Chamber of Commerce announces Ag HOF inductees

LIMA —The Lima/Allen County Chamber of Commerce announced this year’s inductees into the Allen County Agricultural Hall of Fame Wednesday.

Ray Dorley and Ray Dorley, Jr. of Keystone Meats, agricultural broadcaster Gary Jackson, Ron Spencer and H.G. Violet, Inc. will all be enshrined at the banquet at 6 p.m. July 27 at the Veterans Memorial Civic and Convention Center in Lima.

“We’re very excited to announce these inductees,” chair for the Chamber’s agribusiness committee Russ Decker said. “Agriculture is the number one industry in Allen County, as well as the state of Ohio. It is the backbone of where we live and being able to recognize these four inductees as some of the legacy players in setting us up for success in our community and business is really neat.”

Decker said that families will really enjoy seeing their parents and grandparents recognized for their lifetime of dedication and that, with the new permanent hall of fame coming to Allen County Farm Park, they will get the chance to remember them far into the future with interactive videos that will be accessed by scanning QR codes at the venue.

But the banquet will be the first opportunity to learn what it takes to reach this summit.

“I think the common denominator in all 33 inductees is an extremely strong work ethic,” Decker said. “They survived the good times and bad times and a lot of times they were very innovative on how they kept their farm or their business operating. I think that’s a lesson anyone can learn whether in farming or not.”

And for anyone looking to emulate their success, Decker’s advice was simple: talk to them.

“If I was an upstart farmer today, I’d love to go out and have a conversation with any of these people about their business, how they got started, how they made it through the tough times and how they survived,” he said. “Because agriculture is so critical. Everybody has to eat and it’s not a simple thing to make sure that the grocery store shelves are full.”

Anyone interested can get the chance to meet them by purchasing tickets from the Chamber today by either visiting its website or in-person location at 144 S. Main St., Lima.

“It’s a really nice affair at the Civic Center,” Decker said. “It’s a catered banquet and the program itself is just the induction and then everyone will learn a lot about agriculture that night. It’s open to anyone to attend and share in the celebration.”

100 percent of all ticket sales for the event will go toward the Allen County Junior Fair.

Reach Jacob Espinosa at 567-242-0399.