Mahoning County Farm Bureau programming, leaders earn awards


CANFIELD, Ohio – Mahoning County Farm Bureau celebrated the strength of its local volunteers and programming at its annual meeting Sept. 16 at Ala Carte Catering in Canfield.
Local leaders received 10 state Standard of Achievement, or Star, awards for coordinating solid local programs.
Committee leaders receiving the state awards included:
Maggie Mullen, chairman of the advisory council/youth farmer committee; Marjorie Yerman, agricultural ecology; Duane Moff, government affairs/policy development; Jenifer Weaver, information; Mary Moore, membership; Ralph and Chris Wince, youth; James Olds Jr., marketing/farm income; Sarah Schlegel, Nationwide promotion; Kim Moff, promotion and education; and Wayne Greier, safety.
Tom Koch, current county president, was also recognized for his leadership, particularly in attaining the county’s current membership of 8,053 people.
Bigger picture. State Rep. John Boccieri, D-61, presented the volunteers with resolutions of commendation from the House.
“Organizations like Farm Bureau are at the heart of representative leadership,” said Boccieri, who also updated Farm Bureau members on bills moving through the General Assembly.
Boccieri, who is also a major in the Air Force Reserves, recently returned from active duty in and around Iraq. He shared a brief personal story from his tour and urged those present to remember “we’re not just Republicans or Democrats, or from red or blue states,” but live and work together as Americans.
Member involvement. Members Jim and Mary Moore are the county’s Young Farmer Award finalists and will compete on the state level.
The Moores raise grain and beef and operate an onfarm retail butcher shop.
Local member Jenifer Weaver is one of nine individuals serving on the state young farmer committee, which coordinates that contest and the state young farmer conference. She is beginning a two-year term.
Andrea Myers is the county’s winner of the Excellence in Agriculture Award, which recognizes Farm Bureau members employed in agribusiness but not production agriculture. Myers, a reporter for Farm and Dairy, is active in the local Farm Bureau and on her family’s cow-calf operation.
County winners also go to regional and state competition.
National exchange. Kim Moff, who chaired the promotion and education committee, was recognized as building the Ag Camp Down on the Farm program, which was one of 15 county Farm Bureau programs recognized by the American Farm Bureau and selected to exhibit at the national annual meeting, which was held in January in Hawaii.
This is the fifth year Moff coordinated and developed a nationally recognized program in the idea exchange.
Another Mahoning County member participated in an idea exchange at the national meeting. Ginny Tarka was one of 14 individuals selected nationwide to share their inventions. She adapted a bluebird box to deter predators.
Scholarships. The local Farm Bureau presented two $100 U.S. Savings Bonds to its Outstanding Youth, Rachel Stanwood, a student at South Range High School, and Angela Riehl, a student at Ohio State’s Agricultural Technical Institute.
Both the county Farm Bureau Agricultural Scholarship and the Alan J. Withers Agriculture and Leadership Scholarship went to Katie Houk, who is beginning studies at Ohio State University.
Dues hike. State trustee Jeff Zellers from Hartville briefed local members on directions for a new agricultural education program that includes a Farm Bureau-generated television show. The funding for such a program is from the $10 dues increase state delegates approved at least year’s state annual meeting.
The increase, from $36 to $46, takes effect in 2005. County dues above $46 remain in the county for local programming.
Mahoning County members approved an increase in the county dues to $60 to offset the state dues hike.
There was no discussion. The vote was not unanimous, but passed overwhelmingly.
Elections. Sharen O’Brock and Vivian Koch will be the last trustees elected to the board as specifically “women’s trustees,” as the members voted to end the four women’s trustees’ board seats and at-large positions.
In explaining the county code change to members prior to a vote, member Ralph Wince said the positions were created at a time when there was not equal representation geographically on the board.
Wince said that has changed because advisory councils and committee chairmen have seats on the board.
O’Brock and Koch were elected in last week’s election and will serve a two-year term.
The abolished board seats will remain active until current terms expire.
Members also elected four delegates to the 2005 Ohio Farm Bureau annual meeting: Duane Moff, Jim Moore, Ken O’Brock and Marjorie Yerman.
Incoming committee chairmen for 2004-05 are: advisory council/young farmer, Alan Anderson; agricultural ecology and marketing, Kenneth and Sharen O’Brock; government affairs, Jim Moore; information, Sarah Schlegel; membership, Maggie Mullen; Nationwide sponsorship, Jenifer Weaver; policy development, Marjorie Yerman; promotion and education, Meaghan Chismar; safety, Mary Moore; and youth, Andrea Myers.
The county Farm Bureau is sponsoring a health screening Nov. 8 through Life Line Screening. More information about the tests available that day is available at 1-800-324-1851. Preregistration is required.


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