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Farm accident claims life of an Urbana man

Michael E. Russell, 78, of Urbana, was killed in a farm accident on May 15.

According to the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office, Russell was checking a planter for an airline leak in a field off of Route 36 East. The equipment released when Russell was under the planter. Russell was pronounced dead at the scene.

Urbana EMS, Mechanicsburg EMS, and the Champaign County Coroner assisted at the scene.

For more, visit peakofohio.com.

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CFAES names new chief advancement officer

Keith DiDonato has been appointed as the new chief advancement officer of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). Starting on May 20, DiDonato will lead and develop the CFAES Office of Advancement, which includes fundraising, alumni relations, and marketing communications.

Currently the associate vice president for development at The College of Wooster, DiDonato oversees the major and planned giving programs, annual giving, and the parents and family giving program. In that role, he is directly involved with the largest fundraising year in the history of the institution, adding $40 million to the school’s campaign.

DiDonato also worked as the director of leadership giving at Oberlin College, where he was directly responsible for approximately $60 million added to the Oberlin Illuminate campaign, which ended in 2016 with a record $317 million. Prior to that, he worked at Cargill Corporation in the Animal Nutrition Division.

DiDonato received a Bachelor of Science from Ohio State, served on the Emerging Leaders Campaign Committee for CFAES, and was elected to the Conference for Developing the Future of Agricultural Education in Ohio for the Ohio Department of Education.

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Ison among AFBF’s Farm Partners in Advocacy Leadership class 

Ohio Farm Bureau member Sarah Ison of Moscow was recently selected to The American Farm Bureau Federation’s 10th Partners in Advocacy Leadership (PAL) class. American Farm Bureau created the PAL curriculum as a high-level, executive training program that prepares participants to represent agriculture in the media, public speaking, congressional testimony and other advocacy arenas. Program graduates gain opportunities to promote awareness about issues important to farmers and consumers.

“Farm Bureau is equipping young leaders for effective engagement,” said Zippy Duvall, AFBF President. “The members of the new PAL class are already elite leaders. We look forward to seeing them progress to the highest levels of agricultural advocacy.”

Ison is owner and president of Cincy Beef and teaches as an adjunct professor in microbiology at Northern Kentucky University. She and her husband have a commercial and registered Angus cow-calf to finish operation. She is a member of the Clermont County Farm Bureau, county Cattlemen’s Association and a volunteer with the Felicity High School FFA chapter.

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Michael Bailey named Ohio Farm Bureau vice president

Michael Bailey of Marysville has been named vice president, strategic partnerships for Ohio Farm Bureau. In this newly created position, he will develop and manage key relationships and partnerships within the farm and food sector and with businesses, educators, public officials and others. He also will be responsible for the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation; OFBF Development Corporation; member benefits and services; Young Agricultural Professionals, youth and leadership development programs and Farm Bureau events.

Bailey has extensive experience in building productive relationships, creating partnerships and attaining shared goals and applied those skills in numerous senior administrative positions within state government. At the Ohio Department of Agriculture, he served as deputy director, executive director of the Livestock Care Standards Board, senior program manager for the marketing division and executive director for the Office of Farmland Preservation. At the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, he was chief of the Division of Soil and Water Resources and most recently chief of the Division of Parks and Watercraft.

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Turner named Farm Bureau leadership development program specialist

Kelsey Turner of Bellevue has been named leadership development program specialist for Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, as part of the organization’s newly created Strategic Partnerships department. She will be working with the Young Agricultural Professionals, Youth Pathway and Ag Literacy programs, assuming some of the responsibilities of Melinda Witten, who was recently promoted to senior director, leadership development for Ohio Farm Bureau.

Turner was most recently employed with the Bellevue City School District and as the Columbus-area market manager with Witten Farm Market and Greenhouse. She received her bachelor’s degree in Agribusiness and Applied Economics from The Ohio State University and is currently attending Ashland University studying for her MBA in Entrepreneurship.

She is a native of Seneca County where her family’s grain and maple syrup operation, Sugarwood Family Farms, is located. She and her husband, Evan, are members of the Seneca County Farm Bureau, are active participants in Ohio Farm Bureau’s Young Agricultural Professionals program and are both volunteers for their 4-H club Spirit of ’76.

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Long-time OFBF trustee/board member Patty DeBruin passed away

Patricia P. “Patty” DeBruin, age 62, passed away peacefully and surrounded by family at her home on Saturday, March 31, 2019. Patty was passionate about agriculture; she served as the Southeast Women’s Trustee for the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation and was a member of the executive board of the organization for 12 years.

She was born in Pittsburgh, Pa. on September 12, 1956 and was the daughter of Robert Parham and Carole (Walter) Eckhardt, who survive her. Patty is also survived by her husband, Steven DeBruin, with whom she traveled the world and shared a loving marriage for 41 years.

Patty graduated from The Ohio State University in 1978 with a B.S. in Home Economics and went on to teach the subject at Amanda-Clearcreek High School and Fisher Catholic High School. She was the office manager of Feeder Creek Veterinary Svcs. in Millersport for 35 years and advocated for small business through the National Federation of Independent Business and the Buckeye Lake Chamber of Commerce.

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Mead to serve as CEO of Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts

The Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (OFSWCD) is pleased to announce Janelle Teeters Mead has assumed the role of Chief Executive Officer.

“Janelle has a wealth of experience which will help lead our organization in this next chapter. Weare excited to have her in this position,” said Bob Short, President.

Growing up on her family’s row-crop farm in Fayette County, Mead has always been interested in agriculture. Most recently, Mead served as the deputy director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Her responsibilities included overseeing the department’s animal health, communications, legislative, and marketing efforts, and shaping department policy. Mead has also worked for the OhioFarm Bureau Federation, The Ohio State Alumni Association and Mycogen Seeds. She is a graduate of The Ohio State University where she earned a degree in agricultural communications. She and her family live in Fayette County.

“I am excited to work with our conservation partners throughout the state during this very important time.

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CFAES alumni recognized

The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) congratulates its 2019 Alumni Awards recipients.

“It is wonderful to see so many people from our college community here to share their support for these outstanding honorees,’’ Steven Neal, CFAES associate dean and director of academic programs, told 140 alumni, relatives, faculty, staff, and friends during an awards luncheon on March 2. “We are all inspired by the accomplishments of these individuals.”

In all, 12 individuals received awards during the annual event, held on Ohio State’s Columbus campus at the Fawcett Center.

The Meritorious Service Award is given to alumni or non-alumni who have been singularly significant in CFAES’ quest for excellence. This award was presented to:

  • Bob Birkenholz, Fort Myers, Fla.
  • Virgil Strickler, Galloway, Ohio

The Distinguished Alumni Award is given to those who have brought distinction to themselves and to CFAES through their commitment and leadership. This award was presented to:

  • Bryan Garton (’93, PhD, Agricultural Education), Columbia, Mo.
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Ohio Soybean Council Foundation awards $44,000 in scholarships

The Ohio Soybean Council Foundation (OSCF) is pleased to announce the scholarship recipients for the 2019-2020 academic year.

This is the 12th year for the OSCF scholarship program, which was created to encourage undergraduate students to pursue degrees in one of the many academic fields that support the future of the soybean industry including agriculture, business, communication, economics, education, science and technology, as well as to support ongoing graduate-level research. Since 2008, the OSCF scholarship program has awarded over $350,000 in scholarship funds to students studying agriculture or a related field at Ohio colleges or universities.

Undergraduate scholarships of $3,000 each were awarded to Lea Kimley, Bernard Kuether, Elizabeth Landis, Kayle Mast, Tanner Matthews and Rex Tietje. The annual $3,000 FLM Harvest Scholarship, awarded to students in the field of agriculture communications or business, was awarded to Courtney Heiser. The annual $5,000 Bhima Vijayendran Scholarship, named in honor of a Battelle research scientist who has made tremendous contributions to the soybean industry, was awarded to Kevin Fruth.

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Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation appoints new leaders

Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation recently added two new board members and elected officers of the 15-member board, which oversees the charitable, nonprofit organization.

New to the board are Doug Miller, vice president of statewide services for Ohio Rural Electric Cooperatives, Inc., and Lane Osswald, who farms with his father and brothers in Preble County and is currently serving his third term as an Ohio Farm Bureau trustee. They replace Lisa McClure, executive director of the Paulding County Area Foundation, and Katherine Harrison of Harrison Farm.

The board also elected three board officers. Heather Thiltgen, senior vice president of strategic markets at Medical Mutual, was named president; Wade Smith, owner of Whitehouse Specialty Crops was named vice president; and Cy Prettyman, owner of Prettyman Farms, was named treasurer.

Founded in 1985, Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation is a 501(c) (3) charitable, nonprofit organization.The foundation funds programming in four priority areas: cultivating an interest in agriculture, investing in tomorrow’s leaders, driving economic growth and promoting environmental stewardship and conservation.

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Harlow named Farm Bureau organization director

Ivory Harlow of Chillicothe has been named organization director for Ohio Farm Bureau Federation and will serve members in Fairfield, Hocking, Pickaway and Ross counties. She will work with the county Farm Bureaus to address issues important to members and their communities.

Harlow previously was a program specialist with the Center for Cooperatives at Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. She received her bachelor’s degree from Strayer University, a master’s from Ohio Christian University and is working toward a masters of business administration at Ohio State University. Harlow served four years in the United States Air Force.

She and her husband, Kip, own and operate a mixed livestock and forage farm. She has been active in Ohio Farm Bureau’s Young Agricultural Professionals program and American FarmBureau’s Young Farmers & Ranchers program. She is a Ross County master gardener and is active with the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association, American BoerGoat Association, Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association and the FarmerVeteran Coalition.

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OEFFA announces 2019 award recipients at 40th Annual Conference

The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) has named the 2019 recipients of its Stewardship and Service awards.

Guy and Sandy Ashmore of Clinton County received the Stewardship Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to the sustainable agriculture community, and Mike Hogan of Franklin County received the Service Award, which recognizes extraordinary service in support of sustainable agriculture.

The announcements were made Feb. 15 and 16 in Dayton as part of OEFFA’s 40th annual conference, “Just farming: The path before us.”

 

2019 Stewardship Award winners — Guy and Sandy Ashmore

Guy and Sandy Ashmore are co-farmers and owners of That Guy’s Family Farm, a certified organic 48-acre farm in southwest Ohio. They wholesale produce through Local Food Connection and Dorothy Lane Markets, and sell at a farmers’ market, their farm store, and through a winter and summer community supported agriculture (CSA) program.

They started farming in 1978 using conventional practices and raising confinement hogs.

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Bernadette Arehart named Ag Women of the Year

Bernadette Arehart will be honored as the 2018 Ag Woman of the Year by the Central Ohio Farm Bureaus at their annual Women in Ag Brunch in March. Since 1983, this yearly event has recognized outstanding women in the field of agriculture for their invaluable contributions. Recipients of this award have consistently demonstrated proven leadership, passion, and dedication for the better of Ohio agriculture.

Bernadette is a member of the Ohio Ag Council and provides the voiceovers for the Ohio Ag Hall of Fame recipient videos. She volunteers and assists FFA chapters and the Ohio FFA Association, and has received the local, state and American Honorary FFA Degree. She is a long-time member of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation and while serving as a trustee in Delaware County, she was recognized for her contributions as a co-chair of the Benefit in the Barn Fundraiser which won national recognition in 2017 by the American Farm Bureau.

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New Young Ag Professionals leaders announced

Bennett and Liza Musselman of Orient are the new chaircouple of Ohio Farm Bureau’s State Young Ag Professionals Committee. Emily Krikke of Greenwich is the new vice chair.

Young Ag Professionals are 18 to 35, singles and married, who are interested in improving the business of agriculture, learning new ideas and developing leadership skills. The group includes full- and part-time farmers, OSU Extension agents, teachers, consumer educators, former Ohio Farm Bureau Youth members, FFA and 4-H alumni, farm media communicators, livestock and equine enthusiasts, seed representatives, green industry employees, gardeners, foodies and more.

The Musselmans farm with Bennett’s father. Liza is an accounting manager at WillowWood, owns a photography business and is active in Ohio Agri-Women and as a school volunteer. Bennett is a vice president and agribusiness banker at HeartlandBank, is president of Pickaway County Farm Bureau, on the ag committee of the Pickaway Competitiveness Network and a Pickaway County Farmers Club member.

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Popp wins Farm Bureau Discussion Meet

Victoria Popp of Cincinnati is the winner of Ohio Farm Bureau’s Young Ag Professionals Discussion Meet competition. She won the contest final round held Feb. 1 during the YAP Winter Leadership Experience in Columbus.

Listen to Popp’s comments after her win.

The Discussion Meet tests participants’ subject knowledge, problem solving abilities and personal and small group communications skills. It’s  designed for young ag professionals to work together find solutions around issues facing agriculture today.

Popp is a Clermont County Farm Bureau member, is a current participant in Farm Bureau’s AgriPOWER Class X leadership development program and is active in Young Ag Professionals. She manages the young, small and beginning farmer program for Farm Credit Mid-America.

She receives a $1,000 cash award from Nationwide Insurance, an expense-paid trip to OFBF Annual Meeting in December 2019 and an expense-paid trip to represent Ohio at the national competition during the American Farm Bureau Annual Convention in Austin, Texas, in January 2020.

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Golden Owl Award finalists announced

During December and January, 10 agricultural educators were named as Golden Owl Award finalists in surprise ceremonies throughout the state.

Presented by Nationwide, Ohio Farm Bureau and Ohio FFA, the Golden Owl Award honors agricultural educators for their outstanding contributions in helping future leaders.

Nominations were accepted through November 2018. Each of the teachers who were recognized as Golden Owl honorees received a $500 prize and entrance into the final selection stage. One honoree then will be chosen for the grand prize, the Golden Owl Award and $3,000.

The 10 finalists for the Golden Owl Award are: Dave Stiles

Indian Valley High School, Stephanie Conway Bowling Green High School, John Poulson Pettisville High School, Randy Eisenhauer

Shelby High School, Erin Wollett Cardington-Lincoln High School, Michael Spahr Greene County Career Center, Tom Holton East Knox Junior-Senior High School, Shelby Faulkner Ridgemont High School, Holly Jennings Felicity-Franklin High School, and Katrina Swinehart Central State University.

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Fudge selected for House Agriculture Subcommittee chair

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson of Minnesota announced the election of the Chairs of the six House Agriculture Subcommittees following the Committee’s Democratic Caucus organizational meeting today in Washington. This included Marcia Fudge of Ohio who will chair the Subcommittee on Nutrition, Oversight and Department Operations.

“I look forward to working with each of these talented Subcommittee Chairs,” said Peterson. “They bring a range of experiences and strengths to their work, and each is focused on how the work of their Subcommittee can further our efforts to bring practical solutions to the people we serve.”

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New chair to lead plant pathology at Ohio State

The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) has appointed a professor with additional experience leading a local government as the new chair of the Department of Plant Pathology.

Along with an extensive academic career, Tom Mitchell, a professor of fungal biology and molecular genetics in the department, led and served on the board of trustees of Liberty Township in Delaware County, north of Ohio State’s Columbus campus.

In that role, Mitchell served a population of nearly 20,000 residents, managed a budget of over $11 million, oversaw 72 employees, and led negotiations on union contracts.

“The experiences I had as a township trustee are far different than any I would normally encounter as an academic,” Mitchell said. “They taught me valuable leadership lessons that I continually apply on campus.”

Born and raised in Detroit, Mitchell received a bachelor’s degree in plant science from Pennsylvania State University and a master’s degree in plant pathology from Clemson University.

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Japan Prize goes to CFAES soil scientist Rattan Lal

Rattan Lal, a soil scientist at The Ohio State University, has been awarded the 2019 Japan Prize, considered one of the most prestigious honors in science and technology.

Lal is the first Ohio State scientist and the first soil scientist to ever receive the prize. He is Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science at the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

The Japan Prize recognizes scientists and engineers from around the world for original and outstanding achievements that “not only contribute to the advancement of science and technology, but also promote peace and prosperity for all mankind,” the Japan Prize Foundation said Jan. 16 in announcing the award.

Lal, whose career in science spans five decades and five continents, was honored for his research on sustainable soil management and its role in improving global food security and mitigating climate change.

Global food security is a growing issue because Earth’s population is expected to increase to near 10 billion people by 2050.

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