Shirley Thurston was posthumously honored as the 2018 Central Ohio Farm Bureau Agriculture Woman of the Year. The ceremony took place Saturday, March 3 at the Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center in Lewis Center. Thurston passed away in October 2017 leaving behind a wonderful legacy of Farm Bureau accomplishments.
The event was started in 1983 and has recognized the most outstanding women making a positive difference in their community. Shirley was selected by a committee of her peers who evaluated potential award recipients on their years of service, leadership and involvement in the agricultural community at-large.
Shirley was a member of the Delaware County Farm Bureau since 1952, where she also served as a past county board member, past president for two years, past vice president, chairman of the Membership Drive, Nominating Committee chairman, Public Affairs chairman, Policy Development chairman and delegate to the Ohio Farm Bureau annual meeting. She was also a member of the Delaware County Farm Bureau Council since 1955. Shirley and her husband, Bill, started one council and were members in four different councils over the years. She also was instrumental in organizing the first women’s councils for the Ohio Farm Bureau. She was co-chair of the Delaware County Farm Bureau tent at the Delaware County Fair and spoke with the public about agriculture, specifically cows about to give birth during the county fair. In 2002, she received the Friend of Farm Bureau award.
There to accept the award on her behalf was her daughter Mary Fleming, pictured second from left. Her husband Bill Thurston and family were also in attendance to celebrate this remarkable accomplishment.