Five inducted into hall of recognition

Five people were inducted into Seneca County Agricultural Hall of Recognition Monday.

This year’s recipients are Walter and Mary Hoepf, Evan and Betty Wertz, and Thomas Willman, according to Seneca County Farm Bureau.

Walter Hoepf has been involved in production agriculture for 65 years, starting as a child and working the fields beside his father, and served his country during World War II in Italy, according to his nomination application.

The Hoepfs of Republic purchased their first farm in 1958, raised sheep, hogs, turkeys, dairy cows and children, and grew corn, wheat and beans. They added two farms, and Walter Hoepf continued to farm until he retired at 75 years old in 2000.

The Hoepfs still live on the home farm and have been married nearly 73 years, the application states.

They raised 15 children and had 39 grandchildren, 56 great-grandchildren with two on the way and one great-great-grandchild at the time the application was submitted.

Evan, who was honored posthumously, and Betty Wertz raised livestock and were grain farmers.

Evan Wertz was a Farmer’s Mutual insurance agent and was a lifelong Seneca County resident and farmer. The homestead has been part of the family since the mid 1800s, according to the nomination application.

Betty Wertz also was a lifelong Seneca County resident and managed the Hopewell-Loudon School cafeteria for 15 years. She grew up in Tiffin before moving to Bascom with her new husband in 1946, it states.

They have two daughters, five grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.

Willman of Attica has been involved in production agriculture and agricultural business for more than 53 years.

According to his application, he was a dairy farmer since his birth in 1944 until he sold his herd of dairy cattle in 1984. He continued in beef cattle and crop farming until he retired in 2015 and was a Pioneer Seed sales representative for 37 years.

He and his wife, Marilyn, have been married since 1964, and he has four children and two grandchildren.