Standing in the kitchen on his 200-acre farm in rural Avilla, you can see the love Noble REMC Director Larry Ott has for his family and his livelihood raising show cattle.
The walls of his home are lined with photos of his four children and nine grandchildren with their champion cattle at the Indiana State Fair and beyond. It’s something he takes pride in and now exclusively sells his calves to 4-H’ers to continue giving back.
Though he didn’t initially know his career would translate to the co-op world, his commitment to hard work and community shine through in his service to Noble REMC the past five years.
Let’s learn more about Larry:
WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO RUN FOR THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS?
“Well, years ago there was an opening, and I was asked if I would be interested. Which I didn’t know I was interested,” he said with a laugh. “I just never even gave it a thought. One thing led to another, so I decided to go ahead and run — and I’m glad I did. It’s worked out well. I enjoy the people and the organization. It’s easy to take the REMC for granted, just knowing it’s always there. But now, you know the nuts and bolts of the organization.”
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART OF SERVING THE CO-OP?
“One of my favorite things was learning how it all works. Like I said, I had no idea before. With all the training courses that you take and experience on the board, you just gain knowledge over time. And then, people in the community ask you questions, so we try to answer their questions and make sure everything is running smooth in their eyes.”
WHAT’S SOMETHING MEMBERS MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT YOUR ROLE AS A DIRECTOR?
“I get emails every day of the week. You’re always reading and learning and studying and broadening your knowledge. I mean, literally, every day of the week you can read and learn something.”
WHAT’S YOUR CAREER OUTSIDE OF THE CO-OP AND HOW DOES IT HELP YOU AS A DIRECTOR?
“For 30 years, I worked at Dana in Fort Wayne, and I’ve always farmed and raised livestock. The kids were in 4-H, so we went to a lot of 4-H shows. Then, I started driving a school bus. This year is my 20th year driving a bus. I’m trying to retire, but they wouldn’t let me last spring because they’re so shorthanded.
“It helps me to know so many people. I know their kids. I’ve hauled them for 20 years, you know. We’re getting into another generation of kids now, so I see them and I know them. If they have a concern, it’s probably the same concerns I have. And that might not be earth-shattering, but it’s kind of the way it is.”
TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAMILY.
“My wife and I have been married for 51 years, and we bought this farm the same day our first daughter was born. We bought the farm in the morning, went out for dinner and had our baby in the afternoon.”
WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF IN YOUR LIFE?
“The kids and grandkids.”
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE MOVIE?
“Anything that John Wayne’s in.”
WHAT KIND OF MUSIC DO YOU LIKE TO LISTEN TO?
“Country and western. I didn’t know there’s any other kind.”
WHAT ARE YOU WATCHING ON TV?
“‘Yellowstone’ is our favorite to watch. We try not to miss any of them.”
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE LOCAL RESTAURANT?
“More locally, it’s probably Brevin’s in ‘Busco (Churubusco).”