Tri-county cattlemen’s groups merge

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CANFIELD, Ohio – A unanimous vote finalized a merger of three northeast Ohio county cattlemen’s groups into the Columbiana-Mahoning-Trumbull Cattlemen’s Association.

The consolidation topped the list of business at the new group’s annual meeting Feb. 11 at the Mill Creek MetroParks Farm in Canfield.

Come together. Previously, Trumbull County had an independent group. Mahoning and Columbiana county producers were already banded together.

Facing fewer active members but a strong base, the Trumbull group approached the Columbiana-Mahoning board of directors in November with their proposal.

“We had people interested in beef, just not enough to carry a group,” said Nannette Balzer, former president of the Trumbull group.

Representatives met and updated bylaws before members from Trumbull County agreed to the merger.

Beneficial. Kevin Coleman, immediate past president of the Columbiana-Mahoning group, said the consolidation makes sense.

The larger group offers a chance for more cattlemen to meet and share ideas, and a bigger geographic area will allow them to see other operations at field days and on-farm workshops, he said.

Trumbull County brings a healthy treasury and more than 25 active members to the group, according to president Stuart Moore.

The three-county association has just over 100 members after the consolidation.

Leadership. Elected officers are Moore, president; Pete Conkle, vice president; Harold Campbell, secretary; and Jim Skeels, secretary.

Directors are Joe Belichick, Brian Cope, Rich Cope, Mark Kohler and Steve Skrinjar. Trumbull County cattlewoman Nannette Balzer was also elected to the board.

One spot on the board of directors remains unfilled after Conkle’s election to vice president. That spot will be filled in the next month, Moore said.

Awards. Columbiana cattlemen Jim Skeels and Rich Cope received the group’s new Cattleman of the Year award.

Cope raises registered Herefords and grain at Spring Lane Farm near Leetonia, Ohio.

Skeels raises registered Angus and grain at East Fork Farm near Lisbon, Ohio.

“Both these guys have a lot of years of service. [Rich] Cope has held all the offices and [Jim] Skeels has been around as long as dirt in Columbiana County,” said Mark Kohler, who made the award presentations.

Guest speaker was Morrow County cattleman Leroy Billman.

(Reporter Andrea Myers welcomes reader feedback by phone at 1-800-837-3419, ext. 22, or by e-mail at amyers@farmanddairy.com.)

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