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The Geauga County Farm Bureau held its 2022 Annual Meeting on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022, at Ransom Sage Farm located at 503 Center Street, Chardon, with 142 in attendance.
The evening began with a social hour for Farm Bureau members, elected officials and candidates for the November 2022 election. A locally raised and produced dinner was catered by Upscale Eats and the meat was provided by the 4-H animals Geauga Farm Bureau purchased at the 2022 Jr. Livestock Auction: a market hog raised by Trenton Flack and a market lamb raised by Erin O’Reilly. Dinner items were all donated by local businesses & members: Sage’s Orchard & Market; Rowdy Cow Creamery; Patterson Fruit Farm; Ransom Sage Farm and Fogle Farm. Chinese Auction items were also donated by county board trustees and local businesses. The raffle proceeds go to the Farm Bureau scholarship fund.
County President Kevin Holy presided over the event. Board trustees were voted on and elected for 3-year terms. Those elected are Dale Baker, Rich Ivans, Meghan O’Reilly and Bob Rogish. Meghan O’Reilly and David Somrack were elected to serve as delegates to the 2023 Ohio Farm Bureau annual meeting with Dale Baker as 1st alternate. The president and vice president will also serve as delegates per our Code of Regulations.
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 2022 Ohio Farm Bureau Annual Meeting in December. Policy positions included agriculture’s role to increase awareness of farm and road safety, the slow-moving vehicle law, forestry management, agricultural education programs, land conservation, road and ditch maintenance, and increasing commodity processing facilities in Ohio. All proposed policies passed.
A significant portion of the evening focused on proposed code changes. The changes included moving to one member class, adding the definition of an agriculturalist, and removing trustee term limits. All proposed code changes passed.
The 2022 Distinguished Service to Agriculture Award honors deserving individuals who have made exceptional contributions to Geauga County agriculture and our community and is a great example of an individual, farm, or business that fulfills the Farm Bureau mission of advancing agriculture and strengthening our communities. This award is about service and the 2022 recipient is the late Kevin O’Reilly, Sr. The award was presented to his wife, Nancy O’Reilly. Kevin was very Farm Bureau-oriented and served on the board for many years in many aspects. He was always there to offer assistance and was a constant advocate for agriculture.
The County Farm Bureau Member of Distinction recognizes volunteer leaders for their service, dedication, and effort to the organization to further the mission of Farm Bureau. Dale Baker was the 2022 County Farm Bureau Member of Distinction. Dale has been a Farm Bureau member since 1973 and has served Geauga County Farm Bureau in many capacities, from serving on numerous committees, Policy Team leader, vice president, and even president. Dale cares about the future of his family, farm and community that is why he has dedicated so much time to Geauga Farm Bureau.
GAR Horizons, Catherine and Steve Wolcott was recognized with the Influence in Ag award for 2022. This award is intended to recognize those who go above and beyond to educate consumers about agriculture and where their food comes from. Started in 2009, GAR Horizons sells their freezer meat that they raise naturally with the crops they grow and grind into feed. Catherine and Steve feel its very important to “know where it’s grown,” which is why Catherine works hard on social media especially to create awareness from a real life farm perspective. Funny trending music videos that showcase getting up early, feeding, watering, driving around with the dogs, silly dancing, seeing the sunset and the sunrise all in order to provide real food for local people.
Rachel O’Reilly, John Patterson, Michael Soltis and Claire Suszynski were acknowledged as the 2022 Geauga County Farm Bureau scholarship recipients.
Ohio Farm Bureau State Trustee and OFBF State Board President 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 Geauga County and all the work she put into this year’s annual meeting bringing it together. Northeast Region Trustee Mike Boyert also shared information from the OFBF State Board and acknowledged all in attendance and thanked everyone for coming.
Orahood recognized the Geauga County Farm Bureau board of trustees, action team leaders and membership coordinators for their 2022 accomplishments and thanked them all for their commitment to the Geauga County Farm Bureau.
It was a beautiful evening filled with celebrating of the work our members, volunteers and staff put into fulfilling the OFBF mission statement: Working together for Ohio farmers to advance agriculture and strengthen our communities.
Labor has always been an issue, mainly because we are a seasonal operation. So that's a challenge finding somebody who only wants to work three months out of a year, sometimes up to six months.Farm Labor Resources
I appreciate the benefit of having a strong voice in my corner. The extras that are included in membership are wonderful, but I'm a member because of the positive impact to my local and state agricultural communities.Strong communities
I see the value and need to be engaged in the community I live in, to be a part of the decision-making process and to volunteer with organizations that help make our community better.Leadership development
Farm Bureau involvement has taught me how to grow my professional and leadership experience outside of the workforce and how to do that in a community-centric way.Young Ag Professionals program
With not growing up on a farm, I’d say I was a late bloomer to agriculture. I feel so fortunate that I found the agriculture industry. There are so many opportunities for growth.Growing our Generation
Knowing that horticulture is under the agriculture umbrella and having Farm Bureau supporting horticulture like it does the rest of ag is very important.Groovy Plants Ranch
If it wasn't for Farm Bureau, I personally, along with many others, would not have had the opportunity to meet with our representatives face to face in Washington.Washington, D.C. Leadership Experience
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