LISBON, Ohio – The Columbiana County Historical Association and the Columbiana County Agricultural Society selected three individuals to induct in the Columbiana County Agricultural Hall of Fame: Emmet Baer, Leonard Lowmiller and George Wilson.
The individuals are being honored for their contributions in one or more segments of agriculture.
The enshrinees’ families will be honored during the Columbiana County Fair in ceremonies at Aug. 2 in the new Commercial Building. At that time, framed biographical sketches of each Hall of Famer will be unveiled.
The hall of fame enshrined its first class in 2000. All awards are presented posthumously.
Emmet L. Baer
A strong Columbiana County farm community needs a thriving agribusiness foundation and no one was as instrumental in helping farmers and growers market produce and livestock like auctioneer and businessman Emmet L. Baer.
He was raised in the Canfield area and throughout his life, served as a bridge between both Columbiana and Mahoning counties and their farm and rural communities.
In 1948, he attended the Reppert School of Auctioneering in Indiana and spent the rest of his life in the auction industry, a auctioneering pioneer on both the state and national levels.
Baer and his wife, Lucille, ran weekly produce consignment auctions at the cattle barns in Damascus, Canfield and Signal (the Morris Livestock Auction). Then, in 1955, he purchased 8 acres in Rogers, Ohio, and built a 50-by-70 foot barn, the original sale barn and beginning of the Rogers Community Auction. More than 500 people crowded into the sale barn on its opening day. Today, the family business draws crowds of 50,000 to its weekly open air market.
Eggs, farm produce and poultry were first sold at Rogers on Monday and Friday, and the produce auctions were continued on Wednesday in Canfield.
While he built the Rogers market, Baer continued to conduct hundreds of farm auctions and dispersal sales.
Leonard Dale Lowmiller was a lifelong farmer in West Township, raising dairy and beef cattle, hogs, chickens and certified wheat and oat seed.
“Chip” Lowmiller, as everyone called him, promoted agriculture throughout his life. In 1960, the National Dairy Council recognized Lowmiller and his father, Elton, for their father-son farming partnership that developed a strong registered Jersey herd started by his father in 1915. He was a member of the American Jersey Cattle Association and the Columbiana-Mahoning Jersey Club, serving as its president. Lowmiller was also a member and past officer of the Stark County Milk Producers Association, and delegate leader to Milk Marketing Inc.
Not afraid to make changes and push progress, Lowmiller was the first farmer in Columbiana County to have a glass milk line with a dumping station.
Lowmiller also raised registered Hereford cattle and registered Hampshire swine, and was active in the local Hampshire club. His operation also included poultry, raising 1,000 chicks a year and selling eggs to a hatchery.
A Columbiana County Farm Bureau member since 1942, Chip Lowmiller served as county president and received the group’s Distinguished Service Award in 1992.
He extended his leadership into the community as well, serving on the Minerva School Board, Columbiana County Agricultural Society board, and as a West Township trustee for 10 years.
He was also a 50-year member of Homeworth Masonic Lodge, belonged to numerous Shrine organizations, and was a 55-year member of the Bayard Grange. A past president of the West Township Ruritan Club, he was part of the club’s Gee Haw show for 20 years. He and his wife, Eileen, were active members of the New Franklin United Methodist Church.
Many mornings, before going to the barn to milk the cows, Chip would sit at his desk and write poetry. Over the years, he entertained many friends by reciting his country jingles.
George H. Wilson
George Wilson contributed to the strength of Columbiana County agriculture whether on the tractor seat, farming his 300-acre Hanover Township operation, or behind the desk, as owner of three businesses serving the local farm and rural communities.
Wilson operated a family farm near Hanoverton for more than 50 years, and owned and operated Sunrise Supply in both Hanoverton and Kensington from the mid-1940s through 1964. Seeing another need, he opened Hanoverton Hardware in 1956, which he operated until the mid-1990s. Wilson also established a farm equipment dealership, Badger Barn Equipment, from 1967 through the mid-1990s.
He provided leadership to the Columbiana Soil and Water Conservation District, the former USDA Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service, the Columbiana County Agricultural Society board and aided the United FFA and United Young Farmers.
A charter member of the Hanover Township Ruritan Club, Wilson held numerous offices within the club. He also helped found the Hanover Township Volunteer Fire Department in 1945 and served through 2000. The civic leader also served as mayor of the Village of Hanoverton from 1963 through 1974 and as Hanover Township trustee from 1982 to 1993.
Never fully retiring, Wilson kept farming and raised Percheron horses until his death. He was active in the Northeastern Ohio Draft Horse Association and the Percheron Horse Association of America.
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