Clermont Farm Bureau presents awards to members at annual meeting

The Clermont County Farm Bureau held its annual meeting at the U.S. Grant Career Center in Bethel Sept. 21.

“Every September, we get together and have this meeting for the more than 2,500 county farm bureau members,” said President Carl Schoellman. “Tonight, all active farmer members will vote on policies (local, state, and national), elect members to our Board of Trustees, introduce advisory councils, and give out recognition and awards.”

The CCFB is a grassroots, not-for-profit organization whose mission is to improve the rural quality of life, the rural standard of living, increase net farm incomes, and protect farmer’s private property rights.

“Our organization is dedicated to the farmers and their families in the county,” said Schoellman. “Farming is the lifeblood and the backbone of Clermont County. The annual meeting is a way of recognizing and rewarding those farmers who work so hard on a daily basis.”

Five $1,000 scholarships were presented this year to students interested in farming and agriculture.

CCFB Secretary Loretta Blevins said that the thousand dollar scholarships are a way to encourage those kids who are interested in farming. She said that furthering their education is the least that the bureau can do.

Scholarship recipient Chris Burdsell, who will be studying agriculture mechanics at U.C. next month, was grateful for the recognition.

“It means so much to me to receive this scholarship from an organization that has been a big part of my family for a very long time,” Burdsell said while accepting his scholarship.

The CCFB rewarded Felicity woman Patti Stroub with the Sue Fisher award.

“Sue Fisher was a county politician who died many years ago,” said Schoellman. “She was also a past bureau president. Every year we honor a lady in Fisher’s memory who is somehow involved in agriculture or farming. We honor a woman who embodies the farm ideal; anyone with an agricultural background. Tonight we honor Patti Stroub.”

Stroub, who lives on an 8,000 acre Felicity farm with her husband Dave, raises soybeans, corn, hay, and tobacco.

Receiving the young farmer of the year award was 20-year-old Williamsburg farmer Mark Foebar.

“We recognize Mark tonight as our young farmer of the year,” said CCFB trustee David Lewis. “Every year, this award goes to a young person involved in some kind of agricultural work. This can be landscaping, forestry, teaching, or FAA involvement.”

Foebar, who raises soybeans and corn on his 1,000 acre farm in Jackson Township, will now travel to Columbus and compete against the other 87 Ohio counties for the state crown. If he wins on a state level, he proceeds to the national level young farmer of the year competition.

The six people that were elected to three year terms on the CCFB Board of Trustees were Sam Belcher of Moscow, Carlos Hamilton of Felicity, Mark Foebar of Williamsburg, Ed Kluba of Batavia, Neil Bruynis of Goshen, and Carol Trester of Hamersville.

The three candidates that were elected to represent the county at the 2007 Ohio Farm Bureau meeting were Bill Barg, Richard Meyer, and Carol Trester.

Schoellman, who is in his first year as CCFB president and has two small farms in Wayne Township, was pleased with the turnout this year.

“There are a total of 2,596 active farm bureau members in the more than 200 farms in Clermont County,” he said. “We have official and serious business to tend to tonight, but we try our best to have fun at the same time.”