Columbiana County Agricultural Hall of Fame to enshrine four

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2016 Columbiana County Agricultural Hall of Fame
Inductees to the 2016 Columbiana County Agricultural Hall of Fame include (L-R) Wilma Lippincott, Jim Baer, Art Rudebock and Walter Boyd.

LISBON, Ohio — The Columbiana County Agricultural Hall of Fame selection committee elected four individuals to the Class of 2016: James C. Baer, of Fairfield Township; G. Walter Boyd, Yellow Creek Township; Wilma Lippincott, West Township; and Arthur Arter Rudebock, of Salem Township.

They bring the total number of members in the Hall of Fame to 67. All awards are presented posthumously.

The group will be enshrined during the Columbiana County Fair in Lisbon, Ohio, Aug. 2, at 10:30 a.m. in the Arts & Crafts Building. The enshrinees’ 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.

About the inductees:

Art Rudebock
Art Rudebock

ARTHUR ARTER RUDEBOCK
1918-2014

Art Rudebock was a quiet leader within the agricultural community, often in the background, but even the first time you met him, you discovered his keen wit and quick smile.

Born in 1918, he farmed with his father near Leetonia, in Salem Township, and started by milking six cows by hand and working with a team of horses pulling a 12-inch walking plow. After assuming management of the farm in the 1950s, he and his wife, Eunice, built the AREUTOBE Dairy Farm, developing a milking string of 50 head by the time he retired in 1980. He incorporated many conservation practices to improve the farm’s soil and crop yields, including the installation of many thousand feet of drain tile, and also served on the Columbiana Soil and Water Conservation District board of supervisors.

He was an active member of the Columbiana County Farm Bureau, and its Salem Township Farm Bureau Council, and received recognition for his membership and leadership efforts. He also worked at the Columbiana County Farm Bureau Co-op, was a member of the former Milk Marketing Inc. cooperative, and served as a member of the Columbiana County Extension Advisory Committee.

A proponent of youth development, he promoted the county’s 4-H program, and often hosted farm field trips for students. The Rudebocks also hosted an International Farm Youth Exchange student from Pakistan in the early 1960s.

Through his leadership in the OSU Extension Farm and Home Development group, he became a mentor to many young farm families, and also hosted many farm tours and visitors. And he felt so strongly that farmers should open their doors to their peers and the public, that he was a key member of the Columbiana County Drive-It-Yourself Tour Committee when it formed in 1968.

While looking to the future with youth and young farmers, Art also became interested in preserving the past, and was instrumental in establishing the antique farm and home display at the Columbiana County Fair, which featured many items from his personal collections, including his vast collection of antique milk bottles. That first display in 1984 ultimately grew into the Items of Yesteryear building that was completed in 1991, a unique exhibit among county fairs.

He was an active leader within St. Jacobs United Church of Christ, serving as deacon and elder, and promoting Rural Life Sunday programs. Of an interesting multi-generational note: Art attended Buckeye Boys State as a junior in high school, an accomplishment followed later by his son Tom and grandson David.

Jim Baer
Jim Baer

JAMES C. BAER
1944-1999

Growing up on his family farm, and in the auction atmosphere, Jim Baer was firmly rooted in agriculture from an early age. He was the only child of Emmet and Lucille Baer, who founded Baer Auctioneers in 1948 and conducted produce auctions in Rogers, Morrisville, Damascus and Canfield, Ohio. This led to the creation of Rogers Community Auction and Open Air Market in 1955.

Baer served as an auctioneer and real estate broker for more than 37 years, attending Reppert’s School of Auctioneering in Indiana between his junior and senior years in high school and becoming licensed before he graduated from high school.

In addition to his work with Baer Auctioneers, he also sold at Carrollton and Damascus livestock auctions. A strong supporter of youth in agriculture and 4-H, Baer was a volunteer auctioneer for junior fair market livestock sales in Columbiana, Jefferson and Mahoning counties for many years, and the Mahoning County market livestock committee created the Jim Baer Memorial Scholarship following his death.

He also donated his talent and expertise to various benefit auctions, including the Amish School Auction and New Springfield auction.

He did this while managing and building the Rogers Community Auction, often called “The Rogers Sale,” which he owned from 1981 until his death in 1999 — single-handedly putting Rogers on the map and creating a tourism destination. Under his direction, the initial eight-acre site purchased by Emmet Baer in 1955 has grown into a facility with nearly 250 acres. He guided the continued growth of the Rogers sale, which has provided a market for the trading of small livestock, produce, hay, grain and other agricultural goods — a local market that has benefited both farmers and consumers for more than 60 years.

An active leader in his profession, he was a member of the auctioneers’ associations in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, as well as the National Auctioneers Association. He served on the board of directors of the Ohio Auctioneers Association from 1990 to 1994, and as the association’s president in 1995 and was enshrined in its Hall of Fame in 2005.

He was also a member of the Columbiana County Farm Bureau, the East Palestine Masonic lodge, the Belgian Draft Horse Corporation of America.

Walter Boyd
Walter Boyd

G. WALTER BOYD
1913-1992

Walter Boyd was born, raised, and then lived and worked on his family farm in Yellow Creek Township his entire life, building a well-managed dairy herd and crop enterprise in the hills of southeastern Columbiana County.

Always open to new ways of improving his farm, he worked closely with the Ohio State University Extension to learn and implement the latest crop production and dairy management practices.

Other dairymen looked to his leadership, as he served as district director and local president of the Dairymen’s Cooperative Sales Association, which later became Milk Marketing Inc., from 1954 to 1961. And he also helped build the next generation, serving as an assistant 4-H adviser to the No. 16 Agriculture Club.

An organizer and charter member of the Southern Ruritan Club, Boyd served as the club’s first president in 1958. He was also a member of the Columbiana County Farm Bureau.

He opened his farm to the public, hosting a county agriculture tour of the farm in the early 1950s to demonstrate how he had set up the farm for contour strip farming, a conservation measure that was just gaining interest. He also gave tours of the farm to students from nearby Wellsville and East Liverpool who had never seen where milk came from. His connection with children was fostered by the 30 years he drove school bus for Yellow Creek Local and Southern Local school districts.

His commitment to building his community can be seen in his public service: He served as the Yellow Creek Township Clerk for 38 years, from 1940 until 1978. He was also a lifetime member of the Oak Ridge Presbyterian Church, where he served as trustee and elder, and, for 22 years, was a trustee of the Oak Ridge Presbyterian Cemetery.

Wilma Lippincott
Wilma Lippincott

WILMA LIPPINCOTT
1906-1993

When Wilma Lippincott’s husband, Russell, died in 1946, leaving her with children still at home and a 230-acre dairy and poultry farm to run, she did what she had to do to learn how to operate and manage the farm. She continued the early soil conservation efforts of strip contour farming that Russell pioneered and, in 1949, was one of three farmers honored by the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce Farmers’ Club for their farmland restoration work. Today, that West Township farm remains in business, farmed by Lippincott’s oldest son, Neil.

In 1955, she married Jim Pendry, and helped him build his Christmas tree farm and landscaping business until his death in 1977. She attended a floral training center in Cleveland to learn how to design natural decorations, so they could add a “Christmas House” to the local Christmas tree sales lot and expand their retail market. Together, they were involved in organizing the Ohio Christmas Tree Association, attending state meetings and developing a constitution. That involvement led to their participation in the National Christmas Tree Growers Association, and helped develop that organization as well. In 1981, she married Perry Lippincott, former part-owner of Lippincott’s Dairy.

She received the Bayard Grange’s Community Citizen Award in 1993, which recognized her Grange leadership, and efforts in support of building a new, consolidated West Elementary School and other various community activities. She also served as clerk of the elementary school board, volunteered as a 4-H club adviser, and was an active member and leader of the Bayard United Methodist Church.

Incidentally, Wilma Lippincott follows the footsteps of not only her husband, Russell, and his father, Edmond Lippincott, who were enshrined in the Columbiana County Agricultural Hall of Fame in 2006 and 2001, respectively, but also her father, C.F. Mindling, a prominent fruit grower who was enshrined in 2004.

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