Buckeye People

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


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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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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