On one of the iciest mornings of the year, Leadership Medina County’s Class of 2018 made a trip to Medina County farms on National Agriculture day, Wednesday, March 21, 2018. Leadership Medina County is one of only a few leadership programs throughout the state that offers an Agriculture Day experience.
Beth Kereszturi of Proximity Marketing and Class of 2018 member has a new respect for farming.
“While I never believed farming was easy, I was immensely surprised by how intentional and strategic the business is,” she said. “From the talent-scout type skills necessary in the animal breeding industry to the technology helping crop growers reduce waste and plant more efficiently. Medina County’s agriculture community is passionate and tenacious.”
Committee Chair Dr. Linda Randall led group discussions on the bus in between tours which started at Boyert’s Greenhouse and took the leaders to Boyert’s Farm, RMD Farm, Buckin’ Ohio, Arters Farm, and Richman Farms.
“Taking a behind the scenes look at our farms helps our local leaders learn what farmers do: provide food, resources, and jobs for our communities,” said Colleen Rice, Leadership Medina County Executive Director. “This day is a partnership with farmers and consumers to learn about the future of Medina County’s food and farm community.”
Lindsay Shoup, Organizational Director of Medina, Wayne, Ashland, and Holmes County Farm Bureau, updated the class on the impact of Agriculture and Food production in Medina County.
“Agriculture represents 8% of Medina County’s economy,” she said. “Dairy cattle and milk production continue to be a top agricultural production service in Medina County.”
Local farmer Jeff Reusser of Royal Fare Farm volunteered to organize the day. His farm practices Regenerative Agriculture which was a new term for most class members. It is a practice of improving the land for future generations.
“The most interesting thing I see in Agriculture today is that the age of farmers is now around 60 plus years of age,” he said. “There will be a large transition in capital in the next fifteen years.”
Committee member Debbie Indoe of Richman Farm planned a locally sourced lunch for the participants including a list of the food sources. She invited a speaker from Buckeye Country Creamery who produce A2A2 milk. A2A2 milk is cow’s milk that contains only the A2 type of beta-casein protein making it easier to digest. After the meal, Indoe quizzed the class.
“What do you think farmers are paid for the food you ate today?” she asked.
Indoe calculated the return to farmers per meal was $2.24 per person, a surprising fact for those who enjoyed the delicious meal of beef, bread, salad, milk, bread pudding, and ice cream.
The afternoon speaker, Dr. Carlton Schlatter, provided information about the Veterinary Feed Directives regarding the appropriate use of antibiotics in all non-human animals, including bees.
Dairy Farmers of America treated the class to cheese, milk, and chocolate in the afternoon while they toured the historic Richman Dairy Farm. Ohio is home to 265,000 dairy cows that produce 640 million gallons of milk annually.
“We ended a cold and yet somehow wonderful day sipping maple syrup and touring Arters farm,” said Dr. Linda Randall. We also heard about computerized farming and climbed into a Shearer’s Farm Equipment tractor with GPS monitoring for planting and fertilizing. We were in the fields, next to the cows, and standing in mud. It was a great day.”
Agriculture Day was sponsored by the Medina County Farm Bureau, Lorain-Medina Rural Electric Cooperative, and Dairy Farmers of America. Leadership Medina County is made possible by the support of Automation Tool and Die, Huntington Bank, Insyte Consulting Group, RPM International Inc., Sandridge Food Corporation, Westfield Bank, and Westfield Insurance.
Photo album: https://photos.app.goo.gl/4UlHK9wIWr8lygAT2