Is castration the answer in Washington?

By Ty Higgins, Ohio Ag Net

Over the past 5 years, I have noticed a disconnect when it comes to agriculture and members of Congress. Just like every generation of our society becoming more and more removed for the farm life and ideals, so too are members of our government with every election that goes by.

I think that an Iowan politician just might have the answers to the troubles burdening the legislative process we have witness lately.

Joni Ernst is running for a Congressional seat later this year and she plans on taking the lessons and practices she learned on her pig farm to the Nation’s Capitol. Take a look. I think she is on to something.

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Is a spring wedding bridesmaid-cicle a predictor of a late planting season?

The last of the four Reese brothers is married.

We were getting ready for my brother Jeff’s wedding last week in northwest Ohio, hoping for a bit of pleasant early spring weather. Friday March 21 was the first full day of spring and we were scrambling to get everything ready for the big event the next day. When I got up Friday morning, though, I was greeted with an unfortunate coating of snow outside.

The afternoon temperatures warmed into the 50s, which was nice and we were hoping for more of the same on Saturday for the wedding. It was at a beautiful church in Findlay and there were many opportunities for wonderful outdoor photos. The northwest winds howled, however, and sent the mercury falling. Teeth chattered and there were almost some bridesmaid-cicles as we stood outside in the bitter wind for extended photo sessions. (I will point out that the Reese gentlemen did let the girls wear our coats whenever possible.)… Continue reading

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Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should

“Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.”

I routinely have to dispatch this advice (or any number of variations) to my four-year-old son in response to the many questions he asks throughout the course of a day.

“Can I put my meat into my glass of milk?”

“Can we build a moving drawbridge to the hay fort for the barn cats?”

“Can I hook a bungee cord up to the dog and my sister?”

“Can I put orange juice on my cereal?”

“Can I put orange juice on my waffle?”

“Can I eat this play dough?”

“Can I get permanent markers out of mommy’s cabinet?”

“Can I take my toy combine to church?”

“Can I wear my tractor shirt to church?”

“Can I ride the sheep dog?”

“Can I ride the ram?”

This list questions could go on for several pages, but you get the point. There are plenty of things that we can do, though there are often numerous reasons that we should not do them.… Continue reading

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New sale barn at Mt. Hope draws rave reviews

By Kim Lemmon, Ohio’s Country Journal

I wasn’t able to attend the Spring 2014 Mt. Hope Draft Horse Sale, but I think I’ll be making plans to attend their next draft horse sale based on the exciting reviews of their new sale barn. The new building is 240 feet long and roughly 120 feet wide, providing much more room for consigners to present their horses.

In the past, the horses were sold in a small building. It was impossible to find a seat in the old sale barn — in fact, I think they might have all been reserved — and there wasn’t even room to stand and watch the sale. If you wanted to see a specific horse sell or have a chance to bid on a horse yourself, you had to literally crowd or push your way through masses of people to make it inside to place your bid.… Continue reading

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Historically noteworthy winter still hanging on as planting time approaches

My formerly grand woodpile has been nearing its end since the calendar switched over to March, which was by design. I want to run out by mid-March or so and put winter behind me. By this time of year, my wife and I have grown weary of the late nights and early mornings of keeping the fire going in the wood burner, and I am ready to switch gears as the weather warms. Winter, apparently, has other plans.

The bitterly cold temperatures that continue to hang around, however, have wiped out my wood supply a bit sooner than the end of the cold weather. Without a doubt, the winter was a rough one.

“Winter will go down as much colder than normal with above normal snowfall and slightly above normal precipitation. Temperatures across Ohio for winter will end averaging 3 to 9 degrees below normal from southeast to northwest. Precipitation will average 100% to 125% of normal,” said Jim Noel, with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/National Weather Service.… Continue reading

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Officially a “Baconeer”!

By Ty Higgins, Ohio Ag Net

When I was a kid I, like many others, wanted to be a number of different things when I grew up. Of course a farmer was on the list, along with a police officer, a firefighter and by the way this list is going, a member of the Village People.

I had my Dukes of Hazzard phase and name any superhero of my time, most notably “He-Man”, and I wanted to be them. But when none of those possibilities panned out I eventually found my calling and have truly enjoyed my radio career over the past 20 years, but I was never really fulfilled.

It wasn’t until this week that I finally found a place where I belonged, a place where everyone thinks the same way, feels the same way and eats the same way. A place where the only thing that matters…is bacon.

I am officially a Baconeer! … Continue reading

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Christmas tree growers celebrate in February

Our son recently got an ear infection and had to take medicine twice a day for 10 days. My wife’s keen perception caught the malady very early and the ear infection was not bad, but the twice-daily battle that followed was quite serious.

I would guess the problem is fairly common in four-year-old boys — our son detests taking any type of medicine. So, twice a day for the last 10 days, we have engaged in an epic struggle of daily wrestling matches, impromptu games of hide and seek with a subject not interested in being found, medicine spills and sprays aplenty, and bribery of every kind. Of course, we don’t want to give him the medicine that he so despises, but it is obviously the proper course of action in the big picture to prevent a number of problems.

Even though it is best for him, our son does not necessarily see this (or agree with it).… Continue reading

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6-Horse Hitch $100,000 Invitational to air on RFD-TV

By Kim Lemmon, Ohio’s Country Journal

UPDATED AIR TIMES: RFD-TV changed the schedule. Saturday Feb. 22: The round one performance will not be aired live. On Sunday, Feb. 23, round two will air live at 11 a.m. eastern. Round one coverage will be part of a two-hour special on Wednesday, March 2.

Percherons, Belgians, and Clydesdales will meet up in Mesquite, Texas, in late February to compete for the largest premiums ever offered in 6-Horse Hitch competition.

Competitors from throughout the country were invited to attend the Gentle Giants $100,000 Invitational that will be held Feb. 22 and 23 in conjunction with “The American” which claims to be one of the richest rodeos in the sport.

For those that can’t attend the competition, the Gentle Giants $100,000 Invitational will be aired LIVE on RFD-TV Sunday, Feb. 23 at 11 a.m. eastern. On March 2, RFD-TV will air a two-hour special of the event that includes coverage from round one.… Continue reading

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Winter beauty

As always, it was a busy morning at the Reese house. My wife had a meeting to get to, there were frozen water buckets in the barn, cold animals to care for, children to dress for school and then bundle up in hats and gloves, breakfast to make (and eat), a wood burner in desperate need of a refill, vehicles to warm up, and the list goes on. The unbelievably persistent cold makes every normal daily challenge take much longer, it seems. Yet, the magical frost on the trees and the colorful sunrise just begged to be photographed. The thermometer had dipped down to -11 this morning, but I took a few minutes and braved the cold with bare hands to take some photos this morning. I need to invest in some of those removable finger gloves so I can wear them when taking winter photos. Here are some photos from this morning and some other favorite winter photos.… Continue reading

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Baby animal photos warm the heart during frigid temperatures

By Kim Lemmon, Ohio’s Country Journal

This time of year it becomes hard to remember that Spring will actually be here before we know it. Most of the time, I just want to stay in bed and cover my head until it warms up, but I don’t think my employers, my husband or my livestock would appreciate that.

In an effort to cheer us all, I asked my Facebook friends to share some photos of past or present baby livestock. There is just something about baby animals that makes me think Spring is coming and helps me hold out hope that I can stand another month or two of winter.

Enjoy these photos. Hopefully they will at least warm up your heart.

Thank you everyone who submitted photos!… Continue reading

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Celebrate winter!

Earlier this week on Groundhog Day, Buckeye Chuck and Punxsutauwney Phil disagreed about the timing of the spring of 2014. Punxsutauwney Phil forecasted 6 more long weeks of cold winter from Pennsylvania while Buckeye Chuck, in Marion, did not see his shadow and predicted an early spring for Ohio.

After being blasted by numerous bouts of frigid temperatures, abundant snow and just plain COLD Ash cave 3 weather this winter, it could be that the forecasts from the meteorologically inclined groundhogs garnered a bit more attention than usual, as many are really wishing for warmer weather.

As my woodpile dwindles, I too am temped to wish for an early spring, though I do enjoy winter. I was reminded of this last weekend when our family took a short trip to the beautiful Hocking Hills. It was the warmest day we’d had in some time, in the low 40s. We stopped to see Ash Cave, which is always beautiful in any season, but I have never seen it in full winter splendor.… Continue reading

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A calf in the basement

By Ty Higgins, Ohio Ag Net

Growing up, I feared my Grandpa and revered him at the same time. The first time I remember crying was when Grandpa told me I had done something wrong. From what I remember, he didn’t have to say much but the tone in his voice and the look he gave was frightening.

At the same time I knew that he was a good man, an honest man. It didn’t take long for me to figure that out by the way people talked about him, even when he wasn’t around. Those stories and seeing my Grandpa doing things for others without a second thought will never leave my memory and I try to live the same way he has. Those silent lessons have been invaluable.

Now that I am a man and father of two I can say, somewhat jokingly, that Grandpa is also pretty nuts.… Continue reading

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Snow rollers showing up in Central Ohio

The windy snowy conditions left a front yard full of these unusual “snow bales” or “snow rollers” at the home of Mike and Alison Ryan in Fairfield County. The largest are about a foot in diameter and almost two feet long. They seem to be around structures and not in open fields.

According to Wikipedia, snow rollers are a rare meteorological phenomenon. The following conditions are needed for snow rollers to form:

  • The ground must be covered by a layer of ice to which snow will not stick.
  • The layer of ice must be covered by wet, loose snow with a temperature near the melting point of ice.
  • The wind must be strong enough to move the snow rollers, but not strong enough to blow them apart.
  • Alternatively, gravity can move the snow rollers as when a snowball, such as those that will fall from a tree or cliff, lands on steep hill and begins to roll down the hill.
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Interesting comparisons farming in the north verses south

My brother-in-law attended Mississippi State University and currently lives down near the Gulf. As a result, my family has made several trips down South to visit.

When spending time south of the Mason-Dixon, there are some notable cultural differences.

I do not eat much fast food unless I am travelling. On trips to the South, I have found that fast food is no longer fast and sweet tea is REALLY sweet. I have to drink half sweet and half regular. A pop is a Coke in the South but a Coke is a pop up here.

My northern fish out of southern water tales, though, are quite limited in comparison to those of the Purdy family. They farm in Ohio and expanded their operation down on the Mississippi Delta in Arkansas a few years ago. The Delta, with its sticky weather and sizable insect, snake and rodent populations, is home to many wide-open acres of farmland and very few people.… Continue reading

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Winter storm sends even snow-loving livestock inside

By Kim Lemmon, Ohio’s Country Journal

Last week’s weather seemed extreme to almost everyone. Although I was fortunate enough to only receive a couple of inches of snow, the negative degree temperatures combined with high winds still made for a miserable few days.

I spent much time debating with myself about whether or not the horses should be turned out during such extreme weather. Spending the day outside allows them to exercise, which is good for them, and it means less stall cleaning for me, but I couldn’t believe even they would enjoy being outside in negative temperatures.

In the end, it was my draft horse, Julie, who helped me make the decision. She is the only horse to have access to a stall and a dry lot 100% of the time. She is from the state up north so she loves the snow and cold temperatures and often stands outside no matter what the temperature to enjoy snow.… Continue reading

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The crooked icicle

The crooked icicle is shaped in a storm,

With the cold winter wind forging its form.

It is outlandish, unique, glaring, and bold.

It takes center stage hanging there in the cold.

It is more prone to breaking and the first one to fall,

Though it clearly stands out from them all.

By its vertical brethren it is a bit fickle,

But such is the life of the crooked icicle.

crooked icicle smallContinue reading

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Pictures show that snow isn’t all bad

By Ty Higgins, Ohio Ag Net

Although the snow and cold made life difficult for most of the country this past week, take a moment to appreciate the beauty of these scenic barns in the winter.

Set against crisp blue skies and snow-covered pastures, these picturesque barns are a sight to behold.


“Early in the morning, fog froze to every surface on our farm, creating this beautiful wintry landscape,” says Kerri Lehman of Dalton, Ohio.


A gorgeous mountain farm sprinkled with snow near the town of Joseph, Oregon.


Snow softens a sturdy old barn, an antique thresher and a mower on the Moser farm in Hickman, Nebraska.


A snowstorm settles over this colorful barn near Hunter River on Canada’s Prince Edward Island


A 110-year-old barn in Pickford, Michigan, houses Tennessee walkers and a horse-drawn antique collection

These are courtesy of “Country.”Continue reading

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The Frozen Truck

By Ty Higgins, Ohio Ag Net

I know when a publicity stunt is a publicity stunt, but when it is a stunt as cool as this one (pun intended), I had to share it.

Canadian Tire set out to prove that their top-tiered Eliminator battery can withstand temperatures that are even hard to handle for the most seasoned Canuck, so they created something that has never been created before; an Ice Truck.

1186951_10152238493859059_1897659477_nNow I am not talking about a truck that delivers ice around town, I mean a truck MADE OF ICE! This slicked-up Chevy doesn’t have seat-warmers and it may be gone as quickly as Frosty, but for one mile through this Canadian town, it was the coolest truck in the world.

There were some bumps in the road, so to speak, as far as putting this project together. According to Yahoo! Autos, When automakers build vehicles, the material used for the bodywork must be extremely strong and as light as possible.… Continue reading

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Top videos of 2013

Each year, online videos are becoming a more important way to deliver pertinent information (and some entertainment) to our online audience. Thanks for watching and we will keep those videos coming in 2014.

Here are the top videos of the year.

1.  “I still think my jacket’s sexy”

If you have not yet watched this do yourself a favor and watch it. In one of the more unusual and bizarre projects ever undertaken by Ohio’s Country Journal and Ohio Ag Net staff, “I still think my jacket’s sexy” is set to a popular country tune that is among the most widely viewed videos we’ve ever posted. This is well worth watching just to see Dale Minyo squeeze into an FFA jacket from yesteryear.

2. A Cab Cam with Josh Houck in Madison County

One of the first farmers in the field to plant the 2013 corn crop was Pitstick Farms.… Continue reading

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Counting down the top posts of 2013

As our website has grown in popularity in the last few years, it is really entertaining for us at the office to see what stories get the most “clicks” or visits from interested readers. It is almost like a video game we play to outdo each other with our various posts throughout the year. Who can get the most clicks?

We think it is interesting to review the top posts for the year to see who’s posts won, but also to gain insight into how to better serve those on the web and in print and radio with the content and information they are most interested in learning about.

In addition to the top posts we will be highlighting, other noteworthy drivers of web traffic in 2013 included the Ohio State Fair livestock show results, the Ohio FFA Convention and videos. Over the next few days we will be wrapping up the year by counting down the top posts of 2013.… Continue reading

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