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Two Ohio young farmers named state farm bureau winners
 
By Doug Graves
Ohio Correspondent

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Catherine Wolcott, of Geauga County, and Sara Tallmadge, of Ashland County, were big winners in Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s (OFB) 2024 young farmer competitions.
Wolcott was named Outstanding Young Farmer while Tallmadge received the Excellence in Agriculture award last month during OFB’s Young Agriculture Professionals (YAP) Winter Leadership Conference.
The Outstanding Young Farmer Award competition is designed to help young farmers strengthen their business skills, develop marketing opportunities and receive recognition for their accomplishments. Contestants are judged on the growth of their farm business and involvement in farm bureau and their community.
Wolcott and her husband own and operate G.A.R. Horizons, a small farm that raises pork, beef and chicken. They have an on-site farm store and grow crops on 110 acres around the county.
An eight-year member of Geauga County Farm Bureau, Wolcott has served as a board member and secretary for the organization and is currently a Geauga County 4-H adviser. She is a member of many local organizations, including the Chardon Area Chamber of Commerce, Destination Geauga and Chardon Square Association.
Following Wolcott, the Outstanding Young Farmer finalists were Sheldon Miller (Ottawa County) and Brad Wolford (Pickaway County).
Tallmadge has been named the winner of OFB’s 2024 Excellence in Agriculture Award. This award recognizes successful young agricultural professionals who are actively contributing and growing through their involvement with farm bureau and agriculture.
Tallmadge is a senior laboratory animal technologist and registered veterinary technician supporting livestock animal and public health research at Ohio State University’s Center for Food Animal Health.
She is president of Ashland County Farm Bureau, serves on the YAP state committee and is a Class X graduate of Agri-Power, OFB’s elite leadership program. She is a member of the Ohio Rural Health Association and has served on Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) staff advisory council.
Following Tallmadge, the Excellence in Agriculture finalists were Megan Dresbach (Pickaway County), Olivia Lang (Wayne County) and Hannah Thompson (Athens-Meigs County).
As winners, Wolcott and Tallmadge receive a $3,000 cash prize, complimentary registration to the 2025 YAP Winter Leadership Experience and an expense-paid trip to the 2025 American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) annual convention in San Antonio, Texas
Abigale Campbell, of Washington County, is the winner of the OFB’s Young Agricultural Professionals 2024 Discussion Meet competition.
The Discussion Meet tests participants’ subject knowledge, problem solving abilities and personal and small group communications skills. It is designed for young agricultural professionals to work together to find solutions around issues facing agriculture today.
Campbell and her husband, Blake, are fourth-generation farmers in their sheep and swine operation. They specialize in growing and direct marketing cut flowers, pumpkins, produce, meat and wool products.
Campbell is currently an agriscience educator and FFA adviser at Fort Frye High School. She is a member of the CFAES alumni board, the Barlow Independent Fair Board, and a teaching fellow with the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio.
Campbell also receives a $3,000 cash prize, complimentary registration to the 2025 YAP Winter Leadership Experience and an expense-paid trip to 2025 AFBF annual convention.
In addition to Campbell, the other Discussion Meet finalists are Kane Lewis (Scioto County), Kendall Lovejoy (Fulton County) and Kameron Rinehart (Fayette County).
Ryanna Tietje, representative of Ohio State’s Collegiate Farm Bureau, is the winner of OFB’s 2024 Collegiate Discussion Meet competition.
Tietje grew up on her family’s grain farm in northwest Ohio where they raise corn and soybeans. She is a senior at Ohio State, studying agribusiness and applied economics with a minor in consumer and family financial services. Tietje is also president of the OSU Agribusiness Club, a peer mentor for the OSU Honors program, and a member of the Advisory Council for the Farm Financial Management and Policy Institute. After graduation, she plans to return to the family farm and pursue a career in farm financial management or grain risk management.
As the winner, Tietje receives a $1,000 scholarship and complimentary registration to the 2024 Young Farmers & Ranchers Leadership Conference in Omaha, Neb., where she will compete at the national level.
In addition to Tietje, other College Discussion Meet finalists are Ruth Beery (Wilmington College), Reagan Feldner (Ohio State) and Sarah Hoak (Ohio State).

4/2/2024