The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.office
    NEW OFFICES—Fayette village administrator Steve Blue speaks with tax administrator Genna Biddix at the new front desk of the village office. Village council members voted to use budgeted renovation funds targeted for the old office and instead buy the vacant bank building on the corner of Main and Fayette streets. The old office was sold to Sherwood State Bank. When everything is put into place in the spacious new village office, an open house will be scheduled. Council member David Wheeler donated all of his time needed to make changes in the bank interior to fit the Village’s needs.

Four inducted into Ag Hall of Fame 09.01.2010

Written by David Green.

Four Fulton County residents were inducted last month into the Fulton County Agriculture Hall of Fame.

Charles S. Riegsecker

Chuck Riegsecker has been a dairy and crop farmer in Pike Township since 1963. He knows the dairy business from front to back—that is, he worked in the front office of Sterling Dairy Co. as a bookkeeper, and at the back end of a dairy cow, milking for 41 years.

Chuck has been an active promoter of the dairy industry and farming throughout his career. He has been involved with the Fulton County Dairy Stand as a board member, and helped build the first milk shake stand in 1971. He served many years and in many roles as an active member of the Fulton County Dairy Service Unit (now the Fulton County Dairy Association), serving as president from 1989 to 1992.

Chuck has also provided leadership to the Delta Farmers Elevator Board where he served for nine years and also on the Fulton County Extension Advisory Committee. He has also offered his farm to the Delta FFA for Dairy and Soil Judging contest preparation.

He was honored in 1997 as one of Farm Futures “100 Best Managed Farms,” as well as an Ohio Master Farmer. He has also been selected as Honorary Chapter Farmer by the Delta FFA.

James Rufenacht

Jim Rufenacht is a livestock and grain farmer from German Township. He farms in a family partnership and more recently a co-owner of Pettisville Grain. He has been an innovator with a passion for agriculture and a drive to be a good steward of the resources with which he has been entrusted. He views agriculture not just as a career, but as a gift that allows him to do what he loves every day.

Jim is a founding member of the local Steer Feeding Project through the Food Resources Bank which mobilizes and increases the resources needed to support small holder, agricultural food security programs in some of the world's poorest villages. The project has raised more than $125,000 in the past seven years, and he and his wife Linda took a trip to Africa to see this money in action.

Jim is a co-founder of Walt’s House, which helps individuals who have been released from prison return to work and the community with supervision. He also coaches eighth grade basketball.

Jim has provided his leadership to a number of boards and committees in the community including the Farm Credit Advisory Board, Township Zoning Committee, Farm Service Agency, Pettisville FFA Adult Education Committee, and the Pettisville Advisory Committee. He is also a member of several statewide groups including Farm Bureau, Ohio Cattlemen, Ohio Corn Growers and Ohio Soybean Growers, and is a life member of the National and State FFA Alumni.

Jim has been honored with the Mennonite Mutual Journey Award and Honorary FFA Degree from Pettisville FFA.

He is willing to share his knowledge and has hosted several high school classes leading discussions about farming and helping students better understand the business of farming.

Randy Crowl

Randy Crowl has provided leadership to the Delta FFA program for more than 29 years. The agriculture education program at Delta High School has steadily increased over the years to reach more than 100 students annually. Randy’s agricultural teaching and personal example have encouraged many students to further their education and remain in Ohio, becoming leaders in their community.

Since 1980, under Randy’s leadership, the Delta FFA program has had 155 District placing judging teams including 34 top-10 placing teams at the state level; 16 top-5 placing teams; four state placing envirothon teams; and one eastern state regional placing team. The program has also ptoduced 12 State FFA Degrees and nine American Degrees.

Jerry McDonnall

Jerry McDonnall has been an active farmer in the Delta area for more than 43 years. Commodities grown on the farm include corn, soybeans and tomatoes, plus a vegetable harvester business. The farming operation has adopted and adapted many technologies over the years, keeping the farm growing and improving. Much of this information has readily been shared with farmers throughout the area.

Jerry has been a member of Farm Bureau, his local Farm Bureau Council, and has served on the Fulton County Farm Bureau Board. In 2005, Jerry was honored with an Honorary Chapter Farmer award from the Delta FFA chapter.

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