Joe Yoder Agricultural Award goes to Mike Vallery

Messenger photo by Kristy Zurbrick
London Rotary Club member Matt Doherty (left) and club President Kris Blind (right) congratulate Mike Vallery (second from left) on being named the recipient of this year’s Joe Yoder Agricultural Award. Mike is accompanied by his wife, Laura.

(Posted March 11, 2024)

Every year, the London Rotary Club presents the Joe Yoder Agricultural Award to someone who has made a significant contribution to agriculture in Madison County. This year’s award went to Mike Vallery whose roots in agriculture run deep.

The presentation took place on March 7 at the Madison County Senior Center during the club’s annual Rural Urban Day Breakfast, an event recognizing the partnership between agriculture and business.

Vallery was touched to be named as this year’s honoree.

“I have watched this award be presented to farmers several times over the years and never really saw myself in this position. I am thankful to be included in a great bunch of individuals,” he said

Vallery said he knew from a young age what he wanted to do in life.

“Growing up in the southern part of the county, all I ever wanted to do was farm. I told my third-grade teacher that I could quit school now because I knew everything I needed to know to be a farmer. Of course, she reminded me of that right up to the day I graduated high school,” he said.

Vallery is a graduate of Madison-Plains High School where he was active in vocational agriculture and FFA. He started swine and crop projects his freshman year in high school and later graduated from Clark Tech with an associate’s degree in agriculture. While in college, he also sold feed. After college, he and his father continued farming and picked up a seed dealership with Madison Seed Co.

Vallery married Laura Ferguson in 1993. Together, they have three sons–John, Jacob, and Jarrett–who farm with them. In 2001, Vallery started running his uncle’s insurance agency, helping to protect farmers’ property and crops.

“With the help of his family, Mike has also installed several acres of conservation reserve program waterways on their farms in Madison and Greene counties,” said Rotary member Matt Doherty during the award presentation.

Vallery served on the Madison Soil & Water Conservation District board from 2013 to 2015 and currently serves on the Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association board.

He is a lifelong member of the Farm Bureau. He became active in the 1990s, helping to boost membership. He served as the organization’s president from 2007 to 2010 and currently serves as membership chairman.

In addition to farming, Vallery is a member of the Masonic Lodge in Sedalia and is a lifelong member of Midway Presbyterian Church where he has served as treasurer since 2000.
In accepting the award, Vallery thanked his wife, sons, parents, and the people who help him to run his business for their support.

The Joe Yoder Agricultural Award is named after the late Joe Yoder who was a lifelong farmer and a county commissioner for many years. Yoder was a strong advocate for the well-being of farmers and often spoke up on their behalf. Yoder also was a London Rotary member and believed in the club’s ideal of “service above self.” The award was established in 2008.

Previous award winners:
2008–Randy Miller
2009–Phil Eades
2010–Bob Sommers
2011–Mike Adkins
2012–Autie Howard
2013–Pete Yoder
2014–Robert Higgins
2015–Roger and Jane Snyder
2016–Johnny and Virginia Davison
2017–Mike and Pam Boerger
2018–Bill Young
2019–Dennis Wilt
2022–Dana Snyder
2023–David Peart

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