Gary Stoller and son, Thomas

Pleased to Feed You, Gary Stoller

Our family: Wife Nancy (we’ve been married 47 years) and our grown children Sherry, Tammy, Leslie, Virginia and Thomas.

How we met: Our families attended the same church and my sister and Nancy were about the same age and spent time together as friends. So Nancy and I were not strangers, but we didn’t seriously recognize each other until after high school.

When did you join Farm Bureau? My records say 1989.

Why are you a Farm Bureau member? Farm Bureau has always represented the farmer and as such has grown to a size that can present the farmers’ interests to public and governmental forums, which determine much of what affects agriculture. I turn many times to Farm Bureau and others like them, to get their input, to hear their counsel and to represent my interest in state and national debates that affect the future of my family and my business.

Our farm: We live and work on 120 acres of land where we raise corn, soybeans and 300,000 laying hens. We also own and operate a feed mill, which is located in Van Wert.

What motivates you? A strong motivator for me has always been a desire to be free and independent as much as possible, and to honor the same ambitions in the breast of my neighbor. In spite of the long hours, long odds or short pay, I am pleased by the quiet and personal satisfaction that comes from a job well done, a job that needs to be done for the benefit of others as well as myself.

Achievements: We raised a fine family. I served in both the Indiana Air National Guard and the U.S. Air Force, with deployment to France during the Berlin Crises of 1961. I’ve been recognized by the industry as the Golden Egg Award recipient by the Ohio Poultry Association for whom I served as president, vice president and on the exec committee. Stoller Farms was also the recipient of a 2010 Environmental Stewardship Award from the Ohio Livestock Coalition.

Why we farm: I like the freedoms and independence of the farm and I appreciate the wholesome goodness of producing food from the land and from wise animal husbandry. I enjoy experiencing first-hand the amazing bounty that agriculture has provided for this nation.

What is your favorite chore? I love the beauty of nature and the wonder of being in its element. Of course I understand that some days out-of-doors are better than others, but we have a lot of grass mowing to do on the different locations and I like to do it on a beautiful day.

Biggest misconceptions about farming: That 2 million farmers can feed 300 million people using the same technology that 15 million farmers used 50 years ago to feed 180 million people.

I want my legacy to be: That I worked honest days for the needs of my employer, my family, my neighbors and myself, that I dealt fairly with everyone in the course of my affairs, that I spoke the truth, that I had compassion for those in honest and special need, that I walked faithfully and humbly with God.

Lynn Snyder 

Lynn Snyder is senior director of communications for Ohio Farm Bureau.