Ohio Farm Bureau names Excellence in Ag winners

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Ohio Farm Bureau winners
Sarah and Aaron Heilers (left), of Anna, Ohio, are the 2016 Ohio Farm Bureau Excellence in Agriculture award winners. Craig Pohlman, of Venedocia, was named the farm group's Outstanding Young Farmer Award. (Submitted photo).

COLUMBUS — Aaron and Sarah Heilers of Anna have been named the winners of Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s 2016 Excellence in Agriculture Award.

The award recognizes successful young agricultural professionals who are actively contributing and growing through their involvement with Farm Bureau and agriculture.

The Shelby County Farm Bureau couple have a corn, soybean, wheat and wine grape operation. Aaron is project manager of the Blanchard River Demonstration Farm Network Project, a $1 million, five-year project supported by Ohio Farm Bureau, USDA-NRCS and other groups that showcases innovative and standard agricultural practices that help reduce and prevent nutrient runoff.

Community involvement

Sarah is an agricultural educator and FFA adviser at Anna High School. The Heilers will receive an expense-paid trip to compete in the national Excellence in Agriculture contest during American Farm Bureau’s annual convention in January.

They also will receive a John Deere Gator courtesy of Farm Credit Mid-America, and a $1,000 technology package sponsored by Ohio Farm Bureau. The couple are members of Shelby County’s Young Agricultural Professionals chapter and were co-chairs of Ohio Farm Bureau’s Young Agricultural Professionals committee.

Aaron is past president and vice president of Shelby County Farm Bureau and director of the Shelby County Fair Board. Sarah is currently on the county Farm Bureau’s Women in Ag Committee, an adviser for Anna Young Farmers and Anna FFA Alumni, and was Shelby County Farm Bureau Teacher of the Year in 2012.

They both have bachelor’s degrees in agriculture from Ohio State University and Sarah has a master’s in teaching and learning from Nova Southeastern University. They have two children.

Other finalists

Other finalists in the Excellence in Agriculture contest were Greg and Rose Hartschuh of Sycamore, and Kyle Smith, of South Vienna. Craig Pohlman, of Venedocia, has been named winner of Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s 2016 Outstanding Young Farmer Award.

The contest is designed to help young farmers strengthen their business skills, develop marketing opportunities and receive recognition for their accomplishments. Contestants are judged on the growth of their farm businesses and involvement in Farm Bureau and their community.

Pohlman has a 1,300-acre grain crop operation and is an independent seed and cover crop seed salesman. He and his wife, Sheila have three children. He is currently president of Van Wert County Farm Bureau and a Van Wert Soil Water and Conservation District trustee.

In 2004, he graduated from Ohio State University with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural education.

Pohlman won 250 hours free use of an M-series tractor provided by Kubota, a Polaris Ranger provided by Polaris, $1,000 in Grainger merchandise sponsored by Farm Credit Mid-America and an expense-paid trip to the 2016 American Farm Bureau Federation annual convention in Phoenix in January. Other finalists in the contest were Pete Cruz, of Somerset, Gregory Griffin, of Germantown, and Christian Hoffman, of Stoutsville.

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