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Farm bureau conducts annual dinner meeting

September 19, 2013
By ESTHER McCOY - Staff writer ( , The Herald-Star

WINTERSVILLE - "Food for Thought" were buzz words Monday at the Jefferson County Farm Bureau's annual meeting, with those at each table at St. Florian Hall asked to view their ideas on the quality of food and animals raised on farms.

Michele Specht, organization director for Jefferson, Harrison, Carroll and Tuscarawas counties, gave the welcome.

She discussed the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance called Conversation with E.A.S.E., which stand for Engaging people in conversation; Acknowledging concerns; Sharing details and Earning trust.

Article Photos

GRANTED — Cynthia Bordash and Tammy Saphore, elementary teachers in the Edison Local School District, were presented a $250 Ag educator award by the Jefferson County Farm Bureau. On hand for the presentation were, from left, Mary Ellen Grafton, Farm Bureau promotion and education chairman; Bordash and Saphore; and Dave Boring, farm bureau president. — Esther McCoy

"The voices of farmers and ranchers have been less than representative in the conversation about food production. And engaging in the conversation about production, rather than defending food production helps consumers learn more about how food is produced from the people who actually produce it," it was noted in a brochure passed along at the meeting.

Corky Saiter gave the invocation, and Dave Boring, Farm Bureau president, conducted the business meeting.

Shane Granatir of the nominating committee held an election and announced the results: District 1, Ellen Swickard; District 2, Matt Sommerville; District 3, Duayne Wetherell; trustees at large, Saiter, Swickard, Boring; and youth, Erika Cline. Delegates to 2014 convention are John Grafton, Sommerville and Mark Clark, with Harry Fair and Jeanne Roberts as alternates.

Sherry Finney, policy development team leader, reviewed the local state and national policies, noting five local and three state policies as well as one national policy passed.

Mary Ellen Grafton presented the $250 Ag Educator award to the team of Cynthia Bordash and Tammy Saphore, elementary teachers in the Edison Local School District. This is the second year that the fourth- through sixth-grade pupils learned about growing food by preparing the ground, planting seeds, weeding and then harvesting the lettuce.

Bordash said, "The students were amazed that something they grew could then be used in the cafeteria. Some had never eaten salad before and pronounced it to be quite good."

Saphore talked about the pupils planting cherry tomato seedlings in a container and taking them home at end of the school year to complete the harvesting. "Some of the students came back and said they had tomatoes and some even brought me some," she said.

Regarding the membership campaign, Specht said that attaining 800 active members gave the county one more delegate to state's annual meeting.

"This is our first time to have four delegates. Farm Bureau is a growing organization and I can't thank the members who were part of the membership campaign enough," she said.

"We have 52 members short of total campaign but also have two or three more months added on to the campaign and could still achieve total gain," Specht explained.

Granatir received an ambassador award for bringing in 10 new members. Others recognized were Saiter, Boring, Roberts, Sommerville and Jennifer Barnett.

Kim Davis, state trustee, assisted in handing out action team awards to Mary Ellen Grafton, communications leader; Swickard, organization leader; Finney, public policy leader; Sommerville, center for food and animal issues; and Roberts, membership.

Other members of the action team are Boring, Austin Cable, Mark Clark, John Grafton, Granatir, Saiter and Duayne Wetherell.

Davis spoke about Victory through Farm Bureau, discussing a new membership model.

She recognized Boring for attending the Washington, D.C., President's Trip, saying that Farm Bureau was well recognized in the nation's capital.

Specht introduced state Sen. Lou Gentile, D-Steubenville, and state Rep. Jack Cerra, D-Bellaire, for their active interest in Jefferson County Farm Bureau. She acknowledged they are ranking members on the agriculture committee.

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