From left: David & Steve Hirsh, Troy Elwer, Mike Townsley, Jack Fisher (complete caption at end of story)

Bob Evans, Ohio Farm Bureau partner in support of local youth at Ohio State Fair

Bob Evans Farms, Inc., in partnership with the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF), proudly honored its founder’s long-standing tradition of purchasing the Reserve Grand Champion Barrow for $20,000 at the Ohio State Fair’s 2011 Sale of Champions Aug. 7. The famed Ohio-based company and long-time partner of the Ohio Farm Bureau has driven the competition by purchasing 20 out of 23 Champion Hogs from 1957-1980, a reflection of Bob Evans Farms’ support for local agriculture programs.

“At Bob Evans, we truly rely on Ohio’s farmers to provide quality products for our company and our guests,” says Mike Townsley, President of BEF Foods, Inc. “It is important that we work closely with Ohio farmers, and so whenever we have the opportunity to give back to them we take it. This Reserve Grand Champion Barrow is a testament to the high quality livestock that is raised right here in Ohio.”

Rooted deeply in the Ohio soil, Bob Evans Farms owes its success to the land. Bob Evans himself started out as a traditional farmer before he began making and selling sausage on his farm in Rio Grande, Ohio. Throughout his lifetime, Bob Evans was committed to promoting progressive farming practices in homage to the family farm from which his business sprouted. To this day, the company continues to honor Bob Evans’ legacy by supporting numerous agricultural associations in Ohio in addition to the Ohio Farm Bureau.

“Bob Evans himself believed strongly in causes related to conservation, agriculture, education, hunger, children and family,” says Townsley. “Working with the Ohio Farm Bureau has allowed us to support these efforts by giving back to our state’s youth.”

The proceeds of the sale of the barrow will go to both the individual market exhibitor, Troy Elwer of Van Wert County as well as the Youth Reserve Program which provides youth exhibitors with funding for various programs. These include scholarships, the Outstanding Marketing Exhibitor Program, showmanship contests, skill-a-thon contests, dairy cattle program, breeding livestock program, FFA (Future Farmers of America) and 4-H. Troy Elwer and his family have also been offered an all-expense paid trip to this year’s Bob Evans Farm Festival to showcase his champion barrow and commitment to his/her industry. Bob Evans Restaurants will congratulate Troy with a celebration at his hometown restaurant. Meat yielded from the winning barrow will be donated by Bob Evans Farms, Inc. to the Mid-Ohio Food Bank.

“We are very proud to support such wonderful, local causes by making this contribution,” says Davis. “We are investing in Ohio in numerous ways because these organizations mean so much to our company and our brand’s history.” “Ohio Farm Bureau is happy to partner with our friends at Bob Evans,” said OFBF Executive Vice President Jack Fisher. “The Bob Evans team and our members share many of the same values. It’s gratifying to cooperate with them in support of Ohio farmers and youth.”

The Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s mission is to forge a partnership between farmers and consumers that meets consumer needs, addresses public expectations and ensures agricultural prosperity in a global marketplace. Bob Evans is proud to play a role in that mission with this partnership.

See Ohio AgNet’s video coverage of the sale.

Photo Caption: Left to right:  David Hirsch with father Steve Hirsch, president of Ohio Farm Bureau;  exhibitor Troy Elwer; Mike Townsley, president of Bob Evans Farms food products division; and Jack Fisher, OFBF executive vice president.


Lynn Snyder 

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

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