SALEM, Ohio – Wayne County’s Andy and Deanna Troutman were selected the Outstanding Young Farm Couple by the Ohio Farm Bureau during the group’s annual meeting Nov. 28-30.
The Troutmans will represent the Buckeye State in national competition in New Orleans in January.
Also selected to vie for national awards were Rose Dudgeon of Knox County, in the discussion meet, and Tina Lust of Marion County, for the Excellence in Agriculture contest.
Troutman. The Outstanding Young Farm Couple award recognizes individuals or couples 35 or younger for their accomplishments in their farming operations and their leadership in the agricultural community.
The Troutmans own and operate a vineyard and winery operation that spans Wayne and Summit counties.
Both Troutmans were shocked and excited to hear their name called as winners of the awards.
“We’ve come a long way since I was a 4-H kid with a grape project,” Andy Troutman said.
The Troutmans received a $1,000 certificate at Grainger Industrial Supply, a year’s free lease on a Kubota M-series tractor, $500 from Dodge Trucks and a $250 product voucher to any NAPA store. They also receive a commemorative chime clock from Ohio Farm Bureau.
Other finalists were Dusty and Carrie Hesler of Adams County, Michael Miller of Mahoning County and Brandon and Julie Weber of Jackson County.
Lust. Tina Lust of Marion won the Excellence in Agriculture Award, which recognizes successful people 35 or younger who are involved in farming but whose primary occupations are not farming or owning an agricultural business.
Lust works with farmers daily on seed recommendations and sales as a territory sales manager for Midwest Seed Genetics and is a state certified crop adviser. She also assists in the duties on her family’s corn and soybean farm, and is active with the Marion County Farm Bureau board.
She received a $1,000 technology package from OFBF, $500 from Dodge and a commemorative chime clock.
Other finalists were Don Jones of Harrison County, Melody Meldick of Jackson County and Jenifer Weaver of Mahoning County.
Dudgeon. Rose Dudgeon of Frazeysburg won the discussion meet.
The annual contest tests participants’ subject knowledge, problem solving abilities and personal and small group communications skills. Finalists discussed the topic, “In light of recent decisions affecting private property, what steps should be taken to secure the rights of property owners?”
Dudgeon is pursuing a degree in agricultural education at Ohio State University and operates a crossbred sheep farm in Knox County.
Dudgeon received $1,000 courtesy of Nationwide, $500 courtesy of Dodge and a chime clock from Ohio Farm Bureau.
Other finalists were Jodie Anderson of Guernsey County, Wendy Chrisman of Harrison County and Jenifer Weaver of Mahoning County.
Service awards. Another highlight of the group’s harvest banquet Nov. 29 was the presentation of service awards and the agricultural educator award.
The late U.S. Rep. Paul Gillmor, Ohio Farm Service Agency Executive Director John Stevenson, Norman Bratton Sr. of Fulton County and Rita Warner of Montgomery County each received the Farm Bureau’s Distinguished Service Award, while Barb Kuck of Logan County was the Agricultural Educator Award recipient.
Gillmor. Gillmor was in his 10th term as a member of Congress at the time of his death earlier this year, having represented Ohio since 1989.
He held many leadership roles while in the House including the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit and vice president of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. He served as President of the Ohio Senate for three General Assemblies during his 22 years of state service.
The Paul and Karen Gillmor family has been a member of Seneca County Farm Bureau since 1973 and farms with other members of the family in Seneca and Sandusky counties.
“It was never hard for Paul to vote for agriculture. His entire family has been in agriculture for generations,” his widow Karen said.
Stevenson. John Stevenson, the executive director for Ohio’s Farm Service Agency, lives with his wife on his fourth generation family farm in Pickaway County.
The founder of the Ohio Corn Growers Association and former president of the National Corn Growers Association, Stevenson is a pioneer in conservation tillage and planning, and in the use of irrigation practices.
He has served as Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s first agricultural specialist, chief of the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Plant Industry Division and the in-state agriculture liaison for Sen. George Voinovich.
In 1980, he built and operated Ohio’s first commercial ethanol plant.
Bratton. A Fulton County Farm Bureau member since 1950, Norman Bratton has served on the county board of trustees, and as county information coordinator and government affairs chairman. He and his wife, Jeanne, served as youth advisers for 20 years.
Inducted into the Fulton County Agriculture Hall of Fame in 1990, Bratton was instrumental in grassroots work to establish new lighting laws for farm machinery and served on a county committee with Toledo Edison to establish a road and house numbering system that would make it easier for fire and rescue services to locate an address in emergency situations.
Warner. The daughter of farmers from Darke and Preble counties, Warner is no stranger to Farm Bureau. She has been a member of Montgomery County Farm Bureau Advisory Council since 1972, a member of the women’s committee and served as safety chairman and youth adviser for many years.
Most notably, she has volunteered more than 30 years of service to Ohio Farm Bureau state youth camps. She is the current membership chairperson for the county board of trustees.
Kuck. Kuck was raised one of eight children on a Logan County farm.
She has been the education specialist for the county’s Soil and Water District for the past 15 years.
Other awards. Approximately 280,000 votes were cast in person and online for the Farm Bureau’s Growing a Masterpiece competition. Each county Farm Bureau decorated a wooden cutout in a variety of mediums to depict its agricultural industry and heritage.
With 84,948 votes, the most popular masterpiece award went to Summit County. Finishing in second with nearly 75,000 votes was Wyandot County, and in third, with nearly 58,000 votes, was Champaign County.
Marion County’s Agriculture in Action educational event garnered special attention for its impact on the community. Representatives from the county will share details of the program in the Idea Exchange at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual meeting in January.
Christmas Tree Farm, by Ann Purmell, received the Farm Bureau’s Children’s Literature Award.
(Reporter Andrea Zippay welcomes feedback by phone at 800-837-3419 or by e-mail at email@example.com.)
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