Ohio cattlemen salute top producers, partners

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NEWARK, Ohio – Mike John, president-elect of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, called it a “fabulous time” to be in the beef industry, and if attendance at this year’s Ohio Cattlemen’s Association annual meeting and banquet is any indication, he’s right.
More than 300 beef producers gathered at the Cherry Valley Lodge in Newark Jan. 21 for the annual policy development sessions, annual meeting and awards banquet.
Changing times. Speaking to the group, John said the industry’s markets are as strong as they’ve ever been. He warned, however, that change is inevitable and challenged producers to use advancements in the industry to their advantage.
“You can profit from that change,” the Missouri cattleman said.
Top honor. Joe Foster of Gallia County received the association’s Industry Excellence Award, considered the group’s most prestigious honor.
Foster grew up in Gallia County and began his involvement in the industry at an early age when he started a calf route where he picked up calves from local dairies to raise and sell. This calf route helped put Foster through college.
After college, he expanded his operation and today Foster Farms consists of 135 acres, a 750-head per year Holstein heifer development operation, production of 120 head per year of embryo recipient heifers, a 100-head cattle feeding unit and a 200-head commercial sheep flock in addition to raising burley tobacco.
Beef booster. Foster was instrumental in the creation of Gallia Beef, a coordinated beef marketing system linking producers in Gallia County with consumers across the state.
Foster currently sits on the Ohio Beef Council Operating Committee and served two terms on the national Cattlemen’s Beef Board representing Ohio’s producers. He is also a board member on the Southern Ohio Ag & Community Development Foundation.
In addition to Foster Farms, Joe partnered with his brother, Bob, in 1984 to begin Foster Sales, a trucking and delivery company.
McDorman Farm. Louis J. McDorman from Clark County received the Commercial Cattleman of the Year award. The 1,000-acre farm near South Charleston is operated by McDorman, his wife, JaNelle, and his son, Louis H. (the McDorman farm was profiled in the Jan. 19, 2006, Farm and Dairy).
McDorman Farms specializes in custom cattle feeding. An additional 50-100 brood cows complete the operation.
McDorman and his family will be recognized with other top beef producers from throughout the country and vie for the national Commercial Producer Award at the 2006 Beef Improvement Federation annual meeting in Choctaw, Miss., April 18-21.
Industry winner. Sam Roberts, beef technologies coordinator for United Producers, earned the association’s 2006 Beef Industry Service Award.
Roberts, who lives in Springfield, has served as the Ohio Beef Expo Chairman since 2001. Previous to serving as chairman, Roberts served as the expo vice chairman and was a part of the expo’s junior show committee.
Roberts also assists with the commercial cattle show held at the Ohio State Fair.
A member of the BEEF 509 planning committee, Roberts presents a session on understanding grid pricing during every BEEF 509 program.
Seedstock winner. Champion Hill in Gallia County received the association’s 2006 Seedstock Producer of the Year award.
This purebred Angus seedstock operation was created 13 years ago when Marshall Reynolds of Huntington, W.Va., and Paul Hill formed a partnership. Today Champion Hill has one of the most successful embryo transfer programs in the country, producing 98 percent of its calf crop through artificial insemination and embryo transfer.
Currently, Champion Hill leases 11 bulls for AI, which are marketed worldwide through ABS, Accelerated Genetics and Genex.
In the past year alone, heifers from the farm near Bidwell have prevailed on the local, state and national level, winning more than 40 shows. Champion Hill manages roughly 1,500 cattle on the 3,500 acre farm and an additional 750 leased acres. About 300 females and 300 bulls are sold each year as seedstock.
Champion Hill and Schaff Angus Valley in Anthony, N.D., have formed a partnership with both farms marketing bulls together once a year every February. Other Champion Hill sales include selling approximately 40 bulls annually in Ohio, and two female sales both held in Gallia County at the end of October and the other in early April.
Champion Hill will also and vie for the National Seedstock Producer Award at the 2006 Beef Improvement Federation annual meeting in April.
Young cattleman. Jake Wolfinger of Fairfield County received the Young Cattleman of the Year honor.
After receiving an associate degree in beef production in 2002 from Ohio State University’s Agricultural Technical Institute, Wolfinger returned to the family farm to work with his father and younger brother Andy.
The farm consists of approximately 150 cows, a 300-head feed yard, 200 acres of hay, and 1,100 acres of soybeans, corn and wheat. The herd consists of 45 commercial Angus recipient cows and the remaining herd is crossbred commercial cows.
Bull test ending. The Beef Improvement Committee gave an update on the Ohio Bull Test and Seedstock Improvement Sales. Plans were announced the Ohio Bull Test program will be phased out after this year’s test and a new Seedstock Improvement Sale would be established at Muskingum Livestock in spring of 2007.

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