COLUMBUS — Steve Hirsch, of Chillicothe, was re-elected president of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation during the organization’s annual meeting. He has served on OFBF’s state board since 2001, and represents members in Fairfield, Hocking, Pickaway and Ross counties.
He farms with his father and brother. They grow apples, peaches, grapes, strawberries, raspberries and other crops and operate an on-farm and an off-farm retail market and a cider-making facility.
Frank Burkett III of Massillon has been re-elected OFBF first vice president, the second highest elected office. He originally joined the board in 2007, and represents members from Columbiana, Mahoning, Portage and Stark counties. He is a longtime member of the Stark County Farm Bureau where he was a board trustee. Burkett, in partnership with three uncles, co-owns and manages Clardale Farms, Inc., a dairy and crop farm near Canal Fulton.
James W. (Bill) Patterson of Chesterland was re-elected treasurer. Patterson, who first joined the OFBF board in 2011, was also re-elected state trustee for Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake and Trumbull counties. He is a 22-year member of Geauga County Farm Bureau and has served as its president and vice president. He is also is a member of the Farm Credit Mid-America board of directors. Patterson and his wife, Mindy, farm with Bill’s family, raising apples, strawberries and peaches. They also have a farm market and a wholesale cider operation.
Karin Bright of Athens has been re-elected District 22 trustee, representing Athens, Gallia, Lawrence and Meigs counties. Bright and her husband, David, farm with two of their three children and David’s brother, growing corn, wheat and soybeans.
Cy Prettyman, of New Bloomington, has been re-elected to the board of trustees, representing Crawford, Marion, Morrow and Richland counties. Prettyman farms with his family, raising corn, soybeans and cattle for freezer beef, and is also a sales specialist with Purina Animal Nutrition. An 18-year member of Marion County Farm Bureau, Prettyman has served as its president and has been active with local and state Pork Producers councils and Ohio Cattlemen’s Association.
Paul Davidson of Newark was re-elected to represent Coshocton, Holmes, Knox and Licking counties. Davidson is a 43-year member of the Licking County Farm Bureau and served as its president. An Ohio State University graduate with a degree in agricultural economics and rural sociology, Davidson produces hay and is a project manager for a local excavating company.
Matt Bell of Zanesville was elected to the board to represent District 16, which includes Guernsey, Morgan, Muskingum and Perry counties. Bell farms with his father, Irv, raising row crops, hogs and cattle and is the sixth generation on the farm. He is a 20-year member of Muskingum County Farm Bureau, and is a member of the Ohio Pork Council board and Farm Credit Mid-America board for the Cambridge region.
Also newly elected to the board was Wyatt Bates of Wheelersburg, representing Jackson, Pike, Scioto and Vinton counties. A real estate agent, Bates is a 12-year member of the Scioto County Farm Bureau, having served as its president, treasurer and policy development chairman. He serves as president of the Greater Portsmouth Board of Realtors.
Bill Myers, of Oregon, was elected District 2 trustee, representing Lucas, Ottawa, Sandusky and Wood counties. Myers is an 18-year member of the Lucas County Farm Bureau and has served as president, annual meeting delegate and public policy chairman.
Myers farms with his brother, Bob, and his son and daughter. The farm produces corn, soybeans, wheat and hay.
Michael Boyert of Seville was elected to a three-year term as Northeast regional trustee, and will represent members in 20 northeast Ohio counties. A 35-year Farm Bureau member, he and his wife Patti operate Boyert’s Greenhouse and Farm with their children. The farm also produces 275 acres of crops and 50 head of cattle, and numerous farm tours for schools and the public, hosting up to 10,000 visitors per year.
Wade Smith of Whitehouse was elected Northwest regional trustee, representing 24 northwest Ohio counties. A 25-year member of the Lucas County Farm Bureau, Smith has a hydroponic tomato and daylily operation in Whitehouse, and is also a member of the Maumee Valley Growers Association.
The Young Ag Professionals Discussion Meet final were held during the annual meeting. Finalists Stephen Caraway, of West Union; Mike Derringer, of Eaton; Andy Korb, of Oxford; and Joy Sizemore of Monroeville will compete in the finals at the Young Agricultural Professionals’ Leadership Experience in Columbus Jan. 29.
Caraway, an Adams County Farm Bureau member, has an 124-acre pumpkin and agritourism operation, and also serves as a county commissioner. Derringer, a Preble County Farm Bureau member, is an agricultural education teacher at Talawanda High School. Korb, a Butler County Farm Bureau member, is a livestock auctioneer, independent livestock nutrition consultant and owns and operates a concrete finishing business. With his parents, he raises more than 100 club lamb ewes, hay, corn, soybeans, wheat and about 200 dairy beef calves a year. Sizemore, a Huron County Farm Bureau member, is currently a veterinary student at Ohio State University.
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