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Carroll County Farm Bureau inducts Dan Kirk to the Hall of Fame at annual meeting
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By Thomas Clapper
The Carroll County Farm Bureau held its annual meeting and dinner on Sept. 12 at FFA Camp Muskingum where business was conducted and awards were given among a good meal and fellowship.
Board of Trustees President Jim Coy welcomed all and introduced board members and special guests prior to leading the business meeting.
“I would like to thank Camp Director Todd Davis and FFA Camp Muskingum as well as those who did the food and all staff,” said Coy.
Ohio Farm Bureau Organization Director Trevor Kirkpatrick hosted the silent auction and live auction featuring Bill Newell auctioning off a picture with a frame made from late 1800s Carroll County barn wood. Board member Bernie Heffelbower was the winning bidder with a bid of $525.
State Representative of District 79 Monica Robb Blasdel and Jeff King representing United States Representative Bill Johnson were in attendance. Robb Blasdel was asked to give a brief legislative update.
“I always love visiting Carroll County,” said Robb Blasdel. “It makes for a wonderful scenic drive. The local farm bureau is an amazing grassroots organization and we get a lot of good feedback about it.”
She spoke about how the state fair and county fairs bring a lot to the area. Several pieces of legislation was mentioned including a House Bill declaring an state Agriculture Day, FFA Week and 4-H Week.
Robb Blasdel said House Bill 212 is the Ohio Property Protection Act which prohibits foreign adversaries and certain groups from buying land in Ohio.
“I encourage anyone to visit my office if you find yourself in Columbus,” said Robb Blasdel. “My door is always open and I love to hear from constituents.”
Illumination Financial Group gifted a basket for a raffle. Noah Coy won the basket of goodies.
Vice President Kelli Pridemore handled the approval of the Financial Report at the meeting. Nicki Gordon-Coy, the team leader of Membership and Organization held the nominating committee report and vote.
All nominees were elected and all had no competitors. Those elected include: Trustee At-Large 3, Alan Weir; Trustee At-Large 7, Tyson Hill; Trustee At-Large 8, Bernie Heffelbower; Trustee At-Large 10, Kelli Pridemore; YAP At-Large 1, Chase Horn and YAP At-Large, Shelby Rhodes.
Delegates Chosen to attend the 2024 State annual meeting are Kady Hartong and Dan Kirk.
Brad Luckey held the policy development report and vote. Attendees who are members voted for five local policies, four state policies and one national policy.
Jim Coy announced the award winners for the evening.
The 2023 Hall of Fame Inductee is Dan Kirk.
“Kirk is a person who has been a staple in our community for several years,” said Coy. “His tireless dedication to shaping the lives of countless students, Farm Bureau members and anyone he comes in contact with has left a major impact on the community as a whole. His impact is always positive and bountiful.”
Kirk was given a plaque and congratulated on stage.
The 2023 Scholarship Awards recipients are: Lillian Coy, $800 scholarship; and $400 scholarships were awarded to Jaxon Rinkes, Ellie Shafer and Deana Petersen. All were at school and unable to attend but received a round of applause.
The 2023 Partner of the Year Award went to PBS Animal Health.
“PBS Animal Health was quick to jump on board to help with our Check Your Engine stigma reduction project,” said Jim Coy. “They have a genuine interest in improving the lives of others and this is a perfect example of that. Thank you for all you do for the farm bureau and those who need to Check Their Engine in their community.”
Dan and Suzette Matthews accepted the award.
The Check Your Engine project serves to train agricultural service providers and other business employees to notice the signs of someone going through a mental health crisis.
The 2023 Member of Distinction Award went to Green Haven Farm, LLC.
“A member of distinction is a member who shows continued dedication to the farm bureau, who goes above and beyond to volunteer and promote the organization,” said Jim Coy. “This year’s member of distinction (Green Haven Farm, LLC) has been a huge part of our community. Their passion for agriculture is evident in their commitment to not only the farm bureau but their willingness to give back to others.”
Joe Grubbs, of Green Haven Farm, LLC accepted the award.
The speaker of the evening was Natalie Bollon, director of the Alcohol, Drug Addiction, Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) Board of Tuscarawas and Carroll counties.
Complimenting the Check Your Engine theme, Bollon spoke on mental illness, particularly in men because men have a hard time admitting they have a problem.
“Most of what people know about mental health is the media depiction in movies, tv shows and more,” said Bollon. “But things like schizophrenia are a small percentage of what most with mental health struggle with. Only 1.2% of Americans have schizophrenia. Depression rates vary but are approximately 18%.”
Bollon provided descriptions of those struggling with their mood and thoughts. She also had Carroll County data.
“More than one third or 36.5% of community residents in Carroll County had at least one day in the past 30 days when their mental health was not good. This is more than one in 10.”
Bollon stated 43.3% of residents know someone who has died by suicide while 31.4% know someone who talked about suicide, and 21.3% know someone who has attempted suicide but did not die.
“This is significant for our small area,” said Bollon. She explained how mental health can translate into the body longterm such as higher risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, sleep problems and weakening of the immune system.
“Stigma stands in the way of getting help,” said Bollon. “Many get angry because it is hard to admit that something is wrong. There is a biological basis for this, it is not the person’s fault, it is not a choice.”
Bollon explained different brain chemicals are a part of it and at play. She urges all who are struggling to reach out and talk to someone.
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