Ohio Farmers Union member Jim Zumbrink was recognized at a recent national convention of Farm Service Agency county employees for his work building coalitions among organizations that advocate maintaining local contributions to federal farm program decision-making.
Zumbrink was named Coalition Partner of the Year by the National Association of FSA County Office Employees at the group’s 2011 convention in Corpus Christi, Texas. The award was for his involvement and work between NASCOE and the National Association of Farmer Elected Committees.
“Jim Zumbrink has always been a great supporter of Ohio FSA employees and the county committee system and on behalf of the Ohio Association of FSA Employees we appreciate his unwaivering committment to make FSA better for our employees and the producers we serve,” said Mark VanHoose, president of the Ohio Association of FSA County Employees.
“Jim not only commits his time but his own resources to travel to NASCOE and NAFEC events because he so strongly beliefs in a farm program delivery system that has grassroots input from the local level and we wanted to recognized his dedication through this award,” VanHoose said.
Another Ohioan officially recommended Zumbrink at the award ceremony in Corpus Christi.
“(Zumbrink) serves diverse agriculture backgrounds from across the state and understands small town and rural communities. He is committed to strengthening Ohio agriculture and to ensuring prosperity in our state’s rural areas in years to come,” Michelle Stahl of the Van Wert, Ohio FSA told the NASCOE convention.
Stahl told the conventioneers that Zumbrink’s work in Ohio as the state NAFEC president lead to greater cooperation between NAFEC and NASCOE and that Zumbrink is at least partially responsible for increased NASCOE membership among Ohio FSA workers.
At the heart of all of Zumbrink’s work with various farm organizations is a dedication to ensuring farm program decisions don’t become the exclusive right of far away bureaucrats with no comment from local communities. Zumbrink has been a family farmer for decades. He and his brother currently run a 1,000 acre turkey farm in Darke County. Aside from 70,000 or so turkeys, the Zumbrinks also plant corn, beans and wheat. Zumbrink is also a state FSA committeeman who hears county FSA decision appeals.
Locally, Zumbrink is the current president of the Darke County Fair Board and just finished a week of twelve hour days in August helping make the 2011 fair a success.
Zumbrink said that he’s learned that, “Government working from the local level up” seems to work best for family farmers and rural Ohio and that’s why he’s dedicated so much time over the years to organizations that support county FSA offices and workers.
For More Information:
- National Association of FSA County Office Employees
- Ohio Association of FSA County Office Employees
- National Association of Farmer Elected Committees