COLUMBUS – The winners of three Ohio Farm Bureau contests are rooted in eastern Ohio.
Andrea Myers, former Farm and Dairy reporter and Mahoning County native, won the Excellence in Agriculture award. Joining her in the winners’ circle are Noble County’s Jason Feldner, who won the state discussion meet, and Jeff and Dena Wuebker of Versailles, winners of the Outstanding Young Farmer award.
Although the Wuebkers farm in Darke County, Dena (Wyler) Wuebker was born and raised in Coshocton County.
The winners will now see how they stack up against other state winners in competition at the American Farm Bureau Federation annual meeting in Nashville, Tenn., next month. At the 2005 national convention, Ohio was the only state to be represented in the finals of all three competitions.
Excellence in Agriculture. The Excellence in Agriculture award recognizes Farm Bureau members under 35 who are involved in agriculture, but whose primary job is not farming.
Myers, who left Farm and Dairy in October to join Select Sires as a communications specialist, currently lives in Marysville. An active Farm Bureau member while in Mahoning County, she served on the information and young farmer committees and helped lead the youth group.
She has also been active in the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association, Alpha Zeta Partners, 4-H and Farm Safety 4 Just Kids.
While at Farm and Dairy, she received awards for her writing from the National Newspaper Association and the Ohio chapter of the Society for Professional Journalists.
In addition to the trip to Nashville to compete in January, Myers will receive a $1,000 technology package from the Ohio Farm Bureau, $500 from Dodge Trucks and a commemorative clock.
Finalists for the award included Kimberly Badtke of Wauseon, John Buck of New Bloomington, and Shane and Melody Meldick of Oak Hill.
Outstanding farmers. Jeff and Dena Wuebker of Versailles farm in partnership with Jeff’s brother, Alan. Dena, who teaches agricultural education at Versailles High School, is the daughter of Dean and Marilyn Wyler of Coshocton County.
Jeff was able to join the farming operation full-time in 2001, after working as a crop consultant for seven years. The Wuebkers farm 940 acres, raising corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa. They also have 550 sows and produce approximately 11,000 weaner pigs under contract each year.
In 2003, the brothers diversified to include a custom baling operation and a large-scale straw enterprise. They market roughly 1,000 tons of straw each year in a five-state area.
Jeff has been active in Darke County Farm Bureau and the Ohio Association of Independent Crop Consultants. Dena provides leadership within FFA and 4-H youth development programs, and is also active in the Ohio Association of Agricultural Educators.
The couple has two children, Jacob, 4, and Laura, 2.
Other finalists for the Outstanding Young Farmer award were Matt Bell of Zanesville, Christopher Weaver of Montpelier, and Ty and Robin Callicoat of South Vienna.
As part of the award, the Wuebkers won a $1,000 certificate for Grainger Industrial Supply from Farm Credit, a year’s free lease on a Kubota tractor, $500 from Dodge Trucks and a commemorative clock.
Noble Co. winner. Jason Feldner of Caldwell won the farm group’s statewide discussion meet, a contest of small group discussion skills and problem solving.
Like the Wuebkers and Myers, he earned a trip to Nashville, Tenn., in January to compete in the national contest. He also received a $1,000 award from Nationwide Insurance and $500 from Dodge Trucks.
Feldner, who currently serves as Noble County Farm Bureau president, teaches math at the local career center and farms with his grandfather and aunt, milking Jerseys. He and his wife, Jeannette, have two children.
This is his second year in the discussion meet; he was a state finalist last year.
Other finalists in the state match were Rose Dudgeon of Frazeysburg, Doug Hafer of LaRue and Shannon Yochum of Leesburg. The competitors discussed “Where will tomorrow’s agricultural workforce come from?”
(Farm and Dairy Editor Susan Crowell can be reached at 1-800-837-3419 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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