Pictured are (left to right) Jill (Reed) Pollock, John Reed, Marilyn Reed, and Kathy (Reed) Geething accepting the Hall of Fame Award for Warren Reed. (DHI Media/Julia Keirns)
Pictured are (left to right) Jill (Reed) Pollock, John Reed, Marilyn Reed, and Kathy (Reed) Geething accepting the Hall of Fame Award for Warren Reed. (DHI Media/Julia Keirns)


DHI Media Staff Writer


VAN WERT — The Van Wert Soil and Water Conservation District held its 69th annual meeting by co-hosting with the Van Wert Farm Bureau at the first Ag Banquet on Tuesday, Aug. 7 at the Hickory Sticks Golf Club. A dinner of BBQ pork and chicken, with corn, potatoes, rolls, cole slaw and fine deserts was provided by Gibson’s Barnyard BBQ.

Welcoming the crowd was Dave Kemler, SWCD Chairman, and Craig Pohlman, Farm Bureau President. Bob Gehres was recognized for his 20 years of service on the SWCD Board. Chloee Gamble was honored as SWCD Scholarship recipient by Darryl Ricketts, SWCD Supervisor.

Tara Vorst, Tristan Miller, and Haley Michaud were recognized as Farm Bureau Scholarship recipients by Jessica Vandenbroek, Organization Director.

Gary Weck received the Conservation Cooperator of the Year Award presented by Bob Gehres, SWCD Supervisor. This award is given to honor individuals for their conservation achievements.

Farm Bureau presented Farewell Awards to Thad Lichtensteiger and Bill Heath; and Friend of Agriculture Awards to Robert McColley and Craig Riedel.

The First Inaugural Van Wert Ag Hall of Fame Award was presented to Marilyn Reed and her family on behalf of their late husband and father, Warren Reed, for his many agricultural education accomplishments, including 55 years in agriculture education and numerous degrees and awards.

“He was a great man and did a lot of great things,” said Craig Pohlman. “I am honored to present Marilyn and her family with this award for the first induction into the Van Wert Ag Hall of Fame.”

Accepting the award were Marilyn Reed, Jill (Reed) Pollock, John Reed and Kathy (Reed) Geething.

Ty Higgins, Ohio Ag Net radio broadcaster, was the guest speaker for the evening and gave an enjoyable and interesting presentation titled, “What Would Grandpa Do? Using Lessons from the Past to Move Agriculture Forward.”

“I learned so many lessons from my grandpa growing up,” Higgins said, “including - do what you love, and you will never work a day in your life.”

“I thank grandpa everyday for telling me not to BS my way through life and teaching me that if I always tell the truth and answer only with what I know I will never have to remember what I said in the past.”

Higgins encouraged the crowd to keep their agricultural history alive and pass it on to the next generation.

“We are all connected by something and we need to use that connection to get our message across – how to keep moving ahead, keep fighting the good fight, keep food on the plate, and keep agriculture moving forward.”

A SWCD election was held for two supervisor positions on the SWCD Board of Supervisors five-member board. Jeff Ankney, ODA Program Specialist, announced Richard Rice and Darryl Ricketts were elected to serve a three-year term commencing Jan. 1, 2019.

Door prizes awarded included the 15 potted plants on the tables and four $25 Bob Evans gift cards.

Sponsors for the evening were Ag Credit, Burtch Seed, Farm Credit, Kenn Feld Group, Mercer Landmark – Glenmore, Ohio City, Convoy and Middle Point, Pond Seed and Williamson Insurance.