Awards recognize commitment across all beef industry segments

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WILMINGTON, Ohio – Ohio cattlemen saluted their peers and those who work with the beef industry during the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association annual banquet Jan. 24.

The annual meeting and banquet were held at the Roberts Convention Centre in Wilmington.

Award winners. Top award recipients included:

Andy Lohr, Young Cattleman of the Year; Steve Boyles, Industry Service award; Ed, Ray and Fred Vollborn, Industry Excellence award; Jeff and Jon Byers of Byland Shorthorns, Seedstock Producer of the Year; and the Blair Porteus family, Commercial Cattleman of the Year.

Porteus family. Blair Porteus farms with his sons Brent and Knox near Coshocton, Ohio. (The family was spotlighted in a special feature in the Jan. 22, 2004, Farm and Dairy.)

In addition to a 1,100-acre cash grain operation, they maintain a herd of 200 beef cows and feed out calves in an onfarm feedlot, raising moderate framed cattle that sell into the quality grids at Smithfield and Excel.

Because they raise their own replacements and maintain solid records, including data from the packers and an electronic ID program, they see what is needed to produce the best cattle to fit all production stages, including the end product.

Byland Shorthorns. Byland Shorthorns, started by the late Gene Byers and his wife Marilyn, received the Seedstock Producer of the Year award.

Sons Jeff and Jon Byers, along with their spouses, continue the purebred breeding and show cattle operation in Ashland County.

One of the leaders in the Shorthorn breed in terms of records kept, the farm has contributed to EPD data collection for the breed by providing data from many steers fed out at the farm.

Byland is also recognized as a breed leader, having bred many of the Shorthorn breed’s top bulls.

Young cattleman. Andy Lohr of Bucyrus in Crawford County received the Young Cattleman of the Year award.

Raised on a farm, his goal as a young farmer was to farm enough acres to raise enough feed for his own herd. Today, he maintains three separate beef enterprises: a cow-calf herd; feedlot steers; and club calf sales.

A graduate of Ohio State’s Agricultural Technical Institute, Lohr is active in the Crawford County agricultural community, serving as county cattlemen’s association president and junior fair volunteer.

He and his wife Tonya have two children, Jessica and Jake.

Industry service. Steve Boyles, Ohio State Extension beef specialist, received the Industry Service award for his work with the state’s cattle industry.

He follows the footsteps of his father, Charlie Boyles, who received the same award in 1983.

As extension specialist, Boyles works in research, university teaching and outreach and, as OCA Executive Secretary Elizabeth Harsh says, “Steve’s our ‘go to’ guy.”

Industry excellence. Brothers Ed, Ray and Fred Vollborn traveled different roads during their careers in Ohio agriculture, but each is known for solid contributions to the cattle industry.

Raised on a farm in Gallia County, the brothers were active in 4-H and FFA showing and leadership activities.

Ray stayed on the home farm, Twin Pillars Farm, and developed a commercial cattle herd of 150 cows.

Ed Vollborn received a degree in ag education and, after teaching vo-ag, he jumped to extension work, retiring from OSU Extension in 2000.

During his career, he led much of the intensive grazing rebirth here in Ohio.

Fred Vollborn joined his brothers in pioneering grazing techniques in the Buckeye State, but he did it with the backing and push of his boss, the legendary Bob Evans, who hired Vollborn as a young man.

Fred Vollborn developed many grazing management practices at Evans’ Hidden Valley Ranch that continue to benefit the industry.

Affiliate awards. The Williams County Beef Producers received recognition for membership recruitment efforts and the Hardin County Cattle Producers received the OCA’s Outstanding Beef Promotion honor.

Logan County Cattlemen’s Association won the overall affiliate award recognition program for their activities; Stark County Cattlemen’s Association placed second, and the Jackson County Cattlemen’s Association placed third.

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