FREDERICKTOWN — Mike Jessee of Fredericktown was honored as the 2012 Service Award recipient at the annual Knox County Sheep Improvement Association meeting and banquet Monday.
Jessee was presented the award by his daughter, Dorinda, who is vice president of the association.
Mike and his wife of 28 years, Jenny, farm 62 acres on Mishey Road outside Fredericktown, where they raise 100 head of brood ewes, which include Suffolk cross ewes for club lambs, and natural colored and Oxford ewes for breeding stock. They raise crops and hay to feed and sell, and also own DeeJays Processing in Fredericktown.
Mike is currently president of the Ohio Association of Meat Processors.
DeeJays is a supporter of FFA and 4-H clubs and area groups and clubs. They are also longtime supporters of the Knox County Junior Fair Sale and buyers lunch, where they donate the processing of the lamb for the lunch. They also support other county fairs.
They have two children, Dorinda and Jacob.
Also at Monday’s banquet, Abby Pozderac was named the 2012 Sheep and Lamb Ambassador. She will represent the industry at events around the county and also represent the county at events in other counties.
Keynote speaker for the evening was Henry Zerby, a meat scientist at Ohio State University.
“There is a lot of pressure on agriculture today, we need to know about those pressures and about today’s consumers,” he told the gathering.
“Eighty percent of Americans and Europeans claim to be health conscious,” he said, “But obesity and diabetes are on the rise.”
By 2010, he showed the audience, the obesity rate was over 20 percent in every state in the nation.
He than gave facts and figures for the nutritional value of meat and why “carnivore” is not a dirty word.