Robin Beekman and Larry Mayer are the two newest inductees into the Fayette County Ag Hall of Fame.
The 19th initiation was held at a Thursday evening dinner at the Mahan Building on the Fayette County Fairgrounds.
Beekman, who graduated from Miami Trace High School, was described as a “dedicated community volunteer, entrepreneur and agricultural advocate.”
Robin lives at 10176 Haigler Road, Bloomingburg with her husband, Gary, of almost 40 years. They have two sons Jayson, 32 and Jonathon, 29. The rest of Beekman’s family includes Jayson’s wife Kelli and step-grandson Tommy.
Robin is the daughter of Charles and Charline Cunningham. Her dad was a farmer and worked for Heinz Grain Elevator for 33 years.
Robin is an all-around caring person. She works very hard for her community. She has been very active in many local and statewide organizations. She has been a florist and farm wife for almost 40 years. She has owned her own business “Robin’s Nest Flowers and Gifts” for 27 years.
Robin helped start Children’s Meals in Jeffersonville. She is very active in the Jeffersonville United Methodist Church where she has served and fixed Sunday meals, served on mission committee, helped bake numerous cookies for Kairos weekends, helped with the night in Bethlehem, back to school block party, collected school supplies for area children and helped with the Halloween party at Grace UMC.
Robin has served as part of the Fayette County Farm Bureau Board of Directors. She has served as president, vice president, secretary, policy development, communications, membership and has planned the annual meeting for several years. She has received her 35-year service award from the Farm Bureau. She has served on the Farm Bureau’s state judging team to seek out outstanding members from across the state. She has help conduct leadership and training meetings with the local and state farm bureau organizations. She nominated Bill Diley for outstanding leader/educator for the Ohio Farm Bureau and he won. She has served numerous cookies and apple cider, on behalf of Farm Bureau, at local elevators over the years to area farmers during harvest. Even today, Robin is very active in the local and state farm bureau activities and events.
Robin has served as the Chamber of Commerce Board Chairperson twice. She served as chairperson for the Christmas parade and collected food for local food pantries. Robin has received the Red Cross Community Service Award and is a member of Jeffersonville Community Association. She has served on the Board of Elections and has served as chairperson for the Board of Zoning Appeals. Robin has served as an active member for the Republican Central Committee of Fayette County and was even a delegate at the Republican National Convention when it was held in New York City. Robin is a Future Farmers of America alumni and has received the honorary FFA member award. She has also collected stuffed bears for the police department and sheriff’s office to give children in tough situations. This is not to mention the numerous hours Robin has spent as an active member of the Jr. Fair Livestock Sales Committee for the Fayette County Fair.
Robin has served her Fayette County community well. There is nothing she hasn’t done to promote farming and agriculture as a way of life in Fayette County.
Larry Mayer, a Miami Trace High School graduate, was described as a “hardworking leader of his family, farm, machinery business, and youth supporter.”
He has been a Fayette County resident most of his life and graduated from Miami Trace High School in 1972. Larry married his wife Susie (Evans) on Feb. 7, 1981. They have three children, Kathy, Dale and Chris. The remainder of their family includes Kathy’s husband, Mike Krol, Chris’ wife Dana and grandson Tobin Krol.
Larry grew up around agriculture and the farm machinery business. Larry’s father, Al, started in the used farm machinery business in 1948. In the late 1950s Al started as a new equipment dealer carrying Allis Chalmers, New Holland, and New Idea along with his used machinery business. During this time the family lived behind the dealership and as a result Larry grew up in the business. Al sold the new machinery part of his business in the mid-60s. He then moved his family to Fayette County to farm and continue in the used farm machinery business. His used machinery business began to grow.
Al had four sons, and all showed an interest in the business. Larry, along with his three brothers, began helping while still in high school. Al retired in 1984 and Larry and his brother, John and a brother-in-law, continued the used business, plus started a new Deutz Allis dealership in 1985. In 2003, Larry decided to relocate the business to an 11-acre site at the intersection of State Route 41 and I-71 near Jeffersonville. Also, in 2003, Larry’s son Chris started full-time and Dale followed in 2005. Larry and Dale are part of the sales staff and Chris is currently service manager. Today, the business includes sales of farm equipment in North America and exports to foreign countries. Mayer Farm Equipment is a $20 million company with over 20 employees staffing a full line of sales, service, parts and delivery to its customers adding considerably to the area’s economy. At the present time, the business has been turned over to sons Chris and Dale who are the official owners, but Larry still works every day. The growth and success of Mayer Farm Equipment over the years are a testament to the hard work of the Mayer family.
Outside of the business, Larry has a commendable community service record. Larry is actively involved in Ohio Eastern Star, Jefferson Chapter #300. He joined OES in 1996 and the lodge in 1991. OES offices held include associate patron, worthy patron, chaplain, and one-plus years as trustee. Other positions included OESH Trustee Building Committee and Chair of Gallagher and Hamilton Project. Larry has been master of Jeffersonville Lodge three times and has been treasurer since 2000. He has also served as treasurer of the 8th District Grand Masters Fund for 14 years. He has received the Martha Wagner Community Service Award and is currently an ambassador for The Valley of Columbus. He is also the current president of the Fayette Co. MRDD Board and has volunteered considerable time and effort to MRDD programs.
Regarding agriculture, Larry has been active in all groups he has joined or elected to usually serving as an officer or trustee. He has worked on the Clinton County Corn Festival as committee member and chairman several times. He has served on a National Dealer Panel for AGCO Corp. for five years representing 275 dealers. In addition, Larry is one of six original founders of the Buckeye Allis Club of Ohio, Inc. organized in 1995. He belongs to several tractor clubs locally and nationally and has an extensive collection of farm related equipment and antique tractors. Larry has been very supportive of the area’s youth mainly thru FFA, 4-H, and the Fayette Co. Junior Fair. He has served as a director of the Fayette Co. Fair Board, plus several other FFA and 4-H committees and was awarded an Honorary State FFA Degree.
As owner of Mayer Farm Equipment, Larry has purchased hundreds of area Jr. Fair livestock sale animals usually staying to the end of the sale to do his best to ensure all exhibitors received a fair price. Larry has always had a soft heart for children, especially around Christmas.