Ohio Farm Leaders Step Up in 2009

Buckeye Farm Beat

Who is your pick for Ag Man of the Year?

Published on: December 30, 2009

I wrote in the December issue of Ohio Farmer that Jack Fisher was the Ag Man of the Year. And I will stand by my choice for all the reasons I mentioned, but I have to admit to you, it was NOT made after a long process that looked at all the contenders and mailed ballots out to informed farmers and agribusiness veterans. If I had done so, I might have been a little taken a back by all the contenders for the award.


There were lots of leaders in the Issue 2 battle, including farmers like Jeff Wuebker who stepped up to discuss the solution and then took the idea into the public forum for face-to-face presentations. John Lumpe, Ohio Soybean Council executive director, chaired the committee to support the issue. Elizabeth Harsh, with the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association, and Dick Isler, with Ohio Pork Producers Council, also provided wisdom and rallied support. As did members of the Ohio Poultry Association led by Jim Chakeres, the dairymen headed by Scott Higgins with United Dairy Producers Mid-American and the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association with Roger High, executive director .


Issue 2 was a focal point for Ohio farmers in 2009, but it wasn’t the only place where Ohioans exerted their influence. Ohio corn growers made a visit to Brazil that resulted in a bond with the growers from that country. Sure they all know they are competing for the same markets, but the challenges of the growers are so similar they found ways to talk. In addition to that initiative, Fred Yoder, former National Corn Growers Association president, and Dwayne Seikman, took the farm view on climate change to Copenhagen. They were among the few U.S. ag representatives to participate in the discussion. Dwayne blogged from the talks describing his frustration with the world’s negative view of agriculture in developed nations.


The Ohio Soybean Council board, chaired by Keith Kemp made big steps as board members moved forward with new market developments for their beans. The group received its fifth R&D 100 award for developing a soymeal-based polymer with Battelle Institue.


Steve Robinson of Union County is president of the National Association of Conservation Districts, representing America’s 3,000 conservation districts and the 17,000 men and women who serve on their governing boards. Marcie Williams of Croton is President of American Agri-Women, the national coalition of farm and agribusiness women. While Mark Schweibert serves on the NCGA Board. Rick Furth is the chair of the U.S. Grains Council.


Rob Joslin of Shelby County was elected president of the American Soybean Association at the organization’s board of trustees meeting. Joe Steiner of Warren County was elected ASA treasurer.


I am sure there are many others I have left out. So fell free to help me out. Let me know who you think is the Ohio Ag Man or Woman of the Year. Post a comment below or email me twhite@farmprogress.com.


If you want to keep up with all of the news about the people in Ohio agriculture please go to the Exclusives button on our home page and click to get to the Ohio People page. With so many success stories to tell, we have put all the entries onto one page here at OhioFarmer.com. If you have a name to add to the Ohio People report, please email it to twhite@farmprogress.com. We are proud to publicize the good things being done in agriculture.