Stark County FB earns Golden Tractor


HARTVILLE, Ohio – Stark County Farm Bureau president Richard Slicker received the Golden Tractor Award at the organization’s annual meeting and banquet Sept. 13 in Hartville.

The award is presented to counties that achieve member gain. Stark County had a gain of 466 members in the past year, and a total of 6,332 members. Slicker also received a plaque from the American Farm Bureau Federation for membership gain.

Service award. The county board presented Dennis and Jennifer Smith with its Distinguished Service Award. The award is presented annually to a farmer who has made an outstanding contribution to the community and the agriculture industry.

County organizational director Joanne Menning presented the award to the Smiths, who were unable to attend the banquet, earlier this month. Their daughters, Jaci and Libby Smith, accepted the award on behalf of their parents at the banquet. Menning noted that this was the first in nearly 20 years that the recipients of the award knew they were being honored prior to the annual meeting.

The Smiths have operated a family farm in Plain Township for 25 years. They managed a crop and dairy operation until the cows were sold two years ago, but continue to raise replacement heifers. They received numerous production and breed awards for their herd, and were also honored with a century farm award.

The couple have been married for 25 years and have three daughters and two grandchildren.

Jennifer served as co-chair of the women’s committee, youth committee, and chair of the safety committee. Dennis served as trustee for three years and on the government affairs committee.

Star awards. State trustees Jeff Zellers and Gale Betterly presented Star Awards to all eight program committees. The award is the highest level in the state’s Standards of Achievement program.

Committee coordinators recognized include: Jeff Zellers and Dennis Smith, public affairs; Jennifer Smith, safety; Bob and Gloria Wentling, advisory councils and young farmers; Les and Sharon Snyder and John and Cherri Staley, youth; Jean Slicker, information; Kay Vaughan, marketing; Gladys Slicker, membership; and Pam Strouble and Keith Zellers, promotion and education.

Code changes. Members voted on and approved two code changes, including deleting the requirement that at least twice as many nominees as vacancies on the county board must be included on the ballot. Members also approved the addition of a youth trustee to the board, and set age and term restrictions. Chris Snyder was selected by the youth council to serve as trustee.

Local, state and national policy resolutions were presented for member approval.

Seven candidates were elected to the county board. Those members are: Jon Brenckle, David Zellers, Dave Schaeffer, Gloria Wentling, Bill Wentling, Reed Varian and Mary Lynne Blevins.

Members also elected delegates for the 2002 state annual meeting, including Varian, Gladys Slicker, Janet Stauffer and Larry Stauffer. Bob and Gloria Wentling will serve as alternates.

State reports. Zellers and Betterly reported state changes and points of interest. Betterly told members of upcoming promotions, including the state AgVenture initiative, which would bring more opportunities for value-added products to producers.

One example she provided was the straw board factory proposed for construction in western Ohio, which would use straw and crop by-products to create lumber-like materials.

Zellers reported on state publication changes, which members will notice within the next few weeks. The state organization’s magazine has been changed to a newspaper format and will provide more timely information, he said. A bimonthly magazine will continue to be mailed to all members.

Zellers also announced a public informational meeting regarding dairy compacts will be held Oct. 11 at the Ramada Inn in Kent.

President’s report. Richard Slicker reported on upcoming events, including the county farm tour Oct. 7. Estate planning seminars will be held Oct. 22 in Columbiana County and again in Summit County Nov. 1.

Slicker also announced next year’s state achievement awards will include two additional Star Awards, in the areas of agricultural ecology and policy development.

(You can contact Andrea Myers at 1-800-837-3419, ext. 22, or by e-mail at


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