By Joyce L. Ritchie
The Ashland County Soil and Water Conservation District presented awards during the recently held annual meeting in Ashland.
Therman Moody was selected as the individual with a long career of achievement in agriculture and conservation by the Ashland SWCD Board of Supervisors and presented with the 2017 Horizon Award. Even at ninety-three years of age, Therman continues to inspire others with his positive attitude shared Supervisor Martin Michel.
The Nova High School graduate was recognized for his intelligence by the Army and during World War II was trained to operate the radar that aimed a battery of 90mm anti-aircraft guns stationed in the Philippines. This was new technology in that day with few that understood radar. Following the war, he worked on the Schreiber Farms which was owned by a Vice-President of International Harvester as worked with the best of cattle and the latest of equipment. In time he was able to return home and farm with his father near Nova. It was in 1952 that he was able to buy a farm on County Road 1754 because the owner wanted a “good, young family” in the neighborhood. He married Grace Pickworth and together they raised their four children on the Vermillion Township farm. On the farm he worked with Don Coffman and instilled conservation projects that included drainage tile, a concrete feedlot, and two spring developments. He raised Registered Holsteins and used the GI Bill to attend weekly agricultural classes that were sponsored by the USDA. In 1967, he changed to a beef operation and raised Charolais cattle. He was known to travel to the OSU Farm in Caldwell to secure better bulls for his herd. It is said he once advised another farmer to get good animals because the poorer ones eat just as much. In time, he switched his breed preference to Angus cattle and began to keep horses for a hobby.
Moody found the Halflingers to be his desire and was noted for having his horses top the National Halflingers Horse Sale three times at the Ashland sale. Known for his keen eye for quality animals, he felt the drawback when bidders began to run up the bid on any horse he showed an interest in buying. Later, Belgian Draft horses would be in his barn stalls. Therman and Grace were married for nearly 70 years and raised four children, Judy, Dean, Alice and Carolyn. They have twelve grandchildren and twenty-one great grandchildren.
Therman has always been willing to welcome and help neighbors. He still mows his own lawn and maintains a more positive attitude then most people. He is a fine example to us all.
David Elson was awarded the 2017 SWCD Outstanding Cover Crop Promoter. This Orange Township resident farms 250 acres and assists his grandfather Gaylord, his father Jim, his uncle Ron and his brother Jessie for total of 1,300 acres. They seeded 1,200 acres of cover crops last fall. They also raise corn and soybeans as well as wheat and rye seed. He owns Hilltop Custom Fabrication, a mobile agri welding and custom fabrication business. He is a Mapleton High School graduate and participated in 4-H and FFA. He and his wife, Jessica are active in the Nankin Community Church where he serves as a trustee. The SWCD Supervisors were pleased to present this annual award to one of Ashland County’s young farmers.
The annual meeting was held in conjunction with the Ashland County Farm Bureau Federation with a picnic meal prior to the meeting. Karen Welch welcomed those in attendance and Maxine Swaisgood shared the invocation. Farm Credit Mid-America donated and served the ice cream sundae dessert. Elected by ballot for a three year term to serve as a trustee was Martin Michel.
The meeting adjourned with presentation of door prizes and final comments of gratitude.