Buckeye People

Bailey promoted to senior vice president of operations and partnerships for Ohio Farm Bureau

Michael Bailey of Marysville has been promoted to senior vice president of operations and partnerships for Ohio Farm Bureau. In this new role, Bailey will continue to manage the Strategic Partnerships Department and will have increased responsibility over organizational operations including managing the chief information officer and OFBF’s Technology Department, general counsel and human resources. His new responsibilities also will include aiding the executive vice president with strategic planning, striving for organizational efficiencies, and improved coordination.

Bailey, who has been Ohio Farm Bureau’s vice president of strategic partnerships since 2019, has extensive experience in building productive relationships, creating partnerships and attaining shared goals and applying those skills in numerous senior administrative positions within state government. Before his time at Farm Bureau, he served as deputy director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture, executive director of the Livestock Care Standards Board, senior program manager for the marketing division, and executive director for the Office of Farmland Preservation.… Continue reading

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AgriPOWER announces next class

Ohio Farm Bureau’s 2023-2024 AgriPOWER Institute kicked off in November with 14 farmers and agribusiness professionals participating in Class XIV.

AgriPOWER is a program of Ohio Farm Bureau and designed for farmers and agribusiness professionals. It focuses on public issues that are relevant to the food industry such as consumer relations, regulations, energy and trade policies. In AgriPOWER, individuals develop the skills necessary to become effective leaders and advocates for agriculture by learning from experts in these fields. 

Participants in this year are Blake Adams of Leesburg, Jenna Brown of Utica, Deirdre Christy of Carey, Heather Coen of New Concord, Cristen Cramer of Woodville, Mia Grimes of Saint Paris, Hattie Hartschuhof Nevada, Lisa Holding of London, Olivia Krumwiede of Wakeman, Alicia McCracken of Beach City, Brianna Smith of Shelby, Shaeley Swick of Utica, Mary Wilhelm of New Bavaria and Cora Willeke of Marengo.

“AgriPOWER XIV is poised to provide these budding leaders with a remarkable chance to delve into the intricate challenges that Ohio agriculture faces, all while fine-tuning their abilities as powerful advocates for the industry,” said Melinda Witten, director of AgriPOWER.… Continue reading

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Remembering Mark Sulc

Dr. Mark Sulc, a long-time member and contributor to the Agronomic Crops Network, passed away in September of 2023 following a two-year battle with glioblastoma. He retired from the Department of Horticulture and Crop Science last autumn, marking over 30 years as the Ohio State Forage Extension Specialist. His outreach activities expanded and disseminated knowledge on forage production and management systems for Ohio. Mark developed quality, in-depth training opportunities for Extension agents, industry professionals, and producers. Mark maintained an active research program throughout his career with a focus on forage crop management, especially in relation to disease and insect pests. He was an excellent collaborator and typically worked in multi-disciplinary groups involving partners at OSU and other universities, including collaborators in Brazil.

Mark remained active and productive throughout his career. It is noteworthy that he published seven refereed journal articles in his final three years of service. In addition, he was a significant contributor (co-PI) on a successfully funded USDA-AFRI project on, “Fall Armyworm Outreach and Research for Alfalfa Growers and Educators”, which has multiple years of funding remaining.… Continue reading

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Thomas presented the Klussendorf-MacKenzie Award at World Dairy Expo

Nathan Thomas of North Lewisburg, Ohio, was presented the 32nd Klussendorf-MacKenzie Award during World Dairy Expo 2023, in memory of Duncan MacKenzie, the 1961 Klussendorf winner. While this year’s Klussendorf-MacKenzie award winner has an impressive dairy résumé, it is most important to note that Thomas exemplifies the standards that made Duncan MacKenzie the forbearer of this award.

Although this year’s MacKenzie winner did not grow up on a dairy farm, his grandfather managed several well-known Guernsey herds, and his uncle also had a dairy herd. With those dairy-farming relatives in his constant eyesight, a young Nathan Thomas persistently bothered his father until he was able to purchase a grade heifer to show at the county fair. 

With that foundation established, Thomas continued to improve the type and conformation in his cattle. During high school, this Ohio native began working at several shows and sales including helping Wayne Sliker of Modern Associates. With… Continue reading

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Henney moving from OABA to OVMA

The Ohio Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA) Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of its next executive director, Christopher Henney. Chris brings 25 years of experience in association management, strategic planning, leadership development, and advocacy.

“Chris has a solid history of volunteer and staff development, program implementation, and policy development,” said Eric Gordon, OVMA president. “I am excited to welcome Chris to the OVMA and am confident he is the right leader to move our organization forward to an even brighter future.”

Founded in 1884, OVMA’s mission is to foster the core principles of stewardship, compassion, community, and lifelong learning in veterinary medicine. As a respected leader in organized veterinary medicine, OVMA is best known for hosting the Midwest Veterinary Conference, the fifth largest veterinary convention in North America.

“I am thrilled for the opportunity to serve the members of the Ohio Veterinary Medical Association and appreciate the board’s trust in my leadership of this well-respected organization.… Continue reading

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Ohio FFA Foundation announces new leadership

Amy Jo Baughman will join the Ohio FFA Foundation as the executive director starting on October 16, 2023, concluding a search led by the Ohio FFA Foundation board of trustees. She will oversee two staff members, Lauren Corry, director of communication and stewardship, and Shelby Brown, program manager.

Baughman brings a wealth of knowledge from her previous role with The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) Office of Advancement as the director of alumni engagement. She is a two-time alumna of The Ohio State University CFAES, earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the department of agricultural communication, education, and leadership. She was raised on a sheep farm in Fayette County and has a strong FFA background.

“I’m beyond excited for this unique opportunity. This role is a perfect blend of my personal connection to and passion for FFA, technical training in agricultural education, and professional experience in CFAES Advancement,” Baughman said.… Continue reading

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Ohio Farm Bureau names 2023 policy development committee

Twenty Ohio Farm Bureau leaders are serving on the 2023 Ohio Farm Bureau Federation Policy Development Committee. The committee collects and organizes public policy recommendations from county Farm Bureaus and presents the final policy suggestions to be voted on by Ohio Farm Bureau’s delegates during the state annual meeting in December.

In its initial session, the committee heard from government leaders, subject matter experts and Farm Bureau staff on topics such as CAUV and property taxes; farmland preservation and local development planning; feral swine; ballot initiatives on minimum wage, clean water programs and marijuana; artificial intelligence; solar; Endangered Species Act and US EPA pesticide rules and insurance risk management and future casting due to climate factors.

The policy committee consists of 10 members from Ohio Farm Bureau’s board of trustees and 10 representatives of county Farm Bureaus.

The committee is chaired by Ohio Farm Bureau First Vice President Cy Prettyman of New Bloomington and includes OFBF President Bill Patterson of Chesterland and Treasurer Chris Weaver of Lyons.… Continue reading

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AgCredit announces 2023 scholarship winners

AgCredit has announced the winners of the 2023 scholarships awarded through the cooperative’s Joe Leiser Memorial Scholarship program.

Leiser served as the first president and chief executive officer of AgCredit, which is one of northern Ohio’s largest lenders, serving farmers, agribusinesses and rural homeowners. The annual program recognizes dependent family members of AgCredit voting stockholders who are enrolled in an agriculture-related field of study at a post-secondary educational institution. The cooperative has awarded scholarships to 37 deserving students over the past 10 years.

AgCredit congratulates the following students for earning scholarships for the 2023-2024 academic year:

  • Allison Michaels of Sandusky County is a senior at Wilmington College majoring in agricultural education with a minor in chemistry.
  • Candace Bouillon of Seneca County is a freshman at The Ohio State University majoring in agribusiness.
  • Linsey Eddy of Union County is a sophomore at Purdue University majoring in business analytics and information management with a minor in food and agribusiness management.
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FSR inducts three into Hall of Fame

Farm Science Review inducted three individuals who have supported the show in numerous capacities into its Hall of Fame Wednesday night at its annual recognition banquet. Kevin King, Ben Overholser and John K. Victor were recognized as the 2023 honorees. 

Kevin King, of Westerville, Ohio 

Kevin King got his start with Farm Science Review in his early years as a student in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. “In the spring of 1978, I started working for Farm Science Review as a student employee out at Don Scott Airfield when the show was out there,” said King. 

Being a student worker for FSR was just the beginning for King, “I continued working there through college and then had the opportunity to move into an expanded role and get my graduate degree.” 

After obtaining his master’s degree, King was hired to be the assistant manager in 1983 and served in that role until 1995. … Continue reading

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Minter named Extension Field Specialist, Specialty Crops Production Systems at Ohio State

Logan Minter has been hired as field specialist, specialty crops production systems, for Ohio State University Extension in The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

Minter, who previously worked as an associate professor of biology at Shawnee State University, began his new position Aug. 1, said Jacqueline Kirby Wilkins, associate dean and director, OSU Extension.

“In this new role, Logan will provide overall leadership for a comprehensive outreach, applied research, and teaching agenda for Extension’s statewide agriculture and natural resources program,” Wilkins said. “Logan’s work with specialty crops will be relevant to Extension professionals, growers, industry contacts, and other Extension clientele throughout Ohio.”

Specialty crops as defined by the United States Department of Agriculture include fruits, vegetables, nuts, nursery crops, flowers, and other horticultural crops. Minter will address several priority production issues such as pest control, disease management, production methods, organization systems, and breeding and varietal trials of new cultivars.… Continue reading

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Frost named accounting coordinator for Ohio Farm Bureau

Lisa Frost of Bloomingburg has been named accounting coordinator for Ohio Farm Bureau. In her new role, she will provide general business support, payroll, and accounting functions and activities.

Frost grew up on a grain farm in southeastern Michigan, where she was a proud 4-H member for 11 years. Today, she and her husband own and operate Frostaire Farms, where they raise registered Suffolk sheep that they show and sell at the local, state and national levels.

Before joining the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation staff, Frost was the finance director for Heritage Memorial Church in Washington Court House and served as the Ohio State Fair Sheep Department office manager.

A 30-year member of Fayette County Farm Bureau, Frost studied agriculture communications at Michigan State University and is an inductee of the Ohio State Fair Hall of Fame.… Continue reading

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Ohio Soybean Association welcomes new Director of Public Affairs

The Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) welcomes Brandon Kern as its new Director of Public Policy and Issues Analysis. In this role, Kern will lead the development of state and federal policy priorities and positions, provide strategic advice and guidance on issues of importance to Ohio soybean farmers and stakeholders, and drive farmer and partner engagement on key policy issues. 

Kern most recently served as the Senior Director of State and National Policy for Ohio Farm Bureau.

“We are excited to have Brandon lead OSA’s policy efforts at the Statehouse,” said Patrick Knouff, OSA president and Shelby County soybean farmer. “His passion for both policy and agriculture will be crucial to advancing legislation and policy that benefit soybean farmers and the soybean industry.” 

Kern previously served as Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs in the Office of Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague, was a Military Intelligence Officer with the U.S. Army Reserve, and filled various policy and legislative roles in the Ohio Senate Majority Caucus and in the office of U.S.… Continue reading

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Ohio Farm Bureau hires ExploreAg and ag literacy program specialist

Mary Klopfenstein of Delphos has been named ExploreAg and ag literacy program specialist for Ohio Farm Bureau. She will oversee planning, marketing and implementation of the ExploreAg program, as well as create a comprehensive ag literacy program that aligns with the ExploreAg workforce development program.

A former Ohio FFA state president, Klopfenstein grew up on a small row crop farm in McCartyville, where her love for agriculture blossomed as she showed horses through 4-H and sold sweet corn as her Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) for FFA.

Before joining the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation staff, Klopfenstein was at Illinois Farm Bureau as a youth & collegiate program coordinator. She currently serves as the northwest Ohio representative on the CFAES Alumni Society Board of Directors and is an Allen County Farm Bureau member.

She is a graduate of The Ohio State University, earning a bachelor’s degree in agriculture, majoring in agribusiness and applied economics with minors in international economic development and youth development.… Continue reading

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Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 309 | Strickler reflects on 30 years with Ohio State Fair

Long-time Ohio Expo Center and State Fair General Manager Virgil Strickler is retiring after 30 years with the Ohio State Fair. In his tenure, major changes to the fair and junior livestock programs have taken place. In this podcast, Ohio’s Country Journal’s Matt Reese and Ohio Ag Net’s Joel Penhorwood joins him to discuss the success of the Ohio State Fair under his charge, challenges along the way, and his perspective on leadership.

Other interviews in this episode of the podcast include…

Between the Rows highlight with Lawrence Onweller

Matt talks with Fulton County farmer Lawrence Onweller about the major rain variability in his part of the state and how the crop is shaping up in 2023.

Jed Bower re-elected to National Corn Board

Ohio Ag Net’s Dusty Sonnenberg hears from Fayette County corn grower Jed Bower about his re-election to the National Corn Board.

Farmhand Mike

Mike Less of Darke County, better known as Farmhand Mike on social media, joins Joel from the recent Fennig Equipment ride and drive event to introduce their new offering of Deutz-Fahr tractors.… Continue reading

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Bower re-elected to National Corn Board

Jed Bower, a Fayette County corn grower, has been re-elected to serve a second term on the National Corn Growers Association’s Corn Board.

Bower, who also serves on the Ohio Corn Marketing Program’s Board of Directors, was elected by delegates at the Corn Congress meeting in Washington, D.C. He will serve a three-year term, representing the interests of the country’s corn growers.

“I’m excited for the opportunity to continue serving on the Corn Board in this second term,” Bower said. “The work this organization does advocating for our fellow growers is incredibly important and I’m proud of the progress we’re making fighting for our farms. As we move forward, I’m particularly focused on the Next Generation Fuels Act and what it can do for demand of U.S. corn.”

Bower has served on several NCGA Action Teams, served as liaison to the National Pork Producers Council, and co-chaired Corn Vision 2020. Additionally, he is a past president of both Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association and Fayette County Farm Bureau.… Continue reading

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Three Ohioans among FFA American Star finalists

The National FFA Organization has announced the 16 finalists for its 2023 top achievement awards: American Star Farmer, American Star in Agribusiness, American Star in Agricultural Placement and American Star in Agriscience.

Three Ohioans are among the coveted ranks: Luke Jennings from Felicity-Franklin FFA Chapter, Riley Berger from the Ridgewood FFA Chapter, and Audrey Pinger from the Felicity-Franklin FFA Chapter.

The American Star Awards represent the best of the best among thousands of American FFA Degree recipients. The award recognizes FFA members who have developed outstanding agricultural skills and competencies by completing a supervised agricultural experience (SAE) program. A required activity in FFA, an SAE allows members to learn by doing. Members can own and operate an agricultural business, intern at an agricultural business, or conduct an agriculture-based scientific experiment and report the results.

Other requirements to achieve the award include demonstrating top management skills; completing key agricultural education, scholastic and leadership requirements; and earning an American FFA Degree, the organization’s highest level of student accomplishment.… Continue reading

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FFA Foundation looking for new executive director

The Ohio FFA Foundation Board of Trustees recently accepted Jessica Parrish’s resignation as executive director. Parrish will continue to serve as executive director through September 8, 2023, to facilitate a successful transition. Parrish has served in this role since 2016. Prior to serving as executive director, she worked as the foundation’s program manager for two years. In the fall, Parrish will begin a new role as the Director, Staff Operations at Nationwide.

“With a mix of sadness and gratitude, on behalf of the Ohio FFA Foundation Board, we wish to thank Jessica for her nearly 10 years of exceptional service to Ohio FFA. The board is tremendously excited for Jessica as she enters her new career opportunity. We wish her the very best,” said Kent Fisher, board chair.

Under Parrish’s leadership, the Ohio FFA Foundation has doubled the number of annual donors, increased revenue, and created programs to serve and support Ohio FFA members and advisors in new ways.… Continue reading

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Bowers joins OFBF state policy team

Whittney Bowers of Amanda has been named director of state policy and grassroots engagement for Ohio Farm Bureau.

Bowers returns to the Ohio Farm Bureau policy team after previously serving as the director of grassroots and political outreach from 2015 to 2017, then as a contract employee to manage the organization’s Agriculture for Good Government Political Action Committee (AGGPAC) activities.

She is a graduate of The Ohio State University, earning a bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications and Kent State University, with a master’s degree in journalism and mass communication.

Bowers, her husband, Brad, and their two children, reside on a multi-generation family grain farm with a cattle feedlot operation. They are Fairfield County Farm Bureau members.… Continue reading

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Camp Canopy awards over $8,000 in scholarships

The Ohio Forestry Association Foundation concluded its annual Camp Canopy and presented graduation awards on June 16, 2023, at Ohio FFA Camp Muskingum. This year, eight scholarships were awarded to campers pursuing a major within forestry, wildlife, or environmental sciences for a total of $8,250.

  • Addison Woerner (Nashport, Ohio) – $1,000, Ohio Forestry Association Foundation
  • Sierra Roy (Hubbard, Ohio) – $1,250, The Ohio State University
  • Job Busic (Newark, Ohio) – $1,000, The Ohio State University
  • Samuel Cox (Fayette, Ohio) – $1,000, Hocking College
  • Jacob Nelson (Steubenville, Ohio) – $1,000, Hocking College
  • John O’Donnell (North Canton, Ohio) – $1,000, Milligan Tree Farm
  • Gabriella Anzelmo (New Albany, Ohio) – $1,000, Milligan Tree Farm
  • Zeva Sheets (Mt. Vernon, Ohio) – $1,000, North East Ohio Forestry Association

The Ohio Forestry Association Foundation hosts Camp Canopy each year to expose students to the career opportunities in the natural resources field, educate them in technical skills for forestry, wildlife, and conservation, and help campers achieve their goals of higher education in a related field.… Continue reading

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Linder elected president of MAIZALL

John Linder, an Ohio corn grower and former president of the National Corn Growers Association, was elected today to serve as president of MAIZALL, an international farmer’s organization that focuses on eliminating regulatory obstacles to innovation in agriculture. The group contains members from the U.S., Brazil and Argentina.

Linder, from Morrow County, begins his one-year term on Monday, July 3.

“John is a dedicated leader, and he will no doubt do an outstanding job leading MAIZALL,” said Tom Haag, NCGA President. “We are very proud to see a fellow corn grower take the lead at a group that does so much to advance the agenda of farmers in the international arena.”
MAIZALL engages private sector stakeholders, national government officials and leaders from international organizations, such as the World Trade Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization, to work towards alignment on regulatory barriers to trade.

Linder, who served as president of NCGA in 2020-21, said he looks forward to serving as president of the group.… Continue reading

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