Distinguished Service Award honoree Tim Corcoran of Ross County was a member of the Ohio Farm Bureau board of trustees beginning in 1994, where he also served as treasurer and first vice president. He joined the Nationwide board of directors in 2001, served as board chairman beginning in 2014 and retired as chairman of the board this year.
Corcoran and his wife, Karen, are the parents of three adult children: Greg, Lisa and Andrea and have seven grandchildren. They are part of Corcoran Farms, a multigenerational family operation where they raise corn, soybeans, popcorn, hay and cattle.
Corcoran grew up one of 13 children in rural south central Ohio near Hopetown. His memories of the farm and love of farming started at a very young age when he had the opportunity to be with his dad and uncle as they farmed together.
“Seeing them work together to accomplish the necessary farm tasks and working together with my brothers and sisters on the farm to contribute to do our part, I came to appreciate the power of ‘cooperation.’ We all had different responsibilities but we worked toward the same goal. That just took hold of me, ” he said.
His values also were instilled at an early age through his parents, “who impressed upon us the importance of integrity, a good reputation and hard work. Finish your job in a way that you can be proud, but always be humble,” he said.
As Karen and Tim were creating their long-range plan for their family, they knew that a priority to them was to instill the value of and importance of agriculture in their children and preserve the farm family lifestyle for future generations.
The couple chose to make Farm Bureau a part of their life very early and agreed upon being involved together. Like so many, Tim and Karen’s first toe in the water was in the Ross County membership campaign. Their true passion for Farm Bureau was developed as members of the State Young Farm Couples Committee and eventually the national Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee, where they served with future American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall and his wife, Bonnie.
“To this day we have many friends who continue to make a difference in agriculture. We’re proud of what we as young farmers did and how it carried over into our Farm Bureau experience and from there evolved into state activities,” he said.
“Something that I appreciate about Farm Bureau is that everyone can get involved, and to that extent, even our kids became involved with youth activities. Throughout it all, we’re contributing to agriculture, advocating for agriculture, and it was those programs that we appreciated the most.”
Corcoran’s lengthy resume lists many leadership appointments with various organizations including civic groups, church and schools, community planning groups, charities, political committees and agricultural associations at the local state and national level. He said his lifetime of service to the industry comes from a “need.”
“I’d much rather just be farming. I love to farm. That’s my passion, but on the other hand, we all owe it to ourselves to participate. There is a need beyond what I do to assure that I and others can farm. And that’s what Farm Bureau does. That’s what Farm Bureau allows many people to do…to farm and do what we do best. But if we don’t take ownership of the direction and the policies, the legislative issues and regulations, we won’t be able to do what we do best in a way that we think is right.”
Corcoran said above all, what he appreciates about agriculture, Farm Bureau and Nationwide is the people.
“The synergy that is created from working together for a common cause…Over the many years with Farm Bureau and Nationwide, there’s been so much good that I’ve had a privilege to be part of,” he said. “Regardless of the organization that I’ve been involved with, but specifically Farm Bureau, the interaction with independent thinkers who have the same objective, but a different way of going about it, is how we build synergy among ourselves to solve a problem and create a solution.”