ASHLAND, Ohio – Ashland County Farm Bureau recognized members for their efforts during the program year and determined policies for the coming year during the farm group’s annual meeting at Maple Grove Church.
Marilyn Byers, retiring Ashland county commissioner, was recognized for her support of agriculture in the county during her tenure as commissioner.
Byers’ active involvement in the agricultural community and willingness to listen to the public’s concerns made her a friend of agriculture and Farm Bureau, leaders said.
State update. Gail Betterly and Bob Slicker, members of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation board of trustees, gave the members an update on activities taking place at the state level.
Betterly told the group membership organizations such as Farm Bureau take a little bit from each member to make them successful.
She stressed the need for those in agriculture to tell their story.
“We can’t be afraid to tell people how to become members of Farm Bureau and help you tell your story,” she said.
Slicker concurred with Betterly.
“We are 600 miles from 60 percent of the population in the United States and Canada,” he said. “We need to talk to people who don’t know what we do and tell them why we do what we do,” he said.
County issues. Members supported policies to develop systems to supply quality water to the county; work with local zoning boards to ensure regulations protect agricultural land and enterprises; and work with the county engineer to increase the installation of solar-powered signs.
State issues. Proposed state policies dealt with the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District, the sale of raw milk, drainage laws, and lengthening the deer hunting season.
National issues. National policies dealt with tamper-proof identification cards for migrant workers, tax credits and other incentives for developing alternative energy, controlling Canada geese, and supporting a change in interstate commerce laws to allow states to regulate the amount of trash they must accept from other states.
Accomplishments. Volunteer leaders recognized for their accomplishments were: Tracy McCrea, advisory councils and young farmers; Maxine Swaisgood, ag ecology; Randy Welch, government affairs; Mary Ann Forbes, information; Julia Swain, Nationwide sponsorship; Ron Augenstein, policy development; Jim Bernhard, promotion and education; Norm Hileman, safety; and Dick Forbes, membership.
The county was also recognized for receiving nine out of 10 stars in the states program areas.
Four councils were recognized for their involvement in Farm Bureau during the year. Awards were presented to Happy Trails; Korova Council; GHL Council; and United 61.
Election. Elected as trustees for a three-year term were Ron Augenstein, Jim Bernhard, Terry Swaisgood, and Willard Welch.
Dan Eichelberger was elected as trustee-at-large.
Delegates to the 2007 Ohio Farm Bureau Federation annual meeting will be Ron Augenstein, Jim Bernhard, Dan Eichelberger, and Maxine Swaisgood, with Christy Lahmers and Harold Swain as alternates.
Speaker. Guest speaker for the evening was Ron Eberhard, an estate planning specialist and motivational speaker.
“Leaders welcome fresh ideas, they don’t care who owns them,” he said. “Welcome new ideas with an open mind, but ideas bring nothing unless they are carried out.”
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