Buckeye People

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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Farm Credit Mid-America promotes Tara Durbin 

Farm Credit Mid-America, one of the nation’s largest financial services cooperatives serving rural residents and farmers, has promoted Tara Durbin to Chief Lending Officer, Agriculture. Durbin joins Farm Credit Mid-America’s restructured Executive Committee under President and Chief Executive Officer Dan Wagner and now leads retail and commercial agriculture lending sales and support teams across Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. 

Tara Durbin

“I am most excited to be a strong voice for our retail and commercial agriculture teams and the customers we serve across our four-state footprint,” Durbin says. “As part of the nationwide Farm Credit System, Farm Credit Mid-America secures the future of rural communities and agriculture by being a reliable, consistent source of credit. I look forward to using my experience to represent these voices at the highest level of our organization.” 

Durbin’s deep experience in agriculture began on her family’s small grain farm in Highland County in Southern Ohio.… Continue reading

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Ohio Agricultural Council announces 2022 Hall of Fame inductees

Four Ohioans who have committed their lives to working in, promoting and advocating for Ohio’s farm community will be honored Friday, August 5, by the Ohio Agricultural Council (OAC), when they are inducted into the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame. 

The Ohio Agricultural Council (OAC) will induct Leon Boucher of Dublin, Steven C. Drake of Colorado Springs, CO, Lisa Hamler-Fugitt of Lancaster, and Duane Stateler of McComb, into the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame. The 56thannual event normally attracts more than 600 guests to honor the four professionals for their lifetime of service and dedication to Ohio’s agriculture community.

“We are pleased to recognize this impressive class of Hall of Fame inductees,” said Chris Henney, president of the Ohio Agricultural Council and president and CEO of the Ohio AgriBusiness Association. “Through their advocacy, mentorship and conservation efforts, the contributions to the agricultural industry of the 2022 class have been recognized across local, state, national and international levels.” … Continue reading

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Legacy Farmers Cooperative facilities Certification in 4R Nutrient Stewardship

Continuing their commitment to improving water quality in the Western Lake Erie Basin, Legacy Farmers Cooperative facilities in Arcadia, Arlington, McComb and Pandora have achieved certified status for year six and the Custar facility for year seven through the 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program.

The voluntary certification program is a concentrated effort by the agriculture industry to significantly reduce and prevent applied nutrients from running off fields, which has contributed to water quality issues in Lake Erie. Facilities are required to meet certain program goals each year to retain certified status. 

With the program in its eighth year, the Legacy Farmers Cooperative facilities are among the first to achieve years six and seven certified status.

“Legacy Farmers Cooperative is proud to be part of the 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program,” said Mark Sunderman, president and CEO of Legacy Farmers Cooperative. “It takes all of the efforts of our employee team and members/customers following the 4Rs to show our commitment to making a difference in water quality.… Continue reading

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Ohio State hosts and wins the 2022 All East Livestock Contest

The Ohio State University (OSU) hosted the 2022 All East Livestock Contest on the OSU Wooster campus from March 31 through April 3. This three-day collegiate livestock judging contest was sponsored by the Ohio State Department of Animal Sciences and the Agricultural Technology Institute (ATI). The event was attended by 64 contestants from eight four-year agricultural universities from across the eastern United States attended this contest. Attending universities included: Michigan State University, Mississippi State University, Pennsylvania State University, Purdue University, The Ohio State University, University of Illinois, University of Missouri, and University of Tennessee.

The contest consists of three separate contests held on consecutive days: market animal evaluation, breeding animal selection, and a traditional livestock judging contest. Awards were given to individuals and teams that excel in the individual contest categories. Results for the individual contests were also weighted across all three days on an equal basis to recognize high individuals and teams in the overall contest. … Continue reading

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Ohio Farm Bureau hires ExploreAg and ag literacy program specialist

Jana Mussard of Mount Vernon 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.

Mussard grew up on her family’s dairy farm in Fulton County. She is a graduate of The Ohio State University with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural education and a master’s degree in youth development and leadership.

Before joining the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation staff, Mussard was an Ohio State University Extension 4-H educator in Knox County. Prior to that, she specialized in administration and marketing with COBA/Select Sires.

Mussard is a member of Knox County Farm Bureau.… Continue reading

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Ohio agriculture teachers named finalists for Ag Educator of the Year

Agricultural educators serve a critical role in the communities they serve, devoting countless hours to preparing students for successful careers and helping them pursue their passions. To shed light on the contributions of Ohio’s leading agricultural teachers, Ohio FFA, Nationwide, Ohio Farm Bureau, Farm Credit Mid-America and AgCredit, ACA are honoring 10 exceptional educators as finalists for the Golden Owl Award.
From Aug. 1 through Dec. 31, 2021, Ohio FFA collected nominations for the state’s top agricultural teachers from local students, parents, fellow teachers and community members across the state.
Ohio’s 2021-2022 Golden Owl Award finalists are:

  • Tricia Schoen, Genoa-Penta FFA, Genoa
  • Laura Ringler, Plymouth FFA, Plymouth
  • Lowell Moodt, Grand Valley FFA, Orwell
  • Barrett Zimmerman, Clyde FFA, Clyde
  • Sarah Heilers, Anna FFA, Anna
  • Aaron Thompson, Upper Scioto Valley-OHP FFA, McGuffey
  • Jeff Tilley, Amanda-Clearcreek FFA, Amanda
  • Tim Kilpatrick, Coshocton County Career Center FFA, Coshocton
  • Eric Heeg, Blanchester Great Oaks FFA, Blanchester
  • Abby Campbell, Fort Frye FFA, Beverly

Each finalist was presented with an individualized plaque in front of fellow teachers and students and received a $500 donation to their school’s agricultural program to support future educational efforts.… Continue reading

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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


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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