Country Life



Biodiesel car giveaway kicks off

This week, the Ohio Soybean Council (OSC) and soybean checkoff launched the “Biodiesel Car Giveaway” as part of their ongoing effort to raise consumer awareness and enthusiasm for biodiesel — America’s advanced biofuel.

Ohioans who register for the promotion will be eligible to win a one-year lease for a new fuel-efficient, diesel-engine Volkswagen Jetta TDI. Entrants must be at least 18 years of age and a legal resident of Ohio. To enter the contest, participants must visit the OSC Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ohiosoybeancouncil), “like” the page and enroll.

The promotion ends May 27, 2012.

“OSC is very excited about this promotion and the chance to tell Ohioans about the benefits of biodiesel,” said John Motter, OSC chairman and soybean farmer from Hancock County. “Biodiesel is a cleaner-burning, environmentally friendly fuel and is commonly made from soybeans grown and processed right here in Ohio. That offers significant value to consumers, brings revenue to our local and state economies and reduces our country’s dependence on foreign oil.”… Continue reading

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2012-2013 Ohio AgriBusiness Association Board Members announced

Appointed members of the Ohio AgriBusiness Association (OABA) Board of Directors counted ballots for the election of 2012-2013 OABA Board of Directors and the results are as follows:

  • Grain: Paul Riehm, Commodity Representative with Bunge North America. Riehm was re-elected to a second term for his Board position, and brings more than 30 years of experience in Ohio agribusiness to the OABA Board. He is currently a member of the OABA Grain Committee and views OABA as a valuable resource of information, education and a political voice for Ohio agribusiness.
  • Seed: Nathan Louiso, Regional Sales Manager with AgriGold Hybrids, covering all of Ohio and Southeast Michigan. Louiso has been a member of the OABA Seed Committee for the last four years — and Chairman for the past two years, and serves as a member of the alumni board of The Ohio State University’s Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity.
  • Member-At-Large: Jim Collins, Vice President of GVM West.
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Movie “Touchback” features ample Ohio farm connections

By Heather Hetterick, Ohio Ag Net

The movie Touchback, that was released this past weekend has bushels of ties to Ohio agriculture and the Buckeyes.

Touchback tells the tale set in Coldwater, Ohio about a former high school football star turned farmer and family man. Scott Murphy (Brian Presley) finds himself with a unique opportunity to revisit his glory days during the Ohio State championship game where he permanently injured his knee in a game-winning play. Given a second shot at his destiny, Scott seeks counsel from Coach Hand (Kurt Russell), Scott’s longtime mentor on and off the field, to help him decide whether to let his fate unfold, or follow a path that will change his future. 

The film was written and directed by Dan Handfield, an Ohio State University graduate. That explains the Ohio State football tie-in. But, why Coldwater, Ohio? Handfield spent time in college working on a film near Miami University.… Continue reading

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Movie "Touchback" features ample Ohio farm connections

By Heather Hetterick, Ohio Ag Net

The movie Touchback, that was released this past weekend has bushels of ties to Ohio agriculture and the Buckeyes.

Touchback tells the tale set in Coldwater, Ohio about a former high school football star turned farmer and family man. Scott Murphy (Brian Presley) finds himself with a unique opportunity to revisit his glory days during the Ohio State championship game where he permanently injured his knee in a game-winning play. Given a second shot at his destiny, Scott seeks counsel from Coach Hand (Kurt Russell), Scott’s longtime mentor on and off the field, to help him decide whether to let his fate unfold, or follow a path that will change his future. 

The film was written and directed by Dan Handfield, an Ohio State University graduate. That explains the Ohio State football tie-in. But, why Coldwater, Ohio? Handfield spent time in college working on a film near Miami University.… Continue reading

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OSU seeking new ways to manage pests

Scientists at Ohio State University are in a multi-year research project to find ways to help growers, producers and just about any Ohioan who has a problem with pests find sustainable and ecological ways to manage them.

Because of a renewed three-year, $750,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, experts from Ohio State, Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio State Integrated Pest Management program are researching sustainable ways to manage pests and help people use methods that minimize environmental, health and economic risks.

From farms, vineyards and orchards to schools, nursing homes and consumers’ homes, lawns or gardens, the IPM program works to find sound, economical ways to help people deal with pests, said Joe Kovach, director of the IPM program and a professor of entomology.

Those pests can include weeds, disease, insects and vertebrates such as deer and rabbits, basically anything that can attack people, their homes or their crops.… Continue reading

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Federal grants aim to bring local food to school tables

The United States Department of Agriculture announced new funding that aims to provide fresh, healthy food for children in schools across America, and to bolster and sustain local farmers and ranchers.

The agency said that $3.5 million in new funding will be available to help local school districts organize and implement new Farm to School programs. Those critical initiatives seek to educate children about where their food comes from and improve the quality of school meals. At the same time, they also improve local and regional food systems and create new markets for local food producers.

“The local and regional food sector of agriculture is growing rapidly, as are Farm to School initiatives,” said Helen Dombalis, a Policy Associate for National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. “While there is now at least one Farm to School program operating in each state, there is lots of work to be done to deepen and extend these programs, especially in more disadvantaged communities.… Continue reading

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Young and beginning farmers face many hurdles

By Ty Higgins, Ohio Ag Net

No matter how you look at it, the numbers are staggering when it comes to the age of the American farmer. For every one farmer under the age of 25, there are five farmers who are 75 or older. Still, the fastest-growing group of farmers is the segment

over 65.

To curb the graying of our Nation’s farmers, The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is targeting more funding programs toward young and beginning farmers. In fact, in February, the USDA unveiled Start2Farm.gov. This is the latest resource for beginning farmers.  The program acts as a clearinghouse database of training and assistance programs and is funded through a Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) grant by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

To some thinking about jumping into the Ag industry, it may sound as easy as buying a tractor, planter and combine and start rolling.… Continue reading

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Ag groups speak out about estate tax

A group comprised from the commodity, dairy, livestock and specialty crop industries in urging the House and Senate to enact legislation before the end of the year to provide permanent and meaningful estate tax relief. The group supports permanently keeping the current exemption at $5 million per person and retaining the top rate of 35%.

The American Soybean Association (ASA), that is a part of the group, believes it is also imperative that the permanent estate tax law index the exemption to inflation, provide for spousal transfers, and include the stepped-up basis.

If Congress does not take action on ASA’s recommendations before the end of the year, the exemption will drop to $1 million and the top tax rate above the exclusion amount will increase to 55%.

“If estate taxes are allowed to be reinstated at the beginning of 2013 with only a $1 million exemption and top rate of 55%, the negative impact on our industry will be significant,” stated the groups.… Continue reading

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Amon Carter knew his audience

By Kirby Hidy

Among my personal heroes is the late Amon G. Carter, president and publisher of the Fort Worth Star Telegram from 1923 until his death in 1955. Carter was the most brash and colorful promoter of Fort Worth, Texas that ever lived. I encourage you to “Google” him one of these days when you get a chance – fascinating story I think. Mr. Carter used to say, “…The further from home a Texan travels, the more Texan they become.”
In 1995, I moved my young family 1,200 miles from our home in Jeffersonville, Ohio, to our new home west of Ft. Worth, Texas. We lived there for nearly 13 years until my daughter was accepted into the Script School of Journalism at Ohio University. We might have stayed there even then but my daughter wasn’t too keen on being 1,200 miles away from Mama and, well, I think Mama felt pretty much the same.… Continue reading

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Purina Ultium Growth Horse Feed

Key components to horse breeding success include strong genetics, thorough management, skilled training, veterinary care and proper nutrition. And, with more than 115 years of setting the standards of equine nutrition, Purina recognizes just how critical certain nutritional advantages can be in supporting the healthy structural growth and development of horses. That’s why through extensive research and field-testing, Purina introduces Ultium Growth horse formula, a premium nutritional feed specially formulated for broodmares and growing horses.
Purina Ultium Growth horse feed’s unique formulation supports equine growth and development through all stages of the gestating mare, allowing for a foal’s best start by providing nutrition at the source. It also helps mares maintain ideal body weight and body condition during lactation and supports steady, consistent foal growth and development.

The making of Purina Ultium Growth Horse Formula

Purina Ultium Growth horse formula was conceptualized after the successful launch of the original Ultium Competition horse formula.… Continue reading

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An uncertain spring

By Matt Reese

It is a time of challenge, hope, hard work, long hours and preparing for the unknown months ahead. Anyone who combines the promise of a seed with the miracles of the earth and mystery of the weather ahead knows the excitement, doubt, worry, and, maybe a little fear, that sits like a knot in your stomach as the risk and enormity of the spring planting season set in. Everyone who calls themselves a “farmer” understands the simultaneous uncertainty and excitement of early spring on the cusp of a new growing season.

All of these emotions, and many more, were present a decade ago that marked the most challenging spring in the young life of Billy Pontius with a tragic story that started a year earlier. Pontius was in his senior year of high school and was preparing for college orientation at Ohio State on the day he got the life-changing news that his dad, hero, and mentor had a brain tumor and stage four cancer.… Continue reading

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Buying local getting more popular

Buying local is a fast moving trend across the U.S., but no other industry has experienced the benefits of this recent movement more than agriculture. Within Ohio, countless roadside stands, farmers markets, wineries, garden centers and U-pick locations all face strong competition from larger operations, but they have a big advantage by providing some of the freshest fruits and vegetables around. The distance food travels, or simply, food miles, is almost irrelevant when buying local.

To explain more about the buy local movement, the monthly Northwest Ohio Ag-Business Breakfast Forum will host Janet Cassidy, senior director, marketing communications, Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF), Thursday, Apr. 19 from 7:30 – 9 a.m. The program begins at 8 a.m. with informal networking prior, hosted by the Center for Innovative Food Technology (CIFT) at the Agricultural Incubator Foundation, north of Bowling Green, Ohio.

OFBF has some excellent tools to link consumers with local growers.… Continue reading

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Eighth-grader makes grain elevator music video

By: Heather Hetterick

Eighth-grader Spencer Channell had to choose an invention from the Industrial Revolution and make a presentation out of it for his history class at Olentangy Orange Middle School. Having no agricultural background, he choose the grain elevator, because it sounded neat to him. He didn’t make a presentation though, he spent two weeks writing, recording, filming and editing a music video about the grain elevator. He even went to a Heritage Cooperative location to film in front of their grain elevator.

Channell tells us it’s exciting to see all the attention the video is getting. Even for those who do have an agricultural background its educational and entertaining.

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Asian markets important for agricultural trade

By Matt Reese

In terms of agricultural bounty, the United States has been clearly blessed since its earliest days of domestic agricultural production.

“The U.S. is a country that has been remarkable in that we had a relatively sparse population, we had an abundance of natural resources, we were surrounded by two terrific oceans, and we were never relegated by having to deal with marauding armies coming through the countryside every three or four generations,” said Tom Dorr, U.S. Grains Council president and CEO. “In comparison, Asian countries have very dense populations without the natural resources to support them. Even though China has nearly the same number of corn acres that we do, they have four times the population. Even if they gain in productivity, they ultimately exceed their ability to produce and that provides opportunities for us.”

For this reason, when Dorr starts talking about the vast market potential in Asian countries, he just can’t help but get excited.… Continue reading

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Auctions reveal strong land and equipment values

By Matt Reese

A year ago, there was quite a bit of talk about the steadily climbing value of land.

“Prices are sky high everywhere and continue to increase,” said Barry Ward, OSU Extension’s leader for production business management, in April of 2011.

Ohio’s cropland values rose from an average $2,400 per acre in 2000 to $4,000 per acre in 2010, while land rental increases have been a mixed bag in the state, Ward said. Since then, prices have gone nowhere but up. For this reason, Ohio’s Country Journal is starting to gather land auction results from around the state and share them periodically to keep readers informed of land prices and equipment prices from auctions around the state.

The Donald and Janet Hockman Auction, just outside of Bremen in Fairfield County in late March, attracted 1,200 people. The beautiful 71-acre farm with nice buildings, grain bins and a ranch home sold for $470,000 at a Leith Auctions sale.… Continue reading

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FSA CRP general signup deadline extended to April 13

Steve Maurer, the Ohio Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director, announced that general signup for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) will be extended to April 13, 2012. During this extended signup period, landowners may offer eligible land for CRP’s competitive general signup at their county Farm Service Agency (FSA) office.
Land currently not enrolled in CRP may be offered in this signup provided all eligibility requirements are met. Additionally, current CRP participants with contracts expiring on September 30, 2012, may make new contract offers. Contracts awarded under this signup are scheduled to become effective October 1, 2012.

FSA, which administers the CRP, will evaluate and rank eligible CRP offers using an Environmental Benefits Index (EBI) that shows the environmental benefits of enrolling land in CRP. There are six factors that make up the EBI: wildlife, water, soil, air, enduring benefits and cost. Decisions will be made following the end of the sign-up period and after analyzing EBI data on all of the offers.… Continue reading

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Creative 4-H t-shirt to support Yes We Can in Highland Co.

We were excited to learn that the people from two of our most popular stories from the past six months have partnered together.

Sarah Young, the young 4-H member from the Yes We Can Campaign in Highland County has partnered with Erin Ehnle from the wildly popular, Keeping it Real:Through the Lens of  Farm Girl on a t-shirt about the importance of 4-H.

We first reported on Sarah when she donated the proceeds from her county fair lamb to the Highland Co. 4-H program, in an effort to keep the program in her county. Last year she created the Yes We Can campaign where she collected cans to raise money for the local 4-H program.

Erin is a very talented photographer and graphic designer who’s images and quotes promoting agriculture are shared throughout the internet daily. She created an image from one of Sarah’s quotes that not only went viral, but had people wanting to buy it.… Continue reading

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Grant looks into naked oats

Scientists with Ohio State University have received a four-year, $896,000 U.S. Department of Agriculture grant to study the feasibility of incorporating “naked oats” into organic farming rotations as a way to cut the cost of producing organic chicken.

The oats, which have a unique protein and amino acid balance, will be tested in the diets of pasture-raised organic broiler chickens. The chickens will be considered part of the crop rotation within a given year, where they’ll serve as both a product to sell and a source of manure to enhance soil fertility.

The goal of the study is to develop a way to reduce the cost of organic chicken feed by growing the cereal portion of the birds’ diet on the farm, thus making it more cost-effective to raise and sell organic chicken, said Mike Lilburn, an animal sciences professor at the university’s Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center in northeast Ohio and the leader of the study.… Continue reading

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