Buckeye People

Unverferth Mfg. names new VP of sales and marketing

Unverferth Mfg. announces the appointment of Brett Unverferth as the new vice president of sales and marketing effective with the retirement of Dan Fanger on Jan. 7. Fanger has held a distinguished 56-year career with the company. 

“We sincerely thank Dan for his career-long commitment to the company. His leadership role in helping grow the company through new programs, products and acquisitions have contributed greatly to the company’s growth through his five decades of service. We wish Dan the best in his well-deserved retirement,” said Larry Unverferth, president. “We are excited to promote Brett to this important role with the company to continue leading sales and marketing efforts into the future. Brett’s industry knowledge, relationship-building experience and leadership abilities will suit him well in his new role.”

Brett Unverferth began working in various roles at the company throughout high school and college. Upon graduation from The Ohio State University in 2000, he began his career in sales and marketing with New Holland.… Continue reading

Read More »

Benefit auction opportunities

The certainly has been much to celebrate for many, but 2021 also has had its share of heartbreak and tough times. There are a couple of upcoming opportunities to help out some folks in need before the year’s end. 

Breeder’s World is holding a benefit auction for the Feichtner Memorial Charitable Fund in memory of Owen Feichtner of Willard who passed away this fall at the age of 16. Funds are being raised for a hog building at the Huron County Fair in a fund started in memory of Owen’s grandfather.

In addition, there is an online benefit auction for the Jennings family from Windy Ridge Acres in Felicity. They have had a number of health challenges in recent weeks and the proceeds will go toward their medical expenses. … Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio Soybean Association and Ohio Soybean Council Elect 2022 Board Leadership

At the end of November, the board of trustees for the Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) and Ohio Soybean Council (OSC) elected their board leadership for the upcoming year. 

For OSA, former Vice President Patrick Knouff of Shelby County assumed the role of president. Rusty Goebel of Williams County was elected vice president, Jerry Bambauer of Auglaize County was elected treasurer and Trish Cunningham of Union County will serve as secretary.

“After serving as first vice president and vice president for the past two years, I am honored to move into the president role for 2022,” Knouff said. “I would like to thank my fellow board members for trusting me with this position and its leadership responsibilities for the coming year. I know we will have another strong year of advocacy with the voices on our board.”

For OSC, former Vice Chairman Jeff Magyar of Ashtabula County was elected chairman. Magyar will be working with newly elected Vice Chairman Bill Bayliss of Logan County, Treasurer Cindy Layman of Hardin County and Secretary Nathan Eckel of Wood County for the 2022 year.… Continue reading

Read More »

Scott Metzger of Ross County elected to ASA Executive Committee

Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) board member Scott Metzger was elected to the Executive Committee of the American Soybean Association (ASA). Metzger will serve on the committee as an at-large member. He has served on ASA since 2018.

“We’d like to congratulate Scott on his new leadership position,” said Patrick Knouff, OSA president and Shelby County soybean farmer. “Ohio has a long history of leadership on ASA’s Executive Committee and through his guidance and passion, Scott will carry on that tradition.”

Metzger farms more 3,100 acres of soybeans, corn and wheat in Ross County. In addition to his position on ASA, he serves on the OSA Board of Trustees, where he has previously served as president, chairman, vice president, first vice president and treasurer. He also serves on the Ohio Soybean Council Board of Trustees. Additionally, Metzger has participated in many leadership programs including Ohio Farm Bureau’s AgriPower, and American Soybean Association’s Corteva Young Leader Program.… Continue reading

Read More »

Steve Reinhard of Crawford County elected USB treasurer

Ohio Soybean Council (OSC) board member Steve Reinhard was elected to lead the national United Soybean Board (USB) as its treasurer. Reinhard has served on USB since 2017 and previously served as the Demand Action Team Chair.

“We’d like to congratulate Steve on his new leadership position,” said Jeff Magyar, OSC chairman and Ashtabula County soybean farmer. “His involvement on USB is already a testament to his dedication to create better opportunities for soybean farmers in Ohio and across the nation. In this new role, Steve will be able to take that passion to the next level.”

Reinhard farms 1,300 acres of soybeans, corn and wheat in Bucyrus. In addition to his position on USB, he serves on the OSC Board of Trustees, where he has previously served as Chairman, Vice Chairman and Treasurer. In addition to his roles on OSC and USB, Reinhard also represents Ohio on the Soy Transportation Coalition Board of Trustees.… Continue reading

Read More »

Kayli Long named Ohio Pork Council Producer Education Manager

The Ohio Pork Council is pleased to welcome Kayli Long to the staff as the organization’s Producer Education Manager beginning December 6, 2021. 

“The Ohio Pork Council is excited to have Kayli join our team,” said Cheryl Day, Executive Vice President. “We know her experience, talents and passion for agriculture will be a powerful addition to our organization.” 

Long joins the Ohio Pork Council with a passion for educating and promoting the agricultural industry, where her roots run deep. Having spent her youth growing up in Marion County, Long was heavily involved in both the Marion County 4-H program and the Ridgedale FFA chapter, where she held countless leadership positions. Long’s time in the FFA spent competing in events such as state public speaking, livestock judging, and job interview have helped to shape her into a passionate and well-rounded agriculturalist in today’s industry. 

Prior to accepting the role of Producer Education Manager, Long had served as the organization’s communications intern during the summer of 2021.… Continue reading

Read More »

Summers named Ohio’s State Veterinarian

Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) Director Dorothy Pelanda announced Dennis Summers as Chief of the Division of Animal Health, which is charged with protecting and promoting the health of Ohio’s livestock and poultry industries. In that capacity, he serves as Ohio’s State Veterinarian and oversees all operations for the division.

Summers first joined ODA in 2014 as a field veterinarian for the Division of Meat Inspection, then was transferred to ODA’s Division of Animal Health in the same capacity in 2015. He was appointed to the position of Assistant State Veterinarian in 2018 and then Interim State Veterinarian in 2021.

Prior to his service at ODA, Dr. Summers was a private practitioner in Vermont, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. His areas of practice focused on large animal medicine and surgery, mainly dairy, equine, and beef, but also some small ruminants and exotics.

Summers was born and raised in Muskingum County. He attended The Ohio State University for his undergraduate studies, majoring in Animal Sciences, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture in 2001.… Continue reading

Read More »

Miss Ohio’s roots in boots

By Brianna Gwirtz OCJ field reporter
Ohio agriculture is about to be nationally represented in an uncharacteristic place: the stage at the Miss America competition. Lora Current, 2021 Miss Ohio, will be competing for the coveted title of Miss America Dec. 12 through Dec. 16 in Uncasville, Conn. Current grew up on her family’s farm in Rosewood, Ohio, a small rural town in Champaign County. Both her parents, Dana and Chad Current, are veterinarians. 

“I grew up on our family’s cattle farm. We raise Angus cattle and have a few horses as well,” Current said. “I grew up in a big family, I’m the sixth of seven kids. I was basically born into 4-H. My parents were club advisors and I showed just about everything. Pigs and sewing were my main projects.”

Lora Current, 2021 Miss Ohio, will be competing for the coveted title of Miss America Dec. 12 through Dec.
Continue reading

Read More »

NPPC hires Humphreys as new CEO

The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) announced Bryan Humphreys has been chosen as the organization’s new chief executive officer, effective Dec. 21, 2021, following the retirement of long-time leader Neil Dierks. Humphreys brings with him years of experience in the pork industry, including as a former NPPC employee, state association executive and National Pork Board senior vice president, as well as outside the industry as a campaign operative, lobbyist and business owner. 

“I am honored to have been chosen to lead NPPC as its CEO and continue the great work Mr. Dierks has done on behalf of America’s pork producers,” Humphreys said. “This role is not one to take lightly. As CEO, I will strive to advance the industry and protect producers’ freedom to operate through innovative strategies and new partnerships. I look forward to working alongside producers, stakeholders, state associations and the entire team at NPPC to make a lasting impact for farmers across the country.… Continue reading

Read More »

Forshey calling hours this Friday

Last week the Ohio Department of Agriculture announced the death of State Veterinarian Tony Forshey.

“It is with heavy hearts that the Ohio Department of Agriculture shares the passing of longtime State Veterinarian Dr. Tony Forshey. Dr. Forshey was a leader in animal health; both well known, and well respected,” said Dorothy Pelanda, ODA Director. “Dr. Forshey had a passion and commitment to agriculture and animal health.”

Forshey received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from The Ohio State University and practiced veterinary medicine for 27 years, with a major interest in swine production. He served as the State Veterinarian and Chief of Animal Health at ODA for 15 years. He held numerous leadership roles at the national level, serving on the Board of Directors for the United States Animal Health Association and Chairman of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the National Institute for Animal Agriculture. He was inducted into the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame in the class of 2020.… Continue reading

Read More »

AgCredit Awards $15,000 in Scholarships to Local Students

AgCredit has announced the winners of five $3,000 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 over $138,000 since the scholarship program began in 1989.

AgCredit congratulates the following students for earning scholarships for the 2021-2022 academic year:

  • Claire Meyer of Wood County is a junior at The Ohio State University, where she is studying agricultural communication and agribusiness.
  • Eric Ritter of Hancock County is a senior at The Ohio State University, where he is majoring in agribusiness, applied economics and coaching education.
  • Elizabeth Strine of Marion County is a junior at The Ohio State University, where she is majoring in community leadership and development and strategic communication.
Continue reading

Read More »

Ayars honored in Dairy Shrine

Bonnie Ayars was among four recipients for the 2021 outstanding individuals honored with the National Dairy Shrine’s Pioneer Award in recognition of their significant contributions to the dairy industry. Bonnie’s portrait and accomplishments will be displayed in the National Dairy Shrine’s Dairy Hall of Fame and Museum in Ft. Atkinson, Wisconsin. Ayars has been a Dairy Program Specialist in the Ohio State University Department of Animal Sciences since 2006. … Continue reading

Read More »

Farm community loses Judy Loudenslager

Known by many in Ohio agriculture, Judith A. “Judy” Loudenslager, age 81, of Marion, died peacefully on Thursday, October 14, 2021, at home surrounded by her loving family.

On November 5, 1939, Judy was born in Marion, Ohio, the only child of the late Robert L. and Evelyn F. (Massie) Campbell. She was raised in Morral, where she was a member of Morral United Methodist Church, and graduated from Morral High School in the class of 1957. Growing up, she also learned the value of hard work, helping at her parent’s grocery store, Morral Market, and at the Morral Supply Company.

In 1954, Judy attended a youth camp with her church up in Lakeside, Ohio, where she fell for her camp counselor, Roy Loudenslager, and from there the rest is history. They dated while she was in high school, and were married a year after she graduated on July 27, 1958, at Epworth United Methodist Church.… Continue reading

Read More »

Earl “Doc” Kantner passed away

Earl F. Kantner, age 95, of Canal Winchester, Ohio passed away on Oct. 15, 2021 at home with his loving family by his side. Long time teacher and youth leader born April 24, 1926 on the family farm near Wapakoneta. Son of Charles I. and Blanche Dapper Kantner. WWII Veteran, served in South Pacific theater on Island of Okinawa with U.S. Army famed Seventh Army Infantry Division. Wounded in action June 17, 1945, the last battle of WWII. Youth Director of Ohio’s FFA youth for 21 years, 1963-1984.
   Earl began his education in a one-room country school in 1932 at the age of six and graduated from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in 1950. Taught High School Agricultural classes at Ansonia, Wauseon and Canal Winchester, Ohio High Schools. Joined the OSU faculty in 1958 and in 1963 was appointed Assistant State Supervisor of the Agricultural Education Services, Ohio Department of Education.… Continue reading

Read More »

Singh named director of compliance for Versova

Versova, one of the nation’s leading egg-producing companies, has expanded its senior leadership team with the newly created role of Director of Compliance. Ashley Singh will be transitioning from her former role at Trillium Farms, a Versova-owned farm in Ohio, to Director of Compliance for all Versova-managed operations and will lead compliance efforts company-wide. 

In the new role, Singh will focus on Versova’s three pillars of compliance; the production of safe, affordable food; the care, health and well-being of Versova’s flocks; and stewardship of the environment. She will lead Versova’s farm compliance teams in Iowa and Ohio in ensuring that food safety and animal welfare practices are met, working with government and regulatory agencies to implement national quality assurance programs, and continuously improving policies and procedures that will help maintain and exceed compliance industry standards.

“Versova’s guiding principles include both quality and compliance, as well as continuous improvement, and with the addition of the Director of Compliance role, our team has established a leader that will be responsible for ensuring that our farms operate with these guidelines in mind,” said JT Dean, Versova president.… Continue reading

Read More »

Epley named associate state 4-H leader

Hannah Epley, an associate professor of Extension education and the interim associate state 4-H leader and Ohio State University Extension specialist for camping and older youth, has been named associate state 4-H leader, effective Sept. 1.

Ohio 4-H, the youth development program of OSU Extension, which is the outreach arm of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), annually offers or sponsors 4-H camps to youth in all 88 of Ohio’s counties.

Epley joined CFAES as the 4-H educator in Fairfield County in 2005, becoming the camping and older youth state 4-H specialist in 2014. During her time as a 4-H educator, Epley provided overall leadership for the county 4-H program, which now has more than 1,600 community club 4-H members, 350-plus 4-H campers, and 1,000-plus youth participating in school enrichment programs.

In her role as associate state 4-H leader, Epley will:

  • plan and implement professional development opportunities and trainings, including one-on-one instruction, for more than 150 Extension 4-H professionals in the areas of risk management, problem solving, critical thinking, and positive youth development.
Continue reading

Read More »

Huron County community mourns a terrible loss

Owen Ray Feichtner, 16, of Willard, Ohio passed away on Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021. He was born on May 4, 2005, in Willard to Heath and Joey (Secor) Feicthner.

He was a member of the South Central FFA and had an overwhelming passion for all things agriculture with big dreams for the future of his family farm. As an active 4-H member, Owen showed multiple species including hogs, cattle, lambs, and goats. He was a true people person who enjoyed sharing his love of the showring with young 4-H members and pushed all of those around him to be better. More recently he began to have a passion for breeding and raising pups with his brother Nash, this passion lead Owen all over the state with good friends in search for Bernese Mountain Dogs. Owen also enjoyed deer hunting, riding horses with his Paw and friends, and road trips to livestock shows and activities involving family and friends.… Continue reading

Read More »

Gehres joins Jeff Martin Auctioneers, Inc.

Jeff Martin Auctioneers, Inc. (JMA) is happy to announce Peter D. Gehres, CAI, CES, CAS as the company’s new Chief Operating Officer effective Oct. 1. As COO, Gehres will be responsible for overseeing and improving all aspects of auction operations. His role also includes integrating recent acquisitions while streamlining existing processes and procedures. JMA is North America’s fastest-growing Equipment Auction Company. In 2021 the JMA family of companies is on pace to conduct over 150 live and online auction events in 19 states.

Gehres, 41, has worked in the auction industry since he graduated from The Ohio Auction School and The Ohio State University. As an auction professional for the last 18 years, Gehres has experienced nearly every aspect of the auction business and brings a wide array of skills to JMA. In addition to refining existing operations Gehres will lead JMA into new industry segments, sectors, and regions.

“We are excited to have a person of Peter’s talents and passion on our management and leadership team,” said Jeff Martin, CEO and President.… Continue reading

Read More »

Nelson named Farm Bureau senior organization director

Chip Nelson of Circleville has been named senior organization director for Ohio Farm Bureau Federation and will serve members in Fairfield, Hocking, Pickaway and Ross counties. He will work with the county Farm Bureaus to address issues important to members and their communities.
Nelson began his Ohio Farm Bureau career 26 years ago as an organization director in Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake and Trumbull counties and most recently was director of field and volunteer development with the organization. He received his bachelor’s degree from Wilmington College, where he majored in agriculture and education.
Prior to joining the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation staff, Nelson taught agriculture education and served as an FFA advisor. He also served as the farm director for a small market radio station.
Nelson is a member of Pickaway County Farm Bureau, and he and his wife, Charla, have two adult children and one grandchild. They attend services at Madison Christian Church in Groveport.… Continue reading

Read More »

Farm Bureau names 2021 policy development committee

Twenty Ohio Farm Bureau leaders are serving on the 2021 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 carbon capture markets and climate policy, ethanol and biofuels, the supply chain, property rights associated with wind and solar siting and farmland preservation.

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 Lane Osswald of Eldorado. State trustees on the committee are Matt Aultman of Greenville, Roger Baker of Wooster, Karin Bright of Athens, Danielle Burch of Salem, Al Miller of Marietta, Kyle Smith of South Vienna and Chris Weaver of Lyons.… Continue reading

Read More »