Country Life

Invasive DNA found in Lake Erie

By Dan Armitage, host of Buckeye Sportsman, Ohio’s longest running outdoor radio show 

Trace amounts of genetic material from an invasive fish species known for leaping errantly from the water has been detected in Lake Erie. On July 21, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) disclosed that environmental DNA, or eDNA, from silver carp — an invasive fish formerly known as one of four different types of Asian carp — was found in routine sampling around Presque Isle Bay in Erie, Pennsylvania.

The sample was collected in May by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS), which notified the state on July 11. The genetic material was found at only one of 100 sample sites around the bay. No live fish were found and the DNA presence doesn’t automatically mean a fish is present. However, the detection triggered an electrofishing search around the bay which did not turn up any silver carp.… Continue reading

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Ohio Farm Bureau hosts roundtable with Senator Brown on farm bill

Ohio Farm Bureau hosted a roundtable discussion about the 2023 Farm Bill with U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown. Area Farm Bureau members and stakeholders discussed the development of the next farm bill and what policies should be considered for the farm bill to help farmers across Ohio through the current challenges facing the state’s agriculture sector.

“The farm bill is about the most bipartisan thing we do in Washington because it is really unique in that it represents everybody,” said Senator Brown. “This bill has always been designed to deal with the risks in agriculture and with high capital costs the risks are even greater.”

Issues covered during the roundtable included the importance of crop insurance, dairy and conservation programs, cattle market transparency, specialty crops and urban agriculture.

“With all of the unique challenges facing agriculture today, the next farm bill will be of utmost importance for Ohio farmers,” said Ohio Farm Bureau President Bill Patterson, who hosted the event at his family’s fruit farm in Geauga County.… Continue reading

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Research could turn too much sunshine and heat into more resilient plants

By Don “Doc” Sander

Our world depends on the sun. But you’ve probably already heard that you can get too much of a good thing. That includes exposure to sunshine. Too much time soaking in the rays can cause adverse effects, even death, in people, animals and plants. We hear time and again that without sunscreen, we can break out in freckles and suffer sunburn, which can raise our risk of skin cancer. 

Mild exposure to the sun, though, can be good. It stimulates our skin to produce Vitamin D, which strengthens our immune system. Excessive exposure, on the other hand, stokes production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), also known as free oxygen radicals. With strong or prolonged sun exposure, ROS are damaging to people, animals and plants. Severe exposure can even be, I repeat, fatal. 

Severe environmental conditions such as drought, excessive heat and bright sunlight can produce damaging levels of ROS in plants as well.… Continue reading

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Implications of the Ukrainian grain export deal

By Ian Sheldon, Professor and Andersons Chair of Agricultural Marketing, Trade, and Policy, Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics, Ohio State University and Chris Zoller, Associate Professor and Extension Educator, Agriculture & Natural Resources, Ohio State University Extension – Tuscarawas County

A grain export deal was finally signed by Ukraine, Turkey, Russia, and the United Nations (UN) on July 22 (USDA, Foreign Agricultural Service, Grain: World Markets and Trade, August 2022). With much media fanfare, the first shipment of Ukrainian corn left the Bosphorus strait headed for Lebanon on August 3 (Financial Times, August 3, 2022). The agreement, set to last for 120 days with potential for renewal, provides for the safe passage and inspection of grains from three Ukrainian ports on the Black Sea — Odesa, Chornomorsk, and Pyvdenny — shipments following a route to Turkish ports approved by the Russian navy, with an agreed 10 nautical mile buffer zone (Reuters, August 8, 2022).… Continue reading

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The importance of a farm employee safety manual

By Aaron Bickle, CEO, Bickle Farm Solutions

Safety is a topic every farmer can get behind.

Aaron Bickle

As your most critical resource, employees need to be safeguarded through training, provision of appropriate work surroundings and procedures that foster protection of health and safety. Like most farmers, you want to do everything possible to prevent workplace accidents because you value your employees not only as employees, but also as human beings critical to the success of their families, the local community, and your operation. 

But, if you’re like most farmers or other small businesses it’s hard to put safety on paper, it’s hard to know exactly where to start, and it’s hard to find the time. That’s why we recommend contacting your farm risk advisor or your farm insurance agent to help develop a manual that is specific to your operation. Your operation does things your way, which could be different than the farm your newest employee came from.… Continue reading

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State’s Ag-LINK program offers options for farm borrowers

Higher interest rates and inflation are taking a toll on the U.S. agricultural sector, but AgCredit borrower-owners can better weather the uncertainty of shifting economic conditions with financing assistance through the state’s Ag-LINK program.

AgCredit, one of northern Ohio’s largest lenders for farmers and agribusinesses, is proud to be a participating Ag-LINK lender. Administered by the Ohio Treasurer’s office, Ag-LINK offers farming operations and agribusinesses discounted, fixed interest rates on new or existing operating loans for up to one year. Farmers can use the program to help offset the cost of feed, seed, fertilizer, equipment, fuel and other upfront expenses. The program does not cover land purchases.

In the first quarter of 2022, Ag-LINK supported 530 loans to Ohio agricultural businesses across 54 counties totaling more than $103 million.

To qualify, farm operators and agribusinesses must:

  • Be organized for profit.
  • Have headquarters and 51% of operations maintained in Ohio.
  • Use the loan exclusively for agricultural purposes.
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Keep agriculture Growing Forward

By Matt Reese and Dale Minyo

In rural Ohio and agriculture, individual farm success is a benefit to everyone. This is the impetus behind the Growing Forward program offered by Farm Credit Mid-America (FCMA) since 2014.

“FCMA’s purpose is to secure the future of rural communities and agriculture. In order to achieve that, we have to support the next generation of farmers,” said Brock Burcham, regional vice president of agricultural lending. “We take this responsibility to heart and make every attempt to engage the next generation of agriculture in a number of ways, including educational efforts in farm finance and risk management. The Growing Forward program is one of the ways we provide important education to young and beginning farmers.” 

The program is designed to provide sound and constructive credit to meet the needs of young, beginning and small farmers through individualized credit programs and products.  

“Growing Forward is one of my favorite programs we offer at FCMA,” said Amy Weaver, FCMA senior financial officer. “Getting… Continue reading

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Hartford Junior Fair donate pork to Ohio Association of Foodbanks

The Ohio Association of Foodbanks received a donation of processed pork from the Hartford Junior Fair youth livestock auction. The donation of nearly 6,500 pounds of pork, will benefit the clients of the Food Pantry Network of Licking County. The donation comes from the annual 4-H and FFA junior fair exhibitors’ livestock auction, where Englefield Oil Company and Duchess Shops, Heartland Bank, Licking County Farm Bureau and Intel purchased livestock from the auction and the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC) processed the meat. 

“We are so grateful to see so many organizations coming together to support the youth involved in 4-H and the FFA and turning it into a generous protein donation for our network of food pantries in Licking County,” said Chuck Moore, executive director of the Food Pantry Network of Licking County. “This year the donation comes during a time where we are seeing an increased demand for food assistance due to inflation putting a strain on family budgets.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s new beginning farmer tax credits

By Peggy Kirk Hall, director of agricultural law, Ohio State University Agricultural and Resource Law Program

The idea to use income tax incentives to help Ohio’s beginning farmers gain access to agricultural assets floated around for several years in the Ohio General Assembly. The idea became a reality when the Beginning Farmer Bill sponsored by Rep. Susan Manchester (R-Waynesfield) and Rep. Mary Lightbody (D-Westerville) passed the legislature, was signed by Governor DeWine and became effective on July 18, 2022. The law is now in the hands of the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA), charged with implementing its provisions.

The new law sets initial eligibility criteria for certifying “beginning farmers,” directs ODA to establish the certification program, and authorizes two types of income tax credits for certified beginning farmers and those who sell or lease assets to certified beginning farmers. According to ODA, the income tax credits will be available for 2023, once the certification program is up and running. … Continue reading

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Boating accidents decline

By Dan Armitage, host of Buckeye Sportsman, Ohio’s longest running outdoor radio show

With the pandemic putting more people than ever on the water and consequent rise in boating accidents and fatalities, there’s some better news in the newly released 2021 U.S. Coast Guard Recreational Boating Statistics.

The latest Coast Guard report shows double-digit declines year-over-year across the board in the main boating safety indicators. Boating accidents dropped 15.7%, injuries decreased 17.2%, and fatalities dropped 14.2%. The 2021 fatality rate decreased to 5.5 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational vessels, a 15.4% reduction from 6.5 deaths per 100,000 in 2020.

“The new report shows a dramatic decrease in injuries and fatalities, more than I can recall in recent memory,” said Chris Edmonston, BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water president. “However, even with COVID restrictions lifted and boating no longer one of the few ways to recreate with the family, operator inexperience remains one of the top risk factors contributing to accidents.” … Continue reading

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What a catch! Fish dishes to diversify diets

By Shelly Detwiler, berry farmer and dietician

It has been raining so much I am sure I just saw a fish float by my front step. Just kidding, there is no funny business when it comes to Ohio fish. Raising it, catching it, or just eating it, it is big business in Ohio! 

Aquaculture had first boom in Ohio in the late 1980s when, as the story goes, Bob Evans needed some catfish. The Ohio Aquaculture Association (OAA) was founded in 1990. As farms began to raise perch, they were held to sport fishing length requirements until 1995. I bet they were not too happy about that. Aquaponics hit the roof around 2013 and remains thriving today. 

Ohio ranks in the top third for aquaculture production. Aquaculture farms raise fish for stocking as well pond to plate. USDA stats state there are 59 total Ohio farms in the aquaculture business, with more than half raising fish for our plates.… Continue reading

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Farm Science review celebrating 60 years

The diamond anniversary of Farm Science Review is on the horizon as the annual farm show is set to celebrate 60 years of research, advancement and education Sept. 20 through 22 at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center.

“Farm Science Review is a critical component of our land-grant mission to provide research-based information and practical education to the people of Ohio and beyond,” said Cathann A. Kress, Ohio State’s vice president for agricultural administration and dean of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). “We are proud to be the home of the Farm Science Review, a robust show demonstrating the college’s research, and we look forward to carrying out our land-grant mission through the show in its next 60 years.”

With over 2,100 acres dedicated to research, and 600 of those acres being dedicated to field demonstrations at the show, attendees can be sure that they will find something to learn more about at the Farm Science Review.… Continue reading

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Big acres, little details

By Matt Reese

Big land auctions require careful attention to many small details.

Kevin Miller, with Oakridge Realty and Auction Co. in Allen County, sells quite a bit of farmland in Ohio, some of it in very large tracts. 

Kevin Miller

“We do specialize in farmland sales and auctions is obviously one part of that, we also do the traditional private treaty sale. Last year we sold over 1,100 acres at auction at one time. That was in about 17 different tracts. On Sept. 1 we have 762 acres from one seller and we’ll be selling that in 7 tracts,” Miller said. “When you have that much land, you have to figure out how to coordinate to get the best sale for the owners and bring in the most buyers. Large tracts of land offer challenges. They require a lot of data and a lot of studying to figure out how to break those down into different sized tracts to be attractive to buyers.… Continue reading

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Biodiesel boats bringing smiles through GrowNextGen

By Matt Reese and Dale Minyo

The folks with GrowNextGen are staying very busy this summer. On July 22 the 2022 GrowNextGen Tour stopped at the Crawford County Fair highlighting biodiesel and soy ink through fun, hands-on activities for children. 

A perennial favorite is an activity where participants learn about biodiesel and, in the classroom, experiment with different oils to see what makes the best fuel. The fuels are then used to power small boats.

“The students really like the biodiesel boats. They’re really reactive and fun to watch putz around,” said Patrick Miller, a GrowNextGen ambassador. “They can relate that to the big tractors they see in the fields or even the diesel trucks they might see driving down the highway. It is fun to watch their faces light up as soon as their boat is put into the water. It is like they won the lottery, every time.” 

Miller is a student at Ohio State University planning on being an agricultural education teacher and was excited to help implement the GrowNextGen program this summer at events around Ohio.… Continue reading

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Grain Bin Rescue Simulator Dedication and Dinner

Please join us in celebrating the new grain bin rescue simulator and safety training center at the Clinton-Warren Joint Fire District. We will also have demonstrations of the engulfment and rescue procedures.

The event will be Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022 at 5:30 p.m. A meal will be provided by Sams Meats at 6:30 p.m. at 82 Spring Hill Road, Clarksville, Ohio 45113

Guest speakers will be:

• U.S. Rep. Brad Wenstrup, Ohio’s 2nd Congressional District

• Paul Stevenson, Sr. Consultant, Risk Management Services, Nationwide Agribusiness

• Tadd Nicholson, Executive Director, Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association.

Register by Sept 1 at:

Donations to the Clinton-Warren Joint Fire District will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you to our supporters: CWJFD Board Members, CWJFD Chief Bob Wysong, John Settlemyre, Settlemyre Seed Company, Goshen Twp. Chief Edward Myers, Antique Power Club, Cargill, Consolidated Grain & Barge, Archer-Daniels-Midland Company, Merchants National Bank, Aaron Baldwin, Diversified Industrial Services, Doug Morris (Millwright Services), Bill Finkbone, Kings Auto and Frame, Security Fence Group, Patton Concrete, Ohio Corn & Wheat, Washington Twp.… Continue reading

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Log Cabin Days coming mid-September

Shorter days, cooler temperatures and sweet apple cider usher in the fall season, and with it Log Cabin Days at Hochstetler Log Homes in Loudonville, at 552 State Route 95, Loudonville, OH 44842. Join in the family friendly fun Friday, Sept. 16 and Saturday, Sept. 17. One of the highlights of the event will be the log home tour, where visitors are able to go through up to 8 log homes and discover the casual, relaxing lifestyle that characterizes log home living. This self-guided tour is available for a small donation which supports the American Cancer Society.

   The two-day family oriented event has something for everyone and will also include:

  • Demonstrations of lumberjack skills, ax throwing, wood chopping and cross cut sawing
  • 19th century log home related trades such as hand hewing, wood carving, furniture making, gun building, spinning and rug braiding
  • Log home building.

Many activities will encourage audience participation as well as offer a lineup of excellent seminar speakers.… Continue reading

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Ag Hall of Fame inductees recognized at Ohio State Fair

Four Ohioans who have committed their lives to working in, promoting and advocating for Ohio’s farm community were honored Friday, Aug. 5, by the Ohio Agricultural Council (OAC), when they are inducted into the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame. 

The Ohio Agricultural Council (OAC) inducted Leon Boucher of Dublin, Steven C. Drake of Colorado Springs, CO, Lisa Hamler-Fugitt of Lancaster, and Duane Stateler of McComb, into the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame. The 56th annual event normally attracts more than 600 guests to honor the four professionals for their lifetime of service and dedication to Ohio’s agriculture community.

“We are pleased to recognize this impressive class of Hall of Fame inductees,” said Chris Henney, president of the Ohio Agricultural Council and president and CEO of the Ohio AgriBusiness Association. “Through their advocacy, mentorship and conservation efforts, the contributions to the agricultural industry of the 2022 class have been recognized across local, state, national and international levels.” … Continue reading

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Non-livestock 4-H exhibitors shine too at the Ohio State Fair

By Matt Reese

Despite the traffic delays, parking challenges and big crowds to navigate, it was wonderful to have a “full” Ohio State Fair again. And, once again, 4-H exhibitors rose to the occasion to represent the next generation of Ohioans well to the general public. This, of course, took place in the livestock barns and the show rings, but it also took place in project judging of the many non-livestock projects at the Ohio State Fair. We love to highlight livestock exhibitors, and in a tradition started by Kyle Sharp years ago, I wanted to dedicate a little space here to recognize the success of some Ohio’s top non-livestock 4-H exhibitors. Thanks to Randall Reeder for getting me these photos and captions and for his work with the youth. Congrats to all of those young people who enjoyed success at the 2022 Ohio State Fair! 

More photos from the 4-H Welding, Woodworking, and Engineering Excitement contests are on reading

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Rib-off returns to Ohio State Fair

Fairgoers gathered at the 24th annual Pork Rib-Off competition to watch as barbecue chefs competed for top honors in the ribs, pulled pork and barbecue sauce categories at the Ohio State Fair on Tuesday, August 2, 2022.  Ohio Eats of Lewis Center, Ohio was awarded Grand Champion Pork Ribs and Bark Brothers BBQ of Cheviot, Ohio was awarded Grand Champion Pulled Pork. Ohio Eats was one of six contestants from across the state to compete in the annual event.

Ohio Eats and their competitors were scored by a group of five judges, including: Virgil Strickler, Ohio Expo Center & State Fair General Manager; Ohio Senator Bob Peterson (R-17); Jerry Happy, Ohio Pork Promoter of the Year; Matt Reese, Ohio Ag Net; and JD Vance, U.S. Senate Candidate (R).

“This is like heaven,” a fairgoer said, sampling pork ribs for the People’s Choice Award. “This event alone is worth the entry into the fair.”… Continue reading

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Farmers support Farm Bureau Foundation with Gift of Grain

As farmers deliver their harvested crops to market, more of them are choosing to donate a portion of their commodities to support the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation through the Gift of Grain program.
“It is a simple way to make a lasting difference,” said Kelly Burns, executive director of the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation. “The value of the grain can be used to support the future of Ohio agriculture.”
One such donation came in the form of nearly 90 bushels of soft red winter wheat at Heritage Cooperative’s Marysville location, from a donor who wishes to remain anonymous.
“Donating some of my grain and knowing that what my family has been able to grow on our farm can directly benefit the future of our industry through the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation means a lot to me,” the farmer said. “I would encourage other farmers to consider doing the same.”
In addition to supporting the Foundation’s commitment of inspiring and educating the next generation of farmers, gifting grain directly, rather than selling first and making a gift from the proceeds, may also provide a more significant tax savings.… Continue reading

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