By Gary Brock
NASHVILLE — Greg and Rose Hartschuh of Sycamore were honored in January to be nominated for the 2018 American Farm Bureau’s Excellence in Agriculture award.
The couple were “pleasantly surprised” when they were announced winners at the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) annual meeting in Nashville Jan. 8, according to Rose Hartschuh.
“We had met many of the other couples in the competition and there were so many well qualified to receive the honor,” said Rose. The Crawford County couple competed with 30 young farmer and rancher couples from around the country for the award.
On the evening of the announcement during the ceremonies, Rose said she and husband Greg had no idea their name would be called.
The Excellence in Agriculture Award recognizes young farmers and ranchers who do not derive the majority of their income from an agricultural operation, but who actively contribute and grow through their involvement in agriculture, their leadership ability and participation in Farm Bureau and other organizations.
Rose says she believes the number of Ohio Farm Bureau activities in which they participate tipped the competition in their favor.
Rose is a seed adviser, contributes to the family farm and manages their additional family businesses. Greg works full-time on his family’s 700-acre farm, raising corn, soybeans and operating a dairy with 180 Holsteins. The Hartschuhs partnered with two other farm families to revitalize a neglected farm property in Bucyrus, which now offers a farm market in one barn and an event venue in another. In 2017 they launched Acres of Adventure, a nonprofit organization designed to connect consumers with opportunities to experience modern agriculture.
The Hartschuhs served on the Ohio Young Agricultural Professionals state committee, served as delegates to the state annual meeting, participated in AFBF’s Young Farmers and Ranchers conference and have been engaged with their county and the state Farm Bureau. Other interests include 4-H, their county fair, the Soil and Water Conservation District, Ohio Holstein Association and Crossroads Community Church. They are the parents of twin four-year-old sons, Dwight and Jordan.
In 2017 the Hartschuhs organized a caravan of aid for farmers and ranchers devastated by the wildfires in Kansas. They traveled with other Ohio farmers to help those in need and stayed in Kansas for several days.
The Hartschuhs were honored in October as Ohio’s Excellence in Agriculture winners which qualified them for the national contest. At that time they won a John Deere Gator, courtesy of Farm Credit Mid-America, and a $1,000 cash prize sponsored by Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau and the expense paid trip to the AFBF convention.
For their national Farm Bureau Excellence in Agriculture award, the Hartschuhs received a new Ford truck, courtesy of Country Financial, and paid registration to the AFBF YF&R Leadership Conference in Reno, Nevada, in February.
Two other young Ohioans competed in AFBF competitions. Christian Hoffman of Stoutsville participated in the Young Farmers and Ranchers Achievement Award contest. Danielle Burch of Salem participated in the Discussion Meet contest and placed in the Sweet 16.
The Ohio Farm Bureau contributed to this report.