Having never raised cattle, I was not really expecting the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association Annual Meeting to be old home week. I was invited to participate in the evening’s ceremonies to present the Young Cattleman of the Year Award on behalf of Ohio Farmer as a sponsor.
When I arrived at the Columbus Marriott Northwest I asked Elizabeth Harsh, executive vice president of the group, to introduce me to the winner Patrick Saunders from Gallipolis. Patrick and I had played some phone tag, although we had not gotten to talk. I told him I looked forward to visiting the farm and writing about him in a future issue of Ohio Farmer. He said no problem, he could arrange some time away from his new job at Farm Credit Services because he had a great boss Bob Foster.
Hmmm, I wondered, the same Bob Foster who used to shear my sheep and wound up buying some of my ewes when I sold out? Patrick pointed him out across the room and a sure enough there was Bob with a few more gray hairs (despite the FCS’s profitability or maybe because of it) looking like he could snag a ewe and clip her clean with about four strokes just like always.
So I talked with Bob and his wife Judy and found out she used to work with Bob Sieth, former associate editor of Ohio Farmer who I replaced when he got a new job circa 1978. As it would also happen Judy is from my home town of Bremen and has a sister Karen who teaches with my wife at Bremen Elementary.
Patrick Saunders, left, receives the Ohio Cattlemens Association Young Cattleman of the Year Award from Tim White.
Enough coincidence for a first conversation? Maybe not. As I was getting ready to go find a seat, I ran into Carolyn Eselgroth and her husband Tom Counts. Carolyn was an associate editor at Ohio Farmer when I left for a new job with Successful Farming circa 1984. She is now a partner Barrett, Easterday, Cunningham and Eselgroth LLP and made a presentation to the annual meeting of the cattlemen.
Not much further across the room we found Bev Roe, who was an associate editor at Ohio Farmer at the same time Carolyn was. Bev now raises Angus cattle with her husband Bill in Butler County. She is an OCA board member and coordinated the policy development portion of the OCA annual meeting.
So as the three of us are chatting, Bev asks if we have seen Sarah Davis, the daughter of Susan and Steve Davis. Susan too was a former associate editor at Ohio Farmer and Sarah is an intern for the OCA. “Yeah that’s my Mom,” Sarah acknowledged.
In addition there were neighbors from Fairfield County who won awards and provided service for the organization and old friends like former ag director Fred Dailey and OSU Vice President Bobby Moser and new friends I met sitting at our table. Pretty nice herd of people all in all.