The Hardin County Agriculture Hall of Fame has announced the 2016 honorees to be inducted at the fourteenth annual Agriculture Hall of Fame recognition banquet. The 2016 inductees include: Stephanie Jolliff, Wright McCullough, Bruce A. McPheron, and Mark A. Rose. The banquet will be held on Tuesday, December 6th, beginning at 6:30 pm at St. John's Evangelical Church on East Carrol Street in Kenton. The public is invited to come to honor these inductees and their families, and to recognize their many accomplishments.
The purpose of the county Agriculture Hall of Fame is to recognize outstanding agricultural contributions by Hardin County people and to honor those who have brought distinction to themselves and the agricultural industry. Edison Klingler will present the keynote address. Klingler served as the Hardin County Extension Agent for Agriculture, Community & Natural Resources from 1962 until his retirement in 1988. He currently remains active on several Hardin County committees, benefiting both the citizens and programs within the county.
Stephanie Jolliff graduated from Cardington High School in 1992. She attended The Ohio State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in 1996, Master of Science Degree in 2002, and is currently a PhD candidate. Jolliff is the agricultural education instructor and FFA advisor at Ridgemont High School, where she is a leader in the state and nation in agricultural education. She has been presented the Franklin D. Walter Educator Award in 2010, 2011, and 2013. Her FFA members have been lead to win numerous state and national proficiency awards, degrees, and career development events. She has served as the advisor to multiple Ohio and National FFA Model of Innovation Chapter Awards. Under her leadership, the Ridgemont FFA Chapter has been named a Top 10 Chapter in Ohio for several years in a row, including being named the top chapter in Ohio for two years straight. Some of her professional awards include being named the Ohio Department of Agriculture Woman of the Year, The Ohio State University Alber Enterprise Center Award for Outstanding Achievement and Excellence, and the Ohio VFW High School Teacher of the Year.
Jolliff is married to her husband Tom, who also is an agricultural education instructor and FFA advisor. Together they have three children and operate a family farm. In 2015, Stephanie Jolliff was awarded the Ohio Farm Bureau Cooperative Agriculture Educator Award. Her accomplishments also include the Ohio Fuel Up to Play 60 Program Advisor of the Year, Girl Scout Women of Distinction Award Winner, and advisor for the Hardin County Chamber & Business Alliance Community Service Award winning organization, the Ridgemont FFA. She has served as the Ohio Association of Agricultural Educators President, Ohio Assessment for Educators Test Materials Review Committee, Ohio Teach Ag Campaign Task Force Member, Ohio FFA Board of Directors, Ohio Small Grains Youth Agricultural Advisory Board, and the National State Farm Project Ignition Grant Review Committee. She also has membership in the Ohio Farm Bureau, Ohio Education Association, and the National Maine Anjou Association.
Wright McCullough graduated from Mt. Victory School after being a student there for 12 years. He was married to his wife Norma until he passed away in 2000. He was a farmer of 350 acres, John Deere machinery dealer from 1960-1964, and founder of McCullough Industries, Kenton in 1965. In 1971, he was a co-founder of Golden Giant Buildings, also in Kenton. McCullough was a pilot, flying many hours both private and commercial. He served on the Hardin County Airport Board, and was a member of the Hardin County Farm Bureau and the Kenton Elks. Described as a great businessman, Wright McCullough wasn’t afraid to buy and sell anything or build a product and sell a product. He was always inventing something to manufacture, including some of the first TV antenna towers to show up in the rural community. These towers were up to 50 feet tall, built in one piece, and delivered to area farms. He believed he could build anything, finding a need and then building a product to fill that need.
Some of McCullough’s earliest inventions included a complete feed grinder and mixing system. This system combined grain with supplement and silage that was mixed in a self-propelled delivery system. This was a T.M.R. (total mixed ration) feed grinder/mixer before anyone else had built one. He also built the first quick-attach manure loader in the area. Manufactured here in Kenton during the 1960s, they were distributed through Dunham Lehr Corporation. These loaders were shipped all over the United States and Canada. During that same time, Wright McCullough also developed a line of tractor-mounted grader blades. One of the innovations in these blades was their ability to tilt, enabling the blade to cut ditches or grade slopes. Some of these blades can still be found on farmsteads around North America.
Bruce A. McPheron graduated from Kenton High School in 1972 after moving to Hardin County with his family during his junior year in 1970. Previously, he attended Dublin High School from 1968-70. During his time in Hardin County, he met his wife Marilyn. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree from OSU in 1976 with honors, his Master of Science Degree in 1980 from the University of Illinois, and his PhD in 1987 also from the University of Illinois. He has served most of his career as a professor of Entomology, doing research and teaching. He became Dean of Agricultural Sciences at Penn State University and then a similar position at The Ohio State University. After 40 years in agriculture, he is now providing leadership to the entire Ohio State University as Executive Vice President and Provost. McPheron got his start as a 4-H member, winning a national 4-H scholarship in Entomology while serving on the Junior Fair Board in Hardin County. He did farm work for Howard Watkins and Justin Sherman, and still claims Hardin County as his home county.
He later served three years as Clermont County Extension Agent, 4-H, before becoming a researcher and teacher of Entomology at PSU. There he supervised graduate degree programs in Entomology and Genetics. He partnered to develop the procedure to identify and classify insects by their DNA, which is now standard procedure for accurate identification. McPheron has received international recognition for his extensive national and international research of the medfly. He has been recognized several times, including the Association of Public Land Grant Universities, where he has been elected chair to lead the APLU Research portfolio board, elected chair to lead APLU section of Administrative Heads of Agriculture, and elected chair of the APLU Policy Board of Directors. Bruce McPheron has advocated before Congressional committees for Research in Agriculture on behalf of the APLU on two successive U.S. Farm Bills, and has a national and international reputation as a researcher, teacher, and now as an educational leader.
Mark A. Rose graduated from Kenton High School in 1978. From there, he went on to college at OSU Agricultural Technical Institute where he received an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Crop Production Technology. He then went on to earn a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture at The Ohio State University in 1983. Using his experience growing up on a grain and cattle farm near Forest, he became the Assistant Farm Manager at OARDC Northwestern Branch in Hoytville. Rose served as a 4-H club advisor and hosted a LABO international exchange student from Japan with his wife Darlene. Together they have three children. He was selected as a member of Class II of the Ohio Agricultural Leadership And Development (LEAD) program. He then began his career with the USDA Soil Conservation Service, which was later renamed the Natural Resources Conservation Service. He served both Logan and Wyandot Counties with these positions while managing the family farm. His career with the NRCS branched out to Oklahoma, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. where he serves today as the Director of NRCS’s Conservation Financial Assistance programs authorized by Congress under the current Farm Bill. These programs provide over 3 billion dollars of financial assistance to farmers and ranchers in all 50 states and U.S. territories to implement conservation practices on their farms.
Under Rose’s leadership in his current position, as Director of Conservation Financial Assistance Programs, the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) has become USDA’s largest land conservation program with nearly 80 million acres enrolled nationally since 2009. He works closely with all NRCS State Conservationists, including the Ohio NRCS Conservationist to expand CSP in Ohio. In 2004, Rose co-authored “Taking the First Step: Farm and Ranch Alternative Agriculture and Agritourism Resource Evaluation Guide.” Locally, he has been a Farm Bureau member, advocating for Hardin County and Ohio Agriculture. He has been a member of Rotary Club, Elks Lodge, Soil and Water Conservation Society, National Association of Conservation Districts, Association for Environmental Educators, and Senior Executive Service. Throughout Mark Rose’s career, he has received several industry recognitions for his work in Ohio, Oklahoma, Maryland, and Washington D.C.
Tickets for the Hardin County Agriculture Hall of Fame Banquet must be purchased in advance through November 28. Tickets are $12, and available at the Hardin County Extension office (419-674-2297) or from the committee members: Dustin McCullough, Robert McBride, Ruth Oates, Kerry Oberlitner, Paul Ralston, Don Spar, Luke Underwood, Robert Wood, and Mark Badertscher.