COLUMBUS, Ohio (Aug. 6, 2012) – Aug.5, Bob Evans Farms, Inc., in partnership with the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) and JD Equipment, proudly honored its founder’s long-standing tradition of purchasing the Grand Champion Barrow at the Ohio State Fair’s Sale of Champions. The iconic 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. This year’s Grand Champion Barrow, raised by Lea Kimley of Clark County, sold for $35,000.
“At Bob Evans, we rely on Ohio’s farmers to provide quality products for our company and our customers,” said Mike Townsley, president of BEF Foods, Inc. “We have a history and a heritage of partnership with Ohio farmers. Whenever we have the opportunity to give back to them we take it. Purchasing the Grand Champion Barrow is a symbol of that partnership, our commitment to youth agriculture educational programs, and ultimately, it’s a testament to the high quality livestock we raise right here in Ohio.”
“Ohio farmers are proud of their efforts to responsibly raise high quality food,” said John C. (Jack) Fisher, executive vice president of Ohio Farm Bureau Federation. “We’re glad to shine a spotlight on their work by partnering with Bob Evans Farms and JD Equipment to support the Sale of Champions.”
Rooted deeply in the Ohio soil, Bob Evans Farms owes its success to the land. Founder Bob Evans was a farmer in southeast Ohio when he began making and selling sausage on his farm in Rio Grande. Throughout his lifetime, Bob Evans was committed to promoting progressive farming practices in homage to the family farm. Today, the company honors Bob Evans’ legacy by supporting numerous agricultural associations in Ohio and by partnering with the Ohio Farm Bureau and JD Equipment.
“Bob Evans himself believed strongly in causes related to conservation, agriculture, education,hunger, children and family,” Townsley said. “Working with the Ohio Farm Bureau and JD Equipment has allowed us to support these efforts by giving back to our state’s youth.”
Ohio Farm Bureau started in 1919 with the belief that farmers working together could improve their lives and those of their fellow Ohioans. Today, Farm Bureau members remain active in their communities on food and farming issues.
“Developing young leaders for Ohio is an important job; we’re thankful the folks at Bob Evans and JD Equipment share Farm Bureau members’ passion for supporting our state’s youth,” Fisher said.
JD Equipment was founded with the vision of providing excellent customer service and world class products by people who care deeply about customers and community.
“Our mission at JD Equipment is to serve you for the future—and that is why we feel it is so important to invest in supporting the youth of our community. We’re happy to come out to the Sale of Champions to celebrate and give back to these youth who have devoted so many hours to agriculture,” said Jeff Mitchell, CEO of JD Equipment.
The proceeds of the sale of the barrow will go to both the individual market exhibitor, Lea Kimley, 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 and 4-H. Kimley and her family have also been offered an all- expense paid trip to this year’s Bob Evans Farm Festival to showcase her champion barrow and commitment to her industry. Bob Evans Restaurants will congratulate Lea with a celebration at her hometown restaurant near Springfield.
Meat yielded from the winning barrow will be donated to the Mid-Ohio Food Bank.
About Bob Evans Farms, Inc.
Bob Evans Farms, Inc. owns and operates full-service restaurants under the Bob Evans and Mimi’s Café brand names. At the end of the fourth fiscal quarter (April 27, 2012), Bob Evans owned and operated 565 family restaurants in 19 states, primarily in the Midwest, mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions of the United States, while Mimi’s Café owned and operated 145 casual restaurants located in 24 states, primarily in California and other western states. Bob Evans Farms, Inc. is also a leading producer and distributor of pork sausage and a variety of complementary convenience food items under the Bob Evans and Owens brand names. For more information about Bob Evans Farms, Inc., visit www.bobevans.com.
About JD Equipment
JD Equipment is a family-owned business, founded in Plain City, Ohio in 1982. It sells and services new and used John Deere agriculture, lawn and garden, and light construction equipment, along with more than 80 other brands of equipment and parts. Over the past 30 years, it has grown to become Ohio’s largest John Deere dealer, with eight locations and more than 300 employees in central Ohio. JD Equipment prides itself on its excellent customer service, wide range of products and parts, and convenient availability of parts onsite.