Farmers' Night at Cedarville university

Celebrating Common Ground


by Gabe Chester

Cedarville University practices living out the Gospel through an annual event aimed at loving its neighbors. For the university, those neighbors are farmers from the fields surrounding Cedarville.

This year’s event, set for Friday, Feb. 22, at 5:30 p.m., is by invitation only, and is expected to include more than 200 guests. Speakers for the night include Dr. Thomas White, president of Cedarville University; Dr. Bob Paris, associate professor of biology; and Phil and Mandy Shaffer, this year’s featured farming family from Cygnet, Ohio.

Farmers Night is a unique and inveterate tradition at Cedarville where farm families, primarily from Greene County, as well as agricultural businesses, are invited to campus to enjoy dinner and entertainment.

White will share recent news, activities and events at Cedarville University and give a status update on the university. Paris will share successes of the pre-agriculture and pre-veterinary science programs at Cedarville, and the Shaffers will talk about faith, farming and family. All four of the of the Shaffers’ children have attended Cedarville, and one way the Shaffers give back to the university is by gifting grain from their harvest, which evidences a unique way to give.

Entertainment for the evening features Joe Mullins and The Radio Ramblers, a local bluegrass band and a crowd favorite. Vision Investment Planning of Raymond James is sponsoring the event.

This unusual friendship was started by Dr. Paul Dixon, former president and current chancellor of Cedarville University, in the 1980s.

While invitations were already sent out, all farmers are welcome to attend; those farmers that did not receive an invitation may RSVP through Cedarville’s website and will be more than welcome. The evening centers on the biblical ideal of being good neighbors and loving those around you. “We’re just trying to create a dinner where farmers and those in the community can come in and feel appreciated by Cedarville,” said Alathea de Almeida, development administrator and event manager at Cedarville University.

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,193 undergraduate, graduate and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings. For more information about the University, visit