Tuscarawas County Farm Bureau honors members for outstanding year

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SUGARCREEK, Ohio – A-MAIZE-ing Tuscarawas County was the theme for the 2006 Tuscarawas County Farm Bureau annual meeting, emphasizing the importance of corn to the economy of Tuscarawas County.
Another successful year was celebrated during the Aug. 29 meeting at Dutch Valley Restaurant at Sugarcreek. Bill Hawthorne, county president, received a 10 Star Plaque indicating the successful completion of all 10 program areas. It was his second consecutive year for this accomplishment.
Hawthorne, who has served as county president for the past four years, credited his committee members for their hard work and dedication leading to the awards. Each committee, represented by its chairman, also received a star award.
Star award winners. Committee chairmen recognized for their achievements were John Feller, government affairs; Jaynie Norman, promotion and education; Darlene Finzer, safety; Hallie Hawthorne, information; Dan Donato and Mary Jane John, membership; Michelle and Jeremy Evans, youth council; Mary Jane John, advisory councils and young farm couples; Jim Rowe and Mike Yoder, agriculture ecology; Matt Miller, policy development; and Don Hoffman, Nationwide sponsorship.
Michele Specht, organization director for Tuscarawas, Carroll and Harrison counties, passed the gavel to Jerry Lahmers of Newcomerstown, a 60-year old beef and crop farmer and former veterinarian. Lahmers has served on the Farm Bureau board of trustees and its policy development committee.
Lahmers announced his 2006-2007 committee chairpersons: John Feller, government affairs; Jaynie Norman and Rita Lahmers, promotion and education; Jim Boltz and Bill Hawthorne, safety; Dan Evans, information; Mary Jane John, membership; Michelle and Jeremy Evans, youth council; Mike Yoder, advisory council and young farm couples; Greg Hoffman, agriculture ecology; Jim Rowe, policy development; and Hallie Hawthorne, Nationwide sponsorship.
Meeting the goal. It was noted that Tuscarawas County met its membership goal this year, with a total of 2,167 members. Of that number, 1,023 are farmers.
Steve and Sonya Quillin of 5455 Angel Valley Rd., SW, Stone Creek, were honored as the 2006 Outstanding Young Farm Couple. They operate a dairy, beef and crop farm in partnership with Steve’s father and brother.
Steve’s grandfather, George Quillin, purchased a 200-acre farm in 1957, starting with 20 cows, 40 acres of hay and 25 acres of corn. When Steve graduated form high school in 1994, he joined a three-generation partnership with his grandfather, father, and brother.
At that time they had 130 cows, 200 acres of hay and 200 acres of corn, renting 300 acres. At present they have 135 cows – 80 replacement heifers, 80 steers and 70 calves under 12 months. They have 482 acres and rent another 400 acres.
Sonya grew up on a farm and is a full-time helper with calf raising, book keeping and computer records.
Ag educator. Marsha Reed was honored as the 2006 Agriculture Educator of the Year. Reed has been a teacher for 15 years at New Philadelphia’s York Elementary and she currently teaches fourth grade. She has implemented an economics program using agricultural lessons to help students learn more about the benefits and importance of farmers and farming communities.
Jeremy and Michelle Evans gave a report on some of the activities of the Bootscooter Youth Council and presented the 2006 member of the year nominees. Nominees were Nikki Dryden, 16, and Hallie Mast, 16, both juniors at Garaway High School. Dryden, the Tuscarawas County beef princess, was named the outstanding member.
Jim Rowe presented 2006 local, state and national policies developed by the policy development committee. All policies were approved by the 141 members attending the meeting, including one on educating farmers in regards to Ohio’s new Agricultural Security Area program.
Other local issues approved were a continued educational program with the county sheriff’s department concerning the protection of private property; the renewal of a 1 percent sales tax in the county; and a county clean-up program to improve visibility and safety at intersections and railroad crossings.
State issues. State issues include the support of continuing the Current Agriculture Use Value program; enforcement of proper installation and marking of gas lines; supporting the expansion of alternative fuels and exploration of domestic oil sources; and opposing the sale of raw milk.
Due to the large number of deer on area farms, the group voted to support the extension of the deer gun and muzzleloader season and reduce the price of antler-less deer tags and the creation of a family deer harvest tag packet for immediate family members.
National issues were to support legislation requiring agricultural imports to meet the same standard as required in the U.S.; supporting the removal of manure from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency list of hazardous materials; and the completion of the 2007 Farm Bill.
Elected to represent the county on the board of trustees were: Ray Reed, district 3; Matt Miller, district 4; Mike Yoder, district 5; Matt Durbin district 8; John Feller, district 12; and Jim Rowe, trustee at large.
Delegates. Serving as delegates for the 2007 Ohio Farm Bureau annual meeting will be Amy Mizer-Yoder, Mike Yoder, Dan Evans, John Feller, and Bill Hawthorne.
Kim Davis, state trustee, discussed some current issues and asked members to be aware of House Bill 503 concerning the slaughter of horses which could set a dangerous precedent.
Advisory councils recognized were Bedrock Bunch, 10 years; Buckhorn Farmers, four years; Hungry Farmers, 26 years; Troop 65, six years; and DFW No. 8.

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