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Buckeye Farm News
Stephen Heppe, Portage County
Stephen Heppe has been a Farm Bureau member for four years and has been Portage County’s president since September. He was active in Farm Bureau youth and participated in the Young Farmer trip to Washington D.C. He also went to this year’s American Farm Bureau annual meeting in San Antonio, Texas.
Heppe is a 4-H program assistant in Wayne County and a part-time farmer raising soybeans and corn on his farm. During planting and harvesting seasons, he helps his father on his nearby 700-acre farm. He graduated from Ohio State University with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural education.
Heppe is active in the Portage County 4-H program and is one of the coaches of the county livestock judging team, which has been in three national contests over the last six years.
He and other Farm Bureau members have been active this year in trying to revive and find funding for a farm-city tour.
“We’d like to bring the people from the city out to see what agriculture is about and teach them about some of the things we do,” he said. “Educational outreach is so important because so many people have been removed from the farm for so long that they don’t understand the basic concepts of farming. When we have education and an understanding of what we do, it makes them realize that what they see on TV might not really be what is happening.”
Sandy Kuhn, director of commodity relations and executive director of the Ohio Livestock Coalition
As director of commodity relations, Sandy Kuhn plans and facilitates the Trends and Issues Conference, oversees the six Advisory Teams, serves as a liaison with the Ohio commodity organizations and works with Farm Bureau staff on commodity related issues. In her capacity as the executive director of the Ohio Livestock Coalition, she works with coalition members to promote animal agriculture in Ohio.
“Agriculture is a way of life for me, and I can’t imagine doing anything that doesn’t involve something in agriculture,” she said. “I love it and the people involved in it.”
She grew up on top of Conkles Hollow State Park in Hocking County and spent a lot of time on her grandparents’ farm. Her parents, sister and brother-in-law now own the farm and have sheep and miscellaneous other animals that she “randomly shows up with.”
Kuhn graduated from Ohio State University with a bachelor’s degree in ag education and animal science and master’s degrees in ag education and business management. She previously worked at OSU South Centers with berry growers on sales, marketing and product development. She currently serves as vice president of the Fairfield County OSU Alumni Club.