Ohio Ag Council names Hall of Fame inductees

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Pictured are Dailey, (top left), Flora (top right), Vance (bottom left) and Saunway (bottom right).

COLUMBUS — Four Ohioans who committed their lives to working in, promoting and advocating for Ohio’s farm community will be honored August 6 by the Ohio Agricultural Council, when they are inducted to the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame.

The Ohio Agricultural Council will induct Fred Dailey of Mount Vernon, Guy Flora of Cardington, Lawrence “Larry” Vance of Springfield and the late Mary Lou Pfeiffer Saunway of Kenton, into the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame during a special breakfast ceremony held during the Ohio State Fair in the Rhodes Youth Center at the Ohio Expo Center.

The 45th annual event will attract 600 guests to honor these four professionals for their lifetime of service and dedication to Ohio’s agriculture community.

“Our Board is extraordinarily pleased to be honoring such a diverse group of inductees into this year’s class,” said Tom Schlenker, executive vice president, Farm Credit Services of Mid-America and president of the Ohio Agricultural Council.

“Each inductee stands out individually for his or her exceptional contributions to Ohio’s agriculture industry, but together what they represent is the passion, creativity and hard work that are evidenced by their collective decades of unmatched experience in farming and agriculture. This group of inductees clearly has earned their place in the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame.”

Inductees

As the longest-serving director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture, Fred Dailey of Mount Vernon led more than one dozen trade missions to expand Ohio’s farm economy during his 16 years as the agency’s leader.

During that time, his steadfast support of Ohio agriculture and his strong leadership helped build consumer confidence in Ohio-raised food, allowed Ohio family farms to grow and prosper and improved coordination among the agency with state and local government entities.

While serving as director, Dailey championed and oversaw the $65 million renovation of ODA’s campus and laboratories in Reynoldsburg, Ohio. Dailey also established ODA’s farmland preservation program, the Ohio Proud domestic marketing program and the accreditation of the Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory.

His role in Ohio agriculture included nearly a decade as the leader of the Ohio Beef Council and Ohio Cattlemen’s Association, where he quadrupled the group’s membership, started the Ohio Beef Expo and launched the Ohio Cattleman magazine.

Sheep leader

Guy Flora has distinguished himself as a state and national leader in the sheep industry. Starting his original flock of sheep as a 4-H project, he became an active leader with sheep organizations in Ohio and across the country, including several leadership roles with the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association and the Ohio Sheep and Wool Program.

He rose to serve as president of the American Sheep Industry Association, the first sheep farmer from Ohio to attain that office. He continues to be active as a national member of numerous sheep organizations and maintains a flock of 60 ewes on his farm outside Cardington.

With his wife Pat, Flora has owned and published The Shepherd Magazine for more than 22 years. The internationally recognized sheep publication is known for its educational articles on the sheep and goat industries and shares valuable research with the sheep community around the world through its widespread circulation.

Flora’s career also included 30 years as a teacher of English and history to high school students in Morrow County.

SWCD chief

Before his 2002 retirement, Larry Vance had served five directors of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and four governors of Ohio during his tenure as Chief of the Division of Soil and Water Conservation.

His contributions to Ohio’s agriculture industry have focused on his soil and water conservation capacity building, and he has been a tireless advocate for local self-government and active engagement of Ohio’s 88 county Soil and Water Conservation Districts and their 440 elected district supervisors.

With previous inductee Andrew Stevens, Vance helped found the Ohio Conservation Farm Family Award program at Farm Science Review nearly 25 years ago. A true visionary, Vance recognized that Ohio’s farmers needed to be honored for their stewardship and encouraged to preserve and protect the state’s natural resources.

He was an avid supporter of conservation tillage on Ohio farms, which led to significant adoption of this practice by Ohio’s farm community. Vance also shared his respect for the state’s natural resources with young Ohioans through his devoted volunteerism with 4-H and FFA.

Farm broadcasting

There perhaps is no woman who can be hailed as more of a pioneer in farm broadcasting than the late Mary Lou Pfeiffer Saunway, who was from Kenton. As the first female member of the national Association of Television and Radio Farm Directors, Saunway blazed a trail for women across the country.

Her work was heard during two programs a day, five days a week, by WRFD listeners across the state. One of her most important projects on the air was her series of interviews with Dr. A.B. Graham, the founder of 4-H Clubs, which captured his early days as a rural educator and his role in starting 4-H.

Saunway’s admiration for 4-H extended to her service as a member of the 4-H Foundation Board of Trustees, but her commitment to service spanned a multitude of organizations, including work with groups fighting cancer, raising awareness of mental health and promoting business development.

Committed to improving understanding between urban markets and the rural community, she also received the Life Line of America award for her work from the Grocery Manufacturers of America. Saunway passed away in 2006.

For further information about sponsorship in honor of the inductees, or to obtain tickets to the Agricultural Hall of Fame induction ceremony, contact the Ohio Ag Council at 614-794-8970 or via e-mail at info@ohioagcouncil.org.

Pictured are Dailey, (top left), Flora (top right), Vance (bottom left) and Saunway (bottom right).

One Comment

  1. Jared Davis says:

    Congratulations to Fred Dailey on being inducted.

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