(Scroll down to see a slide show of all the award winners.)
LEWIS CENTER, Ohio — The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association honored Clark County cattleman Bob Agle and Delaware County farmer and state ag leader Tom Price with its highest awards.
Agle received the Industry Excellence Award and Price the Industry Service Award during the association’s annual banquet Jan. 12.
Agle, of South Vienna, has been active in the cattle industry, particularly show stock, for more than 50 years. He currently runs around 50 head, focusing on show cattle and improving breeding through embryo transfer and in vitro work.
It’s his work beyond the farm, however, that earned Agle the top award, with association president Sasha Rittenhouse calling him a “role model for the beef community,” as he lends his support and volunteers at many youth-focused events locally and statewide.
He started the Clark County Cattle Battle, an annual show that has grown into weekend event with celebrity classes, costume classes, and an annual benefit fundraiser for the Make a Wish Foundation.
Agle also opens his farm for numerous ag tours, meetings and social events.
Tom Price, owner of Price Farms Organics, received a standing ovation at the banquet for his ag leadership, both public and behind the scenes.
As chairman of the Ohio Soil and Water Conservation Commission in 2018, Price was front and center in the contentious and political debate over whether eight sub-watersheds in the Lake Erie watershed should be declared “distressed,” as ordered by former Gov. John Kasich.
In accepting the award, Price, who also serves in many other leadership roles including the Ohio Exposition Commission, characteristically said the real recognition should go to many others.
“There were some rock stars out there who really helped me out,” Price said, adding the issue is still on the front burner.
“On a scale of 1 to 10, we’re probably at a 3 or 4, and there’s a lot more to be done.”
He credited Kasich for bringing the issue to the forefront, saying as a farmer he works hard to “clean up the environment and do what’s right.”
Robison Family Farms, of Champaign County, was named Commercial Cattleman of the Year. Operated by brothers Allan and Thad Robison, their families and mother Connie Robison, the farm is a 100-cow Angus-Simmental-Gelbvieh cooperator herd for Maplecrest Farms. They also market some cattle through local private treaties.
Before they could grow their herd and focus on genetics, however, the brothers had to rebuild a family farm that had essentially been idle for 40 years. They’ve worked since 2004 to clear brush, build fence and develop springs.
For the calves they precondition for Maplecrest, the Robisons use embryo transplants in their recipient cows, and also use AI for calves they raise for private treaty sales.
Allan was also named the association’s Young Cattleman of the Year in 2013.
Brad and Mindy Thornburg, of Belmont County, received the Young Cattleman of the Year award.
The couple, who both work off the farm, started their farm near Barnesville from scratch six years ago, and are slowing bringing their farm back into shape and raising preconditioned calves. They use rotational grazing for their cows.
Lee Miller, of Paint Valley Farms near Millersburg, Holmes County, received the Seedstock Producer of the Year award, and Andy and Brian Stickel, of Wood County, received the Environmental Stewardship Award.
The Clark County Cattle Producers received the statewide association’s first-ever Outstanding County Affiliate Award.
Prior to the banquet, the daylong event included a youth quiz bowl, research update and panel discussion, youth beef quality assurance training, beef checkoff update from the Ohio Beef Council, and the annual meetings of the Ohio Cattlemen’s Foundation, Ohio Cattlemen’s Association and the Ohio CattleWomen’s Association.
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