Buckeye People

Marissa and Travis Hake honored with Forward Thinker Award from Farm Credit Mid-America

Marissa and Travis Hake of Edon, Ohio are the recipients of Farm Credit Mid-America’s inaugural Forward Thinker Award. This award is given to young, beginning or small farmers who exemplify outstanding leadership, community involvement and implementation of unique practices that drive the growth of their operation.

The Forward Thinker Award is made possible through Growing Forward, the financial service cooperative’s program for young, beginning and small farmers. This multi-year program provides eligible customers with continuing education opportunities that focus on financial management and help these customers position their operations for growth and long-term success.

“We felt it was important to highlight and reward innovative thinking among our young, beginning and small farmer customers,” said Dakota Everts, vice president of Growing Forward and Lending Partnerships. “This award is just a small way we are able to acknowledge Marissa and Travis for their exceptional work. We hope their story will inspire other young, beginning or small farmers to pursue fresh ideas for their operations.”… Continue reading

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Members of Class XII graduate from Ohio Farm Bureau’s AgriPOWER program

Eight farmers and agribusiness professionals from around Ohio recently graduated from Ohio Farm Bureau’s AgriPOWER Institute Class XII. The elite leadership program was started in 2008 to help agricultural advocates gain influence over public policy issues that impact their businesses and communities.

Class XII graduates are Brian Herringshaw of Bowling Green, Paige Hunt of Delta, Camille Klick of Massillon, Krysti Morrow of McConnelsville, Christine Snowden of New Albany, Melanie Strait-Bok of Ney, Greg Tholen of Lynchburg and Emily Warnimont of Findlay.

Over the course of a year, Class XII participants learned from experts on how to become better leaders and advocates for the agricultural industry, including spokesperson and media training, etiquette training, social networking and communications. They learned about public policy matters important to their local communities, as well as the state, nation and world. They visited Washington, D.C. where they learned about national and global issues, and they visited diverse agricultural operations in California so they could better understand the differences and similarities in agriculture from state to state.… Continue reading

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Farm Bureau Foundation names director of donor engagement and giving

Kelly Warner of Harrod has been named director of donor engagement and giving for the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation.
With over 15 years of experience as a professional fundraiser, Warner has a proven track record in building annual giving and donor relations programs. She brings extensive expertise in multichannel marketing and fundraising with a strong background in strategic planning that will assist in the success and long-term growth of the foundation. 
In this role, Warner will be responsible for broadening the base of annual support for the foundation by focusing on donor engagement and stewardship initiatives. She will provide oversight to the foundation’s annual events including the Golf Invitational and Foundation Breakfast at the Ohio Farm Bureau Annual Meeting. In addition, she will work with volunteers and donors to enhance the foundation’s scholarship program. 
Warner and her husband, Kyle, are raising their 2-year-old twins in Allen County. They are members of the Allen County Farm Bureau.… Continue reading

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Magyar reappointed to USB

U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the appointment of nine new U.S. soybean farmers to serve on the United Soybean Board (USB) and reappointed eight directors for an additional term, including Jeff Magyar from Orwell, Ohio in Ashtabula County.

“With different uses of soy continuing to grow, this is an exciting time to be a USB farmer-leader. I look forward to working with these passionate individuals who will bring additional perspectives and insights, expanding our group of creative and innovative thinkers,” said Ralph Lott, USB Chair and farmer from New York. “The reappointed leaders bring back valuable experience, having worked through our Value Creation Framework process determining future checkoff investments. Together, we will move U.S. Soy forward and bring value back to the farm gate of all U.S. soybean farmers.”

U.S. soybean farmers receive an estimated $12.34 in value for every dollar they invested in the checkoff. Those investments continue to fund programs that build preference for U.S.… Continue reading

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Hodges named Farm Bureau organization director

Kaitlynn Hodges of Cambridge has been named organization director for Ohio Farm Bureau Federation and will serve members in Morgan, Muskingum, Perry and Washington counties. She will work with the county Farm Bureaus to address issues important to members and their communities.

Hodges, along with her family, operates a multi-century cow-calf and timber farm. She received her bachelor’s degree from Wilmington College, where she majored in agriculture. She was a long-time member of 4-H and served as chapter president of the Mid-East Career and Technology Center FFA.

Prior to joining the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation staff, Hodges served as the outdoor and environmental event and program planner for the Parks and Recreation Department of Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Hodges is a member of Guernsey County Farm Bureau.… Continue reading

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Eberhart wins 2022 Collegiate Discussion Meet

Riley Eberhart of Harrison County will represent Ohio at the 2022 American Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers Collegiate Discussion Meet.
The Collegiate Discussion Meet follows the same model as the Young Farmer & Rancher Discussion Meet. The competitive event simulates a committee meeting where discussion and active participation are expected from each participant. The competition is evaluated on an exchange of ideas and information on a predetermined topic. Participants build basic discussion skills, develop a keen understanding of important agricultural issues and explore how groups can pool knowledge to reach consensus and solve problems.

Eberhart, a six-year Harrison County Farm Bureau member, is currently a student at Wilmington College where she studies political science, focusing on agricultural advocacy and food policy. Prior to college, Eberhart spent 15 years as a member of 4-H, raising beef, hogs, chickens and rabbits and was involved in FFA, participating in many career development events (CDEs).… Continue reading

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OABA elects officers

The Ohio AgriBusiness Association is pleased to announce the newly elected members of the Board of Directors. Representing the Grain industry is Rhoda Crown, Coshocton Grain Company. Representing the Members-at-Large are Andrew Gladden, Luckey Farmers Inc. and Neil Rupp, Pettisville Grain Company.

In addition to new members, the Board of Directors has new leadership for 2022-2023. Robert Mullen of Heritage Cooperative will serve as Chairman of the Board. Grant Gates of Morral Companies, LLC was elected to serve as Vice Chairman. Jackie Siebert of L W Siebert Farms, LLC transitions from her role as Chairwoman to Past Chairwoman. 

“Our Board of Directors contribute their time, experience and expertise for the good of the industry and the association,” said Chris Henney, OABA president and CEO. “We are pleased to welcome our newest board members and look forward to the leadership of our new officers.”

The newly elected members were announced at the OABA Annual Meeting on Jan.… Continue reading

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American Dairy Association Mideast leadership elected for 2022

robotic-milker-on-cow

The Board of Directors for American Dairy Association Mideast, the dairy promotion checkoff program serving about 1,600 dairy farmers in Ohio and West Virginia, elected their 2022 officers during their annual re-organization meeting.

  • Chair: Greg Conrad of New Holland, Ohio
  • Vice Chair: Greg Gibson of Bruceton Mills, West Virginia
  • Secretary: Lois Douglass of Marshallville, Ohio
  • Treasurer: Joe Miley of West Salem, Ohio

Greg Conrad and Bill Besancon of Wooster were elected to represent ADA Mideast on the United Dairy Industry Association board. Lois Douglass will continue to serve on the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board per her USDA appointment. Conrad, Besancon and Douglass also serve on the Dairy Management Inc. board.… Continue reading

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Hannewald wins 2022 Farm Bureau Discussion Meet

Mike Hannewald of Lucas County is the winner of Ohio Farm Bureau’s Young Agricultural Professionals 2022 Discussion Meet competition. The results were announced Jan. 29 during the YAP Winter Leadership Experience.  
The Discussion Meet tests participants’ subject knowledge, problem solving abilities and personal and small group communications skills. It is designed for young agricultural professionals to work together to find solutions around issues facing agriculture today.
Hannewald developed a strong interest in farming while growing up on the family farm, just outside of Waterville, and became very active in 4-H and FFA. A Lucas County Farm Bureau member, he earned his bachelor’s degree in agronomy from The Ohio State University. He is an agronomist and precision farming adviser for Beck’s Hybrids, covering northern Ohio and northeastern Indiana and remains actively involved on the family farm. 
As the winner, he receives a $3,000 cash prize, complimentary registration to the 2023 YAP Winter Leadership Experience and an expense-paid trip to 2023 American Farm Bureau Annual Convention in Puerto Rico.… Continue reading

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OSU Extension seeks a new agronomic systems field specialist

Ohio State University Extension is seeking applicants for a faculty position of Field Specialist, Agronomic Systems. The summary of duties is listed below and a complete listing of the position description can be found: at https://osu.wd1.myworkdayjobs.com/OSUCareers/job/Columbus-Campus/Assistant-Professor–Field-Specialist–Agronomic-Systems_R36703.

This faculty position provides overall leadership for developing and implementing a comprehensive and balanced teaching and applied research agenda for Agriculture and Natural Resources within the Department of Extension in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.  Working collaboratively with a team of OSU professionals within OSU Extension as well as with cross-disciplinary department and colleges, the faculty member functions as a consultant with clientele to address statewide issues as expertise is needed; provides unbiased research-based alternatives; evaluates and responds to large scale statewide needs vs. individual requests; and secures resources (grants, contracts, user fees) to focus on these issues. The faculty member will seek courtesy faculty status within the appropriate department to maintain an integrated connection with campus departments and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC).… Continue reading

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Heritage Cooperative ramps up ag technology leadership with the hire of Robert Mullen

As the agriculture industry continues to evolve with digital technologies, it is imperative that retailers provide an infrastructure to support their growers with these ever-changing tools. Always striving to be an industry leader, Heritage Cooperative is excited to announce the hiring of Dr. Robert Mullen as Vice President of Agricultural Technology. 

Dr. Mullen is a native of Southwest Oklahoma and graduated from Cameron University with a B.S. in Ag Business and a minor in chemistry. He completed his M.S. and Ph.D. in Plant and Soil Science and Soil Science, respectively, from Oklahoma State University. He moved to Ohio to join The Ohio State University in 2004 as an Assistant Professor and as the Soil Fertility Extension Specialist. 

“As a trusted advisor, our role is to help customers evaluate, implement, and integrate new technologies and production practices to achieve their business goals”, said Jeff Osentoski, President and CEO of Heritage Cooperative. “We are excited to have Robert on the team as he is an incredible resource to help support the mission of Heritage Cooperative.… Continue reading

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Wellman passed away

James A. Wellman, 67, of Delphos, passed away January 18, 2022, at Mercy Health St. Rita’s.

He was born January 16, 1955, to the late Elmer John and Phyllis (Davis) Wellman. On November 18, 1989, he married the love of his life, Jean Ditto, who survives in Delphos.

James Wellmann

James was a very devoted and loving husband and father. He was a very humble, unassuming and faithful man. The most memorable times of his life were spent with Jean, Father Andrew and Chelsea.

James was a 1973 graduate of St. John’s High School and a 1977 graduate of The Ohio State University, where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture with a major in Agronomy. His first job “off the farm” was from 1973 to 1977 when he worked with Joe Parsons and Dave Roach broadcasting high school ballgames on WDOH. James was president of Wellman Seeds, Inc., Wellman Farms, Inc.,… Continue reading

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Congratulations to Harold Watters on his retirement!

By Laura Lindsey, Ohio State University Extension

After 20+ years at Ohio State, Harold Watters retired earlier this year. Most recently, Harold was an Ohio State University Extension Field Specialist for Agronomic Systems, but his history at OSU dates back to 1975 when he was a student employee at the Farm Science Review. In his own words, Harold’s goal has been “…to do the work that needed to be done for row crop farmers — whether it was in response to drought in 2012, or floods and late planting in 2015…or the concerns of nutrient management and water quality.”

I cannot even begin to list Harold’s involvement, achievements, and impact he has had on Ohio’s agricultural community (and also international work in the Ukraine). Harold was co-leader of the OSU Extension’s AgCrops Team from 2004 through 2019. He helped move the team forward into the digital age with a website, easier transfer of the CORN newsletter, and provided lots of support for agronomic crops meetings.… Continue reading

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OPA elects new officers

The Ohio Poultry Association (OPA) announced its 2022 officers during the organization’s recent board meetings held in Columbus. Three individuals were elected to the Board and will work over the next year to further advance the organization’s mission. 

The 2022 Board officers include: 

• OPA President Sandra Lausecker. Lausecker is vice president of Nature Pure and co-owner of Outward Farms located in Raymond. She also serves on the board of the American Egg Board and United Egg Producers.  

• OPA Vice President Jeff Cutler. Cutler serves as the eggs division manager for Cooper Farms located in northwest Ohio. In addition, he also serves on the board of the American Egg Board. 

• OPA Secretary Drew Bowman. Bowman is co-owner of Bowman & Landes, based in New Carlisle, Ohio.  

• In 2022, Doug Mack will move into the past president role for the association. Mack currently serves as the chief operating officer for Trillium Farms, in Croton.  

 “I look forward to working with these exceptional leaders over the next year as they each bring unique perspectives to the table to further advance our work,” said Jim Chakeres, OPA executive vice president.… Continue reading

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Kidd named 2022 Fairs’ Queen

The Ohio Fair Managers are pleased to announce the selection and crowning of the 2022 Ohio Fairs’ Queen Maya Kidd from Middletown representing the Butler County Fair. Maya was chosen from a field of 78 county and independent fair queens and crowned on Saturday, Jan. 8 during the combined Senior and Junior Fair Board member general session. There were more than 1,600 Senior and Junior Fair Board members in the Regency Ballroom, Columbus. 

Maya is joined on her court with First Runner-up Erin Pope, Gallia County Fair, Second runner-up Annabelle Ehmer, Stark County Fair, Third runner-up Nicole Fennig, Mercer County Fair, Fourth runner-up Gretchen Search, Ross County Fair. 

Maya is from Butler County, and participates in the Butler County Junior Fair, Butler County Advisory Council, 4-H Officer training, Teen Leadership Council, National Honor Society, National 4-H Citizenship Focus in Washington, D.C., and is a Cloverbud Camp Counselor. She is a member of the 4-H Club “Premier Livestock of Butler County ” and taken projects that included market lambs, dairy and market goats, dairy heifer, sewing and home projects and more in her 10 years of 4-H club work.… Continue reading

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Callicoat joins Farm Bureau public policy team

Evan Callicoat has been named director of state policy for Ohio Farm Bureau. He will represent the interests of Farm Bureau members with the Ohio General Assembly and throughout state government.
Callicoat comes to Farm Bureau from the Ohio Treasurer’s office, where he worked as part of the economic development department. He also brings farm policy experience through working with Ohio Corn and Wheat and Ohio AgriBusiness Association.
He was raised on his family farm in Clark County and was active in 4-H and FFA. He is a graduate of The Ohio State University where he majored in agribusiness and applied economics. Prior to that, Callicoat served as a state officer for Ohio FFA.
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Service to Ohio’s fairs recognized

Honors were awarded to 48 individuals and organizations for outstanding service to their local fairs at the 97th Ohio Fair Managers Association annual convention at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. Of this group, 16 received the Director’s Award for Innovation and Excellence for their progressive ideas and actions to improve and strengthen their fairs.

Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) Director Dorothy Pelanda presented each winner with a certificate. Those chosen for the special honor (denoted by an asterisk below) received plaques.Ohio’s 94 county and independent fairs and the Ohio State Fair support the local economy and help educate the public about the importance of agriculture and the many necessities it provides, including food, clothing, shelter, fuel, and energy. In addition to setting and approving the dates for the independent and county fairs, ODA is responsible for helping to assure the safety of amusement rides, for monitoring livestock shows to help assure honest competition, and for coordinating animal health efforts with designated local veterinarians.… Continue reading

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Ohio represented on NCGA action teams

The National Corn Growers Association announced the slate of new and returning farmer leaders who will serve as members of its action teams and committees, which began on Jan. 1, 2022. These volunteer farmers will actively shape the future of their industry by guiding programs and carrying out the policies and priorities that drive the association. 

Leadership for NCGA’s seven major teams in 2022 includes Ohioans: 

• Denny Vennekotter, vice chair of the Ethanol Action Team

• Jed Bower, board liaison on the Member and Consumer Engagement Action Team

• Patty Mann, vice chair of the Production Technology Access Action Team 

• Kelly Harsh, board liaison, Risk Management & Transportation Action Team.

The action teams and committees will have their first meetings in St. Louis this month.… Continue reading

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Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation appoints new leadership

Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation recently added one new board member and elected 2022 officers of the board, which oversees the charitable, nonprofit organization.

New to the board is Mike Boyert, northeast regional trustee for the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation.

Reappointed to the board was Annalies Corbin, The PAST Foundation; Doug Miller, Ohio Rural Electric Cooperatives; Jane Scott, Columbus Metropolitan Club; Mike Townsley, Bob Evans Farms/Post Refrigerated Retail; and Jenna Gregorich, Young Agricultural Professionals/Ohio Poultry Association.

Also elected were officers of the 16-member board. Tara Durbin, senior vice president agricultural lending, Farm Credit Mid-America was named president; Ohio Farm Bureau Trustee Jenny Cox was elected first vice president; Amy McCormick, corporate affairs manager, Kroger Columbus Division was elected second vice president; and Ohio Farm Bureau Treasurer Lane Osswald continues in his role as the foundation’s treasurer.

The foundation is committed to inspiring and educating the next generation of farmers, ensuring the progress and prosperity of Ohio agriculture far into the future.… Continue reading

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Clark passes away at 76

Mike Clark., age 76, of Waynesville, passed away Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021, at Miami Valley Hospital. 

Mike graduated from Waynesville, class of ’63, and attended Wright State University. He was a lifelong farmer and was one of southwest Ohio’s more respected and well-known farmers. 
He was a graduate of The Ohio State University’s Leadership, Education and Development Program (L.E.A.D.); a member of the Ohio Soybean Council, past president of the Madison County and Warren County Farm Bureaus; and was an active member of the Waynesville Rotary. 


Family-oriented, loving, outgoing, trusted, and highly visionary, Mike lived by his quote of “hard work builds character!” He was kind and took pride in offering guidance and a path to a better life to those who fell on tough times. For many years, while his children were growing up and well after they graduated from school, Mike and his wife greatly enjoyed hosting foreign exchange students.… Continue reading

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