CRESTON, Ohio – Norwayne FFA members and friends paused for a moment of silence during their annual member recognition banquet to remember George R. Smith as a friend and staunch supporter of the 4-H and FFA programs in Wayne County.
In addition to purchasing numerous grand and reserve champion steers during the Wayne County Junior Fair livestock auction in the last 10 years, Smith and his wife, Dorothy were strong supporters of the Norwayne FFA.
Beginning in 1986, Smith sponsored the George R. Smith award, which was presented to the student who made the most money on their supervised agricultural experience project.
Aaron Arnold, agricultural education instructor and chapter adviser, told the audience that Smith was proud of his involvement in the 4-H and FFA programs.
“‘He saw this award as a way to give something back to the FFA program and as a way to recognize students who took a risk and made money on their project,” Arnold said.
“He believed that people should be rewarded for their hard work. He believed that hard work and determination was necessary for success.”
Arnold said the tradition would continue through a fund being established by his wife to provide the cash award for the student recipient.
He added that the unique part about the award was that Smith presented the award with no strings attached.
“George always said the recipient could spend the money on himself, his project or his best girl,” Arnold recalled before presenting the award to Troy Stoller, this year’s recipient. Stoller received the award based on his beef production project.
Other award recipients included the Nick Shepherd Star Greenhand Award, Ben Stoller; Star Chapter Farmer Award, Katie Maibach; and the Dekalb Award, Joe Wiles.
Sherry Armstrong, Shane Hartzler, Nate Tobias, Troy Stoller and Zack Wiles were recognized during the banquet for achieving the State FFA degree this year. Andy Stands and Josh Calame will receive their American FFA degrees this year.
Rory Zito, Jeremy Calame, Shane Hartzler and Emily Mobley placed first in the district and second in the state in the urban soil judging contest, advancing to the national contest in Oklahoma. Hartzler placed first in the state, while Calame placed seventh.
Hartzler, Tobias and Rory Zito were recognized for winning the state marketing commodity activity.
Josh Riggenbach placed first in the district and eighth in the state in the ag science job interview contest.
John Steiner received the Honorary Chapter Farmer Degree for his support of the chapter. He hosted members for tours at the family’s dairy farm and assisting with the public speaking contest.
Sara Myers, a member of the 2000-2001 state FFA officer team, was the guest speaker for the banquet.
Serving as chapter officers for 2001-2002 will be Troy Stoller, president; Zack Wiles, vice president; Josh Riggenbach, secretary; Garth Maibach, treasurer; Katie Maibach, reporter; Jared Hartley, sentinel; and Ben Stoller, student adviser.