Some time ago, Evelyn Butler from Vienna gave me an updated history of a group in Trumbull County called the Young Agriculturists Farm Bureau Advisory Council. One of 12 such councils in the county, this is one of the first ones, organized in 1939.
Evelyn was one of the charter members of this council and at that time her name was Evelyn Kibler. Another charter member was Duane Butler from Vienna. He and Evelyn were married in 1940.
I'm not sure if matchmaking was one of the purposes of that council, but in 1940 there were four weddings in the group. In addition to Evelyn and Duane, they included Ralph Butler and Ruth Beacheler, Nathan Lynn and Edna Mealy and Edgar Mealy and Norma Rosser.
An early history of the council was written by Margaret Mealy, one of the founding members, along with her husband, William. Evelyn Butler updated it in 2005. At 93 years old, Evelyn continues as an active member of the group and currently serves as secretary.
Margaret's early history says that along with weddings and new members, they were busy with growing families, with about 20 babies joining the group as time went along.
Today, the Young Agriculturist Advisory Council continues with a much smaller and older group of members. Now, they are all grandparents and great-grandparents. They have considered changing the name from ''Young'' but feel they are ''young'' at heart and will keep the name.
Farm Bureau Advisory Councils were formed to provide an opportunity for farm and rural folks to get together to discuss issues of interest to them. The Ohio Farm Bureau over the years has provided discussion materials that councils can use, or the groups can discuss local issues or concerns that are of interest, and in many cases, local concerns provide lively discussions.
In addition, councils suggest policies for action by the County Farm Bureau Board and the Ohio and American Farm Bureaus. They also have provided many social and recreational opportunities for the members. Taking an active part in county and regional programs has also been an important part of council activities.
Councils have supported many important local and county programs. During World War II, they worked hard to provide food and other essential materials for the war effort and encouraged careful use of scarce materials.
Margaret Mealy's early history of the Young Agriculturist Advisory Council and Evelyn Butler's continued history document many accomplishments by individual council members. One outstanding example is the leadership Duane Butler gave for many years to help artificial insemination of dairy cattle become established in Trumbull and Ashtabula counties. Later it grew to be a statewide and now national organization. Many other examples could be highlighted.
While the histories don't say this, I am aware of the long days Duane spent locally and in Columbus working on the AI program, and Evelyn and the children would take the time to get cows milked and chores done.
Back in 1913, a group known as the Trumbull County Improvement Association, formed by some leading farmers, organized to get a County Agricultural Agent in the county. The purpose was to teach farmers how to improve their productivity and market their products. Trumbull County was the second county in the state to have an Agricultural Agent, who was M.C. Bugby.
Improvement associations across the state later joined together to become the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation.
Today's Young Agriculturist Council membership includes along with Evelyn Butler, Diane Butler from Johnson, Jerry and Francis Wildman from Gustavas, Richard Smith from Green, Dale and Ruth Parker of North Bloomfield, Walter Trumbull of Fowler, Carol Bates from Mesopotamia, and Betty and I from Jefferson. We would welcome new members to join our group, so if you are interested in agricultural and rural Trumbull County, call the Farm Bureau Office in Orwell or write to me care of the Tribune Chronicle.
We meet at noon the second Friday of each month for lunch followed by our meeting and discussion. Sometimes we change our meetings to take part in the county Farm Bureau annual meeting or Strawberry Festival.
We enjoy our fellowship and discussions!
Parker grew up in Trumbull County, is retired from Ohio State University and is an independent writer for the Tribune.