COLUMBUS, OH – Frank Burkett III of Massillon has been elected the 24th president of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF). Burkett now holds the highest elected office in Ohio’s largest and most influential farm and food organization. OFBF’s mission is to forge a partnership between farmers and consumers.
Burkett was elected by OFBF’s board of trustees upon the resignation of Steve Hirsch of Chillicothe, who left the OFBF board to stand for election to the Nationwide board of directors. Hirsch served as the organization’s president for five years.
Burkett has been OFBF’s first vice president for the past two years. He previously served as treasurer and has been on the state board since 2007. Burkett will continue to serve as the District 9 trustee representing members from Columbiana, Mahoning, Portage and Stark counties.
The new president is a long-time member of Stark County Farm Bureau where he was a board trustee, policy development chairman and farm tour chairman. He is a past board member for Ohio Dairy Producers Association and is a member of Rivertree Christian Church. He has a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from Ohio State University with a major in agricultural systems management and a minor in agricultural economics.
James W. (Bill) Patterson of Chesterland has been elected first vice president of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF).
Patterson has served as the organization’s treasurer since 2014. He joined OFBF’s board of trustees in 2011. He will continue as the District 4 trustee representing Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake and Trumbull counties. Patterson replaces Frank Burkett III of Massillon, who was elected president. The election took place following past president Steve Hirsch’s departure to stand for election to the board of directors of Nationwide.
Patterson and his wife, Mindy, farm with his family, raising apples, strawberries and peaches. They also have a farm market and a wholesale cider operation. They are the parents of two sons.
A 22-year member of Geauga County Farm Bureau, he served as its president and vice president. He is a member of the Farm Credit Mid-America board of directors and the Ohio Produce Growers and Marketers Association. Patterson received his bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from Ohio State University. He also is a graduate of Ohio's Leadership Education and Development Program - Class VII.
Cy Prettyman of New Bloomington has been elected treasurer of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation.
Prettyman was elected to the board of trustees in 2012 as the trustee for District 7. He will continue to represent members in that district composed of Crawford, Marion, Morrow and Richland counties. He fills the position formerly held by Bill Patterson of Chesterland who was elected first vice president to replace Frank Burkett III of Massillon who was elected president. Former President Steve Hirsch resigned from the board to stand for election to the Nationwide board of directors.
Prettyman farms with his family, raising corn, soybeans, and cattle for freezer beef. He also is a sales specialist with Purina Animal Nutrition. A 19-year member of Marion County Farm Bureau, Prettyman has served as its president and has been active with local and state Pork Producers councils and Ohio Cattlemen’s Association.
He has a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Ohio State University. He and his wife, Julie, have a daughter and son. They attend Trinity Evangelical UMC in Upper Sandusky.