Ohioans shine in national ag contests


COLUMBUS – All three Ohio Farm Bureau Federation young farmer contestants reached the finals in their competitions during the American Farm Bureau annual meeting in Charlotte, N.C.
Ohio was the only state to be represented in the finals of all three competitions.
Finalist. Kim Davis, of Carrollton, was one of four finalists in Discussion Meet. She debated topics such as country of origin labeling (COOL) and the effect of payment limits in the farm bill.
The contest tests participants’ subject knowledge, problem solving abilities and personal and small group communication skills.
Only two other Ohioans have reached the final four in Discussion Meet.
Davis and her husband, Todd, have three children. They produce beef cattle and hay while farming with Todd’s parents.
She is an active member of the Carroll County Farm Bureau and Ohio Cattlemen’s Association.
Second place. Dusty and Cheryl Sonnenberg, of Hamler, were named runners-up in the Excellence in Agriculture competition.
The contest recognizes young people 35 or younger who do not derive the majority of their income from an agricultural operation they own, but who actively contribute and advance through their involvement in Farm Bureau and agriculture.
Participants are judged on their involvement in agriculture, their leadership ability and participation in Farm Bureau and other organizations.
Dusty Sonnenberg is an agricultural extension agent and works with farmers on all aspects of agricultural production, marketing and farm business management.
Cheryl is a former home economics teacher and with her husband operates the family’s direct market freezer beef business.
Young farmers. Brian and Jennifer Harbage, of South Charleston, were among 10 finalists in the Outstanding Young Farmer competition that recognizes successful young people 35 or younger for their achievements in the farming business and leadership in the agricultural community.
Candidates must outline specific goals for production efficiency and plans for future development and expansion of their farming operation.
The Harbages’ operation produces grain, forage, straw, sweet corn, peas and beef cattle. Their goals include improvements in productivity and expanded acreage and herd numbers.
Active. Both have been active in the Clark County Farm Bureau where Brian is currently the county president and has served on young farmer and safety committees and as leader of an advisory council.


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