Country Life

OABA Safety Day

Join the Ohio AgriBusiness Association Feb. 3, for Safety & Risk Management Day, included in the Industry Conference registration. Details on the day’s sessions are available under the Feb. 3 – Safety Day tab in the Agenda. We’ll hear from Matt Beal and Ryan King, Ohio Department of Agriculture; Kim Nelson, OSHA; Marlene Eick; and Steve Davis and Nate Boerger, ABIS/JH Ward – Assured Partners.

The Industry Conference is available on demand until April 30. To access on-demand content, navigate to the session’s description and click the on-demand link. On-demand allows you to see sessions you missed, or re-experience the sessions you loved. You may also earn the associated CCA credit by scanning the QR code upon completion of the video. 

Finally, please take time to complete the brief Industry Conference Evaluation on the event platform. With a new event format, your feedback is more important than ever. We ask that you complete the “Event Evaluation” at the top of the page, as well as evaluations for any sessions you attended. … Continue reading

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Woodland Wednesdays presents “A virtual walk through working woods”

Join us on Wednesday, Feb. 17 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. for this virtual field tour of Working Woods. Making decisions about land management can be difficult if you haven’t seen what the results actually look like in the woods. Join us for this virtual field tour of Working Woods, the demonstration forest at the Holden Arboretum, where you’ll get to experience management sites through 360 photos, videos, and maps. Whether you have an interest in conserving your woods, performing a timber harvest, or managing invasives, gain a vision for your own management by seeing these real-world demonstrations.

This online program is free, but registration is required by Feb. 16. To register visit or for more information contact Geauga SWCD at or 440-834-1122.

Collaborators include Natural Resources Conservation Service, Geauga, Lake, Ashtabula, Portage, and Trumbull Soil and Water Conservation Districts, ODNR Division of Forestry, Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake, Trumbull, and Portage County Farm Bureaus, and ODNR Division of Wildlife.… Continue reading

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YAP virtual conference embraces progress and change

The Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s virtual Young Ag Professionals Winter Leadership Experience this weekend was an opportunity to build personal and professional experience while networking with agricultural leaders. 

The theme for the 2021 Winter Leadership Experience was “Cultivating Progress in Times of Change.” The event, thanks to the support of Heritage Sponsor Nationwide and Platinum Sponsor Farm Credit Mid-America, offered participants the capability to connect with industry leaders and see several exciting new opportunities to engage and network with others from around the state.

“Just as in past years there will be a lot of great ideas and lessons to take away from the Winter Leadership Experience,” said Charlie and Casey Ellington, chairs of the Young Agricultural Professionals State Committee heading into the meeting. “The engaging speakers and diverse sessions that are lined up will give everyone a chance to learn from others as they look to grow personally and professionally.”… Continue reading

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Planning for the future of your farm

By David Marrison, Ohio State University Extension

OSU Extension will host a virtual three part “Planning for the Future of Your Farm workshop on February 15, 22 and March 1, 2021 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. via Zoom. This workshop will challenge farm families to actively plan for the future of the farm business. This workshop is designed to help farm families learn strategies and tools to successfully create a succession and estate plan that helps you transfer your farm’s ownership, management, and assets to the next generation. Learn how to have the crucial conversations about the future of your farm.

Topics discussed during this series include: Developing Goals for Estate and Succession; Planning for the Transition of Control; Planning for the Unexpected; Communication and Conflict Management during Farm Transfer; Legal Tools & Strategies; Developing Your Team; Getting Affairs in Order; and Selecting an Attorney.

This workshop will be taught by members of the OSU Farm Office Team featuring Peggy Hall & Jeffrey Lewis, Attorneys from OSU Agricultural & Resource Law Program and David Marrison, Extension Educator for Coshocton County.… Continue reading

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CFAP suspended until further review

In accordance with the White House memo, Regulatory Freeze Pending Review, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has suspended the processing and payments under the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program — Additional Assistance and has halted implementation until further notice. Farm Service Agency local offices will continue to accept applications during the evaluation period.

In the coming days, USDA and the Biden Administration intend to take additional steps to bring relief and support to all parts of food and agriculture during the coronavirus pandemic, including by ensuring producers have access to the capital, risk management tools, disaster assistance, and other federal resources.

“The pandemic has taken an unprecedented toll on American agriculture, and the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program has provided a lifeline for farmers and ranchers across the country. Many growers who previously did not qualify for assistance continue to suffer losses and need the help CFAP provides,” said Zippy Duvall, American Farm Bureau Federation president.… Continue reading

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OABA announces 2021 Industry Excellence Award recipients

The Ohio AgriBusiness Association is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2021 Industry Excellence Awards:

  • 2021 Achievement as an Emerging Leader — Dustin Ramsier, Tyler Grain & Fertilizer Co.
  • 2021 Excellence in Safety & Stewardship — Becky Williams-Wagner, 3Bar Biologics, Inc.   

Award recipients will be recognized at the 2021 OABA Industry Conference. Winners will receive a plaque and $1,000 cash award, sponsored by ABIS/J.H. Ward – Assured Partners. OABA has a distinguished history of serving the agricultural industry and its members through advocacy, policy leadership and educational programs. The Industry Excellence Awards honor excellence, professionalism and achievement among OABA member companies and their employees, and thereby encourage that same excellence in others.

“It is a great honor to recognize outstanding individuals in our industry,” said Chris Henney, OABA president and CEO. “These leaders set a high standard that agribusiness employees across all levels should aspire to achieve.” 

Achievement as an Emerging Leader

The Achievement as an Emerging Leader Award is presented to an individual who represents the spirit of leadership as a growing agribusiness professional.… Continue reading

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Ag input critical for climate success

President Biden has issued executive order calling on USDA to collect input from farmers and ranchers on climate-related federal programs. This will be important for the agricultural sector moving forward, said Zippy Duvall, American Farm Bureau president.

“The American Farm Bureau Federation appreciates that President Biden has committed to seek input from America’s farmers and ranchers as the administration works on new climate solutions. It’s crucial that as new strategies are implemented our leaders listen to the people who will be affected the most,” Duvall said. “While the president has invited us to the table, we’d like to invite him to the table we’ve already set through the Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance (FACA). Co-chaired by AFBF, FACA has outlined more than 40 recommendations to guide the development of federal climate policy. We stand ready to work with the administration on science-based, voluntary and market-driven programs. American agriculture already leads the world in climate-smart practices, but we are always looking for new ways to improve.… Continue reading

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Court seeks status report on EPA compliance with order on Renewable Volumes

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit directed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to submit a status report every 60 days “on its progress in complying with the court’s remand” stemming from the July 2017 ruling in Americans for Clean Energy v. EPA. The 2017 ruling required EPA to address its improper waiver of 500 million gallons of 2016 renewable fuel blending requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard. 
The Jan. 27 order from the D.C. Circuit was in response to a motion filed in December 2020 by biofuel and farm organizations, in which the groups asked the court to enforce its 2017 decision by requiring EPA to fully restore the 500 million gallons that were inappropriately waived from the 2016 RFS requirements. While the court denied the motion, the groups welcomed the court’s requirement that EPA provide status reports every 60 days on its progress in responding to the court’s decision. … Continue reading

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Ohio Ag Net Podcast named in Feedspot’s top 40

By Madi Kregel, OCJ field reporter

The new year has already proven to be rewarding for the team here at Ohio Ag Net. Feedspot, an agricultural media database, compiled a list of the top 40 ag and farming podcasts in the U.S. that listeners “must follow in 2021.” The Ohio Ag Net Podcast was named 21st on the list. 

Feedspot used a team of 25 specialists to find and rank the list of podcasts based on the following criteria:

  • Relevancy
  • Industry Blogs — given a high rank than individual brand blogs
  • Post frequency
  • Social media engagement and follower numbers
  • Domain authority 
  • Age of blog
  • Alexa web tracking rank.

Click here for the full Feedspot article!

The Ohio Ag Net Podcast covers a large variety of agricultural topics statewide and nationally. Each week we cover anything and everything related to Ohio agriculture from vomitoxin, ractopamine, and dicamba to FFA happenings, field days and county fairs.… Continue reading

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Disruptions create opportunity

By Matt Reese

Coming off a disruptive year for nearly every aspect of life, the Ohio AgriBusiness Association (OABA) 2021 Industry Conference is taking a look at some of those disruptions and finding ways to create opportunities for positive change. The 2021 OABA Industry Conference starts today and continues through this week. At the virtual event, agribusiness professionals will address disruptors to the industry and learn to harness the momentum for change.

“We are going to have our annual OABA Industry Conference and like a lot of other people we are having to switch gears this year and go virtual. It will be different, but a lot of it will be the same, especially the great quality content, topics and speakers that we have year in and year out,” said Chris Henney, president and CEO of OABA. “You can register ahead and participate in the conference in real time like you would any other year, and you can actually also register afterwards and it is available for 90 days after the event.… Continue reading

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Will the surge in land prices continue?

What started out with better than expected sales prices at land auctions prior to fall harvest extended into very strong prices at some auctions during October and November, surprising many.

“Farmers National Company had auction sales in several states during this time where land sold near levels last seen in 2012. In specific instances, prices for good quality cropland in the heart of the Midwest are up hundreds to thousands of dollars per acre more than anticipated,” said Randy Dickhut, senior vice president of real estate operations at Farmers National Company. 

Agricultural land prices have been fairly stable in the past several years despite the gyrations of the ag economy. Producer incomes were taking hits, but the land market took it in stride except for the hardest hit areas or segments. The factors supporting the land market remained constant during this time, which included historically low interest rates, a lower supply of land for sale and adequate demand for good cropland just about everywhere.   … Continue reading

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Farm Gates

By Dave Russell, Ohio Ag Net

Who’s the largest owner of private farmland in U.S.? 

Queue the theme to Jeopardy: “According to The Land Report this software developer is now the largest owner of private farmland in the U.S.” 

Answer: “Who is Bill Gates?” 

Yep…Land Report says the one-time world’s richest man owns 242,000 acres of farmland in 18 states. The most acres are in Louisiana at just over 69,000, followed by Arkansas at nearly 48,000 and Nebraska at 20,588. Gates owns almost 9,000 acres in Ohio, just over 9,000 acres in Indiana, nearly 18,000 in Illinois, but only 552 acres in Iowa. 

Bill and Melinda Gates also cracked the Land Report’s Top 100 Landowners for the first time coming in at number 49. The No. 1 landowner in the U.S. is billionaire John Malone, the chairman of Liberty Media, who tops the list with 2,200,000 acres.… Continue reading

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Adult mental health first aid training

By Jami Dellifield, Ohio State University Extension

The Ohio State University Mental Health Awareness Team members are pleased to be able to bring Mental Health First Aid training to rural Ohio.

The program is a blended format in partnership with the Ohio State University Farm and Rural Health Task Force with funding from the USDA FRSAN grant. Mental Health First Aid is a skills-based training course that teaches participants about mental health and substance-use issues. This course is open to anyone, but the Feb. 5 training will take an agriculture and rural focus.  

There are seats open in the Feb. 5 class. The class will be held via zoom from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with appropriate breaks scheduled. This course will have a 2-hour online component prior that must be completed before the virtual class. Participants will receive this link to the pre-course material at least one week prior to the class. 

Class size is limited to 20 participants. Those… Continue reading

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Winter weather outlook for 2021

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader: a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean checkoff

A global assessment of the weather showed 2020 to be the second warmest year since 1880. The warmest average year was 2016, and 2019 ranked third. Looking all the way back to 1880, the 10 warmest years have all occurred since 1985.

The most recent Winter Outlook Meeting, hosted by The Ohio State University, provided data and information to help farmers make informed decisions going into the winter and spring. Aaron Wilson, Atmospheric Scientist at OSU and state climatologist shared information focused on “Where we’ve been, where we are currently, and where we are going.”

There was also a significant increase in the number of “billion dollar disasters” in 2020. There was a total of 22 recorded last year. The numbers in general have been increasing. To put it in perspective, looking at the time period of 1908 through 2020, the average is six disasters of that magnitude per year.… Continue reading

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OABA 2021 Industry Conference

From trade conditions to weather to a global pandemic, those working in agriculture never know what form a disruptor may take. But they have experienced, time and time again, that disruptors become a propelling force for change. A nimble agribusiness leader will seize the momentum of disruption to realize positive impact for their business – even if others fail to see the disruptor for the opportunity it is.

At the 2021 OABA Industry Conference, agribusiness professionals will address disruptors to the industry and learn to harness the momentum for change which they present.

The Industry Conference will be held virtually January 27-29, 2021.  Included in conference registration is the Safety & Risk Management Day on February 3. 

Topics include: economic outlook, insects, soil health, political impact outlook, export markets, precision planting, hemp, sulfur and potassium, N economics, waterhemp, eastern corn market, ethanol outlook, meat processing, and international trade and policy.

Professional credits (Certified Crop Adviser and state pesticide credits) are available throughout the OABA Industry Conference and are indicated in the session description.… Continue reading

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Most farm families rely on off-farm income

By Chris Zoller, Ohio State University Extension educator, ANR in Tuscarawas County

The United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service (USDA-ERS) completed a survey in 2019 to determine the number of hours principal farm operators work per week on-farm and off-farm. USDA-ERS defines the principal operator as the person who makes day-to-day decisions. The paragraph below is taken directly from the report.

Off-farm income supplements farm income for most farm households, in addition to offering benefits such as health insurance. In 2019, about 71 percent of farm households had one or more household members earning an off-farm salary or wage. More than 40 percent of principal operators worked off-farm, contributing about 54 percent of the total off-farm labor hours reported for their households. Principal operators who reported off-farm employment worked on average 15 hours off the farm per week in 2019. Compared with the seasonality of on-farm work, off-farm work offered principal operators more consistency—with operators working about 25 percent of total off-farm hours in each quarter of the year.… Continue reading

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Biden addresses food insecurity with executive order

 To address a dramatic rise in hunger, President Joe Biden signed an executive order that to increase food assistance for families missing meals due to school closures as well as boost Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits for the lowest-income households.Throughout the pandemic, National Farmers Union (NFU) has expressed concern about elevated rates of food insecurity in both urban and rural communities; by some estimates, one in six adults and one in four children have experienced food insecurity during the pandemic — rates that are about 50% higher than the United States was seeing just a year ago.Though SNAP and other food assistance programs have provided a crucial safety net for millions of Americans, it hasn’t been enough to offset the surge of job losses and resulting financial stress. Even after the most recent stimulus package boosted SNAP benefits by 15%, the average recipient is still approximately $100 short of covering the costs of a month of low-cost groceries.Because
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CWD detected in a wild deer

A CWD-positive wild Ohio white-tailed deer was recently identified in Wyandot County, resulting in the Division of Wildlife implementing its CWD response plan, which includes enhanced surveillance in 15 townships in the surrounding area, to monitor for the disease.

The ODNR is asking deer hunters in portions of Wyandot, Marion, and Hardin counties to submit samples of harvested deer for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) testing. Testing is voluntary but highly encouraged. CWD is a fatal neurological disease that affects deer populations. Hunters in the following townships are asked to submit deer for CWD testing free of charge: (Wyandot County) Antrim, Crane, Eden, Jackson, Mifflin, Marseilles, Pitt, Richland, and Salem townships; (Hardin County) Goshen Township; and (Marion County) Big Island, Grand, Grand Prairie, Montgomery, and Salt Rock townships.

Harvested deer can be taken to the Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area Headquarters, located at 19100 County Highway 115, Harpster 43323. Wildlife professionals will be on-site to sample deer from 9 a.m.… Continue reading

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Global pandemic doesn’t stop water quality research

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader: a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean checkoff

The Ohio Sea Grant program is one of 34 State programs funded by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to identify and research issues impacting their neighboring water bodies. Every state that touches the Atlantic or Pacific Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico or one of the Great Lakes has a Sea Grant Program. Sea Grant Programs are modeled after Land Grant Institutions, and take the research results and disseminate the information to stakeholders, decision makers, and those that can make a difference. 

Chris Winslow is the Director of the Ohio Sea Grant, and also Director of Ohio State’s Stone Lab on South Bass Island in Lake Erie. While COVID-19 impacted the on-site education and outreach that Sea Grant conducts at Stone Lab, much of the research on the lake continued despite the pandemic. 

“We typically offer a lot of education and outreach programming at Stone Lab and everything at that location was shut down or went virtual,” Winslow said.… Continue reading

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USDA offers new forest management incentive for Conservation Reserve Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is making available $12 million for use in making payments to forest landowners with land enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) in exchange for their implementing healthy forest management practices. Existing CRP participants can now sign up for the Forest Management Incentive (FMI), which provides financial incentives to landowners with land in CRP to encourage proper tree thinning and other practices.

“We are offering CRP landowners an opportunity to use forestry practices for a more targeted approach to improve forest health and wildlife habitat on their land,” said Richard Fordyce, administrator for USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA). “The Forest Management Incentive enables landowners to maximize the conservation outcomes on their land, such as supporting wildlife, conserving soil and improving water quality.”

Right now, less than 10% of land currently enrolled in CRP is dedicated to forestland. But, these nearly 2 million acres of CRP forestland, if properly managed, can have enormous benefits for natural resources by reducing soil erosion, protecting water quality, increasing water quantity, and diversifying local farm operations and rural economies.… Continue reading

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