At Times I Miss Our Back Pages

Buckeye Farm Beat

It’s not as easy to flip through the ancient issues of Ohio Farmer as it used to be.

Published on: February 28, 2012

I am mostly very happy that the Ohio Department of Agriculture was willing to take the bound volumes of the old Ohio Farmer magazines last fall. The responsibility of storing them and keeping them safe weighed on me and I figured there were very few times I would really need them.

Well one of those times was a couple of weeks ago when I was writing up the profiles of the three new Master Farmer award winners for the March issue. I won’t spoil the surprise of opening the magazine by telling you who they are. The publication will be in your mailbox soon enough. Of course I wanted the story to be complete by including the names of the winners we had chosen in the 1990s when the program was revived. All I had to do was pull out the volumes containing those issues and look them up.

Of course the 1995, ’96, ’97 and ’98 issues are now safely secured in the Bromfield Building at ODA 30 miles north of here. Thankfully ODA communication specialists Erica Pitchford and Cindy Shy were kind enough to dig through the volumes and find me the names I was searching for. For the record here are the recent Master Farmer honorees:


Roger & Carolyn Bonham (Washington Court House)

Martha Gerber Rittinger (Chillicothe)

Neal & Nellie Springer (Mt. Vernon)


Chuck & Sharon Riggsecker (Delta)

Darrel & Thelma Bacon (Mahoning County)

Bonnie Ross (Bowling Green)


Arthur & Edith Brandt (Versailles)

Jim & Gwen Young (Somerset)

Ruth & Don McGinnis (Cardington)


John & Jane Hellwarth (Celina)

Laurene & Lyle Shaffer (Cygnet)

Rita & John Ricketts (Pickerington)

Jay & Alda Skinner (Pickaway County)


So today I was talking with toy maker Jeff Moore from Dresden on the phone for the Web Exclusive item you can find on this Web site. Jeff mentions that his dad used to have a Moore’s Farm Equipment and it sounds familiar. Then he says his dad used to use a helicopter to carry parts out to farmers in the field. I recall that I once did a story about the dealership and flew in the chopper as his dad delivered some new parts to combine broken down in the field. I can see the photos in my mind as Jeff is telling me and somehow I am seeing in black and white.

I say, “That must have been in the early ‘90s?” And Jeff replies, “No, that would have to have been in the late 70s of very early 80s.” No wonder it appears in black and white in my mind. If only I had those bound volumes I would flip back in time and see exactly when those pictures were taken.

The good news is that issues from the last 10 years or so have been digitized and you can find easily here at by clicking on the “More” button at the top of the page.