Wayne County Farm Bureau gets 10 stars


SMITHVILLE, Ohio – Wayne County Farm Bureau earned 10 stars and a bell for their programs and activities during the year.

In the second year that counties were eligible to earn 10 stars in their program areas, Wayne County was once again among a handful of counties in the state to earn recognition for all of their programs.

An even greater honor for the county, however was the plaque and bicentennial bell garnered for their award-winning float in the Wayne County Bicentennial Parade Aug. 16.

The float committee was co-chaired by Tim and Becky Workinger and assisted by Greg and Diane Sautter and Dan and Tammy Hodge.

Tom Machamer created the floral design spelling out “Ohio” on the float.

The awards were presented during the county farm bureau’s annual meeting at The Barn Restaurant in Smithville, Ohio.

Giving credit. Retiring president David Dotterer told the audience that he was proud of the things that had been done during the past year and credited the board and volunteers for their time and effort in getting things done.

Members attending the meeting voted on code changes as well as policy for the organization.

In order to offset a proposed dues increase at the state level, county members approved a change in their code that would increase the dues at the county level from $50 to $60.

Approval. They also approved a change in how trustees are selected for the county board.

Currently, each township is represented by a trustee. Under the new system, three trustees will be elected from each of four districts in the county and will serve rotating three-year terms.

While members opposed the elimination of the Line Fence Law, they supported policies to provide more permanent staffing for local Farm Service Agencies, promote recycling efforts, review current state funding formulas for maintenance and repair of bridges on county roads, supported a change in the Ohio Revised Code to allow counties to assess impact fees for new development, also a change in the Ohio Revised Code to eliminate the five acre rule and require that all parcels and subdivisions be approved by county planning commissions.

They also approved policy encouraging farm bureau and Nationwide Insurance to draft workable coverage for agri-entertainment.

National policy. On the national level, they also passed policy to increase the requirements for food safety on imports and promote programs that would encourage cities and villages to redevelop brownfields to reduce the development of farmland.

During the meeting, State Rep. James Carmichael was on hand to present Tom and Wendy Wiandt with a proclamation on behalf of the state legislature in recognition of their selection as the state’s Outstanding Young Farm Couple.

Stars. Star awards were presented to Luanna Dotterer, advisory councils and young farmers; Kurt Steiner and Tom Machamer, government affairs; Tom Wiandt, agricultural ecology; Tim Workinger, policy development; Roger Baker, farm income and risk management; Bev Wengerd, safety; Jadea Geitgey, youth council; Dawn Schirm and Michelle Mairs, promotion, education and image; Ed Gill, membership; and Susan Mykrantz, information.

Gill also received recognition for the county’s 18th year of membership gain, with 2,455 members, an increase of 10 members over the previous year.

Winners in the council contest were 1. N.W. 10, 2. YRU Farming, 3. N.W. 19.      

Trustees, delegates. Elected to the board of trustees were Matt Peart and Paul Schirm, Northwest District; Tim Workinger, Northeast District; Lloyd Mumaw and Dan Hodge, Southeast District; Kelly Esselburn and Will Moore, Southwest District; and Bruce Sigler, trustee at large.

Delegates to the 2004 Ohio Farm Bureau Federation annual meeting will be Andy Stands, Tim Workinger, Dan Fry, David Dotterer, Dan Hodge and Susan Mykrantz.

Alternates will be Jeff Gochnauer, Paul Schirm, Kelly Esselburn and Nancy Kauffman.      

Updates. State board members Bob Slicker and Gail Betterly gave the audience an update on activities at the state level.

Slicker told the group that Farm Bureau has been working on tort reform and improving disaster assistance. They are also working on getting a lobbyist back in Washington to work on issues that are important to farm bureau.

Slicker stressed the need for grass roots involvement as 57 percent of the state’s population resides in 11 counties, hence they have more legislative representation than the other 77 counties.

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