Click on the links provided with each announcement to read more about the award or achievement. Visit the OFBF.org News Room for all the news releases from Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s 93rd annual meeting.
Nearly 900 Ohio Farm Bureau members, friends and guests gathered in Columbus this week for the organization’s 93rd annual meeting.
The yearly event is a celebration of individual, county and state Farm Bureau achievements of the past year, and a time to review and form the policies and stances that will direct the work of the grassroots organization for the next year.
The meeting kicked off Wednesday, Nov. 30 with leadership sessions with Mary Byers, author of the book “Race for Relevance,” based on changing world realities and organizational change. The sessions challenged members to take a look at their membership organization at all levels, and to start discussion about changes to better position it for the future.
Dr. Jeffrey Wadsworth, CEO of Battelle Memorial Institute shared the business’ innovation and contribution to technological advances over the years and dedication to the future. He shared the importance of Ohio agriculture to growing biotechnological innovation to serve the world.
Members also took part in the annual Rural-Urban Community auction, benefitting three Ohio Farm Bureau Foundations serving Ohio agriculture.
The annual Ohio Farm Bureau Harvest Banquet was held Thursday evening, Dec. 1. The banquet is a celebration of the past year, recognizing outstanding county Farm Bureau programming and individuals, and honoring the lifetime achievements of some of the most influential and inspirational agriculture leaders in the state.
County Farm Bureau Programming: Winners of the President’s Award were Carroll, Delaware, Harrison and Muskingum County Farm Bureaus. The President’s Award signifies outstanding county accomplishment across all program areas to their members. Many other counties received the Excellence Award for their programming as well.
Outstanding membership achievement: Fifty-nine Ohio Farm Bureau members were recognized for their contributions to membership growth of the organization. All were named to the Ohio Farm Bureau Ambassador Club for their efforts in signing 10 or more new members to Farm Bureau.
Muskingum County Farm Bureau member Pat Wheeler earned the Murray Lincoln Award, named after Ohio Farm Bureau’s First Executive Vice President. The award is presented only to members who sign 50 or more new members to Farm Bureau during the year. Wheeler signed 51.
Young Ag Success
The winners of Ohio Farm Bureau’s Young Agricultural Professionals’ contests were also recognized. They will be competing in the national rounds of the following competitions at American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual meeting in Hawaii in January.
- Discussion Meet: Shelby Brammell of Hardin County was named the winner of the 2011 Young Ag Professionals Discussion Meet, an exercise in cooperative problem solving, designed to give participants experience in leading a group discussion and in chairing a committee.
- Excellence in Agriculture: Marion County’s Scott and Tracie Isler are the 2011 Excellence in Agriculture Award winners. The Excellence in Agriculture Award recognizes successful young agriculture professionals who are actively contributing and growing through their involvement with Farm Bureau and agriculture.
- Outstanding Young Farmer: Matt and Rachel Heimerl of Licking County are the 2011 Outstanding Young Farmers. The award recognizes successful young farmers, age 35 or younger, for achievements in the business of farming and leadership in the agricultural community.
Many Ohio agriculture leaders and advocates were recognized for their lifetime contributions to the industry and organization.
- Well-known agricultural advocate and farm broadcaster Lindsay Hill was posthumously presented the organization’s Agricultural Communicator Award. The Hill family accepted the award on Lindsay’s behalf.
- Fred Pursley received a Distinguished Service to Agriculture award. The longtime Nationwide Insurance agent serving Ohio farmers, and Warren County Farm Bureau Outstanding Service Award winner shared stories from his time knowing Ohio Farm Bureau First Executive Vice President Lincoln Murray.
- Judy Roush, a longtime Ohio Farm Bureau staff member, who was also a national leader of the Ag in the Classroom project, was presented the Ag/Cooperative Educator Award. She comes from a long line of influential Ohio ag leaders. Her father and grandfather have both received Distinguished Service to Agriculture awards from Ohio Farm Bureau.
- Howard Skiles, a former Ohio Farm Bureau Board member who also served on Landmark Cooperative Board and received awards for resource conservation, received Ohio Farm Bureau’s Distinguished Service to Agriculture Award.
- Paul Wright, native of Coshocton, and well-known Ohio Ag Lawyer was presented Ohio Farm Bureau’s Distinguished Service to Agriculture Award.
Friday morning activities included the annual election of Ohio Farm Bureau’s State Board of Trustees and executive positions for the next year.
- Ohio Farm Bureau President Steve Hirsch, from Ross County, was re-elected and will serve his first full one-year term, after becoming president this past April during a special election.
- Erie County Farm Bureau member and Ohio Farm Bureau First Vice President Sparky Weilnau was also re-elected to his position.
- Frank Burkett, III of Stark County has been elected to serve as the Treasurer of Ohio Farm Bureau. He takes the place of retiring Treasurer Keith Truckor, who remains on the Board of Trustees.
Five new member volunteers were elected to the highest leadership positions in the organization.
The newly elected leaders step into positions held by retiring board members Bob Slicker, Bill Lowe, Randy Leis, Chuck Lausin and Steve Hess, respectively.
Delegates wrapped up their annual policy meeting on Friday morning. Visit the OFBF.org News Room for a complete overview to be posted by Monday, Dec. 5.