SMITHFIELD - The Harrison County Farm Bureau, now with 600 members, met for its annual meeting and banquet at Wallace Lodge in Sally Buffalo Park, with more than 100 of those members in attendance.
Michele Specht, Harrison County organization director, gave the welcome and said agriculture is the No. 1industry in the county, with oil and gas becoming a close second.
Volunteers in the ambassador class were George and John Irvine, John Seleski and Jan Arbaugh and Dave Mizer and Don Jones.
AWARDS PRESENTED — The Harrison County Farm Bureau recently presented Friends of Agriculture awards to state Sen. Lou Gentile, D-Steubenville, and state Rep. Andy Thompson, R-Marietta, who have been advocates for the farming industry. On hand for the presentation were, from left, Dale Arbaugh, farm bureau public policy chairman; Samantha Wallace, farm bureau communications chairman; Thompson; Gentile; and John Birney, farm bureau membership co-chairman. - Esther McCoy
"We have volunteers who believe in reaching goals and in the mission of the organization. This is a year-long campaign, where members can renew on an annual basis. And you were able to reach total member gain and farmer gain," Specht said.
The banquet theme was "How Did That Get in My Lunchbox," also the name of the American and Ohio Farm Bureau approved children's book about the story of food. The table arrangements centered around the books and cardboard lunch boxes containing door prizes.
Bob Stewart gave the invocation.
State Sen. Lou Gentile, D-Steubenville, and state Rep. Andy Thompson, R-Marietta, were recognized for their support of agriculture and presented Friends of Agriculture plaques by Dale Arbaugh, Samantha Wallace and John Birney, members of the board of directors.
John and Pauline Jones were presented the hall of fame award, given to an individual or couple having a positive effect on agriculture, community and or public service.
Action leaders recognized were Dale Arbaugh, public policy; Samantha Wallace, communications; Lynette Dauch, organization; Dave Mizer, center for food and animal issues; and Birney and George Mizer, membership chairs. Also on the committee are Greg Knoop, Collin Albaugh, John Seleski, Jan Arbaugh and Damian Chrisman.
The organization recognizes educators who take the time to "promote agriculture in their classrooms and believe that teaching consumers about agriculture begins with our children," said Dauch. "The farm bureau offers materials and supplies to help teachers incorporate ag into their classrooms. This year, we are recognizing the Harrison Hills East Elementary third grade, with Erica Wetherell, Carolyn Sproull and Beth Burgey as the outstanding educators. The activity was chick embryology, involving the use of science," she said.
An election of board members and state delegates was held with the following members elected: George Mizer, District 1; Dave Mizer, District 3; trustees at large, Dale Arbaugh, John Seleski, Damian Chrisman and Jayne Wallace; and delegates to annual state meeting for 2013, George Mizer and John Birney.
Nationwide agents and staff recognized were Richard and Dan Milleson, agents; and Lynette Dauch, Jayne McCaslin and Diana Jones, staff.
Peggy Horn, county office administrator, was recognized for her first year in the Scio office.