The Fayette County Cattlefeeders honored the late Albert Bihl during the 2016 Winter Banquet held at the Mahan Building Monday evening.
The program began with a social hour and after a few comments from Cattlefeeders President JL Draganic, the crowd prayed and dinner was served. A New York Strip steak meal, with potatoes, green beans, bread and dessert, was served by The Willow. Once the meal was finished, the 2015 Fayette County Beef Queen, Sydney Miller, crowned the 2016 Beef Queen, McKenzie Riley. Both thanked the community for their support of the beef industry and the 4-H exhibitors in Fayette County.
The guest speaker was Adam Garman, a local whose family is in the beef industry. He brought laughter to the crowd with his interesting stories about his childhood. Garman thanked the crowd and the Cattlefeeders for allowing him the opportunity to speak.
The Distinguished Cattlemen of the Year presentation began with a brief history of Bihl’s life. He was born and raised in Scioto County where he and his older brothers raised shorthorns in the late 1930’s. They showed at the county and state fairs, winning banners at both levels.
In 1956, Bihl purchased 200 acres in Fayette County. Three years later in 1959, he moved his wife, their four children, and 35 registered shorthorns to the farm. His children, Helen, David, Phil and Steve, showed the shorthorns at the local, county and state fairs, where they also won banners. Around 1970, Bihl started cross breeding the shorthorns with several other breeds to increase the frame size and profitability of the cattle. In the late 1970’s, Carol, his youngest daughter, showed the crossbred cattle at the county fair, where she continued the winning tradition.
Bihl was also known for his role as a 4-H advisor for many years for the Lucky Leaf Livestock club, where meetings were held in his basement for some time. As membership grew, the club later moved to the town hall. Today, Bihl’s kids and grandkids carry on his love for cattle, breeding, selling and showing animals of their own. While the shorthorns are long gone, there will be cattle on the farm in Madison Mills for future generations to raise and enjoy.
Bihl’s sons, Steve and David, were on hand to accept the award on their father’s behalf, and members of his family also attended the event.
“The evening went well,” Draganic said after the banquet. “I believe everyone who came out had a great time. We gave away a lot of prizes because of the huge support we had from the community this year. We really appreciate that. We look forward to doing it again every year so we can continue to take what we make here and support those kids in 4-H and all of their livestock projects. We are just trying to give back as much as we can.”
Sponsors for the Cattlemen Banquet were: The Willow Catering, Bluegrass Farms of Ohio, Inc., BJ Cattle Farm, McDonalds and Son, Inc., Fifth Third Bank, Roszmann Family: Queen’s Tiara, Roland LeMaster, CPIA, CIC, Fayette Veterinary Hospital, Farm Credit Services, Parrett Insurance, Reiterman Feed & Supply, Rife Family Show Cattle, JD Equipment, Inc., Valero, Fayette Co. Ducks Unlimited, Gale Black: Queen’s Leather Sash, Leppco, Seed Consultants, Hartley Oil, and Precision Ag.
Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy