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Mahoning County Agricultural Hall of Fame Class of 2024

Application Form for 2024 Hall of Fame Nomination

Nominations will be due by June 7, 2024

Any questions can be directed to the Canfield Fair office at P.O. Box 250, Canfield, Ohio 44406 or by phone at
330-533-4107. The induction ceremonies will take place on Wednesday, August 28th at 11 a.m. on the Concourse
Stage located near the Grandstand.

Congratulations to the 2023 Hall of Fame Inductees

Dorothy “Pearle” Hartley Burlingame, James Clay “JC” Hedge, Jesse & Roger Martig

Clifford A. Morrison, David C. Myers, and Wade Wehr

Dorothy “Pearle” Hartley Burlingame

Dorothy “Pearle” Hartley Burlingame has certainly worn many hats as she has been active in and served the rural community in Mahoning County, northeast Ohio and well beyond.

In 1976 Pearle and her husband Jerry purchased their dairy, beef, and crop farm in Beaver Township from her parents who had bought the farm in 1948.

Pearle was crowed 4-H Queen at the Canfield Fair in 1962.. Her future then took her to become a Peace Corp. volunteer in the Ivory Coast, West Africa where she used her agricultural background for two years teaching village women literacy, health, and nutrition.

Pearle was a very active volunteer in Mahoning Co. Farm Bureau, where she coordinated many service events, one of the more memorable events was a hay drive in 1985 where local farmers sent hay to drought-stricken North Carolina farmers. In 1986 Pearle became the Organization Director of Mahoning County Farm Bureau, a position in which she excelled at for 26 years.

A few of Pearle’s activities and accomplishments, include membership in Farm Bureau, Northeast Ohio Forestry Association, volunteer judge for Mahoning County 4-H and Canfield Fair home Economics and food projects, Farm Bureau Women’s Club, and Go-fer Farm Bureau Council, and a recipient of the 1993 Ohio 4-H Alumni Award. Pearle was instrumental in helping greenhouse operators obtain affordable natural gas, creating a farm market guide for Mahoning County, and was politically active locally, statewide, and nationally on agricultural issues. .

Her advocacy for farmers and the agricultural community is made possible through understanding what each can offer and how everyone can collaborate to assure agriculture remains strong in our ever-changing community.

James Clay “JC” Hedge

James Clay “JC” Hedge was born April 25, 1888. JC, as he was known to all, served as the Mahoning County Extension agent from 1923 until 1957. His 33 years of service gave him the distinct honor as the longest term of service of any extension agent to date.

When we think back on his time span of service, our country and American agriculture went through wars, a Great Depression, advancements from horses to tractors, and moved into hybrids, fertilizers, and machinery advancements. It was people like JC Hedge who helped to educate, and lead the agricultural community of Mahoning County to be an integral part of these advancements.

JC served as the first president of the Ohio County Extension Agents Association. JC pioneered 4-H camping and wore the title of “Father of 4-H camps in Ohio”. He established Camp Standing Rock in Mahoning County, Camp Craig in Medina County and Camp Whitewood in Ashtabula County.

JC held an undergraduate degree as well as his Master’s degree from The Ohio State University. He was honored by the Ohio County Extension Agents Association for his 39 years of service.

Jesse and Roger Martig

Jesse and Roger Martig farmed in partnership in Goshen Township, Jesse passed away in December of 2001, but Roger is still an integral part of Martig farms today.

Martig Farms is a prototype of survival in the farming industry. As we all know farming is an endearing way of life, but not always an easy or profitable one. For Martig farms it has been their determination not to fail, but to find a way attitude that has not only kept the farm in business, but also built it into a leading farm that has enabled their families to become a part of a successful partnership.

Jesse and Roger have always opened their farm gates to school and 4-H field trips as well as hosting farm tours and events. As members of Farm Bureau Ruritans and many local, state, and National organizations, Jesse and Roger have always been eager to share their time and talents in any way they could.

In the early 1950’s brothers Roger and Jesse Martig began milking cows and raising crops to support their families. As time progressed, so did the small family farm. New technology led to better equipment for planting and milking, enabling Roger and Jesse to develop a competitive business. By utilizing the farm’s available resources and considering customer feedback, the business worked hard to increase product offerings.

Clifford A. Morrison

Clifford A. Morrison was an integral part of Mahoning County Agriculture serving as manager of the Mahoning County experimental farm and research and development center from 1954 thru 1985.

Cliff was truly an innovator as he carried out his job doing research on all phases of agriculture including beef, dairy, grain and orchard management. Cliff’s knowledge was shared throughout Ohio and neighboring states. His leadership helped farmers be more efficient, profitable stewards of their land. Cliff made sure to be available to all farmers at meetings, tours, and one on one consultation to share any knowledge and findings he could.

Cliff was a quiet man who spoke loudly in actions, and a man always willing to share his time and experience with all.

Cliff served as past president of the Canfield Ruritan Club to which he was a 25-year member. Cliff was the fiscal officer of the Mahoning Soil and Water District, and for many years was always found in the Fruit Hay and Grain building before, during and after the fair helping in any way he could. Cliff was always being an ambassador to agriculture, and received an Honorary Degree from The Ohio State University.

At Cliff’s calling hours in 1986, professors in attendance told his son David that Cliff was regarded as the leading authority in Ohio on orchard management and research. Cliff was often called upon by professors and managers of the other 8 research farms to seek his knowledge. ‘Not Bad” for the only research farm manager who didn’t have a college degree.

David C. Myers

David C. Myers was born to parents Paul and Verna Myers on December 7, 1928, in Smith Township, Mahoning County Ohio.Farm work came naturally to David, and at the young age of 13, he began taking the farm’s threshing machine to do custom threshing jobs at many neighboring farms. Each morning David and his sister Mary Jane, had to milk cows before walking nearly 2 miles to the one room schoolhouse in Beloit.

On April 12, 1951, David and Ruth Ann Shively married, and together they had four children; Clark, Kathy, Craig, and Brenda. David and Ruth lived on a farm on Western Reserve Rd. where he milked cows and grain farmed. Along with milking cows, as a teenager David began raising ponies. He started with just a few mares and a stud. He kept every female colt and only sold the stud colts each year. Soon, the pony herd exceeded 200.

David Myers became well known for his ponies and people from surrounding states would come to Mahoning County to purchase from him. David's ponies remain on the farm to this day, and their offspring are exhibited at the Canfield Fair each year.

Along with his ponies, beef, and hogs, David set out to increase crop production by purchasing larger tractors, one of the area’s first self-propelled combines with a cab, and on-farm grain storage.

David often hosted field days at the farm where he demonstrated the clearing of overgrown brush fencerows. Lime and fertilizer were added to non-productive ground turning it into high-producing crop ground. Systematic drain tiling became standard practice at the farms. As a result of the field days, these practices were adapted by farmers throughout the area.

David also volunteered his time by serving many years on the county 4-H livestock committee, He served 9 years on the Mahoning-Columbiana ASC committee 6 of those years he was chairman. He spent 8 years on the Western Reserve School Board, He served 15 years on the Board of the Farmers National Bank where his knowledge and agriculture background proved very helpful to the bank and the Ag. community. He also served on the Canfield Fair Board for 27 years. He's been a member of East Goshen Friends Church, the Smith Grange, The Berlin Ellsworth Ruritan, and the Sebring Masonic Lodge.

David has continued to work well into his 90's, still clearing trees, brush-hogging pastures, and improving the land. He still enjoys his ponies, and he can't wait to ride his gator out into the field to count how many new colts have arrived.

Wade Wehr

Wade Wehr, born in 1904, on a farm in the city of Youngstown on McCollum Rd, was a lifelong farmer and agricultural leader. In 1926 Wade graduated with a degree in Agriculture from The Ohio State University. At OSU he was on the dairy cattle judging team and was top judge in the Ayrshire division at the 1925 National Dairy Show. After graduation, Wade worked in Putnam County training farmers in farm management and accounting.

Using the prefix Bella Vista, he started a Guernsey herd in 1929, testing through the Dairy Herd Improvement Association.

Prior to moving to his 83-acre Beaver Township farm in 1942, he farmed what is now the Wick Recreation Area. From his Guernsey dairy herd in both locations, he operated a retail milk route in the city of Youngstown and then later in the East Lewistown area until 1963. It was about this time when he was one of the first to install a bulk tank on the farm.

In 1958, the Wehrs were honored by the Cleveland Farmers Club as Mahoning County Farmer of the year. The Wehrs won many dairy related awards and recognitions over the years.

Wade was active in The Columbiana Mahoning Guernsey Breeders Association, serving on the sales committee and as secretary/treasurer, president and on the Board of Directors. Wade also served on the Ohio Guernsey Breeders Association for six years, three years as vice president and a term as president.

Wade Wehr was very active in the Mt. Olivet Church of Christ, served on the North Lima school board for nine years, was a member of the Grange, Farm Bureau, and served on the advisory council for the OSU extension. Wade was on the Farm Bureau Co-op (Landmark) board serving as secretary and president several terms.

Wade Wehr served on the board of the Warren Production Credit Association, and on the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service County committee, and was president of the Dairy Council and was a 4-H dairy club advisor for four years.

About the Hall of Fame

Agriculture has been a cornerstone of the growth and development of Mahoning County since the county was formed in 1846. Those involved in agriculture have been a vital part of the community and its growth. The purpose of the Mahoning County Agriculture Hall of Fame is to recognize those who have made a significant impact on agriculture.

Annual awards will be made to men/women, husband and wife, and partnerships either as farmers or contributors through an agricultural related field. We desire to honor and give public recognition to those who have brought distinction to themselves, have made outstanding contributions to their professions, and whose community involvement has served as a stimulus to others. To view the 2022 inaugural class of inductees please click here.

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