CANTON, Ohio — Reed Varian has earned the Distinguished Service Award from the Stark County Farm Bureau.
Varian was born in 1949 in Canton, Ohio, the third of five children born to Kenneth and Virginia Varian of East Canton. He grew up on Varian Orchards farm and graduated from East Canton High School in 1967.
He majored in horticulture at Ohio State University and spent a year studying in Germany before returning to complete his master’s degree in agricultural economics. While in college, Varian did an internship with the Stark County Agricultural Extension service.
After college, he was employed for six years by the Ohio Farm Bureau in Columbus, managing a division of the farm markets.
In 1979, Varian returned to the Stark County area to start a business and prepared to take over the orchard when his father was ready to retire. Varian owned and operated Osnaburg Lumber until 1991. At that time, he began to work at the farm and gradually took over the operation when his father suffered a stroke in February 1999.
Varian has also held off-farm jobs over the years, including positions at Learning Technologies, Environmental Sorbents and Habitat for Humanity.
Varian and his family moved from East Canton to the farm in 1994 after Varian built a home there.
Varian is involved in East Canton Rotary, East Canton Lions Club, Mount Tabor United Methodist Church and the Osnaburg Local School District sports complex committee.
Varian has held many positions within the local Farm Bureau, including president, vice president and membership chairman. In 2006, Varian Orchards was included in the Stark County Farm Bureau farm tour.
Varian and his wife, Nancy, have two sons, Cliff, 26, and Scott, 22. Cliff and his wife, Megan, live in a restored home on the farm where grandfather, Ken Varian, was born. Scott also lives on the farm and is a senior at Malone.
Varian was recognized by the Stark County Farm Bureau at the group’s annual meeting Sept. 9.