The purpose of the Defiance County Agriculture Hall of Fame is to recognize outstanding contributions by an individual to agriculture. 

Defiance County Agriculture Hall of Fame Guidelines & Application 2024

Congratulations to our 2023 Agricultural Hall of Fame Inductees;

 

Sam Bok Ag Hall of Fame 2023

Samuel A. Bok
Dairy Farmer: Defiance, Ohio
Born: 2-19-1961

Spouse: Julie Bok

 Mr. Samuel Bok is a fourth-generation dairy farmer. His involvement in 4-H led to his interest in Jersey cows. At the early age of 9, Sam received his first Jersey cow from Orville and Judy Smith. He showed Jersey cows at multiple county fairs. Sam is a graduate of Defiance High School. In 1979, Sam grew his farm to 18 head of cattle and farmed 140 acres of rented land. In 1984 Sam married Julie (Wiemken) and was blessed with two children Wendy and Andy (Darla). The Bok’s dairy farm grew in 1999 to 380 registered Jersey milking cows, 500  replacement heifers, and farmed 700 owned acres and rented 300 acres. The Jersey milk has been shipped and sold locally at Arps Dairy in Defiance for over 37 years. Sam has welcomed two granddaughters, Renee and Sara into the  business as well. They are quickly learning their place in the business from  watching grandpa’s hard work and dedication he puts into the farm.

Sam’s passion for his cattle and hard work has led to the Bok’s Jersey Farm to rank among the top 25% in the nation for Jersey Performance Index. Bok has sold dairy cattle to Jersey breeders across the country and internationally to Canada, Costa Rica, and Mexico. The family has also sold Jerseys at sales such as Buckeye Classic, Indiana Premier Plus Sale, Illinois Invitational Sale, Pot O’Gold Sale, and National Heifer Sale.

Sam is very proud of his farm and loves to show others his labor of love. Since the early 1990’s, the farm has welcomed school age children, boy scouts, girl scouts, and 4-H members to help feed the baby Jerseys. The Ohio State University has also sent students from their dairy judging teams to the farm to practice judging, and to see proper setup for equipment, barns and some of the latest innovations. One of these innovations being heated floors in the calf barn to help promote the health of the newborns.

Sam’s leadership in the dairy industry did not stop on the farm. He has been a delegate for the COBA/Select Sires, served as an advisor on the United  Producers board, Ohio Jersey Breeder’s Member and American Jersey Cattle Association Director. In 1989 he was awarded the American Jersey Cattle Association Young Jersey Breeder Award.

Community service is also a part of Sam’s life. He is a member of the Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church where he served as president and volunteered with adult Bible study. He previously served on the Defiance Landmark Board for 9 years and has served as president. He was on the Farm Service Agency board, Senior Fair Board and was a 4-H advisor. To Sam, no-one is ever a stranger, he is willing to help anyone and is always there to listen to anything you have to say.

 Davis Family 2023 Ag Hall of Fame
L-R Kevin Hancock (SWCD), Casey Davis, Kathy Davis, Clay Davis, Laurie McCann (Defiance Area Chamber of Commerce)

Lynn N. Davis (posthumously)
Farmer and Business Owner: Defiance, Ohio
Born: 5-14-1944: Deceased 12-01-2018           
Spouse: Kathy Davis

Lynn Davis was the owner and operator of the Harry L. Davis Sons Farm Drainage. Lynn was a 1962 graduate of Ayersville High School where he was active in sports. He was a member of the Ayersville FFA chapter in which he held many leadership positions. Lynn received his degree in agricultural engineering from the University of Tennessee in 1967. While at the University of Tennessee he met Kathy (Siniard), and they married in 1966. They have two children Clay and Casey. After receiving his degree, Lynn served in the army from 1967 – 1969 in the Vietnam War. He later worked for International Harvester and was plant engineer for Johns Manville. Lynn took over the drainage business in 1988 when his uncle John Davis retired. He worked with his father Carl Davis until his passing. There are four generations of Davis’ in the drainage business.

Mr. Davis did more than just installing drainage tile. He met and consulted with farmers and landowners on their drainage systems. He was one of the first to adopt No-Till farming practices and the use of Global Positioning System (GPS). He installed millions of feet of tile, hundreds of drainages structures, and was a great  resource for drainage projects. Lynn worked with Dr. Larry Brown of The Ohio State University on drainage techniques and Defiance County Extension on the Defiance Agricultural Research Area (DARA) site installing different tile spacing. He also served as president of Ohio Land Improvement Contractors Association.

Lynn was the definition of community service. He served 16 years on the Ayersville School Board as a member, president, and other various leadership roles. Lynn was instrumental in drainage around the school and ball fields. He served on the Ayersville United Methodist Administrative board, Defiance Area Foundation and was president of the Kiwanis club. Lynn was a great supporter of the Ayersville FFA and the vocational agriculture program. He gave his time and knowledge to many students who later worked for him with some going on to start their own land  drainage companies.

“He (Lynn) was undoubtedly one of the kindest souls that ever walked the earth. His kindness and compassion for people could only be surpassed by his intelligence and his ethics. His moral standards were of the highest caliber that I ever encountered. He was one of those rare individuals that set a standard of character that we need to emulate.” -John Hoshock.

 

2022 Agricultural Hall of Fame Inductees;

Virgil H. Hoene
Business owner/Farmer: Sherwood, Ohio
Born: 01-10-1943
Spouse: Janice Hoene

Joe R. Nester
Business owner: Bryan, Ohio
Born: 10-31-1956
Spouse: Beckie Nester

Roger J. Jr. & Lois S. Zeedyk
Farmers: Hicksville, Ohio
Roger Born: 6-15-1948
Lois Born: 7-10-1950

John & Patsy Koerner
Dairy and Grain Farmers: Edgerton, Ohio
John: Born 10-05-1934; Deceased 11-08-2014
Patsy: Born 01-03-1935; Deceased 07-13-2015

2020 Agricultural Hall of Fame Inductees;

Tom L. Flory
Jewell Grain: Defiance County, Ohio
Born: 07-13-1945
Spouse: Carolyn Flory

Gary L. Mavis
Farmer: Defiance County, Ohio
Born: 02-23-1950
Spouse: Pat Mavis

2019 Agricultural Hall of Fame Inductees;

2019

James F. Joost
Farmer & Ag Business: Defiance County, Ohio
Born: 07-29-1954  Deceased: 12-11-2005
Spouse: Brenda (Joost) Penner

Milo A. Crockett
Farmer: Defiance, Ohio
Born: 11-25-1932
Spouse: Donna Crockett

Ted T. Pohlmann
Farmer: Defiance County, Ohio
Born: 04-12-1947
Spouse: Carol Pohlmann

2018 Agricultural Hall of Fame Inductees;

2018

G. Ray Clevenger 
Ag Career: Defiance, Ohio
Born: 06-17-1940
Spouse: A. Ann Clevenger

2017 Agricultural Hall of Fame Inductees;


2017

Carl F. Vollmer
Farmer, Ohio
Born: 09-30-1940
Spouse: Janet Vollmer

Joyce A. Cavanaugh
Ag Career: Defiance, Ohio
Born: 07-14-1955
Spouse: Steven Cavanaugh

2016 Agricultural Hall of Fame Inductees;

2016

Marion L. Retcher
Farm: Defiance, Ohio
Born: 12-04-1932
Spouse: Alice Retcher (passed 2005)

Wayne J. Sprow
Farm and Dairy: Ney, Ohio
Born: 08-14-1923
Spouse: Eileen Sprow

Louis "Louie" R. Shininger
Farm: Ney, Ohio
Born: 08-06-1947
Spouse: Charette Shininger

2015 Agricultural Hall of Fame Inductees;

2015

Carl D. Higbea
Farmed: Defiance, Ohio
Born: 07-29-1934
Spouse: Bernadine C. (Panning) Higbea

Ada D. Arps
Farmed and Business Owner: Defiance, Ohio
Born: 07-17-1915 Deceased: 05-18-2016
Spouse: Dorence H. Arps

Daniel "Dan" H. Singer
Farmed: Sherwood, Ohio
Born: 03-26-1938
Spouse: Bennette K. (Kunesh) Singer

2014 Agricultural Hall of Fame Inductees;

2014

Waldo E. Imbrock
Farmed: Defiance, Ohio
Born: 10-29-1922
Spouse: Clara (Bostelman) Imbrock

Richard L. Cline
Worked: Defiance County, Ohio
Born: 10-30-1927 Deceased: 06-28-2011
Spouse: Catherine A. Cline

Donald Rethmel
Farmed: Defiance, Ohio
Born: 08-25-1940
Spouse: Anita Rethmel

2013 Agricultural Hall of Fame Inductees;

2013

William (Bill) A. Cleland, Sr. 
Hicksville, Ohio
Born: 10-20-1930
Spouse: Doris Cleland

Lyle R. Sigg
Ney, Ohio
Born: 04-03-1924 Deceased: 03-06-2003
Spouse: Madonna Sigg

Dorence O. Schliesser
Defiance, Ohio
Born: 09-17-1920
Spouse: Rita Schliesser

2012 Agricultural Hall of Fame Inductees;

Cletus F. Vetter
Hicksville, Ohio
Born: 03-09-1921
Spouse: Alice Vetter

Lee W. Kaemming
Defiance, Ohio
Born: 11-08-1932
Spouse: Bonnie Kaemming

A. Henry (Hank) Arnos
Defiance, Ohio
Born: 04-13-1919 Deceased: 09-24-2001
Spouse: Mildred Arnos