AG News

Kenton FFA attends National FFA Convention


The Kenton FFA Chapter traveled to Louisville, Kentucky with students of the Marion Local and New Breman chapters. We started off our trip with a tour of Papa John’s corporate headquarters. There students got to observe the making of dough balls as well as meeting the famous founder of Papa John’s restaurant. We then finished off the night with Easton Corbin and Justin Moore in concert at the KFC Yum! Center.


The next day we explored the convention center and watched the National Chapter Awards. The group then went to the Louisville Slugger Factory and Museum. Each member got to see how all the bats are made, and received their own personal mini bat from the factory. The day ended with a dinner at the Cheesecake Factory.


The third and final day consisted of hearing Jeff Simmons, the president at Elanco, speak about the growing world population and the need to feed the nine billion people that will be here by the year 2050 with less land to do it on. We then toured the consolidated grain and barge facility in Aurora, Indiana before coming back home.


There were a total of twenty three members in attendance from our chapter this year. Student Advisor Jared McNeely says that “Our members had a great time and learned some very educational things that they will be able to bring back to Kenton and help better the chapter as well as the community.”

Ohio Women in Ag organization honors Molly Shick

Hardin County – Molly Shick was honored at this year’s Farm Science Review as Hardin County’s 100 Faces of Ohio Women in Agriculture recipient.  She was nominated by the OSU Extension based on her involvement in agriculture and ability to serve as a role model for other women involved in the agricultural industry.  Shick indicated in her bio that she is proud to help her father on their family farm in Hardin County.  Being involved in 4-H and FFA allowed her to start her agriculture career at an early age.  When she was just 16 years old, she cash rented ground that she later purchased.   
Shick earned a bachelor’s degree in Ag Business from The Ohio State University.  After graduation, she started a consulting business where she worked with area farmers and Extension offices in the Indian Lake Watershed doing intensive pest management.  She has also worked with Honda scouting specialty soybeans that were being exported to Japan for tofu, did soil sampling using precision technology, and worked with local colleges offering job shadowing and internships to agriculture students. 
Shick is involved with a local college helping their administration build a curriculum for future precision ag technology classes.  In 2011, she moved into the crop insurance industry working as a claims adjuster for John Deere Financial, which has been a very rewarding career for her.  Shick states, “I am fortunate to be able to instill values that I learned from growing up on a farm into my 13 year old twins.  It is very rewarding to watch them learn firsthand the morals, values, and hard work ethics that agriculture instills.   I don’t know where their paths may lead, but agriculture has given them a firm foundation to build their lives upon.”
When asked what is her favorite motivational quotation, Shick gave two quotes:
“Grow where you are planted” and “She believed she could, so she did.” She says she really likes these quotes because they define her career in agriculture perfectly.  Although her intention was originally to earn a bachelor’s degree in business, it was her high school FFA advisors and guidance counselor at The Ohio State University that encouraged her to focus on an Ag Business degree.  She said that she is very thankful that she took their advice.  
When asked what advice she has for the next generation of young women in agriculture, Shick responded, “The world of agriculture has been a great industry to be involved in.   Agriculture has provided me with a very rewarding and satisfying career with endless opportunities.  I would encourage all young men and women with an interest in agriculture to become involved in their agriculture community on some level, whether it is with local 4-H clubs, Farm Bureau, FFA chapters, local schools or farming operations.  Agriculture offers many job opportunities and is a great industry to build a career in.  My career in agriculture has challenged me to do and learn new things every day.   My brother’s favorite quote is one that I’ve tried to follow.  “Do not follow where the path may lead.  Go, instead where there is no path and leave a trail.“  I encourage each and every one to do just that.”

Mid-Ohio Energy and Master Gardener Honored

Hardin County – Mid-Ohio Energy Cooperative and local Master Gardener Volunteer Dave McPheron were recognized as state winners at the Ohio Master Gardener Volunteer Conference held this past weekend at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware.
Tim Street, Mid-Ohio Energy Cooperative Vice President of Marketing was present at the annual awards banquet to receive the Friend of Master Gardener Volunteers (MGV) Award.  This award is based on support to county OSU Extension Master Gardener Volunteer programs.
The beautiful educational gardens that are called the Friendship Gardens of Hardin County would not be possible without the generous support of Mid-Ohio Energy Cooperative and other charitable individuals, groups, and businesses.  The handicapped-accessible gardens and shelter house provide a unique setting to learn about gardening and provide hands-on learning opportunities to serve Harco Industries and Simon-Kenton School, as well as other groups.
The Friendship Gardens was also a state finalist for the Outstanding MGV Project at the State MGV Conference.  It is the site of such educational programs as the ‘Children’s Day in the Friendship Gardens’ and ‘An Evening Garden Affair’ which is done in cooperation with the Hardin County Men’s Garden Club each summer.  The Friendship Gardens of Hardin County is located at 960 Kohler Street in Kenton and is open to the public from dawn to dusk from April through October.
Local Master Gardener Volunteer Dave McPheron received the state Outstanding MGV Award.  A MGV for 12 years, McPheron has been very active sharing his OSU Horticulture degree, garden center ownership, and work experience knowledge by educating others.  He has spent numerous hours answering county horticulture questions, as well as providing solutions for gardening problems from around the state via the ‘Ask a Master Gardener’ online system. 
He has taught new Master Gardener classes in Allen, Hancock, Wyandot, Seneca, and Logan Counties.  He is constantly assisting other local MGVs, by helping with their development and mentoring at meetings, events, and working side-by-side with them in the educational gardens.  Because of his leadership and the teamwork of the other MGVs, Hardin County also received the State Gold Standards of Excellence Award at this year’s conference.
McPheron has worked with youth, teaching kindergarteners, 4-H members, and other children on how to garden.  He has also worked with adults in the community, presenting programs at the OSU Extension Family and Consumer Sciences Homemakers event in addition to speaking to various garden clubs in the county.  He has kept his horticulture skills up-to-date attending several workshops, and helped plan, build, and develop the Friendship Gardens.  He serves as the current president of the Hardin County OSU Extension Master Gardener Volunteers and was also a state finalist for the Outstanding MGV Volunteer Coordinator Award at this year’s conference.


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