For Immediate Release
December 2, 2011
COLUMBUS, Ohio (OFBF) – Five outstanding leaders in Ohio agriculture were honored by the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) at the group’s 93nd annual meeting Dec. 1 in Columbus. Distinguished Service Awards were presented to longtime Nationwide agent Fred Pursley, agricultural attorney Paul Wright and community leader Howard Skiles. Judy Roush was named winner of the Cooperative Agriculture Educator Award, and Lindsay Hill was posthumously named winner of the Agricultural Communicator Award.
Fred Pursley has a long relationship with Farm Bureau. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in vocational agriculture from Ohio State University in 1945 and was hired by the Hamilton County Farm Bureau in 1947.
In 1956, he became a Nationwide Insurance agent, a job he continued until 1989. Pursley has been very involved in several community organizations including the Optimist Club and Lions Club and has been a volunteer for the Ohio Reads program.
Pursley has received many honors, including the Chamber of Commerce President’s Special Award, the Spirit of Otterbein Award and the Warren County Farm Bureau Outstanding Service Award. For several years, Pursley earned the Ambassador Award from the Warren County Farm Bureau for recruiting new members.
Paul Wright’s career includes 29 years of service with Ohio State University in Extension and teaching and as as county 4-H agent. He later earned his law degree from the University of Toledo.
Wright continued to work with Ohio State University Extension, serving as state specialist in agriculture law. He retired from Ohio State University in 1988 as an associate professor, and has been practicing law ever since.
He is the founding principal in Wright Law Company, LPA of Dublin, giving emphasis to estate planning, business planning, business succession planning and agricultural law issues.
Wright has received numerous awards and recognitions including the Distinguished Service Award from the American Agricultural Law Association and the Ohio State University Distinguished Alumni Award. He was inducted into the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame in 2006.
Farmer Howard Skiles has assumed many leadership roles, serving on the local school board, county Farm Bureau board, Landmark Cooperative board, Ohio Farm Bureau Board of Trustees, as well as the Maumee Valley and state Resource Conservation and Development Boards. He has also served as a county commissioner.
Skiles has received several honors including the Goodyear/National Association of Conservation Development award for outstanding accomplishments in resource conservation. He has been a first elder for the Bethlehem Christian Union church for 36 years, taught a Sunday school class for 64 years and has also served as the church’s Sunday School superintendent.
Besides working alongside her husband on the family’s farm, Judy Roush has volunteered with several agricultural groups including the National Agriculture in the Classroom organization.
She helped organize and then worked for the Ohio Agriculture Awareness Council, promoting agriculture in the classroom around the state. In 1992, Ohio Farm Bureau took over administrative duties of the council, which brought Roush to the organization.
Judy considers some of her most notable accomplishments helping Farm Bureau members and others in agriculture reach teachers and students with the message of where food comes from.
Roush was on Ohio Farm Bureau’s development team for the COSI on Wheels Agriculture Adventures mobile unit, which reached an estimated 482,333 students at 1,183 events.
She has held many leadership positions including president of the National Agriculture in the Classroom Consortium. She received an honorary state FFA degree and the VIP award from ABN Radio and Television.
Lindsay Hill (posthumous)
Lindsay Hill grew up on the family farm near DeGraff and went to Ohio State University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in agriculture communications.
She started her communications career working for broadcaster Ed Johnson of ABN as a studio producer. She delivered market reports for his farm radio network and later advanced to coordinating producer for the Agri Country television program.
At the age of 25, Hill co-founded the Buckeye Ag Radio Network, which eventually acquired ABN. She later joined the AgDay and U.S. Farm Report television broadcast team and also served as co-host of Ohio Farm Bureau’s television program Ohio Farm and Country.
Hill was elected president of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB), the youngest person to hold this position. Hill has been recognized by the NAFB with the Horizon Award, and she was recently inducted into the organization’s Hall of Fame. She received the Ohio State University Alumni Association’s William Oxley Thompson Award for early career achievement, the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Young Professional Achievement Award and the Meritorious Service to Students Award.
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
To download high resolution photos of the award receipients go to https://ofbf.org/get-involved/resources/162/