Country Life

Funding for USDA Wetland Reserve Easements now available to Ohio landowners

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Ohio Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced a special set-aside funding pool for  landowners interested in restoring, enhancing, and protecting wetlands through the Wetlands Reserve Easement Program (WRE). This year, Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) funding has provided additional financial opportunities for the program, as wetlands play a critical role in climate mitigation. The first application cutoff date to receive fiscal year 2024 funding for both the WRE and WRE-IRA program is November 15, 2023.  

Wetland Reserve Easements can help landowners protect land from climate impacts by reducing, capturing and sequestering carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide emissions. Additional benefits include land development protection, critical wildlife habitat preservation and water quality improvement

“Wetlands are one of nature’s most productive ecosystems and provide improved water quality and improved wildlife habitat,” said John Wilson, NRCS State Conservationist in Ohio. “We hope to reap these benefits and more by assisting landowners with creating and restoring these critical habitats.” … Continue reading

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Feeding Farmers in the Field finds impressive growth at Creek Bottom Farms

For the fourth and final week of the fall 2023 edition of Feeding Farmers in the Field, Ohio Ag Net’s Dusty Sonnenberg visits with Matt Treglia of Creek Bottom Farms outside of Ada. The multi-county farm has seen impressive growth since two friends, Matt Treglia and Chad Grant, established the operation in 1999. It now includes 6,000 acres in Allen, Hardin, and Hancock Counties where it employs six people.

Along with a broadcast from their operation, they won a free lunch at the farm and an assortment of other prizes thanks to 92.1 The Frog, as well as A.G. Boogher and Son, RRR Tire, Fertilizer Dealer Supply, North Star Hardware & Implement Co., Farm Credit Mid-America, VTF-Sunrise, Homan Inc., and Golden Harvest.… Continue reading

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The farm bill protects everyone

By Glenn Brunkow, farmer and rancher and Farm Bureau leader in Kansas

This has been a tough year, there is no way around it. Rain did not come at the right times and our crops reflect that. When you couple that with declining crop prices, rising interest rates and the increasing cost of inputs, things sure are tough on the farm. Without crop insurance, this year would have been disastrous. For many of us the same could have been said for several of the past years. Crop insurance is truly our safety net in agriculture.

That is why protecting crop insurance and other risk management tools is so important in the upcoming farm bill. Agriculture and food security are paramount to the future of our nation. A hungry nation is not a secure nation, and American farmers and ranchers have done their part in providing food security. Crop insurance is vital to the future of agriculture in the United States as it provides a bridge over troubled waters for ag producers.… Continue reading

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Louis Dreyfus announces $500 million soy plant coming to Upper Sandusky

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted, Ohio Department of Development Director Lydia Mihalik, and JobsOhio president and CEO J.P. Nauseef announced Friday that a new soybean processing plant in Upper Sandusky will bring more than 100 new jobs to Ohio.

Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC), a leading merchant and processor of agricultural goods, will invest approximately $500 million to construct the new plant in Wyandot County, bolstering the region’s economic growth in the critical food and agriculture sector.

“Soybeans are Ohio’s top exported agriculture product, so we are very excited to welcome LDC to Upper Sandusky,” said Governor DeWine. “This new facility will not only bring in new jobs, but it will also lead to new avenues for growth and innovation in Ohio’s agricultural sector.” 

There are approximately 26,000 soybean farmers in Ohio, and the annual economic impact from soybean production in Ohio is $5.3 billion. LDC’s state-of-the-art soybean processing plant will have integrated crushing, edible oil refining, and lecithin production and packaging capabilities.  

“LDC choosing Upper Sandusky for its expansion grows our robust agricultural industry and adds to the list of innovative companies choosing Ohio because of our talented workforce and dedication to business growth,” said Ohio Lt.… Continue reading

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Hometown Harvest Day honors Brandt

The first Annual Hometown Harvest Day to be held Sunday, Oct. 22 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Bloom-Carroll Land Lab behind the Bloom-Carroll Elementary.

The event will showcase Fairfield County in honor of the late David Brandt of Carroll, Ohio. Brandt, a farmer in the local community, was nationally recognized for his use of soil conservation methods in agriculture. He also was a long-time supporter of our Bloom-Carroll, specifically the agriculture program where he donated equipment, expertise and time for students to gain real world farming experiences.

The Hometown Harvest Day is a family-oriented event with multiple interactive stations where all ages can learn about the latest agriculture techniques while having fun. Families will visit stations and end up in the Bloom-Carroll FFA’s pumpkin patch, where children can pick out their own pumpkin to take home for free. Refreshments from Fairfield County agriculture will be available free of charge as well.… Continue reading

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Ag groups express opposition to Spartz anti-checkoff amendment

In late September, the U.S. House of Representatives voted down Rep. Victoria Spartz’s (R-IN) amendment to the Fiscal Year 2024 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act by a vote of 49 to 377. The amendment targeted commodity checkoff programs and was vehemently opposed by many agricultural organizations.

Leading up to the House vote, a letter was sent to Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and 129 leading state and national livestock, crop, and forestry organizations opposing the legislation. The Spartz amendment to the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act attacks commodity checkoff programs, which are industry-led organizations that exist to promote agricultural products and support America’s hardworking farmers and ranchers.

“As a cattle producer, I am proud to pay into the Beef Checkoff because I know my $1 is doing more for our entire industry than I could do on my own,” said Todd Wilkinson, NCBA president and South Dakota cattle producer.… Continue reading

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Cooperative model holding strong in 2023

By Matt Reese and Dale Minyo

In October, cooperatives around the country commemorated National Cooperative Month and celebrated this year’s theme: “Owning our identity.”

In the current challenging times with inflation and various supply chain issues, cooperatives — guided by a set of shared principles and values — are as relevant and successful as ever. The United States has more than 30,000 cooperatives accounting for more than 2 million jobs and $700 billion in annual revenue. Of those, 1,670 agricultural co-ops generate $300 billion in revenue for American farmers from nearly 10,000 locations.

“Cooperatives have been around for a long time. It’s thriving obviously in ag finance where we’re at, but rural utilities and other areas cooperatives serve still play a vital role in rural communities,” said Evan Hahn, Regional Vice President of Agricultural Lending Farm Credit Mid-America (FMCA). “It sure seems like agriculture and rural areas are where cooperatives have really thrived and are the most prevalent today.… Continue reading

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Ohio Farm Bureau opposes Issue 2

Ohio Farm Bureau is opposed to Issue 2, which would authorize and regulate the cultivation, processing, sale, purchase, possession, home grow, and use of recreational marijuana by adults over the age of 21.

This decision, made by the Ohio Farm Bureau Board of Trustees, falls directly in line with the policies created through a grassroots process for Ohio’s largest farm organization.

“Maintaining a healthy, strong and vibrant workforce is a top priority for Ohio Farm Bureau as our members grow food, fiber and fuel for the world and contribute billions of dollars to our state’s economy,” said Adam Sharp, executive vice president of Ohio Farm Bureau. “The passage of Issue 2 would jeopardize not only the safety of farm and food workers, but the ability to keep employees on the payroll and fill the thousands of positions still needed to keep Ohio’s No. 1 industry moving in the right direction.”

The concerns for Ohio’s workforce due to the influence of recreational marijuana includes increased absenteeism, as well as a decrease in productivity and a negative impact on workplace safety.… Continue reading

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Autumn auctions aplenty

By Matt Reese

A new Ohio law took effect in 2022 to protect farmers from late lease terminations after resources have already been invested into the next year’s crop. According to the new law, if an existing farm lease does not include a termination date or method, landowners are required to provide termination notice to the tenant by Sept. 1. While considered positive for Ohio agriculture, the measure does have implications for the timing of farmland auctions.

Devin Dye

Lima-based Dye Real Estate and Land Co. has a very busy late 2023 schedule with farm auctions, in part due to the new lease law.

“We have five auctions coming up between now and Thanksgiving. We’re going to be all over northwest Ohio and west central Ohio in Defiance County, Auglaize County, Hardin County, Putnam County, and Henry County and we’re having conversations with some more families about other auctions that we may add.… Continue reading

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AgCredit launches Feed the Farmer Program

AgCredit — one of northern Ohio’s largest lenders for farmers, rural homeowners and agribusiness – launched their Feed the Farmer initiative this week. This is the third year they will be providing harvest meals to local farms as a way to thank farmers for the work they do year round. Now through October 31, 2023, you can nominate your own farm or another farm for a chance to win a meal delivered by AgCredit in November. Visit to enter.

AgCredit is a member of the nationwide Farm Credit System. For more information about the Association and its patronage dividend program, please visit… Continue reading

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Members approve merger of Luckey Farmers, Inc.

The members of Luckey Farmers, Inc. based in Woodville, and Ida Farmers Cooperative, based in Ida, Mich., have approved the merger of their cooperatives at each of their special meetings held Oct. 3, 2023. The effective date of the merger will be Feb. 1, 2024

After holding a series of informational meetings, both cooperative boards were pleased that the memberships approved the board’s recommendation for the merger.

“We are confident that together we will become an even stronger cooperative and be better positioned to improve our already strong portfolio of products and services that we offer,” said John Moore, Luckey Farmers board chairman. “Both cooperatives have employee teams that take pride in their work and will continue their strong culture of service and commitment to our customers.”

Each cooperative met their respective state cooperative law and individual bylaw requirements for a successful merger vote for lucky farmers the current bylaws state that a quorum necessary for any vote or other action by the members is at least 10% of the members in the association participating in person or by absentee vote.… Continue reading

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Jill Biden visits Ohio poultry farm

In October, First Lady Jill Biden visited Outward Farms, a family-owned egg farm in Union County as part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Investing in America tour. She also met students as a part of the Investing in America Workforce Hub efforts in Columbus. 

“As a farm that always puts our ‘ladies (hens) first’, hosting First Lady Jill Biden at Outward Farms was an honor for me and our family, and the visit allowed us to discuss our shared commitment to education and the importance of creating learning and authenticity in every experience,” said Sandra Lausecker, president, CEO and founder of Outward Farms. “As third-generation egg farmers, my brother Daniel Lausecker and I build our values into all we do at Outward Farms and are deliberate about transparency and sustainability in all aspects of organic egg production. The opportunity to showcase our innovative approach to egg farming, feature an overview of our future Education Center, and share the incredible work that U.S.… Continue reading

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One pot meals combine food and fun

By Shelly Detwiler

It was the summer of ’85. Tables were set, lobsters were boiled, sides were steaming, and the beautiful Lake Champlain provided the ambiance. A lobster boil was happening on the lakeside of North Hero House, North Hero Island, Vt. As a 20-year-old living the dream spending the summer in Vermont, it was my intro to the one pot dinner and a show experience. What an experience it was! It combined my love of entertaining, food and social all wrapped into one. It was food culture at its finest and I was in love.

Back in the day, these one pot meals were created as an easy way to feed a crowd with whatever you had on hand regionally. Today these regional feasts are one pot meals on steroids — part experience, part meal. Typically, these boils, bakes and roasts are made with seafood but take a look at the cowboy version as well.… Continue reading

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Use care when negotiating oil and gas leases

By Matt Reese

Interest and activity in eastern Ohio’s oil and gas leasing has been picking up again in some new areas.

“Oil and gas have a long history in eastern Ohio dating back nearly 100 years. If you have a farm over here in eastern Ohio, likely you had an oil or gas well on it at some point in the history of that farm,” said Clif Little, Ohio State University Extension educator in Guernsey County. “Around the 2010 timeframe, the Utica-Marcellus craze went through and there was a lot of leasing activity, but most of the development was further east of Interstate-77. Even portions of land here in Noble and Guernsey County weren’t highly sought after. But recently, oil prices have gone up and there’s been renewed interest in leasing in some of these areas.”

Little specializes in beef, sheep, forages, grazing systems, and oil and gas leasing. He is also the author of “Important aspects of an oil and gas lease” at: reading

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Ohio contemplating temporary CAUV changes

By Jeffrey K. Lewis, Attorney and Program Coordinator, OSU Extension Income Tax Schools

Two separate, but very similar, pieces of legislation are working their way through the Ohio Legislature and could end up affecting your farmland’s current agricultural use value (“CAUV”). House Bill 187 (“HB 187”) and Senate Bill 153 (“SB 153”) both seek to adjust how property values are assessed in Ohio and some of those proposed changes specifically affect CAUV. 

Both proposed bills aim to make temporary adjustments to CAUV for farmland. These changes will impact farmland that undergo reappraisal or triennial updates in 2023, 2024, or 2025. The adjustment does not alter the CAUV formula itself but rather calculates a farm’s CAUV at its next reappraisal or update as the average between the CAUV for that year and the CAUV it would have if it were in a county that had reappraisals or updates in the two previous years.… Continue reading

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Feeding Farmers | R-Hart Farm, Auglaize Co.

Alan and Randi Rinehart joins the Ohio Ag Net as the second week’s winners of Feeding Farmers in the Field. They discuss the family operation, their past history as a dairy farm, and harvest results so far out of April-planted fields. Alan also stays busy in the custom hay business with fifth cutting hay this time of year.

Along with a broadcast from their operation, they won a free lunch at the farm and an assortment of other prizes thanks to 92.1 The Frog, as well as A.G. Boogher and Son, RRR Tire, Fertilizer Dealer Supply, North Star Hardware & Implement Co., Farm Credit Mid-America, VTF-Sunrise, Homan Inc., and Golden Harvest.… Continue reading

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Night for Young Professionals inspires future leaders at Wilmington College

By Shelbie Snoke, Wilmington College

Students had a successful night of networking and professional development when Wilmington College’s agriculture department hosted the Night for Young Professionals in October, sponsored by Ohio Soybean Council and Ohio’s soybean farmers.

The theme of the event was Green to Great and coordinated with the help of agriculture students Paige Teeters, Mekenzie Jolliff, and Shelbie Snoke, and advisor Chad McKay, along with Ohio Ag Net’s Bernadette Arehart. Around 70 students came together for the event including a dinner from City BBQ, breakout rooms led by professionals in the agriculture industry, and incredible prize giveaways.

“It is opportunities like this that set Wilmington College apart from the rest of the pack,” McKay said. “Our students meet industry professionals and have the ability to network with them and when the time comes to land that internship or career, they have the connections made to get their feet in the door.” … Continue reading

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CWD testing underway

By Dan Armitage

Hunters in Hardin, Marion, and Wyandot counties have additional opportunities to harvest white-tailed deer as the Ohio Division of Wildlife (ODOW) continues to monitor for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in the region. Since the fall of 2020, 23 wild deer in Ohio have tested positive for CWD, all in Marion and Wyandot counties. A disease surveillance area was established in Hardin, Marion, and Wyandot counties in 2021 and remains in effect. CWD is a fatal neurological disease that affects deer and other similar species, including mule deer, elk, and moose. No evidence exists that CWD can spread to humans, pets, or livestock.

The Division established earlier hunting seasons within the disease surveillance area to slow the spread of CWD by reducing deer numbers before the breeding season. Archery hunting season began Sept. 9, and an early gun hunting season is open Saturday, Oct. 7 to Monday, Oct. 9.… Continue reading

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A cooperative experience for Ohio high schoolers

Educators in the Appalachian Region of Ohio have been working with area high schools to share information about cooperative business models and agricultural careers.

Since the early 1900s, cooperatives have been active in rural America, from small grocery co-ops to multi-state agricultural co-ops. Many people in many counties in the Appalachian Region of Ohio struggle with poverty. The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (OSU-CFAES) Center for Cooperatives has been working to raise awareness about the co-op business model as an opportunity for economic development and justice in the region. They’ve been showing young people how cooperatives can be a strategy for sustainability. 

“After learning more about the future talent needs of cooperatives, a colleague suggested we develop a program to help young people see varied cooperative career opportunities, and I was excited to help young people see agriculture from lots of perspectives the way I have been lucky to personally,” said Hannah Scott, CFAES Center for Cooperatives at OSU program director, who comes from an Ohio farm family.… Continue reading

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