The Monroe County Farm Bureau held its annual banquet and Ag Hall of Fame Awards ceremony Saturday at the Monroe County Fairgrounds. The group approved their leadership team for the next year including Terry Maloy, president, Lizzy McGlothlen, vice president, Ed Yarkosky, secretary, Jill Yule, treasurer and Dan Yule, voting delegate.

Mardyll Benson is the women’s chairperson.

Township directors include Tim Kaldenberg (Wayne, Cedar, Jackson), Larry Chidester (Mantua, Pleasant), Don Niebuhr (Franklin, Guilford), Tom Kaldenberg (Bluff Creek, Union), Mardyll Benson (Monroe, Urbana) and Harold Benson (Troy). Directors at large include Donnie Conway, Paul Belzer, Mike Rost, Brent Duey, Bryan Reed and Tyler Crall.

Ag Hall of Fame

Bob and Martha Hoover were inducted into the Monroe County Ag Hall of Fame. Bob was born in Monroe County in 1952, the son of 1990 Ag Hall of Fame inductee, Wilbert and Dorothy Hoover. He was active in 4-H and FFA, attending a National Convention in Kansas City and working with the FFA test plot.

He earned a degree in Farm Mechanics at Indian Hills in 1972 and began farming with his father. He now farms with his son, Joe.

The Hoovers have a cow-calf operation, calving about 130 cows each spring. They also raise corn, soybeans, oats and hay on their 840 acres. They also rent some ground.

Bob was beef superintendent at the Monroe County Fair for many years and continued to support the Albia FFA with its test plots and tractor pulls when his children, Lisa and Joe, were in high school. He is a National FFA Alumni lifetime member and received the Albia FFA Appreciation Award in 1997 and 2002. He was named Monroe County Beef Producer of the Year in 2000 by the Monroe County Cattlemen. He has also served on the FmHA board and is a member of Southern Iowa Vintage Tractor Club.

Martha was born in Mahaska County and grew up in Albia with her parents, the late John A. and Marcella Smith and four brothers. She enjoyed writing for the high school newspaper “The Echoes” and met Bob while working at the King Theater. The couple married in 1976 and she quickly adjusted to farm life, learning to drive the tractors, hauling grain to town and raking hay. She raised orphan calves in the bathtub and basement.

She became one of Albia’s most active volunteers, serving as a room mother starting in 1985 until her children were out of school. She also became involved in 4-H and FFA though her kids, chaperoning for state and national FFA conventions, serving as a 4-H leader for over 10 years, helping with Clover Club and baking pies for FFA and 4-H scholarships.

She helped revive the 4-H Scholarship Baked Goods Sale at the fair. She was awarded the FFA Appreciation Award in 1996 and 2002 and was named an honorary 4-H member. She also sponsors the Outstanding Dog Obedience Award and the Top Beef Record Book at the fall 4-H awards program.

Martha started working with ISU Extension as a substitute in the office and has helped create the Pick-A-Better-Snack Program and Chef Charles for senior citizens.

She also volunteers at Oakwood Nursing and Rehab and started an after school Adopt-A-Grandparent program at Oakwood. She has also been a Monroe County Hospital hospice volunteer. She is also on the Welcome Home Soldier committee.

She and Bob have three grandchildren.

Paul and Nikki Ammons

Paul and Nikki Ammons were inducted to the Ag Hall of Fame. His father, the late Lloyd Ammons, was inducted in 1991, and brother, Alan, was inducted into the Agri-business Hall of Fame in 2012.

He was raised on a farm southwest of Albia to a family of life-long Farm Bureau members. He attended LaMar Country School and graduated in 1970 from Albia Community High School before furthering his education for two years at Indian Hills Community College while beginning his farming career. In 1974 Paul and Nikki were married and the couple bought their first farm in Franklin Township.

Paul has grown his farming operation to include cattle, hogs, soybeans, corn and hay. He worked many years at the Russell Sale Company.

His love of farming started at home where he was a 4-H and FFA member, showing hogs and cattle. He has served as the president of the Monroe County 4-H Committee, the Monroe County Extension Council and was long-time swine superintendent for Monroe County.

He is an active member of the First Christian Church since 1962, serving as a Sunday School teacher, deacon, elder, board chair and vice chair and trustee. He was also a Franklin Township Trustee for many years and is a trustee for the Iconium-Salem Cemtery.

Nikki graduated from ACHS in 1973 and started a 40-year career with Peoples National (later Peoples State) Bank in 1974. She has also been active at First Christian Church, serving as Sunday School teacher, VBS director and deaconess. She is also a long-time member of the church choir. She is currently employed part-time with Boyle and Henderson.

The Ammons have enjoyed a special year, receiving the Century Farm Award at the Iowa State Fair, celebrating family ownership of the farm for 100 years. The couple will celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary in October. The couple have four children, Collette Hoven (Stuart) of Winterset, Ronda (Scott) Reed of Lovilia, Annie (Frank) Tharp of Albia and Luke (Jana) Ammons of Albia. They have 11 children and one great-grandchild.

Outstanding Young Farmer

RJ and Lizzy McGlothlen are this year’s Outstanding Young Farmers. RJ began farming with his parents on a small farm in Mahaska County before moving in the late 1990s to a much larger farm in Monroe County near Avery. He began showing Simmental cattle at a young age and continues to breed and show fine Simmentals.

Lizzy grew up helping her grandfather on his commercial cattle and sheep farm in Decatur County. RJ graduated from Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont in 2006 and earned a degree in ag diesel mechanics from Kirkwood in 2008.

Lizzy graduated from Clarke Community High School in 2009 and graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in ag science with a minor in genetics.

Both were active in 4-H and FFA through high school. RJ competed in Ag Issues at National FFA Convention his senior year and was on the livestock judging team throughout high school. He also served on the Iowa Junior Simmental Board in 2004 and 2005.

Lizzy competed at Iowa FFA State Convention in Conduct of Meetings in 2005 and Parliamentary Procedure in 2006. She was a top fruit sales person twice. Active in music, she participated in numerous honor bands in high school, played in marching band and jazz band and also competed in volleyball.The McGlothlens were married in September of 2017. Today t hey raise and sell Simmental and Simmental/Angus replacement heifers and bulls through the Hawkeye Simmental Sale. RJ started a custom chopping business with his father, Warren, and friend Mike Fisher. Lizzy works for RCIS Crop Insurance as a field claims specialist and also AI’s cattle in her spaire time. They are active in the AgriPower FFA Alumni Chapter and Monroe County Farm Bureau.

Agri-Business of the Year

The Albia Newspapers has been covering agriculture in one form or another since 1862. It is the longest running business in Monroe County, covering the first great farm depression in the 1890s, the creation of the Monroe County Fair when it was near the current hospital and had a horse racing track, the Great Depression in the 1930s, the Alfalfa Banquet and the plowing competitions of the early 1950s, the creation of the new fairgrounds and the farm crisis of the 1980s.

Farm news, particularly the formation of the Farm Bureau and its influence over the past 100 years, has been the staple for the newspaper since it was founded as a pro party of Lincoln and the Union newspaper in the spring of 1862.

Dave Paxton became publisher of the newspaper in 1982. He was raised on a livestock farm in southwest Tama County purchased as a homestead by his family in 1854. His father was a pioneer in farrow-to-finish swine production and built one of the first farrowing houses, pig nurseries and pitted finishing units in Tama County. Dave was a nine-year 4-H member and earned most of his spending money hiring out to other farmers, throwing square bales, castrating hogs and working cattle.

He attended the University of Northern Iowa where he met his wife of 44 years, Jan, and got the newspaper bug. His first full-time job was as farm editor of the Charles City Press. Moving onto Hampton as editor, he produced two special Pork Month editions that included over 70 pages of copy and ads. Moving on to Albia in 1982, he brought along Honorary Chapter Farmer Awards from Charles City and Hampton, eventually receiving his third from the Albia FFA. His first Monroe County Fair was in 1983 and to date he has competed in nine fairs as a 4-Her and covered 43 others in Floyd, Franklin and Monroe Counties. His most difficult ag newspaper writing happened during the years of the farm crisis in the 1980s, writing about friends and neighbors losing their farms or being jammed up by the FDIC, along with three catastrophic droughts. In those years he won numerous state and national awards for ag reporting and editorial writing.

For years he has written and edited fall and spring ag sections, getting to know personally many of the farmers and ag business people in Monroe County.

He was presented the Iowa Newspaper Association Distinguished Service Award in 1996 and was named Master Editor Publisher by the Iowa Newspaper Association in 2003.

He and his wife have three children, Kari, who is in advertising sales and web design at the newspaper, Dr. Katy Dykes, head of physical therapy at Mercy Hospital in Centerville and Ben, who works at Hometown Fabrication in Albia. The Paxtons have been long-time members of Trinity United Methodist Church, are on the King Opera House Board as they restore the theater, have performed in all 35 Restoration Days Follies and Bob Reed Country Music Showcases and enjoy following their two grandchildren in their activities. He was also a Boy Scout leader for over 30 years, coached girls softball for nine years and officiated junior high basketball for 12 years.

He proudly dons the cap he wore as a UNI JV baseball player whenever the Panthers beat Iowa or Iowa State in football or basketball.

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