Ruth McLaughlin, the first Farm Bureau volunteer-member to receive the Agricultural Communicator Award.

Ohio Farm Bureau Honors Agricultural Supporters

For Immediate Release

December 3, 2010

COLUMBUS, Ohio (OFBF) – Four outstanding leaders in Ohio agriculture were honored by the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) at the group’s 92nd annual meeting. Distinguished Service Awards were presented to Farm Bureau volunteer Lois Boyer and U.S. Sen. George Voinovich. Wade Leaman was named winner of the Cooperative Agriculture Educator Award, and Ruth McLaughlin was named winner of the Agricultural Communicator Award.

Lois Boyer is a lifelong supporter of agriculture and Farm Bureau. She was president of the Farm Bureau women’s committee in Greene and Clinton counties, president of the southwest women’s committee, president of Clinton County Farm Bureau and served on the Ohio Farm Bureau board of trustees from 1985 to 1995. Boyer served as a 4-H and OSU extension volunteer for 60 years. She served eight years on the state 4-H advisory committee and six years as a state extension specialist. She also served on the governor’s committee on recycling and litter and the governor’s women in traffic safety committee. She has received numerous recognitions for her efforts including the state 4-H alumni award, and was inducted in the Ohio 4-Hall of Fame in 1985. Boyer has been very active in the Lees Creek and Mt. Zion Churches of Christ for a combined 67 years. She and her late husband, Keith, were dairy farmers for 45 years.

U.S. Senator George Voinovich has dedicated more than 40 years of his life to being a public official.

He was a member of the Ohio House from 1967 to 1971, Cuyahoga County auditor from 1971 to 1976, Cuyahoga County commissioner from 1977 to 1978, Ohio’s lieutenant governor in 1979 and mayor of Cleveland from 1979 to 1989. He became governor in 1990, serving in that role for two terms. In 1998, Voinovich was chosen to represent Ohio as U.S. Senator, and still holds the office until his retirement at the end of his current term. Senator Voinovich has a reputation of being a representative of common sense, a believer in traditional values and a fighter for Ohio’s economy. He believes that all levels of government should “work harder and smarter and do more with less.” As U.S. Senator, his voting record earned him numerous “Friend of Farm Bureau” awards for supporting initiatives important to Ohio’s farming community. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Ohio University and a juris doctorate from Ohio State University.

Wade Leaman became manager of the Carroll County Landmark in 1965 and was there until 1970 when he became manager of the Geauga Landmark- Western Reserve Farm Cooperative, where he served until his retirement in 1995. He was also involved in the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau management training program. After his retirement, he volunteered for three assignments for the Volunteers for Overseas Cooperative Activities in Slovakia, Ukraine and Bulgaria. Leaman is also active in many community causes including volunteering for Geauga County Meals on Wheels. He has affiliations with the Chardon United Methodist Church, as well as the Community Presbyterian Church of Celebration. He has been a Farm Bureau member for 45 years and has earned the distinguished service award from Geauga County Farm Bureau. He grew up on a dairy farm and graduated from Penn State University in 1959, majoring in animal science. Wade served in the U.S. Army.

Ruth McLaughlin is the first Farm Bureau volunteer-member to receive the Agricultural Communicator Award. She writes a weekly article for the Zanesville Times Recorder in which she shares news of Farm Bureau, agriculture and stories from her farm. She is very involved in her community, serving as Sunday school class treasurer and Sunday school teacher at her church, cooking fundraising dinners and serving as a leader for junior high youth groups and as a camp counselor. She also has raised funds for hospice for the past 13 years. She served as a 4-H adviser for several years, and this past year received the lifetime of service award from Muskingum County Farm Bureau. She often represents the county Farm Bureau at local and state meetings, and has been a member of a local Farm Bureau Advisory Council for more than 50 years. McLaughlin is known for her desire and ability to communicate about agriculture and Farm Bureau and is always willing to share her knowledge with her fellow members.

Distinguished Service, Agricultural Educator and Agricultural Communicator candidates are nominated by county Farm Bureaus or individual members. The awards recognize lifetime contributions to Ohio’s agricultural community and to Ohio Farm Bureau.


CONTACT: Joe Cornely

PHONE: (614) 246-8230

E-MAIL: [email protected]

Note: A high resolution photo of Sen. Voinovich is available to download at