OFBF President Steve Hirsch

Ohio Farm Bureau elects new leaders

Buckeye Farm News

Steve Hirsch of Chillicothe has been elected president of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF). He became the organization’s 23rd president during a special election by OFBF’s board of trustees April 5.

Hirsch, 46, replaces Brent Porteus, who stepped down after three years as president in order to stand for election to the Nationwide board of trustees. Porteus, a grain and cattle farmer, was elected to a three-year term on the Nationwide board. Keith Truckor of Metamora will continue to serve as OFBF’s treasurer.

Hirsch has been OFBF’s first vice president for three years and has served on the board for 10 years as the trustee for District 15, which includes Fairfield, Hocking, Pickaway and Ross counties. He will remain the district’s board representative.

He is an 18-year member of Ross County Farm Bureau and served as its president and chairman of the membership, public policy and safety committees.

Hirsch farms with his father, brother and cousin producing apples, peaches, grapes, strawberries, raspberries and other crops. They also operate a retail farm market and a cider pressing facility.

He and his wife, Kimberly, are the parents of three children.

Hirsch earned a degree in business administration from the University of Dayton. In addition to his Farm Bureau activities, he has been active with the Ohio Fruit Growers Society, the Direct Agricultural Marketing Association, the American Heart Association and his local Chamber of Commerce.

Weilnau elected first vice president

Sparky Weilnau of Milan was elected OFBF’s first vice president. Weilnau previously served as the organization’s first vice president from 2004 – 2006 and as treasurer from 2001 – 2003. He has served as the District 3 trustee representing Farm Bureau members from Cuyahoga, Erie, Huron and Lorain counties since 1996. He maintains that role as vice president.

Weilnau and his wife Catherine are the parents of two sons.

Their farming operation consists of popcorn, field corn, soybeans and wheat. He has been a member of the Erie County Farm Bureau since 1976 and has been  involved in numerous leadership roles. He was an Erie County commissioner, serves as a Milan Township trustee and is a member of the Erie County Regional Planning Commission.

Williams on executive committee

Tim Williams of Piketon was elected to OFBF’s Executive Committee. The committee is elected by and from OFBF’s board of trustees.

The committee includes the organization’s president, vice president, treasurer and seven trustees. It is charged with carrying out the business of Farm Bureau between meetings of the full board.

Williams serves as District 21 trustee, representing Farm Bureau members from Jackson, Pike, Scioto and Vinton counties. He served on the board for five years and retired in 2006 then returned for his current term in 2009.

Williams and his wife, Robin, grow apples and peaches, operate a seasonal farm market and own a cow-calf beef herd.

Williams is a 41-year member of the Pike County Farm Bureau. He served as county president and vice president and has been active in policy, membership, agricultural ecology and State Issue 2 committees.

He is manager of Pike Water, Inc. Williams is a director with the Pike County Chamber of Commerce and is involved with Ohio Environmental Health Association. He is a graduate of Piketon Vocational Tech.

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