Farmers’ contributions to be honored

LISBON – A new 4-H king and queen will be crowned, while three farmers will be honored for their significant farming contributions in Columbiana County.

The Columbiana County Royal 4-H Court and the Columbiana County Agriculture Hall of Fame honor those who have excelled in the agriculture community, and both events will take place at the Columbiana County Fair.

The king and queen of the Royal 4-H Court will be unveiled during the fair’s opening festivities at 5 p.m. Monday at the grandstand. Nine 4-H members, three male and six female, make up this year’s court.

Among this year’s candidates, two have graduated from high school, while six are seniors and one a junior in high school, and all candidates have been with their respective 4-H clubs at least seven or more years.

Among this year’s candidates are Buckeye Charter Schools junior Albert Ayers of Leetonia, United 2014 graduate James Kataro II of Salem, and United senior Vincent Zehentbauer of Hanoverton.

This year’s six candidates for queen are Crestview seniors Holly Baer and Courtney Hephner, both of Columbiana, Minerva senior Hannah Foster of East Rochester, West Branch senior Hannah Jarvis of Homeworth, Beaver Local senior Betty Richey of East Palestine, and 2014 United graduate Elaina Zehentbauer of Hanoverton.

The following morning, the Columbiana County Agriculture Hall of Fame will induct three new members who have made major contributions to farming throughout Columbiana County.

The ceremony, which will be at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Arts and Crafts Building, will honor James W. Cooper of Hanover Township, Russell N. Cook of Fairfield Township and William L. Woolf of West Township.

Cooper, who was part of United Local’s first-ever graduating class in 1959, dedicated his life to dairy farming where he milked his Jersey and Holstein cows on his Schneider Road farm and continued his expansion throughout the years. In 1994, he allowed county commissioners to build and maintain a pumping station, which served the Winona and Guilford Lake septic systems. Cooper died in 2007.

Cook, a World War II veteran, started with grain farming but later moved on to milk production. Considered an innovator in farming, Cook built a bunker silo below ground level with a solid structure and roof over the top, and was one of the first with a metal milking parlor and a milk bulk tank. His sons continue to operate the farm after his death in 2010.

Woolf, meanwhile, overcame tragedy in 1959 after losing his arm in a farming accident. He found ways to continue farming with just one arm and supported the farmers who helped him. A passionate Farm Bureau member, he raised issues of local farmers’ concerns. After his death in 1996, his sons carried on the tradition and are now farmers themselves.

Cooper, Cook and Woolf’s portraits and biographical sketches will also be unveiled and will remain with the hall’s other 58 inductees.