Tickets are on sale now for the Ag is Everyone’s Business event featruing John Phipps, the former host of U.S. Farm Report, the nation’s longest running TV show.
Sponsored by the Highland County Chamber of Commerce, the event begins at 8 a.m. Friday, Jan. 22 at the Southern State Community College Patriot Center in Hillsboro. Tickets are $15 and include breakfast.
“First and foremost, the purpose of the event is to recognize the importance of agriculture in Highland County and the folks that work really hard to make that possible,” Chamber President Melissa Elmore said. “It’s also to bring this level of speaker to Highland County to benefit the farm community and give them an opportunity to hear a quality speaker talk about things important to local agriculture.”
Elmore said, “From what I’ve been told by the speakers there’s really no one else doing what we’re doing.”
Ag Is Everyone’s Business starts with a breakfast at 8 a.m. served by FFA students from all five public high schools in Highland County, plus students in Southern State’s agriculture program. The program starts at 9 a.m. In addition to Phipps, Greenfield native and Ohio Department of Agriculture Director David Daniels and Ohio State Fair Queen Sarah Everhart from Ross County will be on hand.
A couple of pedal tractors signed by Phipps will be auctioned off at the end of the event.
Proceeds from the event benefit the Chamber, which also donates some of the profit back to all five local FFA programs, Friends of 4-H and the SSCC ag program.
Phipps became host of U.S. Farm Report in 2005. He stepped down from the position in 2014 to spend more time on his farm in east-central Illinois.
Elmore said he likes to tailor his speeches to the local market.
“He’ll speak about local commodity prices, how farmers are going to have to shift gears because crop prices are so low and things relevant to current times and farming,” Elmore said.
Phipps was born in 1948 and raised on a six-generation farm. He graduated with honors from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in 1970 with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and a minor in economics. The next five years were spent as a nuclear engineering officer aboard the USS Seahorse, a fast-attack submarine.
He returned to his family’s 600-acre farm in 1975. The farm now comprises 2,140 acres in Edgar County. At various times, he has sold computers and software to farmers, worked in a mortgage banking operation as a closing officer, and taught at Danville Area Community College.
Phipps writes humor and commentary, appearing regularly in Farm Journal and Top Producer magazines as a contributing editor. His work has also been published in Farm & Country in Canada, Produktion in Denmark and The American Enterprise. He also appeared regularly on Weekend Marketplace as a commentator.
Elmore said seating for the event is limited so those planning to attend should get their tickets early by visiting the Chamber’s website or its offices at 338 W. Main St., Hillsboro.
“It’s just turned out to be a really nice morning for farmers at a time when they don’t have as much going on and with a broad mix of sponsors and guests,” Elmore said.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or on Twitter @13gillilandj.