COLUMBUS – The Ohio Farm Bureau Federation awarded its highest honors to four Ohioans Nov. 30 during the farm group’s annual meeting in Columbus.
Alice Davis of Auglaize County, Harold Weihl of Wood County and Roger Wolfe of Fairfield County each received the Ohio Farm Bureau’sDistinguished Service Award. John Parker of Trumbull County received the Ag Educator Award.
Never stopped teaching. Parker grew up on a small dairy farm in Trumbull County and received his bachelor’s degree from Ohio State University, then a master’s degree from Cornell University. As a county educator for OSU Extension, he conducted one of the first young farm couples’ schools in the state and the first tour for dairy farmers to California.
In addition to his in-county programming, he conducted two special assignments in Geauga County, working with Amish community members to organize a co-op and build a cheese processing plant.
In his retirement, he became more active in the Farm Bureau and was instrumental in coordinating and writing weekly farm news columns, which are published in four northeast Ohio newspapers. He has also worked to strengthen 4-H Camp Whitewood in Windsor, Ohio, and most recently wrote the camp’s history.
He is past president of the Ohio County Agents Association, and received the Ohio State University College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Distinguished Alumni Award in 2001 and the Epsilon Sigma Phi Award for Community Service in 2002.
Alice Davis. Davis has served on the Auglaize County Farm Bureau board for 25 years, and currently serves as membership chair. She and her husband, Jack, operated a dairy farm and milked for 45 years, before a son took over the farm. They have four children who are all active farmers in Auglaize County and are all Farm Bureau members.
Davis is an active member of Bethlehem Christian Union Church where she has taught Sunday school. She and her husband also helped convert a closed school into Buckland Community Center.
Harold Weihl. Weihl’s interest in Farm Bureau dates back to his youth when his parents were active in the Wood County Farm Bureau.
For more than 50 years, he has been involved with Farm Bureau, including serving as county president, state trustee and as director on the Nationwide Board. He has attended Farm Bureau sponsored trade mission trips to Brussels and Cuba.
Weihl is a past supervisor of the Wood County Soil and Water District and received the district’s Outstanding Cooperator Award in 1991. He was a member of the Ohio Farmland Preservation Advisory Board and has been a member of the Middletown Township Zoning Appeals Board since 1958.
Roger Wolfe. Wolfe is the fifth generation of his family to farm in Fairfield County. His past activities include 4-H adviser for the Buckeye Conservation Club, member of the Fairfield Soil and Water Conservation District board of supervisors, chairman of the Ohio Federation of SWCD Land Use Committee and member of the Fairfield County Farmland Preservation Task Force.
An active member of Fairfield County Farm Bureau, Wolfe has been involved with numerous ag organizations, including All Ohio Chapter of Soil and Water Conservation Society, American Farmland Trust and Fairfield Land Preservation Association.
Young farm couple. Alan and Sarah Wuebker of Versailles won the 2006 Outstanding Young Farm Couple contest during last week’s annual meeting. They will represent Ohio in the national competition this January in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Alan Wuebker farms full-time with his brother, raising corn, soybeans, wheat, alfalfa, sows and dairy steers. They also have a custom baling business. Sarah is in her 12th year of teaching and is a high school intervention specialist.
The Wuebkers have been active with Darke County Farm Bureau, helping with membership and promoting several Farm Bureau activities. They are members of local and state pork, corn, soybean and wheat associations and are supporters of FFA.
Finalists for the award included Damian and Wendy Chrisman of Jewett, Harrison County; Brandon and Julie Weber of Jackson, Jackson County; and Howard and Tricia Withers of Petersburg, Mahoning County.
Excellence in Ag. John Buck of New Bloomington won the Excellence in Agriculture Award and will also represent Ohio in the national competition in Salt Lake City.
The award recognizes young people who are involved in farming but whose primary occupations are not farming or owning an agricultural business.
Buck owns and runs a diversified agricultural business operation, which includes livestock and cash grain enterprises and a repair shop for area farmers. He has been an active member of the Marion County Farm Bureau, serving as president, vice president and has been involved with the membership, young farmer and safety committee.
He has been a state Discussion Meet finalist several years.
Mark Barnes of New Paris, Shane and Melody Meldick of Oak Hill and Nanette “Gigi” Neal of Georgetown were also state finalists for the award.
Discussion meet. Leia Ringler won the state Discussion Meet, outscoring finalists John Buck, Pam Haley and Jared Myers for the win. She now competes in the national competition in Salt Lake City this January.
The discussion meet is a contest that tests participants’ subject knowledge, problem-solving abilities and personal and small group communications skills.