The day was made possible by the following sponsoring partners: Ag Credit, Corteva Agriscience, Heartland Feed Services, Kent Nutrition, Ohio Association of Meat Processors, The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine and PBS Animal Health.
Todd Wilkinson, President of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), joined members to present an industry update on policy issues and highlights from the NCBA Federation’s role as a contractor to the beef checkoff. In addition, Director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture, Brian Baldridge spoke briefly about the current programs and new construction underway at the department.
OCA President Mark Goecke of Allen County led the OCA Annual Meeting. The first order of business was awarding the association’s Top Hand members. The OCA Top Hands are awarded for recruiting five or more OCA members throughout the year. This year’s awards were sponsored by Purina Animal Nutrition and Quality Liquid Feeds. The following were the Top Hands for 2023. Frank Phelps, Logan County was the top recruiter. Additional Top Hand winners were Kolby Brock, Delaware County; Austin Cole, Preble County; John Ferguson, Geauga County; Glen Feichtner, Crawford County; Mark Goecke, Allen County; Sarah Ison, Clermont County; Jim Jepsen, Fairfield County; Andy Lohr, Crawford County; Allan Robison, Champaign County; Amber Shoemaker, Stark County; Demni Snider, Hardin County; and Becky Vincent, Stark County.
Following the Top Hand awards, members received updates from industry partners, including the Ohio Beef Council (OBC) and the Beef Checkoff by Erin Stickel, OBC Chairman. Members of the meeting then voted on association policy for 2024. The Ohio Cattlemen’s Foundation (OCF) also held its annual meeting to award 23 scholarships to beef industry youth who have aspirations of pursuing careers in the agriculture and beef industry. These scholarships were made possible through the Cattlemen’s Gala, sales proceeds from the Ohio beef license plates, funds raised from the putt-putt course at the Ohio State Fair, and generous donors such as Saltwell Western Store, the Noah Cox Memorial Fund and the Ohio Cattlewomen’s Association.
The following are the 2023 scholarship recipients:
Cattlemen’s Gala Scholarships
Megan Becker, Washington County
Raymond Benecker, Butler County
Owen Brinker, Wood County
Sadie Holman, Licking County
Maria McIntosh, Champaign County
Charity Moore, Montgomery County
Delaney Moore, Fairfield County
Rachel O’Reilly, Geauga County
McKenzie Pitcock, Muskingum County
Emma Truance, Gallia County
Samantha VanVorhis, Wood County
Zachary Zweibel, Allen County
Tagged for Greatness Scholarships
Megan Garrison, Belmont County
Luke Jennings, Clermont County
Katelynn Wallace, Miami County
Skyler Ward, Preble County
Cattlemen’s Country Club Scholarships
Harrison Blay, Portage County
Shala Graham, Licking County
Delaney Jones, Allen County
Anna Scheurman, Coshocton County
Noah Cox Memorial Scholarship
Makayla Heil, Noble
County Saltwell Expo Scholarships
Kayle Jennings, Clermont County
Cheyenne Myers, Stark County
Cattlewomen’s Association Scholarship
Makayla Heil, Noble County
During the Awards Banquet, attendees celebrated the achievements of their fellow cattlemen. The seven awards presented were as follows:
Outstanding County – Darke County Cattlemen’s Association Sponsored by Ohio Corn and Wheat
Young Cattleman of the Year – Drs. Stan & Dana Soehnlen, Navarre, Ohio Sponsored by Vytelle
Environmental Stewardship Award - LB Porteus Farms, Coshocton, Ohio Sponsored by Sakura Wagyu Farms
Commercial Cattleman of the Year – Goecke Farms, Spencerville, Ohio Sponsored by Allen County Cattlemen’s Association
Seedstock Producer of the Year – Kingsway Angus, Tiffin, Ohio Sponsored by Ohio Angus Association
Industry Service Award – Virgil Strickler, Columbus, Ohio Sponsored by United Producers, Inc.
Industry Excellence Award – Dr. Steve DeBruin, DVM, Millersport, Ohio Sponsored by Fairfield County Cattlemen’s Association
The night ended with a social event and a live auction to raise money for OCA’s Political Action Committee (PAC), which raised over $12,000 to be used to support political candidates who support the beef cattle industry and to ensure representation at the State House and on Capitol Hill. To learn more about OCA’s award winners or the Annual Meeting, visit www.ohiocattle.org.