Columbiana County Farm Bureau adds 100+ new farmer-members

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WINONA, Ohio – The Columbiana County Farm Bureau honored Bill McKarns of Hanoverton with its Distinguished Service Award, presented Sept. 13 at the group’s annual meeting.
Approximately 85 people attended the annual banquet, which was held at the Winona Evangelical Friends Church.
McKarns was selected for his contributions to the local community and the industry of agriculture, according to Susan Zehentbauer, who presented the award.
The retired dairyman is active in Holstein activities on the local, state and national levels, and was most recently selected as the first individual to receive the National Holstein Association’s Distinguished Leadership Award. He has also received numerous other community and agricultural honors.
Through his Farm Bureau involvement, McKarns pushed to change legislation in Ohio regarding organ donation. Because of that change, now once a person requests to be a donor of his driver’s license, his name is automatically placed in a a database at donation centers.
McKarns also helped establish the Columbiana County Agricultural Hall of Fame through his work in the Columbiana County Historical Society. He and his wife, Pauline, have 11 children.
Shining moment. Columbiana County was one of just 24 county Farm Bureaus earning 10 out of a possible 10 Standards of Achievement, or Star, awards.
The volunteer leaders of the individual committees received the recognition for their programs and events. Earning the Star awards were:
Jean Roush, advisory council/young farmer committee; Lucille Huston, information; Huston, and Herb Eglie, membership; Homer Althouse, government affairs; Joyce Bailey, safety; Christine Miller and Jimmie Miller, youth; Gloria Mathews and Rhonda Farmer, promotion and education; David Chronister, ag ecology; Jim Hoppel, policy development; and Marilyn Winn, Nationwide sponsorship.
Membership. The two membership leaders were also recognized as members of the Ambassador’s Club, a distinction for individuals excelling during the membership drive. Huston was honored for signing up 24 members; Eglie signed up 31 members.
Organization Director Nick Kennedy announced the county was one of only two counties in the state to sign up more than 100 new farmer members, as 102 new farmer-members joined the local Farm Bureau this year.
As of Aug. 31, the county has 2,229 total members.
Policy agenda. The local Farm Bureau members approved three local proposed policies; eight policies directed at the state level; and four items on the national policy agenda.
On the state level, issues coming to the forefront in the proposed policies include high-speed Internet access; CAUV uniformity; ATV liability; and state livestock premise identification system.
National issues supported by the Columbiana County members included the national animal ID system, elimination of the “death” tax, and greater oversight by the Department of Justice and Congress when consolidations result in reduced competition in the food and feed purchasing/processing industries.
State board members Frank Burkett III and Gale Betterly updated members on the key issues the Ohio Farm Bureau is addressing. Both said it’s critical for local members to speak out on social and environmental issues, particularly as animal agriculture comes under fire for generally accepted farming practices.
“We’re under attack,” said Burkett, who manages a Stark County dairy farm with his three uncles. “And for so long, we’ve laid low and let that go on.”
Betterly encouraged members to reach out to nonfarm neighbors and audiences with their stories.
Scholarships. The county Farm Bureau presented two $500 scholarships this year. Casey Baker, a graduate of Crestview High School, and Katie Brown, a graduate of Carrollton High School, received the awards.
Vice president Herb Eglie, in presenting the scholarships, announced the county hopes to increase the number of awards next year.
New team. Leaders in the new county Farm Bureau committee structure, which whittled down the 10 teams into three, include: Gloria Mathews, communication; Herb Eglie, organization; and Homer Althouse, public policy.
At the annual meeting, members elected Rhonda Farmer and Fred Hippely to two-year terms on the board of trustees representing Butler, Knox, Perry and Salem townships; Herb Eglie and Susan Zehentbauer, representing Center, Franklin, Hanover, Wayne and West townships; David Vollnogle and Chuck Will, representing Elkrun, Fairfield, Middleton and Unity townships; and Jim Hoppel and Jean Roush, Liverpool, Madison, St. Clair, Washington and Yellow Creek townships.
Andy Burch, David Chronister, Sally Chronister and Bill McKarns were elected to serve as delegates to the 2008 annual meeting.
(Farm and Dairy Editor Susan Crowell can be reached at 800-837-3419 or at editor@farmanddairy.com.)

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