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Hancock County Agricultural Hall of Fame Inductees Recognized at Annual Farmers’ Share Breakfast

FINDLAY, OH, March 9, 2017 – The Annual Farmers’ Share Breakfast, presented by the Agri-Business Committee of the Findlay·Hancock County Chamber of Commerce, was held Thursday, March 9, 2017 at Brugeman Lodge at Riverbend Park. Four individuals were inducted into the Hancock County Agricultural Hall of Fame, including Dave Reese, John Motter, and posthumously, Mervin Alexander, Sr. and Donald Flanagan.

In addition, the main speaker for the event was Carley Coppler, Carey High School. Coppler is the winner of the 2017 FFA Public Speaking Contest, winning both locally and at the state level. She presented her winning speech entitled, “Labeling Fact + Fiction.”

The purpose of the Hancock County Agriculture Hall of Fame is to recognize and honor outstanding contributions to agriculture by Hancock County community members. Men or women who have been instrumental to the success and excellence of agriculture, either as a farmer or in an agriculturally related field.

This year’s inductees:

John Motterfarmers-share-2017-37

  • Farms over 750 acres of corn and soybeans
  • Has been involved with the Hancock County Fair for over 55 years holding positions on the Fair Board and serving as Vice President and Treasurer
  • Mentors young farmers, sharing his knowledge of all aspects of growing crops in Hancock County.
  • Has served as Chairman of the Ohio State Soybean Council. He is currently serving as the Chairman of the United States Soybean Council, travelling nationally and internationally to educate others about the benefits of soybean growth and production.
  • Member of the Hancock Leadership Class of 1992. He received the Distinguished Leadership Award in 1998 and the Outstanding Service Award in 2009.

farmers-share-2017-34Dave Reese

  • Taught Ag Business at Liberty Benton for over 35 years, where he taught students about agriculture, sharing with them an understanding of the industry which in turn would prepare them to be leaders in agriculture.
  • Founder of Kaleidoscope Farms, a Christmas tree farm that he runs with his wife, Jan. His father, their four sons, and their families are also active participants in the business, representing four generations. The farm has roughly 30 acres of Christmas trees and 15-20 acres of hay production. The Farm showcases the role of agriculture and how it operates in concert with the environment.
  • Served on the Hancock County Soil and Water Conservation District Board, including serving as Chair.
  • Served on the Ohio Christmas Tree Growers Association, including several terms as President.

Mervin Alexander, Sr. (posthumous)farmers-share-2017-36

  • Top producer of cattle in finish and rate of growth.
  • Selected to go to Washington, D.C. several times to represent the local farming community.
  • Lifetime supporter of projects in his hometown of Arlington including the park, swimming pool, famous snow slide, homecoming and the track and Sycamore Springs Golf Club.
  • Along with his wife of 59 years, Dorotha, raised two sons and a daughter who continue to live in Hancock County.

Donald Flanagan (posthumous)

  • Began farming in 1944 alongside his father, raising grain and livestock including pigs, chickens, sheep and milking 30-40 Holstein cows.farmers-share-2017-35
  • Took time off the farm from April 1945-November 1946 to serve in the Army during WWII.
  • Gradually increased the number of acres farmed, moving more toward grain production and less on livestock, and in 1984 was joined by his son, Kevin, in the farming operation.
  • Married to his wife, Mary Lou, for 69 years, raising 4 children, 14 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
  • Served on the Hancock County Farm Bureau, the North Baltimore Grain Association Elevator Board, member of the Ohio Corn Growers Association, Ohio Farm Bureau, American Soybean Association and the National Corn Growers Association. Also served as a board member on the Ohio Soybean Association in the 1970’s when it was just getting started.

Special thank you to all of this year’s sponsors!

Advanced Drainage Systems, Ag Credit, Archbold Equipment Company, Archer Daniels Midland, Bateson Farms, Brinkman’s Market / Turkey Farms, Christy Insurance and Farm Accounts Computer Tax Svcs, Citizens National Bank, Crop Production Services, D & H Meats, Findlay-Hancock County Community Foundation, Findlay Implement Company, First Federal Bank, First National Bank, Garner Transportation Group, Gilmore Jasion Mahler, Hancock County Ag Society, Hancock County Farm Bureau, Hancock Park District, Hancock-Wood Electric Cooperative, Hitchings Insurance Agency, Hosler-Corbin Insurance &, Financial Services, Humble Construction, Kalmbach Feeds, Legacy Farmers Cooperative, MassMutual Financial Group-Thomas Wagner, Mike Stacy Crop Insurance, One Energy, OSU Extension, Hancock County, Pioneer Seeds, Spahr Jersey Farm, Streacker Tractor Sales, Successful Solutions, The Trust Company, UIS Insurance and Investments, United Way of Hancock County-Halt Hunger Initiative, WFIN / WKXA / 106.3 The Fox

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