Four persons have been named to the 2014 Fulton County Agricultural Hall of Fame.
Inductees are Lloyd E. Graber, Clinton Township; Harold Holland, Amboy Township; Maurice Jones, Chesterfield Township; and William Shininger, Fulton Township.
They were honored at a ceremony at the Ruihley Park Pavilion, Monday, Aug. 18.
Graber spent a lifetime of contribution to the Fulton County agribusiness community before he died in 2007.
He began his agricultural career in 1946 as a farmer after serving a short time in the US Army.
For 24 years he farmed and lived in Clinton Township, raising livestock and crops.
While known as a successful farmer, Graber was better known for his honest and fair dealings as coowner of G&T Agri-Service, located next to the feed mill in Wauseon.
In 1970, while still farming, Graber went to work part-time for Custom Farm Services. A year later, he sold all of his farm machinery and went to work full-time.
In 1973, he and his business partner, Bruce Tedrow, bought Custom Farm Services and renamed it to G&T Agri-Service.
The business provided fertilizer, seed, chemicals, and custom application for local farmers.
Graber had great knowledge and insight of the products he sold, and was able to help farmers decide which inputs were the best for their farms.
He was interested in helping train future farmers and often hired Wauseon agribusiness students.
Graber was a 4-H advisor to the Clinton Doodlebugs.
He was also active as an usher and trustee for Christ United Methodist Church, Wauseon.
His business always supported the Fulton County Junior Livestock Sale by purchasing livestock.
Late in life, Graber volunteered with the Fulton County Senior Center, Community Works for Christ, and Hands of Grace to build wheelchair ramps, hoping to enhance the quality of life for those who had disabilities.
He continued the ramp- building work until his death.
Holland has been involved in Fulton County agriculture for more than 60 years as a fifth-generation farmer in Amboy Township.
A love of the land has always driven him to practice conservation farming, including use of windbreaks, waterways, strip till, no-till, and control structures.
Holland served on the Farm Home Administrative Review Board for six years in the 1980s, helping many young, first-time farmers get started in the business.
He has helped his son and grandson get started in agriculture, as well.
Holland’s home is an Ohio Centennial Farm.
As a teen, he was in the Lyons FFA and 4-H. Currently he is an Evergreen FFA alumnus.
He has hosted FFAers on the farm to give them work experience in the agricultural industry.
Holland has been a lifelong friend of the Fulton County Fair, and helped in the capital campaign to build Spangler Arena.
He often exhibits or uses his farm equipment during the fair.
Holland has also been very active in his local community.
As an active member of the Weston United Methodist Church, he helped build the church fellowship hall and volunteers his time at church events.
He also volunteered at Oakshade Raceway and promotes its local events.
Holland is a member of American Legion Post 275, Am-Vets Post 1957, and Farm Bureau.
Jones has been a part of Fulton County and Ohio agriculture for nearly 70 years.
He has raised cattle, hogs, and turkeys and has practiced many conservation farming efforts on his corn, soybeans, and wheat farm in Chesterfield Township.
He earned his State Farmer Degree in 1948. Ever since, Jones has been actively involved in the Soil and Water Conservation District, Fulton County and Ohio Cattle Feeders, the Agronomy Committee, Ohio State Extension Advisory Committee, and other community activities.
Starting in the 1960s, Jones was one of the first farmers to install a drop box on his farm and played an important role in the conservation cooperative agreement that addressed crop rotation, cover crops, wildlife habitat, and tile drainage.
Through Ohio State Extension, Jones had one of the first multi-year no-till plots in Northwest Ohio, and used wind tunnels to test erosion on no-till fields.
He became part of the 100-Bushel Corn Club in the 1960s, and at one point served as president of the Agronomy Committee.
As an avid cattle producer, Jones was an original member of the Fulton County Cattle Feeders Association when it started in the 1950s.
He served as county president from 1957-59, and eventually, state president in 1963-64.
Under his state leadership, the Ohio Cattleman’s Association passed the first beef “check-off” plan.
He is the last surviving member of the original four members of the Fulton County T-Bone Club.
Jones has been active in the Fayette Church of the Nazarene his entire life, serving on the church board and building committee.
He is an FFA alumnus and continues his membership in the Ohio Cattleman’s Association.
Shininger has contributed many years to Fulton County agriculture as a seed breeder through Shininger’s Quality Crop Seed and as manager of Shininger Family Farm.
His interest in agriculture and soil and water conservation is an integral part of his day-to-day farming operation located in Fulton Township.
Shininger continually adopts and tries new farming practices and techniques.
He installed a system called “Wetland for Profit” with the help of the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resource Conservation Service and Fulton County Soil & Water Conservation District.
The site continues to be used for research and field demonstrations by these partnering entities and The Ohio State University and the University of Findlay.
Shininger utilizes the wetland for technical development of seed varieties, increased productivity, improved water quality and overall ecosystem impact.
He has established crop and livestock enterprises including beef, hogs, vegetables, corn, soybeans, wheat, and livestock bedding.
In 1978, he started the practice of no-till farming, which he still practices.
In a recent Farm Bureau article titled “Grounded in Conservation,” Shininger was quoted as saying, “I am passionate about (conservation). I think it’s the right thing to do.
“It’s just who I am.”
Shininger has been a supervisor to the Fulton County SWCD since 2003, and is the board chair.
He has been a promoter of youth in agriculture as he actively participates in the Evergreen FFA Alumni. He regularly instructs Evergreen agricultural students in the art of tree grafting.
He hires high school ag students to work on the family farm as a way to further train the next generation of agricultural stewards.
An American Farmer Degree recipient, he is a member of the Lytton Fox Hunters Club and Pheasants Forever.