2021 Fulton County Agricultural Hall of Fame Inductees Announced
Eric Richer, OSU Extension, Fulton County
WAUSEON – The 2021 inductees to the Fulton County Agricultural Hall of Fame were recently announced by the Ohio State University Extension Office and Hall of Fame selection committee. The purpose of the Hall of Fame is to recognize selected farmers or agribusiness leaders from our county who have committed over 25 years or more of service to the agricultural industry in our county, state, or region. Since 1983, there have been 39 classes totaling 156 honorees that have been inducted into the Fulton County Agricultural Hall of Fame. Inductees were selected by the Hall of Fame Committee in August after all applications have been reviewed. This year’s inductees were announced at a ceremony on Monday, August 23rd at St Caspers Catholic Church in Wauseon. The inductees will have a permanent plaque hung in their honor at the Fulton County Fairgrounds. Each honoree will receive an identical plaque for their home, thanks to the 2021 James & Hazel Figy.
The 2021 Fulton Agricultural Hall of Fame inductees are Dale Creager, Pam Kurfiss, Neil Rupp, and Keith Truckor.
Dale Creager has been committing his time to Fulton County agriculture for over 60 years on his swine and grain farm in Wauseon. Dale took over the family farm from his father Alvin in 1960 and never looked back. As a third-generation farmer, he became a leader in the swine industry as a farrow-to-finish pig producer, selling high quality seedstock for over 20 years before focusing more on show pigs in recent years. Dale’s overarching goal was to keep the family farm in the family, extending to the fourth and now fifth generation as Creager Family Farm and Show Pigs. Dale is regarded as an excellent grain farmer in his community and works closely with his farm service center to evaluate new products that may add value to other farmers’ operations.
Dale continues to be a big believer in our local youth and the junior fair program at the county and state fair. Selling seedstock and show pigs to local families and youth was one way that Dale re-invested in the community. In more than one occasion, he has been instrumental in helping young farmers get their start in grain and/or livestock farming in this community.
Dale has been very involved in the Fulton County and Wauseon community throughout his life. Dale continues to be a generous supporter of the Fulton County Fair in many aspects. He and his family have coordinated the Pork Producers’ Stand at the fair for a day for more than 4 decades, frying up sausage sandwiches loved by all. Creager Family Farms continues to provide $100 scholarships to all age division winners of the swine show, a gesture started over 15 years ago. Not only did he support the showmanship winners, but you could always find him in the sale arena supporting the Fulton County youth 4-H projects. He is also actively involved in helping to make improvements around the fairgrounds throughout the year, including planting trees and supporting capital improvement projects like Spangler Arena and the improved show pig arena. While fair was a huge part of Dale’s time spent in the community, he also is very active in supporting Wauseon Schools, whether it was sporting events, athletic boosters or the local FFA chapter.
Dale is described as a hard worker and a goal setter, who was willing to help out where needed. Dale is a successful farmer because of his high expectations, hard work, conservative approach, and excellent stewardship of the land. Dale and his loving wife Bonnie have been married for 58 years and continue to live on the family farm in York Township today.
Pam Kurfiss has made an outstanding impact in the Fulton County agriculture community through her 40-year career in support of the OSU Extension 4-H youth development program. If you have been a county 4-Her in the last 40 years, Pam has likely been involved in your agricultural youth development.
Pam grew up on the Schaechterle family farm in Delta, raising commercial laying hens. She started working at the Ohio State Cooperative Extension Service office as a high school senior and has been providing support and service of agricultural and 4-H programs ever since. She has dedicated her life’s work to delivering the land grant university’s mission in the county. Pam is always willing to lead projects, answer questions at the counter, on the phone or through email. While she is too humble to admit, she prides herself on responsive and accurate customer service all while wearing a smile. Clients return to get answers from Extension because of her ability to answer questions with confidence, accuracy, and ease.
She has organized the efforts of the sale trailer for the Junior Fair Livestock sale for over 30 years. This has been a direct benefit to youth showing junior livestock projects. During the fair, she has also provided support to help organize the Women’s Day on Wednesdays. Through all her efforts, she truly has demonstrated the value of the agricultural industry in our county.
Pam is a member of Revelation Rock Church in Pettisville and has been a Sunday School teacher there. She is a volunteer Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) with the Lyons/Royalton Township Fire Department, where she volunteers alongside her husband Rod as well as with their son Jarod. Pam provides the office support for the OSU Extension Advisory Committee and made significant contributions to the 2015 & 2019 Breakfast on The Farm events. In the community, she has also volunteered numerous hours at Pike-Delta-York School in the last 30 years and has been a 4-H volunteer for their club.
Pam has the willingness to help with any task that is needed. She is tremendously patient, slow to anger, honest, generous, compassionate, and well organized. One of Pam’s most admirable traits is her ability to adapt and adjust to change while still thriving in her work.
Neil Rupp is being recognized for his lifetime career in Fulton County agribusiness at the Pettisville Grain Company (PGC). Neil is no stranger to local farmers and is a huge supporter of the local communities in which he lives and conducts business.
Neil began working at Pettisville Grain in 1970 at age 16. His 50-year career with the company has led him through all positions at the business from grain unloader to buyer and now, president and part-owner. As president, Neil oversees 4 locations and has led large expansion projects at the Pettisville and Delta locations, including a feed mill upgrade and a 50% larger grain truck fleet. His management efforts have tripled PGC’s footprint and doubled its grain volume. Through PGC, he also manages a contract hog and cattle feeding division of the business. In US Executive Business magazine interview, Neil indicated he oversees 22 employees and serves 300 farmers. His down-to-earth approach is appreciated by grain sellers and feed buyers alike. Neil once told a group of young farmers “I’m currently the president of the company, but I’ve also plugged and unplugged the grain leg several times”.
Neil is very passionate about advocating for agriculture. He regularly gives tours of the grain elevator and talks about marketing to agriculture students, farmers, and the public. Through PGC, he is a tremendous supporter of the junior fair skillathons and livestock auction, supporting first-year youth as well as champions. He has met with elected officials regarding crop disasters and new laws that would be detrimental to small agribusiness. In 2011, he worked closely with Ohio Agribusiness Association, state and federal elected officials, and fellow independent grain elevators, to re-write the Commercial Activity Tax (CAT) exempting in-state grain sales of the tax and bringing value to other small grain companies in the state.
Neil is very active in the community outside of agriculture as well. He has been a National, State and Local FFA Alumni member since 1993 as a founding member of the Pettisville FFA Alumni Association. He is active in the Archbold Evangelical Church, Pettisville School Foundation, Everence Giving Tuesday, and Youth For Christ. In 2015 Neil became involved with missions in Zimbabwe, Africa, where his family supports an after-school Bible program, Home for Hope Orphanage and a micro loan program for small agribusinesses.
Neil is regarded as generous to the community, frugal and wise with company finances, and committed to promoting agriculture through helping farmers succeed. Neil and his wife Faith live in German Township and have raised three adult children.
Keith Truckor has been working in agriculture for 39 years as a grain farmer in Metamora and agricultural advocate through Ohio Farm Bureau, Ohio Corn Marketing Board and Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association.
Keith returned to Fulton County after graduating in agribusiness from Ohio State University in 1984. He has been farming and working in agribusiness ever since. In agribusiness, Keith worked several years as an agricultural lender and commercial credit analyst with Huntington National Bank before working seven years at the Metamora Elevator as a grain buyer and credit manager. Keith is a licensed commodity broker and leverages those skills as a successful farmer and grain marketer today.
Keith developed his agricultural advocacy voice as 10-year 4-H member and FFA member at Evergreen High School. He has since been the Fulton County Farm Bureau president for two years before becoming the Ohio Farm Bureau District One State Trustee from 1998-2013. During this term, Keith also served as the treasurer. Keith has been a member of the Ohio Corn Marketing Board and Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association since 2013. Keith has chaired the Ohio Corn Marketing Board for a 3-year term and currently serves as an Ohio delegate to the US Grains Council and US Poultry and Egg Export Council. He is also an active member of the Ohio Soybean Association and has most recently advocated for practical water quality practices for agriculture and municipalities. Keith openly gives farm tours to elected officials to help them understand the economic impact and environmental stewardship that takes place at the farmgate. He has also participated in several trade missions to China, Vietnam, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan on behalf of Ohio farmers.
Keith is a man who is committed to the Fulton County, Amboy Township and Metamora communities. He represents Farm Bureau on the Fulton County Economic Development Corporation. He has served on the pastoral council at Holy Trinity Catholic Church. Keith has been active in Evergreen Local Schools as Athletic Boosters President and by coaching softball and basketball.
Keith is an agricultural leader, educator, and advocate. He is committed to local agriculture and his family. Keith with his wife Kimberly have raised two adult children in Amboy Township.
Also recognized at Monday’s in-person ceremony were the 2020 Agricultural Hall of Fame inductees including Trish P. Andre (posthumously), Jerry A. Borton, Dean A. Genter, and Jill M. Stechschulte. These inductees were recognized a year ago in newsprint and on social media due to Covid-19.
Congratulations to these inductees into the 2020 and 2021 Fulton County Agricultural Hall of Fame! For pictures of this year’s event and the Ag Hall of Fame application, visit www.fulton.osu.edu and visit the Fulton OSUE Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages for a brief Hall of Fame video.