Country Life

Ag Law Symposium next month

From shale gas legal issues to enforcing the state’s new Livestock Care Standards to federal and state agricultural legislation, the Nov. 18 Ohio Agricultural Law Symposium is packed with hot topics in the legal community.

Organizer Peggy Hall, director of Ohio State University Extension’s Agricultural and Resource Law Program, said the fourth annual program could well be the best one yet.

The symposium, at the Ohio Union at 1739 N. High St., runs from 9 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., with registration beginning at 8:30 a.m. Pre-registration, available at, is $260 for Ohio State Bar Association members or $325 for non-members, with six Continuing Legal Education credits. Non-CLE rates are available; call the Bar Association at 800-232-2174. Also, student scholarships are available through Ohio State’s Paul L. Wright Chair Fund in Agricultural Law; for information, contact Hall at 614-247-7898 or

Sessions include:

Chesapeake TMDL: EPA’s New Framework for Watershed Regulation, Danielle Quist, Senior Counsel for Public Policy, American Farm Bureau Federation, Washington, D.C.… Continue reading

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Trade agreements move to the Senate

On Monday, Oct. 3, President Obama submitted the three pending trade agreements with Colombia, Korea and Panama to Congress for consideration. The House of Representatives quickly took action on the submission with the Ways and Means Committee holding a mark-up on the agreements and passing them from committee. The House and Senate are expected to vote on U.S. free trade agreements (FTAs) with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea on Wednesday, Oct. 12.

The three trade agreements will be part of a package that includes Trade Adjustment Assistance. The Ohio Farm Bureau, the American Soybean Association, the National Corn Growers Association, the National Pork Producers Council, the Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association and other groups support the Colombia, Korea and Panama trade agreements and Trade Adjustment Assistance and are encouraging members to call their Senators.

“The extreme value of the export market cannot be exaggerated,” said Tadd Nicholson, Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association interim CEO and director of government and industry affairs.… Continue reading

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Does religion have a place in politics?

By Tim Reeves, the Country Chaplain

It’s more than a year away, but the election to choose the next president can’t come soon enough. We still have more than 12 months before we’ll decide who that individual will be, but already, I’m a little weary of the process. Political pundits predict this election will be one of the dirtiest and nastiest on record.

I can believe that with what we’ve seen already in media coverage of the Republican Party candidate selection. What bothers me most, however, is how the national media has all but crucified candidates such as Michelle Bachman and Rick Perry for their alleged “extreme” religious beliefs.

How in the world did we as a nation ever slip to this level where it is a seemingly black mark against any politician who either expresses a Christian religious idea or isn’t afraid to talk openly about his/her Christian faith? If you’re a political candidate and you’re something other than a Christian, it’s apparently okay to talk about your faith in public, but if you’re a Christian, you’re supposed to be quiet and not express yourself?… Continue reading

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USDA Grant helps Ohio counties impacted by DHL departure

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced funding awards that will support rural communities, help create jobs and build regional economies in 34 states, including Ohio. Vilsack made the announcement during the Rural Wealth Creation and Livelihoods Conference, sponsored by the USDA Economic Research Service and the Ford Foundation.

“The funds I am announcing will help local business leaders, communities, and disadvantaged agricultural producers take more of a collaborative and regional approach toward jobs creation, business development and economic growth,” said Vilsack.

Among the awards is a $48,500 Rural Business Opportunity Grant for “Energize Clinton County,” a Wilmington initiative that provides marketing and business development support for smaller retail, restaurant and agricultural businesses.

“We are very excited about this USDA grant!” said Energize Clinton County Co-Director Mark Rembert. “We’ve been extremely hard hit by the recession here, losing about 10,000 jobs since DHL Express left the Wilmington Air Park in 2009.”

Rembert said the funds will help create a technical training center that will serve communities in a seven county rural region in southwest and south central Ohio, including Clinton, Fayette, Highland, Adams, Ross, Pike and Scioto counties.… Continue reading

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Grow Forward program partners farmers and OSU athletics

The Ohio State Athletic Department’s Buckeye Club has initiated a new program to engage one of Ohio State’s most loyal and passionate fan bases: Ohio Farmers. The “Grow Forward” program is a partnership between Ohio Agriculture and the Buckeye Club with an ultimate goal of fully supporting Ohio State’s student-athlete scholarship fund.

“The Buckeyes are Ohio’s team and we want to make sure rural communities are represented in the Horseshoe,” Jordan Birkemeier, Director of the Buckeye Club, said. “With our tremendous fan base inside the state, we want to make sure supporters know how they can make an impact on Ohio State student-athletes and receive access to season tickets. This initiative hopefully will educate people on how they can do both by joining the Buckeye Club.”

The Buckeye Club has partnered with four key organizations in Ohio to raise awareness of the Grow Forward program: the Ohio AgriBusiness Association (OABA), the Ohio Soybean Association, the Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association and the Ohio Farmers Union.… Continue reading

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Webinar to discuss changes in child labor regulations

The OSU Agricultural Safety and Health Program will present the webinar “Changes to the Agricultural Child Labor Regulations: What it could mean when hiring young people on the farm” on Thursday, Oct. 6 from 3-4 p.m. Jepsen will present the online seminar, which will outline the proposed changes and explain what the Department of Labor’s ruling could mean for Ohio farms and agricultural businesses that employ teens.

Topics will include:

1) Regulatory changes to the Child Labor Laws for Agriculture.

2) Changes to the training exemption — commonly known as the Tractor Certification Program, and

3) How to respond to this proposed ruling through the U.S. Dept of Labor, Wage and Hour Division.

To attend the webinar session, go to and enter event number 661 872 503 and event password agsafety.

To attend via teleconference, call the toll-free number (US/Canada) 1-877-668-4493 or the toll number 1-408-600-3600 and enter the access code 661 872 503.… Continue reading

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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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