Ashtabula County holds 2020 annual meeting

The Ashtabula County Farm Bureau held its 2020 Annual Meeting Monday, Sept. 21, 2020 at the Eagleville Bible Church parking lot in Rock Creek, with 71 in attendance. This was a drive-in style meeting due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Local, state and federal candidates were invited to participate in a Candidate’s Minute, either in person or by video, to give a short introduction of themselves and to share what they will do for agriculture and the community if elected. All in attendance enjoyed their choice of a boxed meal served by Russell’s Restaurant, Espyville, PA. 

County President Lynn Frank presided over the event. Board trustees were elected for two-year terms: Lynn Frank, Jason Hayes, Jeff Magyar, Tom Spencer and Zach Ward. Terry Atkinson, Sara Frank and Becca Magyar Waldo were elected to serve as delegates to the Ohio Farm Bureau annual meeting in 2021.   

Farm Bureau members also voted on the policies that guide the county Farm Bureau and established member positions for proposals to the Ohio Farm Bureau, which will be voted on at the 2020 Ohio Farm Bureau Annual Meeting in December.  Policy positions included agriculture’s role in protecting water quality,  wildlife management, agricultural education programs, land conservation, road maintenance and woodland management. All proposed policies passed.

State Representative John Patterson was recognized with the Ashtabula County Farm Bureau 2020 Distinguished Service to Agriculture award for his work with Ashtabula County and Ohio agriculture. Representative Patterson has gone above and beyond to gather information on key issues members have faced over the years ranging from Current Agricultural Use Value, broadband, water quality, opiate addiction and mental health. He makes a genuine effort to reach out to those in the industry to learn and engage on the issues they face, even sitting on local committees such as the Phosphorus Task Force.

The 2020 OFBF Member of Distinction for Ashtabula County was awarded to Ann Marrison for her more than 40 years of service and dedication to Farm Bureau and the organization’s mission. Marrison has dedicated a large part of her life to Farm Bureau through volunteerism, serving as a board trustee, delegate and in different officer capacities. She has always been instrumental in policy development and in helping members ensure their voices were heard.

The Grand Valley FFA and Advisor Lowell Moodt were recognized as the 2020 Partner of the Year. The Farm Bureau Partner of the Year awards were started to recognize individuals, businesses or organizations for the service, commitment and support of the Farm Bureau mission to advance agriculture and strengthen our communities. This award recognizes those who create a successful relationship that resulted in a measurable success. This group has dedicated its time, ideas and energy to helping provide successful programming in the county. 

Allison Graves (pictured), Mason Mazzaro, Sharon Millard and Austin Stringfellow were acknowledged as the 2020 Ashtabula  County Farm Bureau scholarship recipients.  

Ohio Farm Bureau State Trustee Bill Patterson shared the current happenings of the Ohio Farm Bureau and remarks from the OFBF state board. He also thanked Organization Director Mandy Orahood for her dedication to Ashtabula County and all the work she put into making this year’s annual meeting a success.

Orahood recognized the Ashtabula County Farm Bureau board of trustees, action team leaders and membership coordinator for their 2020 accomplishments and thanked them all for their commitment to the Ashtabula County Farm Bureau.  

The annual meeting was also a celebration of the work members, volunteers and staff put into representing Farm Bureau in “advancing agriculture and strengthening our communities.”