The Van Wert County Courthouse

Friday, Sep. 29, 2023

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The Van Wert Soil & Water Conservation District held its 74th annual meeting by co-hosting with the Van Wert Farm Bureau at the ag banquet at Life House Church on Tuesday.

A SWCD election was held for one supervisor position on the SWCD Board of Supervisors five member board, and Dave Kemler was elected to serve a three-year term commencing January 1, 2024.

Hanna Scaggs was the SWCD scholarship recipient and Renner Family Farms was recognized by the SWCD and received the Conservation Farmer Award. The award is given to honor individuals for their conservation achievements.

Farm Bureau presented membership ag awards. The Van Wert Ag Hall of Fame Award was presented to Bruce Kennedy for his many agricultural Accomplishments.

The SWCD staff gave updates on programs and Farm Bureau went over their year in review. Ag Credit provided centerpieces of flower arrangements that were given as door prizes.

Sponsors for the evening were: Farm Bureau, the Van Wert Soil and Water Conservation District and Ag Credit.

POSTED: 08/17/23 at 3:38 am. FILED UNDER: Farm, News

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The Van Wert Farm Bureau and Soil & Water Conservation District are co-hosting their annual ag banquet at 6 p.m. Tuesday, August 15, at Life House Church in Van Wert.

The evening will begin with an election for two supervisors on the SWCD Board from 5-6 p.m., followed by dinner catered by Streetlight Catering at 6 p.m., and meeting following.

There will be no charge for the meeting this year, however you will need to RSVP by August 1. You may call the office at 419.238.9591 or email Becky at

POSTED: 07/14/23 at 8:46 pm. FILED UNDER: Farm, News

VW independent staff

The Van Wert County Junior Fair Coronation Committee has announced that applications are now available for 2023 Jr. Fair royalty.

King and queen candidates must be between 16-19 years of age as of January 1 of this year, and species/project royalty candidates must be between 13-19 years of age. King and queen winners will receive a $500 scholarship, with runners-up receiving $100.

Applications are online only and must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. July 10. Interviews will take place on Sunday, August 13 and winners will be crowned during the celebration Sunday event on August 20.

King/queen and species/project applications can be accessed via the Van Wert County Junior Fair Facebook page.

POSTED: 05/18/23 at 3:42 am. FILED UNDER: Farm, News

VW independent staff/submitted information

The recipients of the 2023 Farm Focus Inc. scholarships have been announced as Luke Hefflefinger and Hanna Scaggs, who were awarded $1,000 each. Emma Wells and Wyatt Friedrich awarded $500 each.

Heffelfinger will graduate from Lincolnview High School this Sunday and will attend the Ohio State University Agriculture Technical Institute (ATI) in Wooster. He plans to major in beef management and agricultural systems Management. His career goal is to return to the family farm.

Scaggs is a 2020 Lincolnview High School graduate and is completing her third year at Wright State University Lake Campus, majoring in agribusiness. Her career goal is agricultural financing and loans.

Luke Heffelfinger and Wyatt Friedrich receiving their Farm Focus Scholarship from Tony Campbell, Scholarship Chairman at the Lincolnview Awards Program held at the Marsh Foundation. Photos submitted

Friedrich will graduate from Lincolnview on Sunday. He plans to attend the Ohio State University Agriculture Technical Institute in the fall, majoring in turfgrass management.

Wells will graduate from Crestview High School May 27. She plans to attend Purdue University in the fall and major in agri-science education.

Farm Focus Inc. was founded in 1974 to promote agriculture in Van Wert County and the surrounding area. It is their continued mission to assist Van Wert County students through a scholarship program that will enable them to pursue a degree in an agricultural related field.

POSTED: 05/17/23 at 3:37 am. FILED UNDER: Farm, News

VW independent staff/submitted information

COLUMBUS — State Representatives Roy Klopfenstein (R-Haviland) and Darrell Kick (R-Loudonville) have introduced legislation that would add several federally recognized agricultural days into the Ohio Revised Code.

Recogintion of Ohio agriculture is the focus of new legislation introduced by State Representatives Darrell Kick and Roy Klopfenstein. Photo submitted

The proposed agricultural days and weeks of recognition include:

“Farmers tend to keep to themselves, but now is the time to promote different aspects of the agriculture industry throughout the year so we can inspire the next generation to pursue careers in the field,” Klopfenstein said

  • Agriculture Day, March 21
  • Farmer’s Day, October 12
  • FFA Week, the last full week of February
  • 4-H Week, the first full week of October

“Agriculture is one of the largest industries in Ohio, generating more than $100 billion to our state’s economy,” Kick said. “With over 75,000 farms, 90 percent of which are family-owned, we need to highlight the important work being done by everyday Ohioans.”

The legislation awaits committee assignment.

Klopfenstein represents the 82nd House District, serving residents of Paulding, Putnam, Van Wert, and Defiance counties. Kick is serving his fourth term in the Ohio House. He represents the 98th House District, which includes all of Coshocton and Holmes counties and eastern Knox County.

Klopfenstein is a life-long farmer and has been farming with his family in Paulding County for more than 43 years. Kick is an active, sixth-generation farmer, working on a 400-acre grain, beef and hay family farm near Loudonville.

POSTED: 05/01/23 at 3:41 am. FILED UNDER: Farm, News

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Farm Focus Inc. was founded in 1974 to promote agriculture in Van Wert County and the surrounding area. It is their continued mission to assist Van Wert County students through a scholarship program that will enable them to pursue a degree in an agricultural related field.

Farm Focus Inc. is offering a minimum of two scholarships ranging from $500 to $1,000 to high school seniors interested in majoring in an agricultural related program at a university, college, or technical school. In addition to seniors, full time students already enrolled in an undergraduate program in agriculture are also eligible to apply. This also means that a successful applicant from previous years may reapply again this year.

The applicant must be a Van Wert County resident. The minimum grade point is 2.5 on a 4.0 scale. Scholarship funds will be submitted directly to the educational institution by Farm Focus Inc. upon receipt of proof of enrollment or a copy of a tuition invoice.

Scholarship applications have been sent to all nine area high schools where Van Wert County students may be enrolled. Students are encouraged to contact a guidance counselor or FFA instructor for a scholarship application.

The application is also available at the OSU Van Wert County Extension Office, 1055 South Washington Street, Van Wert, or by email, The scholarship application is in a PDF file format and can be emailed or put on a jump drive. Questions should be emailed.

All completed applications must be emailed, mailed and postmarked or delivered in person no later than Friday, March 31, to the OSU Van Wert County Extension Office.

POSTED: 03/05/23 at 10:03 pm. FILED UNDER: Farm, News

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The Van Wert Soil and Water Conservation District is offering one $1,000 scholarship to a student studying agriculture, natural resources or closely related fields at any Ohio college or university during the 2022-2023 academic year. The recipient of the scholarship must have completed their freshman year in college and must be a Van Wert County resident.

The scholarship committee of the Soil and Water Conservation District will review the applications, and announce recipients in June. Scholarship money will be sent directly to the recipient’s college or university at the beginning of the academic year.

Criteria for determining the recipient will be area of study, grades, activities, leadership, and commitment to conservation practices. The SWCD reserves the right to refuse any applications not meeting requirements.

Scholarship applications are available at the Soil and Water Conservation District office on Professional Drive in Van Wert, online at or by emailing

Applications and two reference forms must be received at the office by May 5.

POSTED: 03/02/23 at 11:09 pm. FILED UNDER: Farm, News

VW independent staff/submitted information

Students at Lincolnview Local Schools recently concluded National FFA Week, February 18-25.

Under the leadership of Jordan Dues, FFA is the largest and most dynamic student organization at the school. Opportunities for premier leadership development, personal growth, and career success are available to FFA members through advanced training, state and national degrees, and attending conventions. Lincolnview students serve the community and provide agricultural experiences to the student body, including outreach and education to elementary students, which sparks interest in agricultural careers and grows the chapter.

Activities included farmer themed dress up days, a coloring contest, and the traditional FFA community breakfast. Spirit week came to a close with the fan favorite Ag Olympics assembly, where it was revealed that the student body raised $1,133 for Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

2022-2023 Lincolnview FFA officers are (front row, left to right): Ethan Scaggs, Breck Evans, Cal Evans and Ella Davis. Back row, left to right: Morgan Anspach, Trey Evans, Luke Heffelfinger, Wyatt Friedrich and Corbin Evans. Photo submitted

“We have donated to the Nationwide Children’s Hospital for many years with the funds raised during FFA week,” senior Morgan Anspach said. “It feels very rewarding to impact so many families and children in need. The FFA strongly values philanthropy, so being able to do this through our chapter is very special.”

“FFA week shows people who we are what we do,” senior Wyatt Friedrich noted. “Knowing people in FFA can create connections to college or jobs for the future. FFA teaches you that hard work can pay off and how to be a leader and an achiever. I have also learned from being in FFA that there are so many opportunities in the world and do not take experiences for granted.”

There are more than 670,000 FFA members in all fifty states, making it the largest youth organization in the United States.

“You might outgrow the jacket, but you will never outgrow the experience,” Friedrich said.

Anyone interested may follow Lincolnview FFA on Facebook.

The 2022-2033 membership of Lincolnview FFA. Photo submitted

POSTED: 02/28/23 at 4:41 am. FILED UNDER: Farm, News

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COLUMBUS – Ohio House Speaker Jason Stephens has appointed State Representative Roy Klopfenstein (R-Haviland) as vice-chair of the Agriculture Committee during the 135th General Assembly.

Roy Klopfenstein

“Farming is my livelihood, so it is a true honor to be assigned as the vice-chair of the House Agriculture Committee,” Klopfenstein said. “I look forward to working on agriculturally focused legislation that will help shape the future of farming in Ohio.”

Klopfenstein has been farming his property in Paulding County for more than 43 years. He was a state committee member of the USDA Farm Service Agency and a member of the Ohio Soybean Association, Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association and Ohio Farm Bureau. He is a former chairman of the Pauling County Extension Advisory Committee.

He was elected last November to the Ohio House of Representatives. He represents the 82nd House District, which includes of Paulding, Putnam and Van Wert counties and the southern portion of Defiance County.

“Ohio House members come from all sorts of backgrounds and each present a unique skillset,” Stephens said. “I am confident in our members’ ability to use their expertise to produce strong policies for Ohio.”

House committees can be streamed live on

POSTED: 01/25/23 at 4:42 am. FILED UNDER: Farm, News

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The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) is helping to ensure the next crop of Ohio producers has the resources to provide for their families and those across the state. The Beginning Farmer Tax Credit is now available to those who’ve recently entered the field and those who help beginning farmers.

“Agriculture and food is Ohio’s No. 1 industry,” ODA Interim Director Tracy Intihar said. “The Beginning Farmer Tax Credit will help keep costs down for new producers and encourage others to help them. This incentive ensures that our state will continue to provide for local communities, the country, and even the world.”

To qualify, a beginning farmer is someone who:

  • Is a resident of Ohio.
  • Is seeking entry to or has entered farming within the last 10 years.
  • Farms or intends to farm on land in Ohio.
  • Is not a partner, member, shareholder, or trustee of the assets the individual is seeking to purchase or rent.
  • Has a total net worth of less than $800,000, including spouse and dependent assets, as adjusted for inflation each year.
  • Provides majority of daily physical labor and management of the farm.
  • Has adequate farming experience or knowledge in the type of farming for which seeking assistance.
    Submits projected earnings statements and demonstrates profit potential.
  • Demonstrates farming will be a significant source of income for the individual.
  • Participates in a financial management program approved by ODA.
  • Beginning farmers will need to complete a financial management program to qualify.

Along with beginning farmers, asset owners, or people or businesses that sell or rent farmland, livestock, buildings, or equipment to beginning famers may apply as well. In order for land to qualify as an asset, it must either total at least 10 acres or produce an average annual income of at least $2,500 for farming.


POSTED: 01/06/23 at 4:46 am. FILED UNDER: Farm, News