Country Life

Minyo wins Noonan Invitational


Pictured is Dale Minyo holding the coveted Havercamp Cup and wearing the Champions Jacket

Dateline Salt Fork State Park

Dale Minyo wins the 2011 Noonan Invitational in runaway fashion. This is the first time Minyo has won the event in it’s ten year history.

This victory is proof Dale doesn’t spend all his time broadcasting for the Ohio Ag Net.… Continue reading

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U.S. unlikely to hit Renewable Fuel Standard for cellulosic biofuels

The biofuel industry will not be able to meet the cellulosic production requirements of the Renewable Fuel Standard without significant advancements in technology or investment, according to a National Academy of Sciences study prepared for Congress.

Wally Tyner, the James and Lois Ackerman Professor of Agricultural Economics at Purdue University, co-chaired a committee tasked by the National Academy of Sciences to produce the study. The Committee on Economic and Environmental Impacts of Increasing Biofuels Production presented the report.

The Renewable Fuel Standard requires that 15 billion gallons of corn-based ethanol, 1 billion gallons of biodiesel and 16 billion gallons of cellulosic fuels be produced annually by 2022. According to the report, the corn ethanol numbers and biodiesel can be achieved, but the cellulosic goals probably cannot.

Tyner said that’s because the corn ethanol industry has been working for more than 30 years, while the cellulosic industry is still very young. There are no commercially viable biorefineries for cellulosic ethanol today.… Continue reading

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Social media seminar

Consumers regularly turn to the Internet as a trusted source of information to learn more about how and where their food is produced – and agribusiness professionals have taken note. Many involved in agribusiness have utilized social media to enhance their business,as well as strengthen relationships with existing customers.

To learn more about the benefits of social media, the monthly Northwest Ohio Ag-Business Breakfast Forum will host Dan Toland, communications specialist, Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, to present “Challenges, opportunities and the impact of social media on agriculture,” Thursday, Oct. 20 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.

The presentation will share how and why social media has become a preferred communications tool, how it can be productivity used for any agriculture-related business, and ways the agriculture industry can immediately benefit.… Continue reading

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Winterize your horse

By Katie Young, equine nutritionist, Purina Mills, LLC

Now that winter is approaching and temperatures are dropping, horse owners must consider winterizing their horses. During the cold season, owners must make sure their animals receive proper feed, water and shelter to stay healthy and comfortable.


Many horse owners believe that when the weather is cold, horses need to be fed rations containing more corn, because they think of corn as a “heating feed.” However, corn and other cereal grains do not cause the horse to become warmer; they simply provide more energy (calories). Hay, which contains more fiber than grain, provides more of a “warming effect” internally as more heat is released during digestion of fiber than grain starches. Therefore, horses are better able to maintain body heat if adequate hay is provided in the diet.

Good quality hay is important during cooler weather when pasture grasses are short or not growing.… Continue reading

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Update on Ike the rotten mini horse

After chasing Ike, my miniature horse, through the neighborhood a total of three times this spring, things started to settle down. It stopped raining and Ike and his brother, Mike, received regular turn-out, and Ike turned into quite the gentleman.
I talked my husband, Mark, and my parents, Ed and Bonnie Chatfield, into helping me show Ike and Mike at the Hartford Independent Fair. The boys behaved beautifully in halter; Ike competed in the single cart, and I drove the team in the wagon class. We placed well and everyone had a great time. Below are some photos and a video from the Hartford Independent Fair.

I was really looking forward to the Morrow County Fair, which was just a few weeks away. On Wednesday of the Morrow County Fair, I decided I should practice the single cart with Ike before the hitch show the next day. My dad helped me hook Ike to the cart, and Ike and I went for a practice drive in the arena.… Continue reading

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Farmland Policy Innovation Center announces Community-Based Agricultural Economic Development Grants

Six projects have been awarded grants through the Farmland Protection Partnership Program sponsored to support community-based agricultural economic development planning projects in Ohio.

The program is coordinated by Ohio State University’s Center for Farmland Policy Innovation, housed in the Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics. According to Jill Clark, director of the center, relatively few Ohio communities have ascertained community priorities and interest in the food and agricultural economic sector through a formal planning process, and integrated these priorities into plans for future development.

“Agriculture has long been a cornerstone of Ohio’s economy, and it is our hope that these grants will be used to foster new and innovative approaches to agriculture that will serve as an engine for Ohio’s agricultural future,” Clark said. “Planning projects are important to building a roadmap for future economic vitality, and we were pleased with the many strong applicants who offered creative ideas worthy of support.”… Continue reading

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Characteristics of a successful business

By Matt Reese

No matter what specific industry, there are a select few businesses that rise to the top. What separates these businesses from the rest? What do they have in common? What characteristics do those business owners possess? These answers to these questions has been a project of speaker Tom Shay, owner of Profits Plus Solutions for Small Businesses who advises business and delivers seminars around the country. These same answers can be helpful for farms and agribusinesses seeking success and inclusion in that elite group of top businesses in their field.

“Many of these traits are linked to one another and dependent upon one another, but most definitely they are traits of a successful business,” he said.

Shay is a fourth-generation businessman. His great-grandfather started G. W. Brown’s 3-in-1 — Convenience, Groceries, Gas in Fort Smith, Arkansas in the 1920s. Shay grew up working with his parents and grandparents in the family business and learned volumes about the factors for success in business.… Continue reading

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OFBF sees membership growth

The Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) has reached statewide membership gain with 214,391 members. It is the 43rd time in the past 44 years that the state’s largest farming and food organization has achieved membership growth.

Ohio Farm Bureau is an advocate for farmers and consumers, working in public policy, food and animal issues and communications. The organization works alongside county Farm Bureaus to serve their local communities and provides a variety of savings and incentive programs to its members.

OFBF accomplishments this year that helped build membership included repeal of Ohio’s estate tax, preservation of key farm and food funding in the state budget, assured protections for farm animals and their owners and enhanced environmental assistance.

Membership increased among both farmer members and associate members. Associates are members who are gardeners, food enthusiasts, enjoy agricultural experiences and can take advantage of the savings programs.

“Everything we accomplish in Farm Bureau, including membership growth, is because of our dedicated member-volunteers,” said John C.… Continue reading

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RMAP offers funding for small business

A critical economic development program that provides financial assistance for rural entrepreneurs and small business owners is available to Ohioans. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP) provides loans and grants to local organizations that re-loan money from USDA to small business owners and entrepreneurs in rural communities.

“Small businesses and entrepreneurs play an important role in the local economies of Ohio’s rural communities,” said U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown said.  “This funding gives Ohio’s economic development organizations resources to continue providing valuable assistance to create and sustain jobs throughout our state.”

RMAP funding may be used to provide fixed interest rate microloans to rural microentrepreneurs for startup and growing microenterprises. Some examples of eligible projects are: 

Loans for:

• Working capital

• Purchase of furniture, fixtures, supplies, inventory or equipment

• Debt refinancing

• Business acquisitions

• Purchase or lease of real estate that is already improved and will be used for the location of the subject business only (construction of any type is strictly prohibited)

Technical Assistance Grants (provision of education, guidance, or instruction to one or more rural microentrepreneurs):

• prepare them for self-employment;

• improve the state of their existing rural microenterprises;

• increase their capacity in a specific technical aspect of the subject business;

• and assist a rural microentrepreneur in achieving a degree of business preparedness and/or functions that will allow them to obtain or have the ability to obtain business loans independently.… Continue reading

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OEFFA tour heads to Local Roots Market

The next stop on OEFFA’s 2011 farm tour  series will be in Wooster, Ohio (Wayne Co.) at Local Roots Market and South Market Bistro on Saturday, October 1 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Join market manager Jessica Eikleberry for a tour of Local Roots Market, a year-round local food market that innovatively connects consumers with producers. All products at Local Roots Market are produced in Ohio and sold on consignment with 90 percent of the  sales going to the producer. Expect to see fresh produce, baked goods, frozen meats, dairy, grains, and much more from over 100 local producers!

Then, join the tour group  for an afternoon treat at South Market Bistro, where special arrangements have been made for tour participants. The bistro sources Local Roots Market products for their menu, showcasing locally-grown ingredients.

This tour is free and open to the  public. No registration is necessary.

For a complete description of the farm tour, including directions and a map, go to reading

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Farmers drive equipment to church for blessing

Members of Grace Lutheran church in Jackson Center know this harvest is going to be challenging. They held a harvest blessing service on Sunday morning outside the church. Farmer parishioners drove their tractors and combines to church.  A service was held inside the church and then more than 215 people gathered outside around the equipment for the special service that prayed for blessings on the harvest and farmers and for their safety this harvest season.

After the service the Jackson Center FFA held a breakfast that raised over $500.

The church hopes to make this an annual service each fall.

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OSU Extension to Lead Ohio Farm to School Program

As students head back to school, they may be eating more fresh Ohio foods in their school lunch, breakfast and snack programs. The Ohio State University Extension program in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences will now provide leadership for the statewide Farm to School program, tapping into the strength of state, county, regional and national networks. The program was formerly administered through the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

Ohio’s Farm to School program provides youth, pre-K through college, with access to nutritious food while supporting local farmers and communities. This program not only provides young people with fresh, local food, but also helps them understand where their food comes from and how food choices affect their health, environment and community.

“OSU Extension and their partners will be able to provide guidance and help make connections that result in healthy young people, healthy economies and healthy communities,” said OSU Extension Director Keith Smith.… Continue reading

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Issues and opportunities for shale gas production complex

Farmers and landowners face several complex issues and opportunities relative to mineral rights as Ohio develops natural gas production from Marcellus and Utica shale, advised experts from the Ohio State University speaking at Farm Science Review 2011.

“The best advice is ‘caveat emptor,’ buyer beware,” said Mike Lloyd, OSU Extension educator, and a panelist discussing the impact of natural gas production from shale on Ohio’s rural communities and economies. He joined professors Doug Southgate and Allen Klaiber of the Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics on the Review’s opening day panel.

Lloyd said some of the biggest concerns for potential leaseholders include the complexity of the lease agreements themselves, such as are they OK with a well being drilled on their property, or would they rather sign a non-drilling lease that would require the actual drilling to take place on neighboring land. While most landowners are interested in what their upfront payments and royalties will be, they also need to consider these details before signing a lease.… Continue reading

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Farm Science Review Photo Gallery

The final day of the Farm Science Review had the most cooperative weather and attendance was 28,774. The total attendance over three days was 134,734 visitors. Corn yields were in the 160- to 170-bushel range and moisture levels were generally around 33%. The harvest conditions and the grounds could best be described as soggy, but the damp conditions did little to dampen the show and the high spirits of those visiting.

Hopefully you got a chance to stop by and visit us at Ohio’s Country Journal and the Ohio Ag Net. Here are some photos for a review of the Review.… Continue reading

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The Country Chaplain: Connecting church generations

By Tim Reeves, the Country Chaplain

Pastor Mike Minter has written a book titled “A Western Jesus,” which examines how the western/American church has neglected its Biblical patterns and traditions in favor of the modern culture. That conflict has created “worship wars” in many American churches today, with the “traditionalists” and the “contemporaries” at odds with one another, which Minter says is not productive.

“The younger generation must learn why the older generation loves tradition, steeples, pews and hymnals. The older generation must learn why the younger generation likes change. Good, healthy dialogue in a teachable atmosphere can bring much fruit. Trying to prove that drums or guitars are of the devil or that hymns are boring become senseless arguments often birthed out of pride and a stubborn refusal to listen to the other side. The truth of church life often lies in the middle,” Minter said.

He makes a good point.… Continue reading

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Outdoor learning opportunities valuable for youth

By Dan Armitage

Although I fished all my life, I didn’t come into hunting until my 30s, when a certain person I had an interest in spending time with let me know that if I wanted to extend our summer relationship into the autumn, that I had better learn to shoot a shotgun. It seems that she had an affinity for waterfowl hunting and once the season commenced Terrie informed me that she would be spending more time in a duck blind than poolside at the apartment complex where we had met and enjoyed each other’s company through the warmer months.

Long story short, I bought a Steven’s 12-gauge side-by-side for $150 from the JC Penney’s outlet store in Columbus and found myself wanting for a place to learn to shoot it, let alone practice with the scattergun.

Had I been raised in rural Ohio, as had my love interest, I likely would not have faced such a learning curve when it came to firearms handling.… Continue reading

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Small farm college in Northeast Ohio

There is a growing trend in Ohio Agriculture toward the direct marketing of agricultural products featuring locally grown food products. Consumers are becoming more and more aware of the benefits of buying local and buying fresh. As the demand for local food products increases so does the interest in growing and producing a variety of agricultural products for these markets. Perhaps this is something that you have considered for your small acreage but do not know where to begin.

To help land owners decide what to grow or raise on their excess acreage, the Ohio State University Extension offices in the Western Reserve Extension Education and Research Area are pleased to announce the Northeast Ohio New & Small Farm College titled “Too Much to Mow-What Do I Grow?” will be held on Monday evenings September 26 and October 3, 10, & 17, 2011 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. in Madison (Lake County) Ohio.… Continue reading

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New legislation addresses dust regulations

New legislation introduced by Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) that would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating naturally occurring farm dust is welcome news for the nation’s farmers and ranchers, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.

“Regulation of farm dust by EPA could severely hamper the ability of farmers and ranchers to meet the world’s food needs,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman.

EPA is reviewing existing regulations for particulate matter, which includes soot and dust. Soot is generated by car emissions and factories; dust occurs naturally.

According to Stallman, planting and harvesting crops, livestock moving from place to place and people driving down dirt roads are just a few of the ways dust occurs naturally on farms and in rural areas.

“The current rules pertaining to dust are adequate,” Stallman said. “Increased regulation of farm dust could result in decreased productivity and higher food prices, coupled with lost jobs in the rural economy.… Continue reading

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OARDC to open a new agrosecurity research facility

Ohio State University’s Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) will unveil Sept. 16 a unique, highly secure bio-containment building aimed at enhancing its nationally and internationally recognized research programs on infectious diseases of plants and animals — and further safeguarding Ohio’s $90-plus billion agricultural industry.

The $22.2 million Plant and Animal Agrosecurity Research (PAAR) Facility will enable scientists on the Wooster campus to work with infectious agents classified by federal standards at the BSL-3 (biosafety level 3) and BSL-3 Agriculture safety levels. PAAR will be the first facility in Ohio and one of only two nationally with capacity for both plant and animal research at such safety levels.

“PAAR is a unique facility that will allow Ohio State to proactively address plant and animal pests that threaten our food and green industries in Ohio,” OARDC Director Steve Slack said. “We will now be able to initiate research to provide solutions on new and emerging problems before they cause significant losses, and will be able to attract the resources necessary to develop these solutions.”

… Continue reading

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Question the Authorities at FSR

Experts from Ohio State University’s Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics will present a series of updates on the agricultural economy, commodity markets and policy issues at the 2011 Farm Science Review, Sept. 20-22 at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center near London.

“Our ‘Question the Authorities’ sessions focus on the current economy and its effect on agriculture, broadly defined,” said Stan Ernst, OSU Extensionoutreach program leader. “We have a little extra this year related to energy and we’ll do some presentations on alternative enterprise examples, also.”

The Question the Authorities sessions are a staple of Extension’s educational offerings at Farm Science Review. Sessions run daily beginning at 9 a.m. at 426 Friday Ave. as part of OSU Central.

For corn, wheat and soybean producers, the Department’s popular grain marketing outlook presentations are offered three times each day of the Review. The program also features sessions on input costs, farmland values and cash rents, as well as sessions on estate planning and farm transfer issues.… Continue reading

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