HARTVILLE, Ohio – Surprised but obviously flattered, Ray and Mary Shammo stepped to the front of the room at the Stark County Farm Bureau annual banquet to receive the Distinguished Service award Sept. 11.
The Shammoes operate a beef and grain farm in Louisville, Ohio, with their son, Mark, and his family.
In the early days of the couple’s 38-year marriage, they got involved with Farm Bureau, continuing that participation ever since. Both have been active in annual membership campaigns, ag in the classroom and women’s committee functions.
In addition to farming, Ray drove a bus for the Louisville School System for 30 years and Mary worked in the North Canton School System as a learning disabilities tutor. Both are retired.
Star members. The soon-to-be-retired Ken Walter, regional supervisor, recognized Organization Director Joanne Menning for being the only director in the state to receive the highest number of star awards in each of her four counties, including Stark County.
Receiving awards were Dennis Smith and Bill Wentling, government affairs; Jennifer Smith, safety coordinator; Reed Varian, advisory council; Les and Sharon Snyder, youth council advisers; Jon Brenckle, information coordinator;
Robert Wentling, marketing education coordinator; Mary Lynne Blevins and Tom Seifert Jr., membership committee co-chairmen; Joyce Brahler and John and Midge Brainerd, promotion and education; Nevin Horst and Rick Horner, ag ecology; and Frank Burkett III, policy development coordinator.
President Gloria Wentling took home the Golden Tractor award and Superstar award, both recognizing a jump in membership. Total members in the county stands at 6,661.
Dues increase. Although several concerns were raised, the group voted to increase annual membership dues by $12 to $59.
Varian told members since state dues haven’t been raised in 16 years, it was likely those dues would be increased by $10 at its annual meeting in December.
In anticipation of this decision, he urged the group to approve the increase now, so for one year, the extra dollars would go to the county. Then, next year when the state increase takes effect, the money would go to the state.
The additional $2 is for the county.
Board changes. Members also voted to decrease the number of trustees from 18 to 14.
Two trustees will be elected from each of the three districts and eight will be at-large positions. In addition, one youth trustee will be elected from the youth council.
Policy debate. Proposed policies sparked more debate, resulting in word changes.
Subjects included in proposed local policies were written permission for all-terrain vehicles on property other than the rider’s own; firefighter and ambulance training; no new or expanded landfills; mowing vacant lots; integrated pest management for mosquito control and mowing road right of ways.
No new or expanded landfills; support of current agricultural use values; regulation of landfills; limits on malpractice insurance; statewide school calendar; and ceiling on health insurance were the topics for proposed state policies.
Proposed national policies include permanent repeal of estate taxes; support of subsidized imports; promoting alternative-renewable fuels; Environmental Protection Agency and USDA working together for farming regulations and support of country-of-origin labeling.
Elections. Trustees elected include Jennifer Smith, Virginia Varian, Michael Greenbaum, John Brainerd, Terry Klick and Les Snyder.
Delegates for next year’s state annual meeting are John Brainerd, Tom Seifert Jr., Midge Brainerd and Bob Wentling. Alternates are Dennis Smith and Jennifer Smith.
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