Gerber farms, middletown

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Commercial Producer

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) awarded the Gerber family of Middletown, Ohio, the Commercial Producer of the Year Award at the OCA awards banquet held Jan. 20, 2018, at the Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center in Lewis Center, Ohio. OCA and Farm and Dairy jointly sponsor this award to recognize Ohio’s top commercial beef operations. The award presentation featured a video of the Gerber family that was generously sponsored by the Ohio Angus Association.

Gerber Farms is an 1,800 acre grain and livestock operation that the family purchased in 1952. Gary Gerber is a third generation owner and manages the farm with help from his wife, Cari; his children, Kelli, Lauren, and Clayton; and his parents, Jerry and Cleo. The Gerbers own more than 150 brood cows, and have a feedlot operation where they feed out between 300-400 head each year. Constantly working  to increase the quality of their animals’ genetics, the Gerber family selects top breeding stock to produce calves with high quality grades. Gary’s main goal is to support all family members involved with the operation for generations to come.

gibbs farm, maplewood

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Environmental Stewardship

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) awarded Chris and Jason Gibbs of Gibbs Farm, Maplewood, Ohio, the Environmental Stewardship Award at the OCA awards banquet held Jan. 20, 2018 at the Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center in Lewis Center, Ohio.Each year, in an effort to recognize individuals who excel in preserving and protecting the environment associated with their farm, OCA and In Ohio Country Today jointly sponsor the Environmental Stewardship Award. The award presentation featured a video of the Gibbs Farm that was generously sponsored by Kalmbach Feeds.

Chris Gibbs and his wife, Deb, manage a grain and cattle operation with the help from their son, Jason, and his wife, Shelby. First generation, Chris, purchased the farm in 1983. The operation is made up of 115 acres of pasture and 560 acres of crops including corn, soybean and alfalfa. After college and returning to the farm in 2011, Jason purchased a small group of cows. The Gibbs now own 20 head, most are of Gelbvieh-Angus influence. The Gibbs family also assists in the management of  another 70 head. With a focus on sustainability, the Gibbs utilize intensive grazing and rotate pastures on a nearly daily basis. The Gibbs “work with nature” and make use of cover crops, waterways and buffer strips, and are also participants of the USDA Conservation Reserve Program. As he looks forward to the future, Chris plans to keep the farm prosperous for future generations.

E.r. boliantz co.

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Industry Excellence

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) awarded Bob Boliantz of Ashland, Ohio, the Industry Excellence Award at the OCA awards banquet held Jan. 20, 2018 at the Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center in Lewis Center, Ohio. Each year, in an effort to recognize individuals who continue to promote and excel in the beef industry, OCA and Brownfield Ag News jointly sponsor the Industry Excellence Award. The award presentation featured a video of Bob Boliantz that was generously sponsored by Certified Angus Beef Brand.

Bob Boliantz is the owner of E.R. Boliantz Co. in Ashland, Ohio. The business has been in the family for three generations, dating back to the late 1920s. E.R. Boliantz Co. is a harvesting facility that wholesales into retail markets and some independent meat shops. Bob has help managing the business from long-time friends and peers, Jim Harris and Russ Chapman. Zane Gross is a recent addition to the team and has contributed to the success of the company by helping in any way possible. Focused on integrity and honesty as well as family and people, Bob’s passion allows him to work closely with farmers for the best quality beef. E.R. Boliantz Co. promotes quality genetics and effective and responsible management practices while also realizing the importance of source-age verification.

representative brian hill, zanesville

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Industry Service

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) awarded Representative Brian Hill of Zanesville, Ohio, the Beef Industry Service Award at the OCA awards banquet held Jan. 20, 2018, at the Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center in Lewis Center, Ohio. OCA and Ohio’s Country Journal jointly sponsor this award to recognize Ohio’s top service providers for the beef industry. The award presentation featured a video of Representative Hill that was generously sponsored by Muskingum County Cattlemen’s Association.  

This award is presented to an individual who contributes to the betterment of the cattle industry. Brian Hill is the state representative from the 97th Ohio house district and serves as the chair of the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee. Hill was raised on a farm his grandpa purchased in 1950. Today, he and his father continue the beef operation in Muskingum County. Being directly involved in the industry himself, Hill understands the challenges faced in rural Ohio and has used his leadership position as an opportunity to “speak for agriculture.” Hill held an important role in leading the charge for reform of the Current Agricultural Use Value (CAUV). The reform offers a property tax relief to Ohio’s farmers and beef producers.

j & L Cattle services, jeromesville

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Seedstock Producer

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) awarded J & L Cattle Services of Jeromesville, Ohio, the Seedstock Producer of the Year Award at the OCA awards banquet held Jan. 20, 2018, at the Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center in Lewis Center, Ohio. OCA and Farm World jointly sponsor the Seedstock Producer of the Year Award, which was created to recognize top beef seedstock producers in Ohio. The award presentation featured a video of J & L Cattle Services that was generously sponsored by Centerra Co-op.

J & L Cattle Services is owned and operated by Jeff and Lou Ellen Harr and their daughter, Keayla. The family manages around 80 mature registered Hereford cows, a spring calving group of 70, a fall calving group of 10-12 and feed out around 25-30 steers. The Harrs sell cattle through private treaty, at the Ohio Beef Expo and every other year during their J & L and Guests sale. The Harrs work to stay current by using available technology as much as possible for the continuation of high quality Hereford genetics and hope to continue the operation for years to come.

kyle nickles, sycamore

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Young Cattleman

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) awarded Kyle Nickles of Sycamore, Ohio, the Young Cattleman of the Year Award at the OCA awards banquet held Jan. 20, 2018, at the Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center in Lewis Center, Ohio. OCA and the Ohio Farmer jointly sponsor the Young Cattleman of the Year Award, which was created to recognize young producers in Ohio working to better the beef industry. The award presentation featured a video of Kyle Nickles that was generously sponsored by Heffelfinger’s Meats, Inc.

Kyle Nickles helps his father Doug in the operation of Wooden Nickle Farm. Alongside Kyle is his wife, Audrey, and their daughter, Claire. Together, the family runs an 80 head cattle operation on 150 acres of pasture north of Loudonville, Ohio. Kyle continues to better the quality of phenotypic and genotypic characteristics by looking for good growth and high marbling and grading traits within the cattle. Wooden Nickle Farm feeds out around 100 head a year and privately sells market and breeding animals. He also consigns animals at the seedstock sales during the Ohio Beef Expo, but has a goal of also hosting a production sale. While continuing to be innovative in his own day-to-day operations, Kyle plans to stay involved in various aspects of the industry.