Mahoning Ag Hall of Fame Inducts 7 New Members
CANFIELD, Ohio – The Mahoning County Agriculture Hall of Fame will induct seven new members on opening day of the Canfield Fair.
The class of 2023 includes Dorothy “Pearle” Hartley Burlingame, James Clay “JC” Hedge, Jesse and Roger Martig, Clifford A. Morrison, David C. Myers and Wade Wehr.
The induction ceremonies will take place at 11 a.m. Aug. 30 at the Concourse Stage, located near the grandstand. The public is invited.
This is the second year for the annual awards. Individuals, husband and wife teams, and partnerships either as farmers or contributors through an agricultural-related field are eligible.
The goal of the Mahoning County Agricultural Society, which operates the fair and the hall of fame, is to honor and give public recognition to those who have brought distinction to themselves, have made outstanding contributions to their profession, and whose community involvement has served as a stimulus to others.
Agriculture has been a cornerstone of the growth and development of Mahoning County since the county was formed in 1846.
Here is a closer look at this year’s inductees:
Dorothy “Pearle” Hartley Burlingame has been active in the rural community in Mahoning County and well beyond. In 1976, she and her husband, Jerry, purchased their dairy, beef and crop farm in Beaver Township. In 1986, she became the director of the Mahoning County Farm Bureau, a position she held for 26 years.
Pearle was crowed 4-H Queen at the Canfield Fair in 1962. She became a Peace Corps volunteer in the Ivory Coast, West Africa, where she used her agricultural background for two years teaching village women literacy, health and nutrition. She was an active volunteer with the Mahoning County Farm Bureau, where she coordinated many service events.
James Clay “JC” Hedge was born April 25, 1888. JC, as he was known, served as the Mahoning County Extension agent from 1923 until 1957. His 33 years of service gave him the distinct honor of having the longest term of service of any extension agent to date.
Hedge served as the first president of the Ohio County Extension Agents Association. He pioneered 4-H camping and wore the title of “Father of 4-H camps in Ohio.”
He established Camp Standing Rock in Mahoning County, Camp Craig in Medina County and Camp Whitewood in Ashtabula County.
Jesse and Roger Martig, who are brothers, farmed in partnership in Goshen Township. Jesse passed away in December 2001, but Roger is still an integral part of Martig Farms today.
In the early 1950s Jesse and Roger began milking cows and raising crops to support their families. As time progressed, so did the small family farm. New technology led to better equipment for planting and milking, enabling the brothers to develop a competitive business.
Clifford A. Morrison served as manager of the Mahoning County experimental farm and research and development center from 1954 through 1985.
He carried out his job doing research on all phases of agriculture, including beef, dairy, grain and orchard management.
His knowledge was shared throughout Ohio and neighboring states.
He served as past president of the Canfield Ruritan Club, of which he was a 25-year member, and was the fiscal officer for the Mahoning Soil and Water District.
David C. Myers was born in 1928 in Smith Township and took over his family’s farm threshing machine as a teenager. Each morning, he and his sister, Mary Jane, had to milk cows before walking nearly 2 miles to the one-room schoolhouse in Beloit.
Myers and his wife, Ruth Ann, lived on a farm on Western Reserve Road, where he milked cows and raised grain.
He would also become known for his ponies, and people from surrounding states would come to Mahoning County to purchase from him.
Wade Wehr, born in 1904 on a farm in the city of Youngstown on McCollum Road, was a lifelong farmer and agricultural leader.
Prior to moving to his 83-acre Beaver Township farm in 1942, he farmed what is now the Wick Recreation Area. From his Guernsey dairy herd in both locations, he operated a retail milk route in Youngstown until 1963.
Wehr was active with the Columbiana Mahoning Guernsey Breeders Association and also served on the Ohio Guernsey Breeders Association board for six years, three years as vice president and a term as president.
Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.