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Irv Bell of Zanesville, John Foltz of Columbus, Andrew Stevens of Ostrander and the late Roy Wallace of Pemberville all have committed their lives to working, promoting and advocating for Ohio’s agriculture industry. They were honored by the Ohio Agricultural Council (OAC) in August with an induction into the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame.
A 36-year member of the Muskingum County Farm Bureau and former OFBF president, Bell has served on boards, commissions and organizations at county, state and national levels, including the Nationwide board. He has spearheaded efforts to address major farm industry issues, including farmland preservation, risk management, the changing future of animal agriculture and national strategic planning. His family’s farm has been awarded numerous state and national awards for excellence and environmental stewardship. Bell also has held leadership positions with a number of state and national commodity groups, and he played an integral role in the planning and development of the Nationwide/Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center at Ohio State University.
Foltz is retired as deputy undersecretary of U.S. Department of Agriculture and Federal Grain Inspection Service administrator. A graduate of Ohio State, he also served in positions with the Ohio Department of Agriculture and as the first executive of the Ohio Agribusiness Association. Foltz has held several federally appointed positions and a number of volunteer leadership roles with the Boy Scouts of America, FFA and 4-H. Foltz and his wife Anne successfully led the $15.5 million campaign to construct the Nationwide/Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center, the first “green” building at Ohio State.
Stevens has devoted nearly a half-century of service to Ohio’s agriculture industry, including almost three decades in editorial positions with Ohio Farmer. In 1992, he founded American Small Farm magazine. He has worked as a dairy farmer, a vocational education teacher and an instructor for the Farm Business Planning Association and has encouraged the establishment of small farm centers at key agriculture events such as Farm Science Review. Stevens has received the Oscar in Agriculture for agriculture writing and the Distinguished Service Award from the National Soil and Water Conservation Society.
Wallace spent more than 40 years in service to the cattlemen of Ohio and the nation through his career with COBA/Select Sires, Inc. He was a founder of the National Beef Improvement Federation (BIF), a group that has played a critical role in shaping how genetics have improved the beef industry. Wallace served in an advisory capacity to several breed organizations in the area of sire evaluation. In 2004, he was inducted in the Ohio State University Animal Sciences Hall of Fame. He also was named to BEEF Magazine’s Top 40, given to the top 40 leaders nationwide who have made major contributions to the beef industry.