LISBON, Ohio — The Columbiana County Agriculture Hall of Fame will induct two individuals during ceremonies on opening day of the Columbiana County Fair: Zada Crosser, of Hanover Township, and Harry W. Bowman, of Elkrun Township. The two will be enshrined during the Columbiana County Fair in Lisbon, Ohio, July 30, at 10:30 a.m. in the Arts & Crafts Building. All awards are presented posthumously. The honorees’ families will also be honored, and framed portraits and biographical sketches of each individual will be unveiled.
The biographies of the previous inductees are permanently displayed in the Arts & Crafts Building.
Harry W. Bowman
Harry W. Bowman was born on the family farm in Elkrun Township in 1908, and became the fourth generation to farm the Bowman homestead, living and working there his entire life. He and his wife, Kathryn, built Bowman’s Dairy, bottling and selling their own milk. He bred registered Jersey cattle before converting his herd to Holsteins in the 1950s.
An excellent farm manager, Bowman eagerly embraced new technology, transitioning his herd from hand milking to bucket milking, then to a milking parlor. He was also an early adopter of artificial insemination through the Central Ohio Breeding Association, or COBA, and also adapted to hybrid seeds. Seeing the wisdom of natural resources conservation on his farm, Bowman created contour strips to minimize erosion, followed a crop rotation to build soil fertility and yields, and worked with the Columbiana Soil and Water Conservation District to develop two springs for livestock watering.
Bowman was widely recognized for his leadership and integrity, both in the agricultural community and the broader society at large. He worked beyond his farm to help build his community, serving on the Columbiana County Board of Education and nine years on the Beaver Local School District’s Board of Education amid a tumultuous time for the district. He was also an active member and elder at the First Presbyterian Church in Lisbon, and served on the board of directors for the local Production Credit Association. Bowman was also a member of the Lisbon Ruritan Club, the Columbiana County Farm Bureau and Elkrun Township Farm Bureau Council, as well as the Columbiana County/Ohio People to People International agricultural delegation.
Zada Crosser’s feet were firmly planted on the Fairfield Township dairy farm where she grew up, and later on the farm that she and her husband Clarence operated in Hanover Township. But her heart was in the larger farm community that she served all her life in so many ways. A teacher at United Local Schools, her passion was youth and education, but she taught all ages by her example of hard work, dedication and leadership. She got her start in 4-H in 1932, and was selected to attend the National 4-H Club Congress in 1940. Those 4-H experiences led her into service as a Columbiana County 4-H adviser, a volunteer leadership role she held for more than 40 years. She received the 1989 Friend of 4-H Award, and the 1995 Volunteer of the Year Award for her commitment to youth.
The Columbiana County Fair was always a part of Crosser’s life, and she showed her first bull calf before she was in 4-H. When Clarence was elected to the Columbiana County Fair Board in the 1950s, Zada worked along with him in many ways. Then, in 1981, she was the first woman elected to the fair board, and she served until 1987, coordinating the dairy cattle department and serving as an adviser to the Junior Fair Board. She was a member and leader within the Lisbon Grange for more than 50 years and participated in pomona, state and national Grange activities. She was also active in the Columbiana County Farm Bureau, Dairy Boosters, and was a secretary/treasurer, then president of the Columbiana-Mahoning County Guernsey Breeders Association — and played a huge role in the start of the Columbiana County Fair’s milkshake concession. The Ohio Guernsey Breeders Association honored her in 1997 with the E.J. Rinehart Memorial Service Award. Crosser also served as the president of the Hanoverton Senior Citizens and was an active elder and Sunday school teacher at the Hanoverton Presbyterian Church.
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