Bart and Sheryl Johnson are truly a team when it comes to owning and operating Agri Communicators Inc., the parent company of the Ohio Ag Net and Ohio’s Country Journal. Sheryl is in charge of all of the billing for Agri Communicators and the circulation of the paper, but Sheryl hadn’t always planned to join the family business.
Sheryl started in 1995 with the sole responsibility to organize Bart — a job that would allow the new mom to get out of the house two or three days a week. As the company continued to grow, Sheryl stepped in (for many years without pay) to do whatever job was needed. Her dedication to the business peaked when she took over three full time positions for a period of time.
Most wives probably couldn’t imagine working and living with their husbands all day, every day, but Sheryl lives such a life with joy and energy. She is the implementer and one to take care of the details as Bart’s creative nature takes on new ideas and challenges.
“With most people you need to tell them to ‘get out of their box.’ But with Bart, sometimes you need to tell him to get back into the box,” Sheryl said with a smile and a laugh. “We have such a strong understanding of each other, I have no problem being the one to tell him what to focus on.”
Sheryl’s work ethic, big smile and contagious laughter are well known at the office. She will fly in and help whoever needs assistance at a moment’s notice. She is not quick to anger, but quick to understand and read how each person operates so she can fit their needs. Before cell phones, she also served as a walking telephone book.
Sheryl and Bart live by the motto, “Family comes first” and they expect their employees to do the same. The Johnson’s have four wonderful kids: Adam, Eric, Nate, and Jenna, and Sheryl dedicates hundreds of hours to each of the children’s activities. Between running their community baseball association for eight years and the basketball association for four years, it might be a surprise to also hear she has coached her daughter Jenna’s softball teams since the t-ball stage. As a sports star herself, Sheryl played softball, basketball, and tennis growing up.
Between working a full time position and being involved in many community organizations, Sheryl still finds time to help the kids with their 4-H livestock projects. Jenna and Nate raise their dairy goats that they show at different levels around the Midwest. When you add goat kidding season and milking to her schedule, it is easy to wonder how she finds any time to sleep.
Sheryl Johnson is not one to boast, but Agri Communicators’ would be a very different company without her and her dedication to service at the office that serves Ohio agriculture.