has been elected as Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), honored by his peers as a significant contributor to the scientific community.

Kinder was recognized for his distinguished contributions in reproductive endocrinology research and as an administrator in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. Ohio State ATI, located in Wooster, is the college’s associate degree-granting unit.

In all, six Ohio State faculty and 388 AAAS members have been elected Fellows this year in recognition of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. New Fellows will be welcomed in a ceremony at the AAAS annual meeting in Chicago in February.

“The consistent recognition of Ohio State scientists at this level speaks to the exceptional quality of our faculty and their important contributions in their disciplines,” said Ohio State Interim President Joseph A.… Continue reading

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Barry McGraw joins Ohio Soybean Council

The Ohio Soybean Council (OSC) recently welcomed Barry McGraw as the new Director of Product Development & Commercialization. Tom Fontana, former OSC Director of New Use Development will take on a new role as Director of Research & Education.

As Director of Product Development & Commercialization, McGraw will lead OSC’s new use program. This includes exploring opportunities for new soy technologies and the commercialization of new products into the marketplace.

McGraw joins OSC after 15 years with Battelle where he worked in program management, engineering and marketing. He played a key role on Battelle’s bio-based materials team, working to develop and commercialize soy-based technologies. Four of those technologies have received R&D 100 awards.

McGraw also worked on Battelle’s national security team in technology areas such as critical infrastructure, environmental challenges, information systems and defense technology. He holds an undergraduate degree in plastics engineering from Shawnee State University in Portsmouth.

“We are very proud to welcome Barry to the staff,” said John Motter, OSC chairman and Hancock County soybean farmer.… Continue reading

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ODNR announces new chief of the Division of Soil and Water

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

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

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

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

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

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Grum attends Agriculture Future of America Leaders Conference

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

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

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

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Wuebker joins agricultural law firm

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

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Ohioan appointed to American Lamb Board

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

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

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

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OFBF announces staff promotions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Ag Credit promotes Ricker

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

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

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

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

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