The Adams County Farm Bureau and Adams Soil and Water Conservation District held their seventh annual joint meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 26. Farm Bureau members and county residents filled the cafeteria of the Ohio Valley Career and Technical Center to capacity as they ate dinner and elected trustees, delegates, and supervisors.
The Conservation District held elections for two supervisors from the three nominees of Adam Grooms, Alex Newman, and Mark Ross with Alex Newman and Mark Ross winning the election. The five supervisors of the Conservation District serve as an oversight board that directs the efforts of the Conservation District, similar to how a board of education functions.
The supervisors are elected in staggered terms with Jack Hazelbaker, Jake Rhonemus, and Garine Shoemaker holding seats that were not up for election. Mark Ross was re-elected to the seat that he held and Alex Newman replaces Chet Grooms.
The bureau was voting on trustees, delegates to the state meeting, and issues to support. As the number of nominees for trustees and delegates were both equal to the number to be elected, all of the nominees were elected. Adams County Commissioner Stephen Caraway, Roger Rhonemus, Josh Souder, and Bill Wickerham were elected to a three-year term as trustees. Caleb Grooms and Roger Rhonemus were elected as delegates to the 2015 Ohio Farm Bureau Annual Meeting.
All of the proposed resolutions and code changes were approved by the bureau members. The changes to the code include membership fees being increased to $80 from $65, and reducing the number of consecutive meetings that a trustee must miss to be removed from four to two.
The bureau members also approved all of the proposed resolutions. At the local and state level, the Adams County Farm Bureau states that the agricultural community should be involved by the Ohio Department of Transportation in developing the State Transportation Improvement Plan. At the state and national level, the bureau voiced its opinion that the United States government be mandated to have a balanced budget. Finally, at the national level, the bureau states the opinion that alternative crops planted by farmers after a disaster wipes out their main crop be covered by Federal Crop Insurance as well.
The elections were held during the social hour with punch and cookies served. Dinner was prepared and served by the Ohio Valley Career and Technical Center Career Cafe, formerly the Restaurant Management program, who had only had classes for five days before the meeting. The food and service showed why the program participants won awards last year.
Heather Utter gave the financial report for the Farm Bureau. The bureau had a net income of $12,415.05 for the fiscal year, which ended April 2014. However, the program year for the Farm Bureau ends in August.
“We have a lot of programming that is already on the next fiscal year,” Heather Utter told the crowd.
The keynote speaker was Paul Lyons, Southwest Region Supervisor. He led the speech by thanking everyone who was present for their work in the agriculture.
“You are the backbone of Ohio. You are the backbone of the United States of America,” Lyons said. “Farm Bureau and agriculture is there to solve the problem and will be several years.”
Lyons continued on to praise the efforts of the conservation efforts in Adams County, focusing heavily on water quality, which is coming to the forefront of concerns for natural resource preservation.
Both organizations recognized individuals at the meeting. The Farm Bureau announced their scholarship winners, who were Katie McFarland and Ryan Toney. The ASWCD awarded two men with the friend of Conservation Award - Larry Stricklett and Ron Paul. Doug Pauley, Assistant State Conservationist for Field Operations - Natural Resource Conservation Service, rose to recognize the 70th anniversary of ASWCD, thanking Supervisors Jack Hazelbaker, Jake Rhonemus, Chet Grooms, and Garine Shoemaker for the services the Conservation District renders the county and the state.
The ASWCD finished up the meetings by giving a year in review presentation. Wickerham reminded everyone that the Seventh Grade Conservation Field Days will be held on September 9 - 10. He also noted North Adams’ excellent performance in the county, regional, and state envirothon. Finally, he brought up the success of Shade Tree Park at the Adams County Fairgrounds, discussing the many events held this year during the fair.
“We had lots of activities going on all the time,” Wickerham said. “People were playing Frisbee, working on arts and crafts, seeing presentations, playing cornhole, or just relaxing.We also had support from Fish and Wildlife. They had a shooting simulator, a pellet gun range, and an archery range. They were a huge hit. The pellet gun range - we kept running out of pellets - we ended up raiding all the stores in the area for pellets. We went through about 10,000 rounds of pellets.”
The meeting wrapped up with the election results announced, and everyone mingled to socialize before heading out with a full belly and another successful year for the Adams County Farm Bureau and the Adams Soil and Water Conservation District in their belts.