COLUMBUS – The Ohio Agricultural Council is set to honor four individuals who have dedicated their lives to working in and promoting Ohio’s farm community. On Friday, Aug. 4, Kenneth D. Davis of Leesburg, Terry McClure, of Grover Hill, Thomas Menke, of Greenville, and Dr. Don Sanders, of Urbana will be inducted into the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame, an esteemed recognition of their contributions to the agricultural industry.
“It gives us great pleasure to acknowledge this outstanding group of Hall of Fame inductees,” said Chris Henney, president of the Ohio Agricultural Council and president and CEO of the Ohio AgriBusiness Association. “Their commendable contributions to the agricultural industry, including advocacy, mentorship, leadership, and conservation efforts, have garnered recognition at the local, state, national and international levels.”
In its 57th year, the annual event is typically attended by over 600 guests who gather to honor the inductees for their lifetime of service and dedication to Ohio’s agriculture community. With the induction of these four individuals, the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame will have honored 249 recipients since its inception in 1966.
Menke has been providing advice to Ohio livestock and crop farmers for over 40 years in areas such as animal nutrition, nutrient management, and livestock environmental permitting. Menke started his career at the Ohio Agriculture Research and Development Center South Charleston Branch after completing his BS in Biology. He later joined Brookside Labs Inc. in New Knoxville, Ohio, and worked as an independent consultant, offering soil testing services to farmers in Western Ohio. Menke’s client base grew rapidly as he showed farmers how to reduce fertilizer use, improve yields, and enhance herd health. He later became a sought-after livestock and environmental consultant, and worked with various organizations, state agencies, and commodity groups over the course of his career.
Menke has voluntarily served on committees and worked with various state agencies, shaping agriculture and environmental rules, laws, and policies. He has also worked with Ohio commodity organizations, developing manure brokerage services and organizing poultry manure auctions. Menke has made international trips to China and Japan to promote Ohio agriculture and provide nutrient management expertise.
Menke has a thoughtful and helpful personality and speaks from his extensive experience. He is known for mentoring interns and other consultants, and for sponsoring new consultants around the world. His ability to help people and his calm demeanor have made him a sought-after livestock and environmental consultant and agriculture advocate for more than four decades.
“Doc” Sanders’ impact has been felt across various areas of agriculture both locally in Ohio and across the globe. After graduating from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1968, Don Sanders established a veterinary practice in Champaign County, Ohio, with his wife Judy that focused on large and small animal care while also farming. He wrote books on dairy and swine management that were translated into multiple languages and consulted in several countries. Later, he joined the faculty at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine for eight years before retiring from practice. He has since authored several more books and continues consulting and expert witness work.
Dr. Sanders has received various awards and honors for his work alongside his wife in veterinary medicine and agriculture, including being named “National Hospital of the Month” by Veterinary Economics Journal and being recognized as a top bovine veterinarian by The Bovine Practitioner Journal. His expertise and work have also been honored in Japan, China, Russia, and South Korea.
Locally, many people in across Ohio have been positively influenced by Sanders, making him a true difference maker. In addition, there are veterinarians around the world who have been taught by Sanders in not only veterinary medicine, but also how to live
a balanced life and make a positive impact on the world around them.