Although renowned agribusiness figure Orion Samuelson had to cancel his appearance at the fifth annual Ag Is Everyone’s Business event scheduled for Friday at Southern State Community College, the show will go on.
Samuelson, who spoke at the inaugural event five years ago, informed the Highland County Chamber of Commerce on Monday that he would not be able to make his appearance this year due to health concerns that required immediate surgery.
Not to worry. A colleague and fellow member of the Agriculture Speakers Network, Mike Pearson, has decided to speak in Samuelson’s stead.
“He’s a friend of Orion’s, so he’s really helping us and helping Orion,” said Maddie Cupp, community relations coordinator for the Chamber, which hosts the event. “He’s spoke at some other places in the area and we’ve heard that he’s a really great speaker, so this should be a great event regardless. We’re really lucky.”
Pearson has been the host of the nationally syndicated “Market to Market” television program since 2012. He was raised in South Central Iowa; attended Simpson College, where he majored in history; and continued to run the family farm south of Winterset, Iowa. After graduation, he moved to Grinnell, Iowa, where he lives with his wife, Heidi. He is a part-time farmer and has experience as a banker with an emphasis on agriculture and residential lending.
Originally, Samuelson planned to give a presentation then open the program up for a question-and-answer session. That will still happen. Pearson will give a presentation, then he and Ohio Department of Agriculture Director David Daniels, a Greenfield native, will invite the guests to ask questions.
In another new development since the event was originally announced, guests will be entered into a raffle upon entry to the event which will qualify them for a chance to win a Stihl chainsaw or one of two toy tractors. The raffle will take place at the end of the event. Guests must be present at the time of the raffle to win.
Previous to the raffle, several pedal tractors will be auctioned to benefit the five Highland County FFA chapters as well as the Friends of 4-H.
Ag is Everyone’s Business will take place this Friday at the SSCC’s Patriot Center in Hillsboro. The doors open at 7:30 a.m. Breakfast will be served from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m., followed by the program. Tickets are $15 and include breakfast. The Chamber said a limited number of tickets are still available.
To purchase tickets, call toll-free at 1-866-967-8167, visit www.thehighlandchamber.com, or call the Chamber offices at 1-937-393-1111.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or on Twitter @13gillilandj.