Three outstanding leaders in Ohio agriculture were honored with Distinguished Service Awards presented by Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF). The honorees were former Ohio Farm Bureau presidents Ken Davis of Leesburg and Fred Finney and former Ohio Farm Bureau Director of Women and Youth Programs Shirley Boyd.
The awards recognize lifetime contributions to Ohio’s agricultural community and to Ohio Farm Bureau. The awards were presented during the 99th annual meeting of Ohio Farm Bureau Dec. 6-8 in Columbus.
Davis, of Highland County, began his involvement with Farm Bureau in the Farm Bureau Youth program, where he was chair of the State Youth Committee. He and his wife, Christa, were chaircouple of the Ohio Farm Bureau Young Farm Couples Committee and Davis served in numerous roles in the Highland County Farm Bureau including county president. He served as a member of the Ohio Farm Bureau Board of Trustees and was Ohio Farm Bureau president. He also was a member of the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture board and the National Cattlemen’s Beef board. He retired from the Nationwide Board of Directors in 2017. Currently, he serves as chair of the South Central Power Company board and on the Southern Ohio Agricultural and Community Development Foundation Board.
For more than 45 years, Finney has been a dedicated Wayne County Farm Bureau member and a strong advocate and promoter of Ohio and national agriculture. He is a past Wayne County Farm Bureau president, Ohio Farm Bureau state board member and state president and retired from the Nationwide Board of Directors. He also served on the board and was president of the Ohio Fruit Growers Society and was a charter member of Farm Markets of Ohio. He and his wife, Marilyn, operated Moreland Fruit Farm for 46 years. Presently, he serves as president of the North American Raspberry & Blackberry Association.
Boyd, of Franklin County, was presented with the Agricultural Educator Award. Boyd began her Farm Bureau career in 1963, and through her 35 years with the organization she was committed to leadership development programs for women and youth, safety education programs for youth and their families and industry relationships. It is estimated Shirley has personally influenced more than 54,000 young people in Farm Bureau alone. She served on the National Safety Council board, from which she received numerous awards from the National Safety Council. She is a member of Ohio State Fair Hall of Fame and the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame.
Candidates for the awards are nominated by Farm Bureau volunteers, county organizations and state leaders.
Submitted by Joe Cornely, Ohio Farm Bureau Federation.