Buckeye People

Conservation Farm Family Award winners recognized

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) recognized five farming families who are conservation leaders in agriculture from around Ohio at the 59th annual Farm Science Review this week.

The five winners to be honored are: Rodabaugh Family of Hardin County; Sluss Family of Stark County; Jeannie and the late Cliff Miller of Carroll County; Harrod Family of Darke County; and White Clover Farms of Highland County.

The Conservation Farm Family Awards program has recognized Ohio farm families since 1984 for their exemplary efforts in conserving soil, water, woodlands, wildlife and other natural resources on their farmland.… Continue reading

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Davidson elected to Ohio Farm Bureau board of trustees

Paul Davidson of Newark has been elected to the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation board of trustees, representing members in District 12 composed of Coshocton, Holmes, Knox and Licking counties. He was elected during a special election by delegates from that four-county area and fills the unexpired term of Jesse Whinnery of Coshocton. Whinnery stepped down from the Ohio Farm Bureau board earlier this year.

Davidson is a 49-year member of Licking County Farm Bureau and served as its president. He also previously served on the Ohio Farm Bureau board from 2011 to 2018. 

An Ohio State University graduate with a degree in agricultural economics and rural sociology, Davidson produces hay and is a project manager for a local excavating company. He is on the board of directors of the Buckeye Valley Building Industries Association, a 4-H adviser, member of FFA Alumni and currently serves as a trustee on the Licking Land Trust, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection of green space and natural landscapes in and around Licking County.… Continue reading

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Farm Science Review 2021 Hall of Fame inductees

The annual Farm Science Review trade show, now in its 59th year, has announced Jim Karcher of Apple Creek, Gerald Reid of Wooster, and Ken Ulrich of South Charleston as the 2021 inductees into its Hall of Fame.

Each year, the Review, which is hosted by The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), honors individuals who go above and beyond to ensure the best possible experience for visitors and the continued sustainability of the show site, CFAES’ Molly Caren Agricultural Center near London. 

This year’s Review runs Sept. 21–23, with the inductees being honored at a private event.


Jim Karcher

Jim Karcher, former manager of grounds at CFAES Wooster, was selected as an inductee to the Farm Science Review Hall of Fame because of his many contributions to the show, including his work with the field demonstration group, an excellent demonstration of exhibitor relations, and an innovative approach to visitor safety.… Continue reading

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New Young Ag Professionals State Committee members named

The Ohio Farm Bureau Federation has named the newest members of its Young Agricultural Professionals Committee: Hannah DiVencenzo of Lorain County, Ryan Matthews of Highland County, Derek Snider of Hardin County, and Sara Tallmadge of Ashland County. Committee members are selected based on Farm Bureau involvement, leadership potential and community service.
The committee is composed of eight members or couples who suggest, develop and conduct activities that provide opportunities for young farmers and ag professionals to be more involved in Ohio Farm Bureau programs. Duties include planning the yearly YAP winter leadership conference and hosting Young Agricultural Professionals in a variety of in- and out-of-state events.
DiVencenzo, along with her husband Joe, raises pastured poultry for eggs and meat and sells direct to consumers and as a partner with local CSAs. She works as an adjunct instructor at Lorain County Community College teaching in the biology department. DiVencnezo currently serves on the Lorain County Farm Bureau board of trustees and enjoys volunteering her time to improve agriculture in Lorain County.… Continue reading

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Harsh appointed to NCGA Corn Board

The National Corn Growers Association’s Board of Directors has appointed Kelly Harsh, to serve on the organization’s Corn Board. 

Harsh, from Delaware, Ohio currently serves as the President of the Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association. She is being appointed to complete a vacant term.

“I am humbled and honored that the NCGA Corn Board has appointed me to serve on the board,” Harsh said. “This group of leaders represent corn growers from across the country, and I look forward to working hard to advance an industry that we love.” 

Harsh will begin serving her one-year term immediately. She is joined on the Corn Board by fellow Ohioans John Linder (Edison, Ohio) who serves as NCGA President and Jed Bower (Washington Court House). 

“I am excited for Kelly to have this opportunity. She is a valuable member of Ohio Corn & Wheat and the perspective that she will bring to the NCGA Corn Board will be immense,” said Tadd Nicholson, Executive Director of the Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association.… Continue reading

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Seven young Ohio sheep farmers receive OSIA scholarships

Brandon Zuercher (Hancock Co.) received a $2,000 scholarship for the sixth annual Dr. Jack Judy Memorial Scholarship. Zuercher is a sophomore at The Ohio State University majoring in Animal Sciences. 

Jim Stickley (Champaign Co.) received a $1,000 Ralph Grimshaw Memorial Scholarship and Rachel Berk (Franklin Co.) received a $500 Ralph Grimshaw Memorial Scholarship. Stickley is a senior at The Ohio State University and is currently majoring in Agricultural Business with a minor in Political Sciences.  Berk is a sophomore at The Ohio State University majoring in Animal Sciences with a Pre-Veterinary interest. 

Chelsea Graham (Licking Co.) is a senior at Columbus State Community College majoring as a Veterinary Technician; she will be receiving the second annual High Family Memorial Scholarship.  

Emma Peters (Darke Co.), Linsey Eddy (Union Co.) and Ian Johnson (Union Co.) each received a $500 scholarship awarded from the OSIA LEAD Council. Emma Peters is a currently a sophomore at Lincoln Land Community College in Illinois and is majoring in Animal Sciences.  Linsey Eddy will be a freshman at Purdue University and is majoring in Animal Sciences.  Ian Johnson is a sophomore at Iowa State University and is majoring in Animal Science/Agribusiness

The Ohio Sheep Improvement Association in coordination with the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation sponsors the Dr.… Continue reading

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Nationwide honors Ohio’s Ag Educator of the Year, opens 2021-2022 search

Educators serve a critical role in preparing future generations for success. They also devote immeasurable time, and often their own resources, to help students pursue their passions. As the number one insurer of farms and ranches in the United States, Nationwide recently recognized 10 Ohio teachers as finalists for the 2020-2021 Golden Owl Award. In partnership with Ohio Farm Bureau, Ohio FFA, AgCredit and Farm Credit Mid-America, Nationwide recognized Don Hammersmith at Ayersville High School as Ohio’s 2020-2021 Ag Educator of the Year. 

“As a company with deep roots in agriculture, we recognize the essential role agricultural teachers play in their communities and for the future of the industry,” said Brad Liggett, president of Agribusiness at Nationwide. “We’re proud to recognize the incredible work of teachers like Don Hammersmith to make a difference for their students and communities.”

Hammersmith was formally recognized as the Golden Owl Award grand prize winner during the Ohio FFA State Convention.… Continue reading

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Lemmon named assistant general manager

In addition to her duties as managing editor, Kim Lemmon has been named assistant general manager of Ag Net Communications, LLC. In this role she will be assisting general manager Dale Minyo in the behind-the-scenes running of Ag Net Communications, LLC. 

“As we move forward, Kim is the perfect person to help with the growing workload because of her years of experience working with so many facets of the company,” Minyo said. “With her help, we’ll be able to continue to build on our success in Ohio agriculture.”

Lemmon took on her new duties in August. Lemmon graduated from The Ohio State University in June of 1999. Since that time, she has been employed by Ohio’s Country Journal. In 1999 and 2000, she served as graphic designer. In 2000, she was promoted to managing editor and has served in that capacity since then. She has also led the company website and eNewsletter redesigns and manages the advertisements for both of those divisions.… Continue reading

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Stockton named OFBF 2021 Outstanding Young Farmer

Kyle Stockton of Elida is the winner of Ohio Farm Bureau’s Outstanding Young Farmer Award for 2021. 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.

Stockton grew up on a small row crop and steer operation and holds a bachelor’s degree in agribusiness from Ohio State University. He worked off the farm for nine years while working toward returning to his family farm. Today, he has a row crop operation that includes corn, soybeans, wheat, and custom planting and harvesting, and he raises hogs and feeds out Holstein steers.

“I have made it my mission to find how the 21st century farmer will stand out among other farmers, and it keeps coming back to business principles. While properly maintaining and operating machinery is still extremely important, and the blessing of good rain will never be matched in importance, it is digging into the financials of farming and finding the best returns on investment, prices and marketing that sets apart the best farmers.… Continue reading

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Mozie van Raaij named the 2021 Ohio Fairs’ Queen

Mozie van Raaij from Clark County was named the 2021 Ohio Fairs’ Queen.

She just finished her freshman year of college at the Ohio State University studying Ppsychology with a minor in substance misuse and addiction, on a pre-medicine track.  Van Raaij is also employed at Nationwide Children’s Hospital as a mental health technician. 

She was a member in 4-H for 10 years, FFA for four years, and served on the Clark County Junior Fairboard for two years. Van Raaij also held the title of 2018 Clark County Dairy Princess and was the 2018-2019 Barn-Busters Cloverbud Advisor. … Continue reading

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Roseler and Weiss inducted into Dairy Science Hall of Service

By Maurice Eastridge, Professor and Extension Dairy Specialist, Department of Animal Sciences The Ohio State University

The Dairy Science Hall of Service was initiated in 1952 to recognize worthy men and women who have made a substantial and noteworthy contribution toward the improvement of the dairy industry of Ohio, elevated the stature of dairy farmers, or inspired students enrolled at the Ohio State University. The 2021 inductees were recognized in April at the Department of Animal Sciences “Celebration of Excellence” held virtually.

Dwight Roseler

Dwight Roseler grew up in Wellington and has dedicated his career to assisting dairy farmers and those that work in the dairy industry. He graduated from The Ohio State University with his degree in dairy science in 1981. After graduation, Dwight worked as a field dairy nutritionist for local cooperatives in north central Ohio for seven years before continuing his education. Dwight earned a Master of Science degree in Ruminant Nutrition and Business Management in 1990 and a Ph.D.… Continue reading

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Ohio Pork Council welcomes Ashcraft as next Communication Director

The Ohio Pork Council and Executive Vice President Cheryl Day have announced the hiring of Curt Ashcraft as the organization’s next Communication Director beginning June 1, 2021. 

In this position, Ashcraft will be at the forefront of all communication, marketing, and educational efforts for the Ohio Pork Council, including all management of social media, content, and promotions for the organization. 

“We are excited to welcome Curt to our team, leading the marketing and communication effort for the organization,” Day said. “His experience and creativity will assist Ohio pig farmers find new and innovative ways to promote healthy, wholesome pork.” 

Ashcraft comes to the Ohio Pork Council with a number of experiences that are rooted in the world of agriculture. Growing up on a grain farm and rural community in Knox County, Ashcraft spent his youth as a member of 4-H, as well as the National FFA Organization. During his four years in the Fredericktown FFA Chapter, Ashcraft was involved in parliamentary procedure, public speaking, and was a member of one of the top meat science programs in the state. … Continue reading

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Logan to retire from COBA/Select Sires

Duane Logan announced to the COBA/Select Sires board of directors and employees that he plans to retire by the end of 2021. He has led the cooperative for the past 8 years as general manager. 

“Consistent, direct, and detailed, Duane has made a lasting impact on the member-owner-customers as well as the employees of COBA/Select Sires,” said Chad Steinberger, current board president. “We appreciate his dedication to cooperative members and employees. He has empowered his employees to serve cooperative member to the best of their abilities and it shows by growth of the cooperative.” 

Logan has long been an influential figure in COBA leadership. While still dairying in Trumbull County, he served on the COBA/Select Sires board of directors. He was elected to three consecutive terms before the herd sold and he joined the management team in Columbus. Serving as marketing director-north for 18 years prior to serving as general manager, Logan has been an integral part of the growth from 943,000 units in 2000 to 2.5 million units of semen sold in 2020.… Continue reading

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Karcher named new chair of CFAES Department of Horticulture and Crop Science

Douglas Karcher, PhD, an alumnus of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), is returning to the college as professor and chair in the Department of Horticulture and Crop Science. His four-year term begins Aug. 1, 2021, pending approval by the university’s Board of Trustees.

Karcher currently works at the University of Arkansas, where he is interim assistant director of the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station and is turfgrass specialist, professor, and assistant head in the Department of Horticulture. He started his career as an assistant professor in that department in 2000, was promoted to associate professor in 2005, and became professor in 2016.

“We are excited in bringing an engaged leader like Dr. Karcher to OSU,” said Cathann A. Kress, vice president for agricultural administration and dean of CFAES. “He has a record demonstrating effective scholarship, a commitment to students, and productive relationships with stakeholders. Further, his leadership regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion are quite welcome, and align with our continued focus on DEI as a college.”… Continue reading

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Lori Ziehr as named Acting State Conservationist for NRCS

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is pleased to announce Lori Ziehr as the Acting Ohio State Conservationist. Ziehr comes to Ohio from Texas where she serves as the Assistant State Conservationist (ASTC) for Programs. 

During her 23 years with NRCS, Ziehr has served in technical positions such as rangeland management specialist and agronomist, in addition to technology and leadership positions.  She also served as Acting ASTC for Management and Strategy in Louisiana and Acting State Conservationist in Montana.

“I am excited about this opportunity to serve as Ohio’s State Conservationist,” said Ziehr. “I look forward to working closely with Ohio NRCS’ partners and staff helping producers, farmers and woodland owners put conservation on the ground.”

During her time in Ohio, Ziehr looks forward to learning more about Ohio’s unique partnerships associated with the Great Lakes and visiting the state’s many farm operations and urban agriculture programs. … Continue reading

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Cosby appointed NRCS chief

President Biden announced the appointment of Terry Cosby to be Chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).  

“Terry has spent more than 40 years working at USDA to protect agricultural lands and help producers implement sustainable farming practices,” said U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture. “I’ve worked with Terry for many years on conservation priorities in Ohio and know that no one is more qualified for this role. With Terry on the job, Ohioans will know they have a trusted voice at USDA to help farmers get back on their feet from the pandemic, ensure that American agriculture is a leader in fighting climate change, and protect our lands and keep our waters safe for the next generation.”

Cosby began his career with the agency in 1979 as a student trainee in Iowa. He was raised on a cotton farm with his eight siblings in Tallahatchie County, Mississippi.… Continue reading

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Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation awards nearly $50,000 in scholarships

Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation recently awarded nearly $50,000 in scholarships to students across the state. The foundation annually recognizes Ohio students for their academic effort, community engagement and career interests that link agriculture to community service, education or scientific research.

Bill and Helen Swank Scholarship

Kameron Rinehart of Jeffersonville is the recipient of this scholarship. Over the course of his 40-year career with Farm Bureau, Dr. C. William (Bill) Swank enriched countless lives in the farm and food community. This fund honors the legacies of Bill and his wife, Helen, with a scholarship for the next generation of agricultural leaders.

Yvonne Lesicko Memorial Scholarship

Receiving the scholarship is Haven Hileman of Stout. This fund was established in honor of Yvonne Lesicko, Ohio Farm Bureau’s vice president of public policy, who passed away in 2020, to provide support for the next generation of student leaders. The income from this endowment will provide scholarship assistance in perpetuity to students majoring in agricultural and environmental policy or agriculture-related fields, such as food production, scientific research, education/outreach, policymaking, advocacy, or leadership development for women.… Continue reading

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Staff promotions at OFBF

Amanda Kolitsos has been named director of graphic design for Ohio Farm Bureau. She joined the organization nearly six years ago as a communications specialist. In her new role, Kolitsos will design Ohio Farm Bureau publications Buckeye Farm News and Our Ohio magazine, among other design projects, in addition to overseeing Ohio Farm Bureau brand management.

Prior to her time at Ohio Farm Bureau, Kolitsos was the communications director for the Ohio Nursery and Landscape Association.

Kolitsos is a graduate of Brookville High School and holds an agricultural communications degree from The Ohio State University. She is a proud FFA and 4-H alum and a member of the Franklin County Farm Bureau.

Dave Gore of Marysville has been named communications specialist for Ohio Farm Bureau. He was previously the organization’s print services coordinator since 2013. As part of his new role, Gore will help Ohio Farm Bureau and county Farm Bureaus with design projects, in addition to helping with photography and video production.… Continue reading

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Hunker wins fundraising auction competition

Roger Hunker, auctioneer and Realtor of United Country Real Estate | Walton Realty & Auction Co, LLC in Bellevue is the 2020 winner of the Fundraiser Auction Competition held by United Country Auction Services. He completed the most benefit/fundraiser auctions in 2020. 

Hunker, along with his companies Breeders World and BW Final Drive, conducted over 40 benefit auctions for numerous livestock organizations, FFA, 4-H, local community foundations and some local community members throughout the United States. These online auctions totaled over 7,500 lots covering over a dozen states.

“It is so rewarding to be able to give back to the organizations that helped me as a young person.” Hunker said. 

The United Country | Auction Services Fundraising Competition was created to recognize and promote the tremendous amount of charitable auctions conducted each year by United Country affiliates and auctioneers. Benefit and charity auctions have a long history in the world of auctioneering.… Continue reading

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Ohio Agricultural Council announces 2021 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 6, by the Ohio Agricultural Council (OAC), when they are inducted into the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame.

The Ohio Agricultural Council (OAC) will induct Monte Anderson of Wilmington, Randy Brown of Nevada, Tim Corcoran of Chillicothe, and Keith Stimpert of Worthington, into the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame. 

The 55th annual 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 outstanding class of Hall of Fame inductees,” said Mike Bumgarner, president of the Ohio Agricultural Council and president and CEO of United Producers, Inc. “Though our 2021 inductees represent diverse elements of the agriculture industry, from education to associations to those who dedicate their lives on the farm, all  inductees have demonstrated deep dedication to the lasting improvement of Ohio’s agriculture industry, through their leadership, mentorship and advocacy efforts.”… Continue reading

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