Wickerham, Patterson and Hirsch honored by fruit, vegetable groups

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Columbus – Ohio’s fruit and vegetable associations honored outstanding leaders during the Ohio Fruit and Vegetable Growers Congress and Direct Marketing Conference earlier this year in Toledo.

Approximately 1,400 growers, marketers, exhibitors and educators participated in over 140 educational sessions and interacted with 110 exhibitors.

Wickerham honored. The Ohio Vegetable and Potato Growers Association presented the Gene Wittmeyer Vegetable Industry Distinguished Service Award to Wayne Wickerham of Huntsville.

Wickerham is a past president of the association and is a past recipient of the Direct Agricultural Marketing Association’s Gene Cravens Distinguished Service Award.

Patterson award. The Ohio Fruit Growers Society honored Jim Patterson, Patterson Fruit Farm of Chesterfield, with the Ohio Fruit Growers Society Distinguished Service Award.

Patterson is a past president of the society and is currently chair of the Ohio State University board of trustees.

Hirsch feted. Steve Hirsch of Hirsch Fruit Farm in Chillicothe received the Direct Agricultural Marketing Association’s Gene Cravens Distinguished Service Award.

This award recognized Hirsch’s direct marketing efforts on the farm and with the association.

In addition to his farming and marketing responsibilities, he is currently an Ohio Farm Bureau Federation trustee.

Cider winners. Gary Vogley of Vogley Enterprises, East Sparta, won the grand award in the 2002-2003 Ohio Fruit Growers Society cider competition.

The blue ribbon award winners were Brian Geig, Geig’s Orchard, Seville; Robert Witt of Witt Orchards, Oak Harbor; and Tom Swank of Springhill Orchards and Farm Market of Geneva, Ohio.

Scholarships. The Ohio Fruit Growers Society’s Fred O. Hartman Endowed Scholarship Fund 2002 recipient is Tonia Adae of Clinton County.

Additionally, the Ohio Vegetable and Potato Growers Association announced that its Gene Wittmeyer Vegetable Scholarship Fund will award its first vegetable scholarship in 2003.

The Direct Agricultural Marketing Association also reported that the Dr. M. Eugene Cravens Scholarship Fund contained over $6,500.

To donate. Anyone wishing to contribute to any of these three scholarships should contact the OSU College of Food, Agricultural, & Environmental Sciences, Office of Development, 152 Howlett Hall, 2001 Fyffe Court, Columbus, OH 43210 or call 614-292-0473.

Checks may be made payable to “OSU Foundation” with a note indicating the fund for which the check is intended.

The Gene Wittmeyer Vegetable Endowment is fund #410395, the OFGS Fred O Hartman Endowment is fund #645320 and the Dr. M. Eugene Cravens Scholarship is fund #310267.

Officers elected. The fruit growers elected the following leaders for the next year:

‘George Lawrence, Marion, president; Joe Burnham IV, Berlin Heights, president elect; Jeff MacQueen, Holland, vice president; Gary Vogley, East Sparta, secretary; Gregg Bachman, Carroll, treasurer.

Tom Sachs, Columbus, is the group’s executive director.

Other trustees elected include Betty Eshleman, Clyde and Doug Bauman, Rittman.

Ohio Vegetable and Potato Growers Association officers elected were: Daryl Knipp, Oak Harbor, president; Don Ramseyer, Smithville, first vice president, Loren Buurma, Willard, vice president muck crops;

Jeff Gosche, Tiffin, vice president greenhouse; John Brown, Hamilton, vice president truck crops; Bob Jones Jr., Huron, vice president marketing; Don Bench, Elmore, vice president processing crops; Jeff Huddle, Napoleon, vice president potatoes.

Sachs is also executive director of this group.

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