Buckeye People

Agriculture Education Foundation announces scholarships

The Agriculture Education Foundation announces five scholarships issued for the fall semester of 2022. Five students becoming agriculture educators are each a recipient of $1,000 towards their tuition costs this semester.

Recipients of the scholarship are:

• Holden Nuhn of Collins is a freshman at Wilmington College planning to be an agriculture teacher upon graduation.

• Cora Crillow of Millersburg is a freshman at The Ohio State University, ATI planning to be an agriculture teacher upon graduation.

• Seth Richardson of Springfield is a freshman at The Ohio State University, ATI planning to be an agriculture teacher upon graduation.

• Haven Hileman of Stout is a sophomore at The Ohio State University planning to be an agriculture teacher upon graduation.

• Luke Jennings of Felicity is a freshman at The Ohio State University planning to be an agriculture teacher upon graduation.

These five students were selected based on their commitment to agriculture education.… Continue reading

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New staff joining Ohio Ag Net/OCJ

By Matt Reese

It has been a busy a busy summer at Ag Net Communications, Inc. for many reasons, including the exciting addition of three new team members.

We are welcoming back Joel Penhorwood. We are also welcoming two new marketing specialists to the team: Kristin Flowers from Henry County and Joe Everett from Shelby County.

“We have always been fortunate to have a great staff to help us in our mission to serve Ohio agriculture and we are really excited to welcome this group,” said Dale Minyo, general manager of Ag Net Communications. “They bring tremendous talent, experience and connections to the agricultural industry in the state to help keep us on top of our game.”  

Joel Penhorwood

Joel is returning to Ag Net Communications with a heavy emphasis on video production, but will work with radio, print, and the podcast as well. Joel started as an intern and worked for Ohio Ag Net as a radio news broadcaster from 2013 to 2019.… Continue reading

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Ohio Farm Bureau names Policy Development Committee

Twenty Ohio Farm Bureau leaders are serving on the 2022 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 farmland preservation; the farm bill; SEC climate reporting at the farm level; funding alternatives for the gas tax; biosecurity measures to protect livestock from chronic wasting disease, highly pathogenic avian influenza and swine fever; and the U.S. EPA approval process for ag technology such as Enlist, atrazine, and others.
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.… Continue reading

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FABE Capstone Team places first in 2022 AGCO National Student Design Competition

A team of The Ohio State University seniors majoring in food, agricultural and biological engineering (FABE) took home the gold in a national competition focused on the design of engineering projects advancing agriculture. The 2022 AGCO National Student Design Competition was a part of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) 2022 Annual International Meeting. Seven teams from five universities competed in the first phase of the competition, where only the top three were invited to the ASABE conference to deliver oral presentations about their design in the final phase. 

Ohio State team members Katelyn Sang and Lindsey Shimoda represented their team which also included FABE students Emma Rand and Donny Smith. Their project was titled “Transpiration control for sustainable deep space food production.” The team was advised by Peter Ling and Jane Fife from the Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering at Ohio State in collaboration with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). … Continue reading

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Hummel named Outstanding Young Farmer

John Hummel of Canal Winchester is the winner of Ohio Farm Bureau’s Outstanding Young Farmer Award for 2022. The contest is designed to help young farmers strengthen their business skills, develop marketing opportunities and receive recognition for their accomplishments. Contestants are judged on the growth of their farm businesses and involvement in Farm Bureau and their community.

Hummel is the fifth generation to carry on the farming tradition in his family. He, along with his wife and two sons, reside and farm in central Ohio. He is a graduate of Ohio University where he studied business while working full-time on the family farm. Today, Hummel farms alongside his great uncle and uncle raising corn and soybeans. Together, they have doubled the size and capacity of their operation in the last 15 years.

“My senior year of high school, the farm added close to 1,000 acres, and I made the choice to stay on the farm and commute to a satellite branch campus for college so that I could be on the farm to help every day,” Hummel said in his application.… Continue reading

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Lierer elected to U.S. Grains Council Board

Ohio Corn & Wheat (OCW) is celebrating the election of Gail Lierer to the Board of Directors of the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) as an at-large director.

Lierer grows corn, soybeans and hay and manages a small cattle operation in Butler County with her husband, Dave. She is the current Chair of USGC’s Asia Advisory Team, which maintains and develops markets for feed grains in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China and Southeast Asia. In addition to promoting grain exports with USGC, Lierer has extensive market development experience with the U.S. Meat Export Federation and USA Poultry & Egg Export Council. 

“The U.S. Grains Council leads crucial efforts to promote trade like bringing international trade teams to the United States to learn about American grain and see our family-run operations. I plan to build upon that work as an at-large director,” Lierer said. “During my time on the board, I also plan to communicate with growers about the work USGC does on their behalf to facilitate trade, resulting in stronger prices for their quality grain.”… Continue reading

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Harsh re-elected to NCGA Corn Board

Ohio Corn & Wheat (OCW) celebrated the re-election of Kelly Harsh to the Corn Board of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA).

Harsh grows corn, wheat and soybeans on her operation in Delaware County, Ohio, and serves as current Chair of the Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association. In 2021, she was appointed to serve in a vacant seat on NCGA’s Corn Board. Additionally, she has since served as NCGA board liaison to the Risk Management Action Team and the Finance Committee. 

“As farmers represent a smaller and smaller percentage of the population, boards such as NCGA serve a vital function,” Harsh said. “We have the power to shape policies that will allow us to continue providing an abundant source of feed, fiber and fuel in a rapidly changing world.”

For the past year, Harsh’s first priority in her role on the Corn Board has been for NCGA to effectively represent its federation of states by listening to grower needs nationwide.… Continue reading

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Gray name chief information officer for Farm bureau

John Gray of Ashtabula, Ohio, has been named chief information officer for Ohio Farm Bureau. In this new role, Gray will oversee a team of Information Technology professionals and work closely with IT partners to advance the organization’s core objectives. He also will be developing and implementing strategic solutions to stabilize and enhance the organization’s IT infrastructure and operations.
Most recently, Gray was the organization’s director of IT. He attended DeVry University, where he earned a bachelor of science in electronic engineering technology.
Prior to joining the Ohio Farm Bureau team, as a solutions architect and systems engineer, he consulted at various companies such as Honda North America, American Electrical Power, JP Morgan Chase and Nationwide.

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Celebrating a career of dedication to organic farming

By Brianna Gwirtz, OCJ field reporter

In 1973, a young Dean McIlvaine was plagued by the problems caused by the energy crisis. The crisis was causing gas prices to skyrocket and fuel shortages were abundant. McIlvaine often thought about alternatives to using fossil fuel, something that would be better for the planet. 

A problem solver by nature, McIlvaine has always been intrigued by possible solutions to modern day problems. 

McIlvaine carried that curiosity into his adult life. In college at Grinnell University in Iowa, he studied economics and policy. McIlvaine was also exposed to organic agriculture during his time in Iowa at school.

“The idea of organic food production really resonated with me and blossomed. I tried to invoke change through politics. I had worked in Washington, D.C. for a stint, writing a proposal for organic education and research for the 1979 Farm Bill.  However, I became more interested in practical applications.… Continue reading

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Bush appointed to international role


Anthony Bush, an Ohio farmer from Morrow County, has been appointed to serve as a director on the board of MAIZALL, the international alliance of maize growers and exporters from Argentina, Brazil and the United States. He joins John Linder, NCGA’s chair, representing NCGA to the board.
Bush, a fourth-generation grain farmer, is also a board member for Ohio Corn and Wheat.

“Anthony is a nationally respected agricultural leader who will bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the MAIZALL board,” said Chris Edgington, National Corn Growers Association president. “I can think of no one better to represent the American agricultural community as we collaborate with other farmer leaders from Brazil and Argentina to position the Americas for new trade opportunities overseas.” 

Combined, MAIZALL’s three countries account for over 50% of global corn production and 70% of world exports. Bush will begin serving on the board, effective immediately.… Continue reading

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Beam named social media specialist for Ohio Farm Bureau

Brooke Beam has been hired as the social media specialist for Ohio Farm Bureau. In her new role, Beam will be responsible for helping coordinate and execute Ohio Farm Bureau’s social media strategy with Senior Director of Communications, Ty Higgins.
Prior to joining the communications team at Farm Bureau, Beam worked for Ohio State University Extension in Highland County as the agriculture and natural resources/community development Extension educator. She earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in science from Ohio State University, as well as a Ph.D. with a specialization in agricultural communications. Beam also owns and operates a grain farm in Clinton County, where she is a Farm Bureau member.… Continue reading

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Ohio Corn & Wheat hires Eick

Ohio Corn & Wheat (OCW) is pleased to announce its new Director of Marketing and Communications, Marlene Eick.   

In this role, Eick will be responsible for leading the development and execution of annual communications and marketing plans and initiatives for Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association, the Ohio Corn Checkoff and the Ohio Small Grains Checkoff. She will serve as an industry spokesperson and media liaison throughout Ohio and the U.S. Eick will also be responsible for the organization’s relationships with its members and national organizations such as National Corn Growers Association, National Association of Wheat Growers, U.S. Grains Council, U.S. Wheat Associates, U.S. Meat Export Federation and more. 

Eick brings diverse integrated communications experience with a background in education, multimedia communication, and most recently, leadership and professional development training for local, state and national organizations in agriculture. She comes from a leadership consultant role in the business she founded and owns, Live Your Story LLC.… Continue reading

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Camp Canopy awards nearly $8,000 in scholarships

The Ohio Forestry Association Foundation concluded its annual Camp Canopy and presented graduation awards on June 17, 2022, at Ohio FFA Camp Muskingum. This year, 8 scholarships were awarded to campers with a total of $7,750 by the following entities:  

• Bryce Papp – $1,000, Ohio Forestry Association Foundation 

• Lily McGraw – $1,250, The Ohio State University 

• Aaron Sweitzer – $1,000, The Ohio State University 

• Sam Cox (highest exam score) – $1,000, Hocking College 

• Devin Lanave – $1,000, Hocking College

• Alex Bzdafka – $1,000; Zane State College

• Addison Woerner – $1,000, Zane State College 

• Adam Burse – $500, North East Ohio Forestry Association

Campers learned forestry and wildlife skills like tree identification, wildlife management, silviculture, ecology, and forestry forensics. Exams were administered Friday morning and the highest scores received college scholarships if they wish to pursue a degree in forestry, wildlife, or environmental science.… Continue reading

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Meet Ohio’s Golden Owl!

By Bethany Starlin, OCJ FFA reporter

“Although I’m excited and extremely thankful, it’s not great for me. It’s great for our school and it’s great for our community…”

After winning one of Ohio’s most prestigious awards in the realm of agricultural education, Barrett Zimmerman was quick to pass the excitement on to those around him. Those who are fortunate enough to know him would call that true Barrett Zimmerman fashion.

Chances are, anyone who has ever stepped into an agriculture classroom was impacted by their agricultural educator in some capacity. Whether it be pursuing a career in agriculture post-graduation, gaining professional skills or learning a valuable life lesson, the impact of educators lasts a lifetime. A group of professional agriculture organizations and businesses decided a few years ago that this impact deserved to be recognized in a big way.

Beginning in the 2018-19 school year, Nationwide, Ohio FFA, Ohio Farm Bureau, Farm Credit Mid-America and AgCredit annually recognize 10 agricultural educators across the state of Ohio as Golden Owl Award Honorees.… Continue reading

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Breanna Barker named Ohio Pork Council marketing director

The Ohio Pork Council is pleased to welcome Breanna Barker to the staff as the organization’s marketing director, beginning June 20, 2022.

“On behalf of the Ohio Pork Council Board of Directors and staff, we are excited to welcome Breanna Barker to our dynamic team,” said Cheryl Day, Executive Vice President. “Barker’s deep-rooted passion for agriculture and vast experience will assist Ohio pig farmers in promoting pork in fresh, innovative ways.”

Barker joins the Ohio Pork Council with a passion for agriculture built only through time in the industry. Raised in Weld County, Colorado, Barker was heavily involved in the Texas Longhorn Breeders Association of America, FFA, and 4-H. Barker spent time competing in events, such as prepared and extemporaneous speaking, dairy judging, and showing hogs, which instilled the drive to be an advocate for agriculture seen in her now.

Through many opportunities, Barker has been involved in agriculture throughout many states, including Colorado, Texas, California, Oklahoma, and now Ohio.… Continue reading

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Wuebker joining Ohio Ag Net team

Laura Wuebker is joining our team as an intern. This summer her responsibilities will include producing the weekly podcast and joining the afternoon broadcast team as an afternoon farm broadcaster.

Wuebker resides in Versailles, Ohio in Darke County. She grew up on her family’s diversified livestock and grain operation, where her passion for the agriculture industry was first established. Her love for the agriculture world developed as she learned the importance of sharing the story of each person involved in it. Her interest in radio developed during high school, where she worked at WTGR Radio Stations as a Co-Farm News Director. In this role, she broadcasted agriculture-related stories with the grain markets to four counties in Ohio and two in Indiana.

During high school, she was also involved in FFA, 4-H, National Honor Society, Darke County Fair Queen, and served as a State Vice President at Large for the Ohio FFA Association.… Continue reading

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OABA Welcomes Lauren Prettyman as Director of Communications & Member Experience

The Ohio AgriBusiness Association is pleased to welcome Lauren Prettyman as the Director of Communications & Member Experience. In her role, Lauren will oversee all aspects of association communications including social media management, event promotion, press release and news writing, graphic design, photography and videography, as well as managing members’ experiences, including Member Directory, event support, sponsorships, and more. Lauren’s first day with the association is June 6.

Lauren is a 2014 graduate of The Ohio State University with a B.S in agriculture communication and a minor in production agriculture. While there, she was involved in the College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, university scholars’ programs and study abroad, including trips to study animal agriculture and environmental conservation in Chile, Brazil, Ireland and Costa Rica.

Lauren grew up on her family’s row crop and beef cattle farm in Marion County and has become more involved in helping on the farm since moving back to Ohio in 2020.… Continue reading

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COBA/Select Sires welcomes summer interns 

COBA/Select Sires welcomes four interns to the team for the summer of 2022. Rachael Billups, an incoming senior at The Ohio State University, joins as the Communications/Marketing Intern. Cole Pond, an incoming sophomore at The Ohio State University, Mecaylah Hesse, a recent graduate of the University of Findlay, and Cole Harhager, a student at The Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute (ATI), are Reproductive Services Client Manager (RSCM) Interns. 

Billups majors in agricultural communication with a minor in agribusiness. Her time in FFA, specifically participating in dairy judging contests, directed her path to COBA/Select Sires. Billups will work on organizing and distributing the route mailings each week for the District Sales Managers. Other tasks include newsletter writing, designing ads, posters, route stuffers, social media graphics and other marketing-related tasks. 

Pond is studying agribusiness and applied economics and comes with experience on his family’s Holstein operation in Woodstock, Ohio. Hesse is studying animal science industry and worked as a farm hand on two dairy farms, as well as a hog operation.… Continue reading

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Sunrise announces RISE FFA Career Program recipients

Sunrise Cooperative, Inc. is pleased to announce its 2022 RISE FFA Career Program recipients. Slated to join Sunrise as full-time employees following graduation are Kayla Cummins from Indian Lake -OHP FFA, Vivian Barnett of Willard FFA, Blade Hale and Gavin Sexton from South Central FFA, along with Chris Hiler from Buckeye Central FFA.

The five members of the 2022 class will begin work at Sunrise in June and will work their way through our RISE FFA Career Program, otherwise referred to as Sunrise University. Over the next four years, our new hires will gain hands-on, real-life job experiences, while learning all facets of the cooperative. 

In addition to full-time employment, Kayla Cummins was selected as the top recipient and will receive a 2021 Jeep Gladiator that the 2021-2022 Ohio FFA President Jacob Zajkowski drove during his tenure as a signing bonus. Along with her top honor, she earned a $1,000 chapter donation from Sunrise.… Continue reading

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OSU Extension hires new field specialist focusing on agronomic systems 

Stephanie Karhoff has been selected as the new field specialist, agronomic systems for Ohio State University Extension in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) at The Ohio State University. Karhoff’s full-time appointment is effective June 1, 2022. 

“We are extremely pleased to fund this important position, which will work in tandem with our other field specialists in agronomic systems, CFAES research faculty, producers, and our commodity and industry partners to translate and apply the newest university knowledge to meet the timely and most critical issues facing the ag crops industry in Ohio,” said Jacqueline Kirby Wilkins, associate dean and director, OSU Extension. “Please join OSU Extension in welcoming Stephanie Karhoff to this role, which is important to the continuing success of Ohio’s agronomic crops industry and Extension’s agriculture and natural resources efforts throughout the state.” 

Karhoff has served as the Extension educator for agriculture and natural resources in Williams County since April 2019.… Continue reading

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