BEXLEY, Ohio — Ohio First Lady Karen W. Kasich and Ohio Agriculture Director David T. Daniels honored three winners of the 2014 Ohio Agriculture Women of the Year Award during a reception March 5 at the Ohio Governor’s Residence and Heritage Garden.
Individuals honored include Eddie Lou Meimer, of Mount Gilead; Opal Holfinger, of Troy; and Lucille Hastings, of Big Prairie.
Eddie Lou Meimer
Meimer is a dairy farmer-turned maple syrup producer. She and her husband, John, operate Pleiades Maple Products on their farm in Mount Gilead, producing over 2,500 gallons of syrup annually. Meimer is responsible for all of the marketing, both retail and bulk, through direct marketing and farmers markets.
Meimer has received the Pioneer Service Award from the Ohio Jersey Breeder’s Association and the Distinguished Service Award from the Morrow County Farm Bureau. She has been a 4-H adviser for over 20 years, chairs the Morrow County Extension Advisory Committee and serves as the Northwest Women’s Trustee for the Ohio Farm Bureau.
Holfinger has been a leader in agriculture and her community for many years, with involvement in the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association, 4-H and serving in several different capacities both with the Miami County Farm Bureau and Ohio Farm Bureau. She served as the chair of the Ohio Expositions Commission and was a member of the commission for 10 years. She was inducted into the Ohio State Fair Hall of Fame in 2010.
Hastings has been actively engaged in the Ohio agriculture community for over 40 years, often as the first woman in positions of leadership. As a recognized advocate of farmland preservation, she has served as a member of the Ohio Farmland Preservation Advisory Board for over a decade. Hastings has also served Holmes County Farm Bureau in a number of positions including board trustee and president.
When barn fires set by arsonists became an issue in Holmes County, she helped organize a regional campaign and personally raised thousands of dollars to help with the arrest and conviction of those responsible. In addition to her service on numerous boards and commissions, she has acted as a manager of her own family farm for over a decade.
About the award
The award program is administered through the Ohio Department of Agriculture and the Office of the First Lady. Nominations were reviewed by a diverse committee of industry leaders, and winners were selected on the basis of their outstanding contributions to Ohio agriculture, leadership and advocacy in the agricultural community and significant impact on the agriculture industry as a whole.
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