The Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) and Beck’s Hybrids are proud to announce that Ryan McClure of Paulding County was named 2015 Beck’s Young Farm Leader of the Year.
The Beck’s Young Farm Leader Program, now in its third year, was established to highlight and recognize young Ohio farmers who have taken leadership roles in their communities while developing a foundation for farming success.
“I’m grateful to have been chosen as the Beck’s Young Farm Leader of the Year,” said McClure. “I very much appreciate that OSA and Beck’s Hybrids put on this program to recognize Ohio soybean farmers. Beck’s Hybrids is a great company to work with and I can’t say enough good things about OSA and what they do for the Ohio soybean industry.”
Each Beck’s Young Farm Leader was chosen quarterly by a selection committee consisting of OSA and Beck’s Hybrids representatives with one farmer selected as the Beck’s Young Farm Leader of the Year. In addition to Ryan McClure, the 2015 Beck’s Young Farm Leaders included: Adam Agle of Clark County, brothers Andy & Brian Stickel of Wood County and Kyle Horn of Huron County.
As the 2015 Beck’s Young Farm Leader of the Year, Ryan will receive a trip for two to the 2016 Commodity Classic in New Orleans, Louisiana.
“OSA provides leadership for Ohio’s soybean farmers in promoting effective policies and legislation to ensure a growing and profitable soybean industry,” said Adam Graham, OSA president and soybean farmer from Logan County. “In this ongoing effort, one of OSA’s key strategies is cultivating a strong grassroots network of farmers who are drawn to the policy making process. Programs like the Beck’s Young Farm Leader are helping to identify and recognize the future leaders of Ohio agriculture.”
McClure Farms was started by Ryan’s grandfather in 1955 and has been a family tradition ever since. Ryan grew up farming alongside his father, Terry McClure, and the thought of making a career doing anything else never crossed his mind.
Primarily a cash grain operation until 2005, McClure Farms began to diversify and added a contract wean-to-finish operation that has grown over the years to hold 9,000 head of pigs that they grow for Cooper Farms. This year, they have also grown their cattle operation, called West Branch Cattle, and will finish approximately 180 head of Holstein cattle annually.
In addition to the responsibilities on the farm Ryan and his wife Nikki have three children; 6-year-old Caleb, 3-year-old Drew, and 1-year-old Brianna. Ryan currently serves as a director on the Ohio Pork Council and as the Paulding County Farm Bureau President. He and Nikki have been active in the Ohio Farm Bureau for many years and served a two-year term on the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Young Farmer and Rancher committee. They are also active members of Middle Creek United Methodist Church.
“Beck’s feels it is important to recognize young farmers who are stepping up in the industry,” said Bruce Kettler, Director of Public Relations at Beck’s Hybrids. “We know they are the future of agriculture and that we need to foster their enthusiasm and encourage their involvement.”
Applications for the 2016 Beck’s Young Farm Leader Program are now available. Apply or nominate someone at www.soyohio.org/becksyoungfarmleader.