Mahoning County Ag Society Launches Hall of Fame

CANFIELD, Ohio – Mahoning County is still very much an agricultural area, once you get beyond Youngstown and its suburbs.

It also has the state’s largest local agricultural gathering in the Canfield Fair.

But until now, it has not had a means of honoring the men and women who have been pillars of the farming community.

That will change this year, when the newly formed Mahoning County Agriculture Hall of Fame inducts its first class in September during the Canfield Fair.

George Houk of the Mahoning County Agricultural Society, which runs the Canfield Fair, is the director of the new ag hall of fame.

He said it’s surprising the county did not launch one years ago.

Mahoning County has been a farming area since before its founding in 1846.

“We have so many in our agricultural community who have done so much for so many for so long and it’s high time we recognize them,” he said.

The hall will be open to men, women and couples, either living or deceased; and farmers, ag businessmen and “anyone who made a difference in the ag community,” Houk said.

He gave examples of who might be considered for induction. “Maybe a county extension agent for 30 years who did a lot of grassroots education,” he said, “or a farmer who served on a lot of committees in the farm bureau or the county extension office to further the cause of agriculture.”

The hall is now accepting nominations. To submit one or download the application, click HERE:

The deadline to submit nominations for the inaugural class is June 17. After this year, the deadline will be the first Friday in June, Houk said. Nominees must be residents of Mahoning County.

“We didn’t set a number as to how many we will induct each year,” Houk said. “But the first few classes will be bigger than 10 years down the road because we have so much catching up to do.”

An as-yet undetermined location will be set up on the fairgrounds where plaques honoring the ag hall inductees will be set up. The induction ceremony will take place each year during the fair.

Houk, a lifelong farmer in Springfield Township, said that Mahoning County is still “predominantly” agricultural.

“Twenty-five years ago it seemed like we would all be eaten up by [housing] subdivisions but that has slowed down,” he said.

Pictured at top: George Houk, director of the new Mahoning County Agriculture Hall of Fame.

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