Jon Sparks of Hancock County just took office as District 6 director, but that’s not even close to the biggest change in his life this year.
He and his wife, Sarah, are about to have their first child – a son, due right around the time this issue of The Hoosier Farmer goes to press.
Prior to being elected district director last fall, Sparks served as Hancock County Farm Bureau president.
"I got involved as a young farmer, first attending the Young Farmer Conference, then becoming Young Farmer director on our county board,” he said. “I eventually moved on to serve as natural resources director on the county board, then served eight years as county president.”
He farms with his brother-in-law Tim Eischen and his nephew Kyle. He and Eischen took over the farm in 2008 after Sparks’ father died, and they raise 1,300 acres of row crops.
They also have a small cow herd from which they produce Angus show heifers. They’ve recently added a couple of Herefords at Sarah’s request.
He represents District 6 on the INFB board of directors. That district encompasses Delaware, Hamilton, Hancock, Henry, Madison, Marion, Randolph and Wayne counties.
Outside of impending fatherhood and Farm Bureau, Sparks’ other involvement includes serving as president of the Hancock County Beef Producers, on the county Farm Service Agency committee and on the county extension board.
He said that so far, his favorite part of his position is getting to know other people in the organization that he hadn’t had much chance to talk to before.
“Our organization has some great minds, and I like to hear what they are thinking,” he said. “It helps make me think.”