Ohio Farmers Union wraps up annual convention, adopts supportive policies


DUBLIN, Ohio – Ohio Farmers Union presented several service awards for contributions to agriculture at the Ohio Farmers Union 73rd Annual Convention Feb. 1-3 at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Dublin, Ohio.
Awards. State Rep. James Aslanides accepted the organization’s Legislator of the Year Award for the leadership he provided as chairman of the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.
Andy Vance and Lindsay Hill received the Agricultural Communicator of the Year Award for excellence in reporting. The award is the union’s highest honor for outstanding journalism in the field of agriculture.
Vance and Hill are founders of the Buckeye Ag Radio Network.
Pickaway County native Joanne Hillman received the Meritorious Service Award. This award was given to Hill for her extraordinary contributions to Farmers Union and family agriculture.
George Slater of Nobel County accepted the Albert East Award. This award is given to the chapter with the largest increase in new membership in a one-year period. It also reflects the retention of current membership.
In addition, Farmers Union recognized the top county chapters in the state for achieving membership gain. Those counties were: Southeastern District, Darke County, Henry County, Ottawa County and Williams County.
Special business. In other action, Ohio Farmers Union delegates adopted a special order of business supporting the creation of an Ohio Food Policy Council to elevate the importance of Ohio’s local food systems and create economic opportunity for family farmers.
Delegates introduced, debated and adopted policy provisions that will guide the family farm organization in 2007.
Convention delegates also crafted an important policy initiative aimed at supporting domestic renewable fuels development by targeting state policy encouraging fuels from the farm and endorsing the 25x’25 initiative that sets a goal of achieving 25 percent of our energy needs from renewable fuels by 2025.
Speakers and elections. An array of speakers addressed members including Larry Mitchell, chief executive officer of the American Corn Growers; Howard Sacks, director of the Kenyon College Rural Life Center; and Tom Buis, president of the National Farmers Union.
Two new members were seated on the Ohio Farm Union executive committee: Duane Shields of Darke County and Bruce Yancey of Fulton County.
Louis Smith of Sandusky County was re-elected to his seat on the committee.
The convention closed with a luncheon featuring speakers U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, member of the Senate Agriculture Committee; Congressman Zack Space, member of House Agriculture Committee; and newly-appointed Ohio Department of Agriculture Director Robert Boggs.
Delegates. Elected as member delegates to the National Farmers Union convention March 2-5 in Orlando, Fla., were Marv Thompson of Paulding County and Barbara Caldwell of Pickaway County.


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