Michael W Milby James R Grooms Sr. Fall Festival crowns Little Miss and Mister UPDATE: Pike County multiple murder Investigation; redacted autopsy reports released West Union Elementary names August Students of the Month SHAC streak continues for North Adams volleyball West Union volleyball picks up a pair of W’s Animal Shelter booth sees record crowds at Old Timer’s Day Festival Dragons top Manchester in Defender Bowl battle, 28-22 Senior Profile: Kendall Gallowitz Lady Dragons grab early lead in SHAC Tourney, final round is coming Friday Another Old Timer’s Days in the books and successful Run Gio Foundation to hold Oct. 1 benefit in Adams County Betty L Kelley Tom Cross, ACTVB Director, to receive ODNR Cardinal Award Seaman Fall Festival begins Wednesday, runs through Saturday Dragons still lead after two rounds of SHAC Golf, McCarty tops individual leader board Lady Dragons get SHAC win, downing Fayetteville 3-1 Overcoming obstacles, Pennywitt etches his name in MHS record books Dragons take first day lead in SHAC Golf Tourney New drug treatment offers more hope for recovering addicts Ronnie G Nace Lucille Wright Lois M Bixler Time to change those soccer rules Senior Profile: Hannah Grimes ‘Cruising up and down the main drag all night long’ Community effort erects town clock S Bridge to be replaced on Graces Run Road Senior Profile: Brittany Caldwell Lady Dragons break ACCC course record Dragons roll in county gridiron battle Down to last play, Hounds fall in heartbreaker I never won, but those lawn games were special times Donnie Austin Shari R Hiltibran Bentonville hosts 40th Annual Harvest Festival West Union soccer teams sweep Williamsburg, St. Patrick “Rockin” the mats again Senior Profile: Brittany Caldwell Sylvester Mefford Local teens selected to State 4-H Teen Leadership Council Connect with Serpent Mound over Old Timer’s Days Guthrie to speak about pests and diseases in beekeeping Old Timers Days Festival Cornhole Tournament is this week Defender Bowl coming Thursday Bentonville Harvest Festival holds Toddler Pageants 40th Anniversary Bentonville Harvest Festival hosts Baby Show 9/11 Reminds Us That We Are All Americans Lady Dragons are 2016 County Cup winners Bob Birchfield Senior Profile: Ryan Henderson Dragons take JV golf match Another rough night for Greyhounds, Notre Dame rolls to big win Remembering 9/11-15 years later Hughes honored at GABP Concussions and Youth Sports Roberta Newman to retire after more than 46 years at First State Bank Reaching out to the Baton Rouge flood victims Bentonville Harvest Festival celebrates its 40th anniversary Fire it up! Annual Jr. Fair BBQ cooks up another savory fare Lady Indians take down Whiteoak in four sets Senior Profile: Zack Best Greyhounds produce three winners at the 2016 Dragon Run Lady Hounds win in five sets at West Union Teresa Houdeshell Rosa Grooms Roy C Shiveley Mathew R Potts Staggs and Louiso to visit nation’s capital MLSD board members disagree on the merits of drug-testing students Law enforcement will target impaired drivers Labor Day weekend Figgins goal gives Devils a 1-0 win over West Union Lady Devils soccer rolls past West Union 9-1 Senior Profile: Madison Jenkins Boys golf season in full swing in county Winchester Homecoming Festival beats the heat and the storm I learned a lot from Rusty Verona McRoberts Lester Boldman Elsworth Cook Jr Harold L Applegate Governor Kasich honors Defender’s 150th anniversary ACRMC offers Language Interpretation Greyhounds stumble in opener, Green rushing attack leads to big win Notre Dame drops North Adams in straight sets SENIOR PROFILE: Gavin Baldwin Lady Dragons win Friday match at ACCC Juanita Lee Annual Junior Fair Beef BBQ is Thursday night Earl Jackson It was really worth the wait Barnes retires from Water District Board of Trustees Blanton rape, kidnapping trial continues at courthouse Serpent Mound hosts Archaeology Day Local woman receives Red Cross Hero award Republican committee appoints new Commissioner Officer Hayes reinstated in Manchester The Edge: Previewing the 2016 Ohio State Buckeyes West Union golfers have the experience of a lifetime

Young Ag Professionals are the future of Adams County farm families

Macy Staggs, one of the members of the start-up committee for the newly formed Adams County Young Ag Professionals, speaks to the audience assembled at the inaugural meeting on June 24.
Macy Staggs, one of the members of the start-up committee for the newly formed Adams County Young Ag Professionals, speaks to the audience assembled at the inaugural meeting on June 24.

New group is determined to uphold the legacy of generations of farmers –

Story and photo by Patricia Beech –

The inaugural meeting of the Adams County Young Ag Professionals (YAP) was held on Friday, June 24, at the Adams County Fairgrounds. According to Heather Utter of the Ohio Farm Bureau, the kick-off meeting began the groups effort to grow the the new coalition by reaching out to young farmers across Adams County.

“We sent out close to 100 invitations to young ag professionals from Adams County who are already in our data base to be a part of the group and help expand it,” said Utter. “The families who are here for this first meeting are encouraged to invite people to our next event, we want to build up from here.”

Participants in YAP are individuals, 18-35 years old, who are Farm Bureau members interested in improving the business of agriculture.

”Our goal is to provide young farmers leadership development opportunities and help consumers understand how ‘farm-to-table’ their food is raised and processed,” said Macy Staggs, who along with Emily Arthur, Chris Fitzpatrick, Daniel Foster, and Nick Staggs formed the group’s core start-up committee. Staggs says she really wanted to start a Young Ag Professionals group in Adams County “because there are so many young people who don’t have a place where they feel like they can grow together.”

According to the Ohio Farm Bureau, YAP members are “full- and part-time farmers, OSU Extension agents, teachers, consumer educators, former Ohio Farm Bureau Youth members, FFA and 4-H alumni, farm media communicators, livestock and equine enthusiasts, wine makers, alpaca breeders, seed representatives, beekeepers, green industry employees, gardeners, foodies and more – whether they have a half-acre or 5,000 acres, or work in the food and farming industry.”

Young Ag Professionals groups are popping up in counties all across Ohio, and members are the driving force behind their group’s social and educational activities.

“This is something for young farmers and their families to come to and enjoy time together,” says Staggs. “We want people to not only learn about agriculture, but we also want them to feel when we get together, that this is their place, and we’re all part of the farming family, and that we support each other through good times and bad.”

The group is planning several future family-fun events including a trip to a dairy farm and an ice cream social. “We plan to have events people can come to and have fun while learning things about agriculture they may not have known,” Staggs said. “We want to teach our kids where they’re food comes from and that agriculture is a way of life.”

“Many YAP groups have cookouts, go camping and fishing, and take farm tours,” said Utter. “It helps keep the ag family involved.”

While educating children is an important element in the group’s agenda, the aging of America’s farming community is another topic of concern for YAP members.

According to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, “In the past 40 years, the United States has lost more than a million farmers and ranchers”, and those remaining are aging.

“We’re the do or die generation,” says Staggs. “We must either educate young farmers or risk losing farming as a way of life.”

Utter agrees. “For farming to continue we have to start with the young agricultural leaders,” she says. “That’s why the Ohio Farm Bureau is reaching out and trying to engage these young ag professionals, and get them more involved and show them what their parents and grandparents have done.”

Adams County Commissioner Stephen Caraway commends the start-up group for their efforts. “The people here represent Adams County’s agricultural future, and we need to bring more folks into the organization,” he said. “The Farm Bureau can help by protecting the farmer and the industry, and by coming up with common sense solutions to problems, like how to produce more and be more efficient because the world’s food supply is going to have to be doubled in the next generation. In the hands of this group, I think Adams County’s agricultural future looks pretty great.”

Anyone interested in learning more about joining the Adams County Young Ag Professionals group should contact the Adams County Farm Bureau for information.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2016 People's Defender