Agriculture was one of the first industries in Hancock County. Farmers and agribusinesses have contributed to the economic growth and vitality of the county for almost 200 years. The Hancock County Agriculture Hall of Fame was created in 2006 to recognize these individuals that had made an impact in the agricultural community.

The award specifically recognizes and honors individuals with Hancock County connections who have made major contributions in agriculture, either as a production farmer or from another agriculturally related profession.

Some of these individuals may have made their mark outside of the county, but have their roots or close ties to Hancock County. However, most recipients have resided in the county.

Any individual or organization may submit a name by completing the Hall of Fame nomination form. Qualified applicants may be a producer, breeder or anyone involved in an agricultural field. Past winners have been farmers, agribusiness leaders, government officials, veterinarians and even a driver for harness racing.

At a minimum, nominees should have been born, raised, resided or began their careers in Hancock County. They should have at least 25 years in an agriculturally related occupation. Nominees should have made significant contribution in their agricultural field and provided leadership and service to the agricultural community.

Only four individuals may be inducted each year, and of these only two may be posthumous. Inductees are selected from the applications submitted and reviewed by a local committee.

Fifty-nine individuals have become members of the Hancock County Agriculture Hall of Fame since the first group was inducted in 2006. Hobart Farthing, B. Alvin Shoop, Vaun Wickerham and Gary Wilson were the last group to be inducted in 2019.

Nominations should be submitted to the Hancock County Extension Office by Feb. 7, 2020. Nomination forms or additional information may be obtained at the Hancock County Extension Office or its website, (select the Agriculture and Natural Resources option under Featured County Programs), or call 419-422-3851.

Inductees of 2020 Hancock County Agricultural Hall of Fame will be recognized at the Farmers’ Share Breakfast to be held at the Millstream Centre March 12, 2020. Their pictures will be displayed at the Hancock County Fair and permanently displayed at the Hancock County Agricultural Service Center and the Hancock Historical Museum.

Be sure to submit your nomination so they can be considered for the award and receive appropriate recognition for their longtime work and contributions to agriculture — and if selected, become a part of the 15th group to be added to the Hancock County Agriculture Hall of Fame.

Hancock County Agriculture Hall of Fame is affiliated with the leadership efforts of the Agribusiness Committee of the Findlay-Hancock County Chamber of Commerce. The program is managed by the Ohio State University Extension in Hancock County.

Lentz is extension educator for agriculture and natural resources for the Ohio State University Extension Service in Hancock County.

He can be reached at 419-422-3851 or via email at