Monday, September 11, 2017

Winners in the 2017 Darke County Farmers Union August Zumbrink Scholarship Essay Contest

This year’s Darke County Farmers Union Scholarship Essay Contest was a tribute to an active, lifetime member of the Farmers Union, the late August “Gus” Zumbrink. August served with the Darke County A.S.C.S. Office (now the F.S.A.) as the Director for fifteen years, from January 1963 to January 1978. Mr. Zumbrink was also very active in his church and community and he served in all the offices of the Darke County Farmers Union and was also a member of the Executive Committee. He, along with his wife, Mary, attended many state conventions and also traveled to the national convention to fight for the rights and interests of family farmers. Gus, as he was known, was very well respected among the farmers of this county and was an excellent administrator as he worked with the sometimes very complicated federal farm programs. To his credit, he was consulted by the Kennedy administration in the early 1960s to develop the “feed grains farm programs” that helped many family farmers survive during the 1960s and 1970s. Gus also farmed with his family in York and Wabash Townships in northern Darke County and was a true believer in the economic importance of the small family farmer. He helped his two sons, James and John Zumbrink, both lifetime members of Farmers Union, get started in farming. The two brothers continued to farm together until John passed away in May of 2012 and Jim took over the operation with the help of his wife, Diana, and his children, Scott Zumbrink and Dawn Muhlenkamp.

Darke County high school seniors or college freshman who have a membership in the Farmers Union (or have parents or grandparents who are members) are eligible to compete in the local county chapter’s essay contests. This year’s first place winner is Brenna Loxley, daughter of Katrina (Craig) Unger and Shawn Loxley, and granddaughter of Jed and Penny Smith. Brenna will be attending The Ohio State University and majoring in Agriscience Education. Other winners this year were: Audrey Aslinger, daughter of Jason and Karin Aslinger and granddaughter of Bill and Carol Funderburg; John Fischer, son of John and Amanda Fischer and Tom Schmitz, son of Don and Tina Schmitz.

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