2015 Hall of Fame Inductees Announced

Four Ohioans who have committed their lives to working in, promoting and advocating for Ohio's farm community will be honored Friday, August 7, 2015, by the Ohio Agricultural Council, when they are inducted into the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame.

The OAC will induct William J Haddad of Danville, the late Don Loudenslager of Morral, Roy Loudenslager of Marion, and Gerald (Gary) Mast of Millersburg into the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame during a special breakfast ceremony held in the Celeste Center at the Ohio Expo Center. The 50th annual event will attract approximately 500 guests to honor these four professionals for their lifetime of service and dedication to Ohio's agriculture community.

"As we celebrate our 50th anniversary, our Board is honored to recognize these four individuals who have made significant contributions to Ohio's number-one industry, agriculture," said Jenny Hubble, OAC president.  "Each inductee stands out individually for his exceptional contributions to Ohio agriculture, but together they represent the passion, creativity and hard work evidenced by their collective decades of unmatched experience."

The following four inductees will join the more than 200 prior recipients named since 1966 when the program was incepted.

William J. Haddad, Danville, Ohio

William (Bill) Haddad, known to many as "No-Till Bill," has worked tirelessly to help farmers understand and implement no-tillage farming practices ever since he first heard the term in 1969 at a Chevron Agricultural Chemical Co. meeting. His passion for no-tillage continues as a way to save and improve the soil by reducing erosion; improving water quality; saving time, labor and equipment investment; and conservation of fuel.

Throughout the years, Haddad has contributed to several articles on no-tillage crop production discussing the benefits of the systems. Additionally, he has conducted hundreds of on-farm demonstrations and grower meetings on the practice, including being an active exhibitor in the Ohio Farm Science Review for more than three decades. Furthermore, Haddad invested his own money in the state's first Spray-Coupe to demonstrate effective weed control systems for no-tillage crops.

Haddad's achievements have been recognized both at the state and national levels. Among the many recognitions include: Ohio No-Till Council AgriBusiness Award, the Goodyear/NACD Conservation Award of Merit for Outstanding Accomplishments in Resource Conservation, and being inducted into the Farm Science Review Hall of Fame. 

Don Loudenslager, Morral, Ohio

The late Don Loudenslager dedicated his life to Ohio agriculture. Farming was his passion, and Loudenslager along with his brother, Roy, and father, operated a successful crop and livestock farm that was known for innovation and conservation stewardship.

Through the years, Loudenslager gave his time, service and leadership as a member and officer of several agricultural organizations, including the Ohio Pork Council, Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association, Ohio Soybean Association, National Corn Growers Association, American Soybean Association, Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, and the American Farm Bureau Federation. For more than 45 years, he served as a district supervisor for the Marion County Soil and Water Conservation District and served several years on the state Soil and Water Conservation Board. Additionally, Loudenslager was a strong supporter of youth leadership programs through both 4-H and FFA.

Loudenslager's work ethic, leadership and pioneering spirit have inspired many students and professionals. His legacy will certainly continue to help shape Ohio agriculture for many years to come.

Roy Loudenslager, Marion, Ohio

Roy Loudenslager has made significant contributions to the agricultural industry as a lifelong farmer, inventor, innovator and engineer. As Ohio's first FFA Star Farmer, Loudenslager started his path to success in the agriculture industry and service to community as a teen. He has also, with his family and late brother Don, been a model environmental steward since he began farming in high school.     

Throughout the years, Loudenslager has offered his time and talents to state and national organizations. Loudenslager played a critical role in establishing the Ohio Soybean Council as one of the nation's top producer-funded state promotion and research boards and is a past chairman of the Council's Board. He has served on various boards, including the National City Bank Board of Directors, Marion General Hospital Board of Directors, United Soybean Board, and positions of leadership on The Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute Advisory Committee and Lions Club International. In addition, he proudly served in the U.S. Army from 1959-1961 earning the rank of sergeant.

Loudenslager is characterized as a serious, yet benevolent, advocate for agriculture, and he exemplifies the strong family farming tradition of his generation. 

Gerald (Gary) Mast, Millersburg, Ohio

A sixth-generation farmer, Gary Mast and his brother farm more than 1,200 acres in Holmes County and provide custom manure management and forage harvesting to other farmers. As a seasoned veteran of agriculture and conservation issues, his passion is demonstrated through his unwavering efforts and leadership to the industry and his community.

Mast has been an advocate for agriculture at the local, state and national levels for many years. He has served on the leadership team for the Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, as well as a board member with the Holmes County Soil and Water Conservation District and Holmes County Farm Bureau. On a national level, Mast served as deputy undersecretary for natural resources and environment, one of the top positions with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Mast regularly hosts tours and events on his farm to demonstrate how sound agriculture practices build strong communities. He has also given speeches to local civic organizations, county leadership classes, soil and water conservation groups, and 4-H and FFA chapters on the value of soil stewardship and animal care practices, as well as the value of the community working together.

Mast is widely known for his love of the land and commitment to the betterment of agriculture. Among his many achievements include: Ohio Supervisor Hall of Fame inductee by the Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Environmental Protection Agency District 5 Distinguished Service Award, and International Honor Award for Conversation Activities by the Soil and Water Conservation Society.