Country Life

HungerU visits Ohio State campus to discuss agriculture’s role in ending hunger

By Heather Hetterick, Ohio Ag Net

The Ohio State University was one of seven stops on the inaugural HungerU tour that travelled the country to raise awareness of hunger problems and generate solutions for the future.

“Our goal is to engage with college students in conversations about how advanced agriculture can end today’s world hunger problems,” said Amanda Stevens, one of four women who travel across the country with the HungerU tour, which is a project of Farmers Feeding the World.

The HungerU team along with Ohio State students enrolled in the College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences set up on the Oval to start a discussion and bring attention to the issue of hunger.

“We took free t-shirts, water bottles and information about HungerU. We created conversations all day long with students about world hunger, causes of hunger, and tried to get students thinking about how we can end hunger using advanced agriculture methods,” Stevens said.… Continue reading

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Hidden potential in Ohio’s woodlands

By Kayla Weaver, OCJ field reporter

For many people in Ohio, the arrival of fall means it’s once again time to start grabbing a jacket in the morning, enjoying some fresh apple cider or planning a trip to the local pumpkin patch. For farmers, it means another crop cycle is coming to an end and harvest is upon them. In the fall, it is also hard to ignore the grand display of the trees as their leaves change to brilliant colors before making their descent to ground. It may be hard to ignore the changing of the leaves, but often times it is easy to ignore the potential of the woodland beyond the few colorful weeks of fall.

Past the beauty of the fall leaves, woodlands are a great place for hunting, trapping and camping, but they are also produce crops, that if managed properly, can provide a source of income, recreation and enjoyment for generations to come.… Continue reading

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Protection and support for optimal joint health

By David Marlin, Ph.D.
Daily exercise and the rigors of competition are some of the most common causes of joint injuries in horses, which can lead to a considerable amount of lost training time. While a horse’s body has a tremendous capacity for repair, it is not uncommon for damage to exceed this capacity. In such instances, feeding a health and support supplement for joints is an ideal solution for protecting against joint damage and helping the horse’s body to repair ongoing damage.
Wear and tear on the skeletal system of a performance horse, particularly the cartilage surfaces of joints, may be an inevitable consequence of exercise or simply getting older. Degenerative joint disease (DJD) sometimes referred to as osteoarthritis (OA), is believed to increase with age and is often seen in active performance horses.
Horses’ joints effectively act as shock absorbers. They must provide a lubrication system to reduce the friction involved in movement between the joint surfaces.… Continue reading

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Is horse crazy a contagious disease?

By Kim Lemmon

Last July, I sold my remaining pygmy goats. I had raised goats for nearly seven years and although I loved the goats, I had had enough for a while.
Most folks who know me, including my husband, Mark, were shocked by my decision but I had a plan. I still owned my draft mare, Julie; a mini appy gelding, Harley; and Sid, the mini appy gelding I bought in July, but I knew I wanted one more horse — a bred mini mare.
For a couple of years now, I have wanted to have the foal experience. I wanted this experience bad enough that I sold the goats and saved up money and space in the barn in order to buy a bred mare. I was really excited.
I kept my wish pretty quiet until after my county fair and Farm Science Review because my schedule was too full to start a search for a mare and I really didn’t have time to take care of one more horse at that point anyway.… Continue reading

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Ag awaits FTA implementation with Panama

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative announced that the long-awaited free trade agreement (FTA) between the U.S. and Panama will enter into force on Oct. 31.

Years of effort from every sector of agriculture will come to fruition when the Panama FTA is enacted. Tariffs on many U.S. agricultural products will be removed including corn, wheat, soybeans, soybean meal, crude vegetable oils, and many beef, poultry and pork products. Additionally, the FTA will level the trade playing field between the two countries, which currently sees more than 99% of Panamanian exports to the U.S. enter duty free under the Caribbean Basin Initiative, while the majority of American exports to Panama are subject to tariffs.

Agricultural organizations are already celebrating the changes.

“The enactment of the free trade agreement with Panama at the end of the month is a big win for soybean farmers,” said Steve Wellman, American Soybean Association president.… Continue reading

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Blacklegged ticks increasing in Ohio

Hunters and outdoors enthusiasts should be aware of a relatively new tick in Ohio, the blacklegged “deer” tick, according to the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) in conjunction with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.

Blacklegged ticks were once considered rare in Ohio, but the state now has likely established populations in 26 counties, most east of Interstate 71 where deciduous forests are present. These small, dark ticks are known transmitters of Lyme disease and remain active throughout the year, including the fall and winter when temperatures are above freezing. Learn more about identifying these pests at

 … Continue reading

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Renewable energy workshop

Wind farms. Solar power. Biogas. Ohio is starting to embrace renewable energy. And you will have a chance to learn more about the opportunities and challenges of green energy generation Nov. 8 on the Wooster campus of Ohio State University’s Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC).

The 2012 Renewable Energy Workshop will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at OARDC’s Fisher Auditorium, 1680 Madison Ave., Wooster. Afternoon activities include tours of Wooster area green energy companies and projects.

Registration (including lunch and materials) costs $40 before Nov. 2 and $50 after that date. The cost for college students is $20. To register, fill out the form available on the workshop’s brochure, downloadable at or contact Mary Wicks, 330-202-3533,

”Our speakers this year include OARDC researchers and OSU Extension specialists involved in various renewable energy projects, representatives from green energy companies, and representatives from businesses that have decided to include a renewable energy component in their operations,” said Yebo Li, an OARDC biosystems engineer who specializes in renewable energy, fuel and products. 

… Continue reading

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Section 179, Bonus Depreciation and Tax Strategies

By Chris Bruynis, Assistant Professor/Extension Educator, OSU Extension Ross County

Harvest is well underway, and even with the lower yields, farmers are starting to look at minimizing their tax liability for 2012. Farmers and their tax accountants are fully aware of the strategies and tools available to them, especially if they are using a cash accounting method. Farmers have historically delayed the sale of crops into the next calendar year and purchased inputs for the next year’s crop. In the past several years there have also been IRS policies that encouraged investment in equipment and buildings. Section 179 and Bonus Depreciation are the most common ones used by farmers.

The Section 179 tax provision allows businesses to deduct the full amount of the purchase price of equipment (up to certain limits). It can be elected for either new or used equipment purchased in fiscal calendar year of the business. In 2012, the deduction amount is $139,000 but is slated to be reduced to $25,000 in 2013.… Continue reading

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Court allows AFBF to join farmer lawsuit against EPA

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia has ruled that the American Farm Bureau Federation has a right to join in a lawsuit over the scope of the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate poultry and livestock farms under the Clean Water Act. In July, AFBF asked for permission to join on the side of West Virginia poultry grower Lois Alt, who brought suit to challenge an EPA order demanding that she obtain a CWA discharge permit for stormwater runoff from her farmyard. The West Virginia Farm Bureau has also joined the lawsuit. EPA aggressively opposed the Farm Bureaus’ participation.

“The court clearly recognizes the importance of this case for thousands of other livestock and poultry farmers threatened by EPA’s unlawful restriction of the agricultural stormwater exemption,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman. “The court flatly rejected EPA’s argument that other farmers facing similar EPA demands should be forced to file their own lawsuits.… Continue reading

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U.S. Forest Service Awards $3 million in grants to protect Great Lakes

The U.S. Forest Service announced today nearly $3 million in grants to improve tree canopy, forest cover and ultimately, water quality in six Great Lakes states, including Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, New York, Illinois and Indiana.

The grants are part of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a cooperative effort between federal, tribal, state and local partners. The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is the largest investment in the Great Lakes in two decades.

“The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative will improve the environmental health and economic vitality of the world’s largest freshwater system,” said USDA Undersecretary Harris Sherman. “The Forest Service, together with our partners, is working to improve America’s treasured landscapes in more than 7,000 communities across the country.”

The U.S. EPA-funded grants administered by the Forest Service will support community forestry efforts to improve the interception, evaporation, infiltration and storage of rainfall and storm water.

“Healthy forests and lands support healthy waters,” said U.S.… Continue reading

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Rural America needs to embrace political power

Corn Commentary by the National Corn Growers Association

Rural America, in large part, votes. With a keen awareness of how government policies and regulations directly impact their operations, farmers head to the polls. While most farmers actively support candidates who value agriculture, understand the impact of over-regulation and who see the importance of supporting rural America, the political influence of rural America has waned in the past few decades.

Issues such as the farm bill, renewable fuels policy, estate taxes and proposed regulations could, if mishandled, sock U.S. farmers in the collective gut. In America’s heartland, the men and women who grow food and fuel for the nation look toward the election with a drought on their minds and a steely resolve in their eyes.

What does this picture lack?

Reports from New Orleans detailed a festive atmosphere on Bourbon Street. Unlike Mardi Gras revelers intent upon imbibing, the 10,000 plus Venezuelans celebrating in the streets had traveled to Louisiana not to party but to vote.… Continue reading

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Shale Energy Community Education Workshop planned for Nov. 10

Ohio State University Extension is hosting a community education workshop on shale energy development on Nov. 10.

“Shale and You: A Workshop for Landowners and Communities” will be held at the Pritchard Laughlin Civic Center, 7033 Glenn Highway, Cambridge, 1-6 p.m. Registration is $10 and must be received by Monday, Nov. 5, by the Guernsey County office of OSU Extension in Old Washington, Ohio. Registration forms with the office’s address and other details can be downloaded (PDF) at or by going to and clicking on the “Shale and You” event under “Upcoming Extension Events.”

“What we hope to do is help landowners and community leaders make the best decisions possible,” said Peggy Hall, assistant professor and OSU Extension field specialist in agricultural and resource law.

“We’re not attempting to discuss the pros and cons of such development — that’s something for individuals and policy-makers to consider,” Hall said. “As an educational institution, OSU Extension simply aims to provide relevant information to help inform those who are dealing with shale energy development.”… Continue reading

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USFRA Food Dialogues focuses on antibiotics, biotechnology and the media

Americans continue to have questions about how food is grown and raised. In response, the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance, which was created to lead the dialogue and answer questions consumers have about food production will host The Food Dialogues: New York in November.

Recently, USFRA announced the panelists who will assemble at The TimesCenter in Midtown Manhattan Nov. 15 for panel discussions on some of today’s most pressing issues concerning food — antibiotics, biotechnology and media, marketing and food.

The panel discussions, which will stream live at, will focus on three separate topics. USFRA has assembled a group of panelists who are experts in their respective fields with various points of view on the panel topics, including Tracie McMillan, author of “The American Way of Eating,” representatives from Consumers Union, the American Veterinary Medical Association, and farmers and ranchers from across the country.

The “Media, Marketing and Healthy Choices” panel will examine how the media’s coverage of food and its health benefits has impacted consumer choice.… Continue reading

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Senatorial candidates square off on Ohio agriculture

Each candidate for Ohio’s U.S. Senate seat was asked to respond to this question:

Why should Ohio’s farmers vote for you and your ideas on farm policy?


Incumbent Senator Sherrod Brown (D)

I am working every day in every way I know how to support Ohio’s farmers and agricultural community. Approximately one out of seven jobs in Ohio is tied to agriculture, making it our largest industry. As the first Ohio Senator to serve on the Senate Agriculture Committee in 40 years, I have travelled throughout the state listening to Ohio’s farmers and taking their concerns and needs back to Washington. Some of the ideas brought up at these community roundtables have led me to reach across the aisle and work with some of my Republican colleagues to better protect Ohio’s farmers.

I was a vocal supporter of both the 2012 and 2008 Farm Bills. The 2012 version needs to pass to ensure a number of vital programs remain in effect and provide much needed relief to farmers affected by the recent drought.… Continue reading

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Presidential candidates share views on ag

Ohio Farm Bureau asked the Presidential contenders what they believe is the appropriate role of government in assuring Americans continue to have access to a safe, affordable and abundant food supply. Their answers follow.


Barack Obama

Strong and prosperous agricultural communities lead to a strong and prosperous America. Under my leadership, Agriculture has been one of the fastest-growing parts of our economy, creating one out of every 12 American jobs. In 2011, American farm income reached the highest point since 1974, with a record number of agricultural exports, which means more of our products are being sold in markets around the world.
American agriculture provides domestic food security for millions of Americans. Our farmers deserve a strong farm safety net while they work to feed America. My administration has increased the availability of crop insurance and emergency disaster assistance to help 575,000 farmers and ranchers keep their farms in business after natural disasters and crop loss.… Continue reading

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Ohio farm voters impact state and federal levels

A conversation with…Adam Sharp, Ohio Farm Bureau

OCJ: Why is Ohio such an important battleground for the presidential candidates in an election year?

Adam: It has long been believed that “as goes Ohio, so goes the nation,” which is evident by the amount of time that the candidates for President and Vice President, as well as important campaign figureheads, have spent in our state. Ohio is a populous Midwestern state that has a number of electoral votes up for grabs. We also have a good track record on picking Presidential candidates; since 1896 we’ve only picked the losing candidate twice (1944 and 1960). As an aside, we are second only to Nevada in picking presidents correctly. Why this is the case is something that political pundits and professors have dozens of theories about.

OCJ: Could you provide a brief outline of State Issue 1 that will be on the ballot this fall?… Continue reading

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2012 election will be a defining moment for the nation

By Tim Reeves, the Country Chaplain

We’ve all experienced life changing moments — when a parent dies, when an older sibling dies, your first romantic kiss, your first school dance with a “date,” you enlist in the military, you get married, you hold your firstborn child, your job is eliminated, you declare bankruptcy, your spouse files for divorce, you have a heart attack but wake up, etc.

We could fill these pages with similar “before” and “after” life moments, but whatever they are, they change us by forcing us to examine who and what we are and what we’re doing with our life.

One of the most interesting defining moments I ever experience as a pastor is when I visit a person who is confronted with their own impending mortality. When a person faces death and knows there is no escape, it amazes me how perspectives on life are changed and they become more open to examining, and sharing, perspectives on their life’s “defining moments.”… Continue reading

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