2021 Award Winners

2020 Award Winners

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fred Voge - Voge Farms, West Alexandria

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Commercial Producer

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) awarded Fred Voge and Voge Farms of West Alexandria, Ohio, the Commercial Producer of the Year Award at the OCA awards banquet held Jan. 11, 2020. 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 Voge family that was generously sponsored by the Union Stock Yards and Muskingum Livestock Sales Company. 

Voge Farms is owned and operated by Fred Voge of Preble County where his current operation was purchased outside of the family’s operations. Voge finds pride in continuing the family tradition of making the farm better. He manages a variety of breeds from Angus, Hereford, Charolais, and Wagyu. Recently, he has become involved with the Sakura Farms Ohio Wagyu program where he has grown and diversified his operation. Voge markets his cattle directly to the packers, and his backgrounded cattle get directly marketed to feedlots. His operation was able to upgrade its facilities through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) with the assistance of the Ohio State University Extension Beef Team and Dr. Francis Fluharty. To spread risk, he took more consideration toward feeding Wagyu. Voge takes pride in having no commercial phosphorus and little potassium applied to the farm since 1980. It remains a priority to promote sustainability for the next generation, profitability, and the environment.

ST Genetics, South Charleston

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Environmental Stewardship

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) awarded ST Genetics of South Charleston, Ohio, the Environmental Stewardship Award at the OCA awards banquet held Jan. 11, 2020. 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 ST Genetics that was generously sponsored by the Ohio Beef Council.

ST Genetics of South Charleston, Ohio houses 550 dairy animals and employs 60 employees at the Ohio Heifer Center. Paul Detweiler, general manager of the facility, stated they are a full functioning ordinary dairy doing extraordinary things. Initially, in 2010, ST Genetics exported pregnant dairy animals to Turkey and Russia. The facility is the largest permitted cattle farm by the Ohio Department of Agriculture with maximum capacity at 9,800 head. The Ohio Heifer Center prioritizes producing feed efficient animals through the ecofeed program, using reproductive technologies that increase the effectiveness of sex semen usage, and being environmental stewards in housing and welfare. Their focus on sustainability is implemented through their bedding process. The base of their bedding is removed when spoiled, recycled, and replaced in the pen. Sustainability is encouraged in every single part of the operation on the operation.

Roger Thompson, dvm, new albany

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Industry Excellence

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) awarded Roger Thompson, DVM of New Albany, Ohio, the Industry Excellence Award at the OCA awards banquet held Jan. 11, 2020. In an effort to recognize individuals who continue to promote and excel in the beef industry, each year OCA and Brownfield Ag News jointly sponsor the Industry Excellence Award. The award presentation featured a video of Dr. Roger Thompson that was generously sponsored by the Ohio Angus Association.

Dr. Roger Thompson grew up on a farm in central Indiana where he attended Purdue University majoring in Animal Science and later pursuing a veterinarian degree from Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine. During his senior year, he developed an interest in embryo transplant and connected with a leading Simmental seedstock farm in Kentucky. Upon graduation, he moved to Lexington to work for the farm, and then moved to Ohio in 2002. Thompson quickly recognized the foundation of 4-H in the state of Ohio, and he connected with the family-orientation and their strong work ethics. He appreciates the relationships he has developed over the last 20 years and feels as if he has grown up with the families. He emphasizes teamwork gets the results each participant desires. He prides himself in giving techniques and forms that are easy to follow to get the results achieved. In May 2019, he reached his 40 year anniversary of embryo transplant, and hopes to continue serving clients

Rick heffelfinger and heffelfinger meats, jeromesville

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Industry Service

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) awarded Rick Heffelfinger and Heffelfinger Meats of Jeromesville, Ohio, the Beef Industry Service Award at the OCA awards banquet held Jan. 11, 2020. 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 Heffelfinger Meats that was generously sponsored by the Crawford County Cattlemen’s Association.   

This award is presented to an individual who contributes to the betterment of the cattle industry. Rick Heffelfinger is the president and co-owner of Heffelfinger Meats, a family-owned operation established in 1934. The original facility was built in 1963 with five employees and processing 40 animals per week. The operation currently employees 23 individuals and processes 600 animals per week. Heffelfinger Meat knows the value of family; his daughter Erica runs the retail meat market, son Ryan oversees the day to day operations, and wife Carrie does the bookwork. The wholesale operation harvests 110-130 head of cattle and 500 hogs per week with delivery to Cleveland, Columbus, Akron, and Canton. Additionally, the operation custom harvests and delivers custom cattle for small processors. Relationships with meat market establishments separates Heffelfinger Meats from competitors. They recognize the constantly evolving protein industry. Heffelfinger Meats is the largest red meat harvester in the state of Ohio under state inspection. The family prides themselves in their involvement with youth organizations and local fairs as well as carcass shows.

Shelby County Cattlemen's Association

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Outstanding County Affiliate

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) awarded the Shelby County Cattlemen’s Association the Outstanding County Award at the OCA awards banquet held Jan. 11, 2020. This award was established in an effort to recognize county associations and their exemplary work in promoting the beef industry across the state of Ohio. The award presentation featured a video of Shelby County Cattlemen’s Association that was generously sponsored by the Ohio Corn Marketing Program.

Jason Gibbs, president of Shelby County Cattlemen’s Association, developed his passion for the industry from his involvement in youth organizations. Steve Berning, vice president of the group and fourth-generation farmer, transitioned his farm from dairy to beef approximately 30 years ago. Shelby County cattle producers are diverse in their offerings from operation scale and scope. The county makes it a priority to promote product of the utmost quality. Shelby County promotes beef and the industry through educating the youth and consumers and revealing the viability of the workplace. The organization utilizes the county fair to cook ribeyes and stimulate conversation with farmers and non-farmers. Furthermore, the local YMCA requests that the organization promote product and cook ribeyes at their facility to discuss the industry to varying audiences. All funds generated from these involvements directly impact the youth and product promotion. The organization awards scholarships to the youth and remaining funds go toward the conservation day camp. Shelby County goes above and beyond to share their passion for the industry making involvement and interaction worthwhile.

Haley farms, west salem

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Seedstock Producer

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) awarded Haley Farms of West Salem, Ohio, the Seedstock Producer of the Year Award at the OCA awards banquet held Jan. 11, 2020. The Seedstock Producer of the Year Award was created to recognize top beef seedstock producers in Ohio. The award presentation featured a video of Haley Farms that was generously sponsored by the Centerra Cooperative.

Haley Farms is owned and operated by Mike and Pam Haley. Haley Farms was founded in 1907 in West Salem, Ohio. Pam incorporated cattle to the operation after she and Mike married. Prior to children, the couple managed 120 head, and now manage 80 head. Haley Farms sells bred heifers and cows in a production sale in Nebraska during the second weekend in October. Furthermore, the couple markets cattle privately off the farm and at the Ohio Beef Expo for show heifers and bulls. They emphasize protecting the environment and the environment’s impact on their operation. Pasture management, financial soundness, and sustainability drive the focus of environment, business, and family to sustain the operation for the next generation.

luke vollborn, bidwell

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Young Cattleman

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) awarded Luke Vollborn of Bidwell, Ohio, the Young Cattleman of the Year Award at the OCA awards banquet held Jan. 11, 2020. 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 Luke Vollborn that was generously sponsored by Burkmann Nutrition. 

Luke, and his wife, Courtney, and their children, Bryceton, Colton, Hudson and Emily, own Next Generation Livestock Marketing LLC and Vollborn Cattle Company of Bidwell, Ohio. Next Generation Livestock Marketing LLC buys, resells, and represents feeder cattle, bred cows, and cow/calf pairs. The couple focuses on backgrounding and buying feeder cattle where they fill orders for several feed yards or other backgrounders. Their marketing is achieved through Facebook or their website in pictures and/or videos which assists producers to get top dollar. The company lists cattle across the country from Gillette, Wyoming to Gainesville, Florida supporting a broad spectrum of offerings. They strive to focus on the environment by managing the ground their cattle graze with the use of feeding pads in the winter. The couple finds the value in relationships across the industry and within their family. Their ultimate goal is to make the operation sustainable for their kids to raise their families.