Mahoning Co. Farm Bureau leaders earn state achievement awards

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BOARDMAN, Ohio – Mahoning County Farm Bureau volunteer leaders received all 10 of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s Standards of Achievement, or star, awards during last week’s annual banquet.
The annual meeting and awards banquet was held at the Avion on the Water Banquet Center Oct. 5.
Local leaders. The awards recognize the local programming coordinated by the county Farm Bureau committees. Chairing the teams in 2005-06 were:
Jenifer Weaver, advisory council/young farmer committee; James Moore, agricultural ecology; Marjorie Yerman, government affairs; Meaghan Chismar, information; David Kenreich, membership; Maggie Mullen, Nationwide sponsorship; Sharen O’Brock, policy development; Mary Moore, promotion and education; Steve Ramseyer, safety; and Marguerite and Paul Gillern, youth.
State Rep. John Boccieri also presented the committee leaders with commendations from the Statehouse for their community service.
Other awards. Tricia and Howie Withers received the county’s Outstanding Young Farm Couple award. They are the fourth generation to operate Honey Creek Farm in Springfield Township.
In addition to the Milking Shorthorns that have long been a fixture at Honey Creek Farm, they have added Red and White Holsteins to the herd and increased overall milk production. They have also made improvements to the operation through crop rotations, no-till and minimum till crop practices, building and equipment improvements and installation of a solar water well.
Tricia Withers also competed in the semi-finals of the Ohio Farm Bureau discussion meet in August, along with Jared Myers. Myers is one of the four statewide finalists and will compete in November at the state annual meeting in Columbus.
The local Farm Bureau presented Tom Puch, an agronomist with Agland Co-op, with its Excellence in Crop Advising award.
State update. State board member Jeff Zellers from Stark County spoke briefly to update members on statewide issues. He touched on growing raw milk concerns, saying it’s is “a very contentious issue here in Ohio”; drainage, and immigration issues.
Zellers, who chairs the statewide policy development committee, reminded members that the local policy development effort is important, and is what makes Farm Bureau a grassroots organization.
He also said upcoming election is “big,” and that “things will change” after November. He challenged members to find out where local and state candidates stand on issues, before voting.
Youth awards. Farm Bureau youth members Melissa Riehl and Rachel Stanwood were named the 2006 outstanding youth, and received a $100 U.S. Savings Bond.
Stanwood also received the Alan J. Withers Agriculture and Leadership Scholarship. She is a nursing student at the University of Akron.
Heather Moff, a freshman at Ohio State University in the ag engineering program, received the county Farm Bureau’s agricultural scholarship.
During the meeting, members elected Tom Koch, Mary Moore and Marjorie Yerman as delegates to next year’s state annual meeting. Edgar Kurtz and Michael Miller are alternates.
Organization vice president Dave Kenreich was installed as president, succeeding Tom Koch, who served six years as county president.
Members also voted on a set of 14 county policy resolutions; 16 state-level policy recommendations and two national proposals.

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