Ohio Farm Bureau honors Farm and Dairy editor

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CINCINNATI – Marion Hartman and Lawrence Vance traveled different roads in their lifelong journey through Ohio agriculture, but both worked in the same field: to educate Ohio landowners and farmers.

Hartman, founding member of the Ohio Corn Growers Association, and Vance, newly retired chief of the Ohio Division of Soil and Water Conservation, received the Ohio Farm Bureau’s Distinguished Service Awards during the farm group’s annual meeting Dec. 5 in Cincinnati. The award recognizes the pair’s commitment to the agriculture industry in the state.

Hartman. Marion Hartman of Hillsboro helped found the Ohio Corn Growers Association and was a member of the group’s original board of directors, and first chairman of the Ohio Corn Marketing Program board.

He served as association president and represented Ohio on the National Corn Growers Association board of directors and as its vice president of research. He also served on the Corn Development Foundation board.

A member of the Ohio Top Farmers, Hartman is also a Distinguished Service Award recipient from the Ohio Corn Growers Association.

Vance. Larry Vance of Delaware served the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Soil and Water Conservation as its chief for 21 years, the longest tenure of any chief ever serving the department.

He is credited with expanding the soil and water conservation district programs on the local levels and for building the state federation of conservation districts, which encompasses 440 supervisors on the local level.

He also started the Ohio Conservation Farm award program and was instrumental in creating the park on the Farm Science Review grounds, which was renamed in his honor during the 2002 Review.

Ag communicator award. Susan Crowell of Lisbon, editor of Farm and Dairy, received the Farm Bureau’s Agricultural Communicator award.

Crowell, who has been with Farm and Dairy since 1985, manages the newsroom and oversees the coordination of all news content in the paper, which now has readers in 44 states.

She follows the footsteps of retired Farm and Dairy publisher Wayne Darling, who received the award in 1991. The late Elden R. Groves, long-time editor whose link to Farm and Dairy spanned six decades, received the Farm Bureau’s Distinguished Service Award in 1970.

Ag educator award. Edison Klinger of Kenton, professor emeritus with Ohio State University Extension, received the group’s Agricultural Educator award.

The Allen County native served as an extension agent for 31 years, mostly in Hardin County. He is a recipient of the university’s ag college Distinguished Alumni award and also received the Distinguished Service award from the National Association of County Agricultural Agents. He retired from extension work in 1988.

Currently, Klinger is a director at large within Ag Credit, and is a crop insurance specialist with Nationwide Insurance. Since 1995, he has been working to build a youth leadership development program in Hardin County.

Young farm winners. Tom and Wendy Wiandt of Burbank won the Outstanding Young Farm Couple contest and will represent Ohio in the national contest during the annual meeting of the American Farm Bureau Federation in Tampa, Fla., in January.

The Wiandts, who were profiled in a Farm and Dairy feature in October, 2000, grow gourmet mushrooms market them to local chefs and through mail order and farm markets. They have left previous careers and are now able to farm full time.

The couple is active in the Wayne County Farm Bureau, serving on a variety of committees, as well as participating in state Farm Bureau Young Farmer events and activities.

“It’s fascinating to us that the Ohio Farm Bureau is ready to embrace the small farmers like us,” said Tom Wiandt. “But it (niche farming) is a rapidly expanding part of agriculture.”

Clark and Angie Emmons of Fulton County and Jeffrey and Dena Wuebker of Darke County were also finalists for the Young Farm Couple award.

Double winner. Kevin Thierry of Liberty Center won both the Outstanding Young Farmer and Discussion Meet contests at this year’s annual meeting. It is believed he is the first person to win both of these awards in the same year.

He will travel to Tampa, Fla., in January to represent Ohio in the national discussion meet during the annual meeting of the American Farm Bureau Federation.

Thierry farms with his parents and raises corn, soybeans and wheat and produces market hogs. He has been active in the Henry County Farm Bureau, currently serving as president.

Other finalists in the Outstanding Young Farmer contests were Robert King of Brown County and Tim Eppley of Muskingum County.

In addition to Thierry, discussion meet finalists included Doug Hafer of Marion County, Angela Emmons of Fulton County and Amanda Miller of Tuscarawas County.

New award. Jason Gentry of Washington Court House won the Ohio Farm Bureau’s Excellence in Agriculture contest. He will also represent the state in Tampa, Fla.

A new award for the state Farm Bureau, the Excellence in Agriculture award recognizes successful young people 35 or younger who are involved in farming but whose primary occupation is not farming or owning an agricultural business.

The award is based on their involvement in agriculture and participation in Farm Bureau and other community organizations.

Gentry is a grain buyer for Sabina Farmers Exchange. He has been active in the Fayette County Farm Bureau and has chaired or served on numerous committees. In addition, he is involved with the Ohio Corn Growers Association, 4-H, FFA and the county fair.

Other finalists for the award were Philipp Altstaetter of Shelby County and Don and Amy Jones of Harrison County.

Board election. Terry McClure of Paulding County was re-elected president of the state Farm Bureau and Bob Peterson of Fayette County was re-elected first vice president during the annual meeting.

William Lowe of Marysville was elected to the state board of trustees, representing Delaware, Franklin, Madison and Union counties. He succeeds Gary McDowell who retired after serving nine years on the board.

Trustees re-elected include Randy Leis, Vicki McConnell, Bob Slicker, Sparky Weilnau and Merlin Wentworth.

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