COLUMBUS — Steve Hirsch, of Chillicothe, was elected president of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation during a special election by the board of trustees April 5. Hirsch, 46, replaces Brent Porteus, who stepped down after three years as president in order to stand for election to the Nationwide board of trustees.
Hirsch has been OFBF’s first vice president for three years and has served on the board for 10 years as the trustee for District 15, which includes Fairfield, Hocking, Pickaway and Ross counties.
An 18-year member of Ross County Farm Bureau, Hirsch farms with his father, brother and cousin, producing apples, peaches, grapes, strawberries, raspberries and other crops. They also operate a retail farm market and a cider pressing facility.
He earned a degree in business administration from the University of Dayton. In addition to his Farm Bureau activities, he has been active with the Ohio Fruit Growers Society, the Direct Agricultural Marketing Association, the American Heart Association and his local Chamber of Commerce.
Sparky Weilnau, of Milan, was elected first vice president to succeed Hirsch. He previously served as the organization’s first vice president from 2004-06 and as treasurer from 2001-03.
He has served as the District 3 trustee representing Farm Bureau members from Cuyahoga, Erie, Huron and Lorain counties since 1996. His farming operation consists of popcorn, field corn, soybeans and wheat. He is a former Erie County commissioner, serves as a Milan Township trustee and is a member of the Erie County Regional Planning Commission.
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