Mark O’Neill, Media and Strategic Communications Director

510 S. 31st Street , Camp Hill, PA 17001  717.761.2740 Email • @pfbmediaone

For Immediate Release:  June 4, 2019


(Washington D.C.) – Pennsylvania Farm Bureau (PFB) topped all state Farm Bureau’s by earning seven communications awards, including the prestigious Dave Lane Award for Media Relations Excellence, during the American Farm Bureau Federation’s (AFBF) Communications Conference in Washington D.C.


The Dave Lane Award for Media Relations Excellence was presented to Mark O’Neill, PFB’s Director of Media and Strategic Communications. The award spotlights the state Farm Bureau that does the best job of building and maintaining working relationships with members of the news media. The judge cited the impressive breath of coverage of Farm Bureau events and news stories.


O’Neill also received the award for Best Media Relations Event for his planning and implementation of the President’s News Conference during PFB’s 68th Annual Meeting. The news conference focused on how low commodity prices, retaliatory trade tariffs and tremendously wet weather conditions resulted in an extremely challenging 2018 for farmers across Pennsylvania. The judge said the “perfect storm” was the perfect hook that caught the media’s attention.


PFB’s Country Focus newspaper earned the top honor in the category of Best Newspaper or E-newsletter, with credit going to Joel Rotz, Lorraine Potochney-Kobold, Liam Migdail, Bill Zeiders, Holly Cohick and Kim Flegal. Meanwhile, Migdail and Zeiders were recognized for Best Member/Leader Newsletter for “Farm Bureau Express,” which is an electronic newsletter sent to PFB members every two weeks.


PFB was cited with several writing awards, including Best Single Blog Item, Editorial or Column, which was co-written by Migdail and Darrin Youker and Best News Story for Migdail. The winning story focused on the problems farmers and other rural residents are facing due to the lack of reliable high-speed internet service.


In the category of Best Unique Tactic or Execution, four PFB staff members were recognized, including Potochney-Kobold, Migdail, Cohick and Tonya Wible. The judge said the “Positively4Kids!” insert had an engaging layout and design and invited readers to explore and problem solve.


Pennsylvania participated in the under 80,000-member division, while Texas earned four awards to lead the 80,000-member and higher division.


Pennsylvania Farm Bureau is the state’s largest farm organization,
representing farms of every size and commodity across Pennsylvania.