Country Life

Students create statewide Food for Thought Challenge

By Matt Reese Tests, homework, sports, grades, friends, peer pressure, jobs — today’s students have pretty full plates that unfortunately do not often include consideration of the food that is on them. With deteriorating health in many segments of U.S. society, efforts are being made to bring nutrition closer to the forefront for students. A [...]

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USDA invites applications for renewable energy projects

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA is seeking applications to provide assistance to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to complete a variety of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Funding is available from USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) authorized by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Farm Bill). “Renewable [...]

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USDA announces greater flexibility and additional tools for beginning farmers

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Bruce Nelson announced a new rule that expands loan opportunities for beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, while also establishing a new Land Contract Guarantee Program. The rule provides additional flexibility allowing FSA loan officers to consider all prior farming experience, including on-the-job training [...]

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Invasive hemlock pest discovered in southern Ohio

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) announced the discovery of a hemlock-killing pest in southeast Ohio. Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) is a small, aphid-like insect native to Asia that threatens the health and sustainability of eastern hemlock and Carolina hemlock in the eastern United States. HWA was [...]

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Foodborne illness a costly problem

The cost of foodborne illness in the United States is now estimated to be up to $77.7 billion a year, according to an analysis by Ohio State University researcher Robert Scharff. Although the new estimate, published in the January 2012 issue of the Journal of Food Protection, is a significant reduction from the researcher’s initial [...]

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More on possible USDA office closures in Ohio

By Matt Reese On January 9, Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA would be restructuring the department to meet budget restrictions. Part of that plan calls for the consolidation and closure of offices across the country. In Ohio those offices include: Animal Plant Health Inspection Service, APHIS, in Bowling Green, Wood County Agriculture Research [...]

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No-till is a solution and a problem for phosphorus loss

By Matt Reese It seems that, with regard to the phosphorus problems in Lake Erie and other bodies of water, no-till is part of the solution and part of the problem. Lake Erie was once known around the world for its pollution and water quality problems, but in the 1970s, farmers and industry teamed up [...]

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Funding applications for wetlands accepted until Feb. 10

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Ohio State Conservationist Terry Cosby announced the availability of Wetlands Reserve Enhancement Program (WREP) funding to enter into agreements with eligible partners to carry out high priority wetland protection, restoration and enhancement activities on eligible lands. “Nationally, up to $17 million is available through General WREP for wetlands restoration [...]

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Cargill to award 350 scholarships

Cargill will award $350,000 in scholarships to U.S. high-school seniors who live in communities where Cargill has operations and plan to enroll in post-secondary education next fall. National FFA has administered the Cargill Community Scholarship Program for more than 20 years.  Through the program, Cargill will award 350 national scholarships of $1,000 each. In addition, [...]

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LG Seeds donates $1,000 to West Milton 4-H club

LG Seeds donated $1,000 to the Newton Blue Ribbon Livestock 4-H Club in West Milton after farmers registered for a chance to win $1,000 to be donated to their local FFA or 4-H Club of choice at the 2011 Farm Science Review. Jan Strauser of Laura, Ohio was LG Seeds’ grand prize winner.  Strauser elected [...]

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