MARYSVILLE, Ohio — Ohio beef producers and industry leaders met to develop policy, learn about consumer preferences and beef demand, and to celebrate the many achievements of cattlemen at the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet, Jan. 12 at the Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center in Lewis Center.
More than 250 people attended the event. In addition to the annual meeting and evening banquet, there were educational breakout sessions and several youth opportunities throughout the day. Sponsors who contributed to the event’s success include Ag Credit, Alltech, COBA/Select Sires, Columbiana/Mahoning/Trumbull Cattlemen’s Association, Farm Credit Mid-America, Murphy Tractor & Equipment Company, Ohio Association of Meat Processors and the Stark County Cattlemen’s Association.
The day featured youth opportunities sponsored by Farm Credit Mid-America, including the Youth Beef Quiz Bowl and a beef quality assurance session. Nearly 30 youth participated in this two-part contest, consisting of written and verbal rounds. The winners were as follows:
Junior Division: Lara Rittenhouse, Clark County, first place individual; Emma Yochum, Highland County, second place individual; and Tatum Poff, Geauga County, third place individual. The top junior team included Tatum Poff, Taylor Poff, Connor Yochum and Emma Yochum.
Intermediate Division: Paige Phillips, Clark County, first place individual; Ellie Gehret, Clark County, second place individual; and Jared Cummings, Montgomery County, third place individual. The top intermediate team included Ellie Gehret, Courtney Hamilton, Paige Phillips and Lara Rittenhouse.
Senior Division: Kady Davis, Carroll County, first place individual; Allison Davis, Carroll County, second place individual; Abbie Greer, Stark County, third place individual. The top senior team included Allison Davis, Kady Davis, Abbie Greer and Clare Soehnlen.
The Ohio State University Department of Animal Sciences beef cattle researchers Alvaro Garcia Guerra, Anthony Parker and Alejandro Relling presented information on their areas of research specialization during the annual meeting’s morning session. The session was followed by the Ohio Cattlemen’s Foundation (OCF) luncheon and update from retiring OCF president, Joe Foster, Gallipolis.
Twenty-two scholarships were presented to outstanding youth during the luncheon. Kady Davis, Carroll County; Mary Baker, Wayne County; Emily Horst, Wayne County; Meredith Oglesby, Highland County; Evan Smith, Fairfield County; McKayla Raines, Adams County; Lauren Grover, Highland County; Josh Dickson, Licking County; Caitlin Koschnick, Crawford County and Adison Niese, Richland County, received the $1,000 Cattlemen’s Gala scholarship, funded by the 2018 event. Erica Snook, Noble County; Natalie Wagner, Brown County; Erin Dilger-Lawrence, Licking County and Caitlyn Gaddis, Knox County were awarded $1,000 Tagged for Greatness Scholarships, which are funded with the sales of the Ohio Beef license plate.
Desirae Logsdon, Fairfield County; Nicholas Shaw, Greene County; Sarah Hunker, Huron County and Quinton Waits, Fayette County, received a $1,000 Country Club Scholarship, which was funded by the putt-putt course at the 2018 Ohio State Fair.
Caroline Blay, Portage County, was awarded the $1,000 Noah Cox Memorial Scholarship. Keri Felumlee, Licking County, was awarded the $1,000 William Cleland Memorial scholarship. Allison Davis, Carroll County, was award the $1,000 Julie Regula Memorial Scholarship. Kinley Kreis, Muskingum County, was awarded the Saltwell Expo scholarship, funded by the Saltwell Western Store and Ohio Beef Expo, that will be presented at the 2019 Ohio Beef Expo in March.
Following the luncheon, 2019 OCA president, Sasha Rittenhouse, New Carlisle, and OCA staff offered an “Engaging OCA’s Grassroots” breakout session that outlined ways for attendees to maximize their involvement in OCA and the beef industry through events, programs and advocacy.
During the annual meeting, Ohio cattlemen heard from Allison Rivera, executive director of government affairs with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and Sara Place, senior director of sustainable beef production research, also with NCBA. Pam Haley, an OCA Board of Directors member from West Salem, coordinated the policy development portion of the meeting. These resolutions covered a broad range including agriculture and food policy, cattle health and well-being, international trade and property rights and environmental management.
In addition, OCA’s Membership Committee recognized the members of OCA’s Top Hand Recruiting Club. Purina Animal Nutrition and Quality Liquid Feed sponsored the awards. The top OCA membership recruiter for 2018 was Sasha Rittenhouse, Clark County.
The Ohio CattleWomen (OCW) conducted their annual meeting and were joined by American National CattleWomen President Gwen Geis of Wyoming.
OCA members and guests reconvened that evening for the banquet to celebrate another successful year. NCBA’s Rivera emphasized the importance of OCA and NCBA membership, noting that without a supportive membership base, neither organization can fully advocate for the beef industry. The banquet concluded with OCA presenting seven prestigious awards to deserving cattlemen and supporters of Ohio’s beef industry.
Robison Farms, Mingo – Commercial Producer of the Year; Paint Valley Farms, Millersburg – Seedstock Producers of the Year; Brad Thornburg, Barnesville – Young Cattleman of the Year; Tom Price, Delaware – Industry Service; Stickel Farms, Bowling Green – Environmental Stewardship; and Bob Agle, South Vienna – Industry Excellence. 2019 was the first year for the Outstanding County Affiliate award, which was presented to the Clark County Cattle Producers.
Awards in these categories were sponsored by the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association with Farm and Dairy, Farm World, Ohio Farmer, Ohio’s Country Journal, In Ohio Country Today and Brownfield Ag News, respectively.
Award videos were sponsored by the Ohio Angus Association, Ohio Shorthorn Breeders’ Association, Heritage Cooperative, Ohio Federation of Soil & Water Conservation Districts, Ohio Beef Council, Clark County Cattle Producers, Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association, respectively.
— Ohio Cattlemen’s Association
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