Country Life



A hunting we will go: laws landowners need to know

By Peggy Hall, director of agricultural law, Ohio State University Agricultural and Resource Law Program

With archery season in full swing and deer gun season opening today, hunters will be out in full force across Ohio. That means it’s also high season for questions about hunting laws, trespassers, property harm, and landowner liability. Below, we provide answers to the top ten frequently asked questions we receive on these topics.

I gave them permission to hunt on my land, but do I have to sign something? Permission to hunt should be in writing. Ohio law requires a person to obtain written permission from a landowner or the landowner’s agent before hunting on private lands or waters and to carry the written permission while hunting. A hunter who doesn’t obtain written permission can be subject to criminal misdemeanor charges. ORC 1533.17. The ODNR provides a permission form at http://wildlife.ohiodnr.gov/Portals/wildlife/pdfs/publications/hunting/Pub8924_PermissiontoHunt.pdf. If a hunter uses another form, read it carefully before signing and ensure that it only addresses hunting and doesn’t grant other rights that you don’t want to allow on the land.… Continue reading

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Grassroots efforts of Farm Bureau take shape in Columbus this week

Embracing a New Century is the theme of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s 101st Annual Meeting, Dec. 4 – 5 at the Columbus Convention Center and Hilton Columbus Downtown hotel.

More than 600 attendees will be on hand as the state’s largest and most influential farm and food organization establishes its policy on important state and federal issues, elects leaders and recognizes the accomplishments of individuals and the organization.

Ohio Farm Bureau delegates and members in attendance will hear from Gov. Mike DeWine at this year’s event. Among other topics of high interest to Ohio agriculture, Gov. DeWine will discuss plans for the newly unveiled H2Ohio water quality initiative.

Farm Bureau President Frank Burkett III and Executive Vice President Adam Sharp will address the delegates. They are expected to recap some of the organization’s achievements during its Centennial year including two of its highest priority issues: preservation of the business income tax deduction and a collaborative plan to address water quality challenges, which have been included in the state budget.… Continue reading

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These are those good old days

By Dan Armitage, host of Buckeye Sportsman, Ohio’s longest running outdoor radio show

The news just keep getting better regarding the future of fishing in Ohio waters of Lake Erie. Preliminary results from surveys in the western basin of the lake indicate that for the second straight year, data points to an exceptional walleye hatch, the second-highest in the history of the survey, and the yellow perch hatch was also strong, well above its long-term average.

Each year in August, wildlife agencies from Ohio, Ontario, and Michigan sample the western basin of Lake Erie in search of young-of-the-year walleye and yellow perch. Biologists from the Ohio Division of Wildlife (ODOW) survey nearly 40 locations between Toledo and Huron. The data is compared with the results from previous years to gauge the success of the walleye and yellow perch hatches.

The Division of Wildlife’s 2019 August walleye hatch index was 143.… Continue reading

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Humane Society law revisions

By Ellen Essman, Ohio Law Blog, Agricultural & Resource Law Program at The Ohio State University

HB 24 passed the House unanimously on October 30, and has since been referred to the Senate Committee on Agriculture & Natural Resources. The bill would revise procedures for humane society operations and require humane society agents to successfully complete training in order to serve. Importantly, HB 24 would allow law enforcement officers to seize and impound any animal the officer has probable cause to believe is the subject of an animal cruelty offense. Currently, the ability to seize and impound only applies to companion animals such as dogs and cats.… Continue reading

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2019 Ohio water quality update

By Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension agronomist

Lake Erie wasn’t as bad as expected. What? We missed 1.5 million acres of crops, and from my eye mostly in northwest Ohio. But here is the deal: you did apply fertilizer last year, and probably the year before. We farm in a leaky system and I learned this week that entropy is working against us — meaning it will get more random. So, yes it’s leaky and will perhaps get a little more leaky. We did not plant as many crops and yes we applied less fertilizer in the Lake Erie basin, but the leaks still happen even without the crop because we still have rain, and rain moves that little tiny bit of phosphorus off your farm and downstream.

This from NOAA about the Harmful Algal Bloom on Lake Erie, on Oct. 31, (http://coastalscience.noaa.gov/research/habs/forecasting):

  • The Microcystis cyanobacteria bloom in 2019 had a severity index (SI) of 7.3, indicating a relatively severe bloom.
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Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation awards $25,000 in ag grants

A new round of almost $25,000 in grants by Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation will help educate consumers about agriculture and energy, develop leaders and provide resources for teachers to teach agriculture in the classroom. The foundation’s Action & Awareness grants are designed to promote and improve Ohio’s agricultural industry as well as local communities. The grants, which ranged from $750 to $9,000, focus on four core areas: economic development, education, environment and the human-animal bond.

Her are the grant recipients and projects.

AgriPOWER to support programming for the 17 members in Class XII. An elite leadership program created by Ohio Farm Bureau, AgriPOWER is helping develop and train Ohio farmers and representatives from agricultural stakeholders to become effective leaders, spokespersons and advocates for agriculture. Seven AgriPOWER Institutes are held throughout the year with one in Washington, D.C., and the other in another state.

Ohio Soybean Council for its Ag Bio-Technology Academy 2020.… Continue reading

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Ohio wind legislation introduced

By Ellen Essman, Ohio Law Blog, Agricultural & Resource Law Program at The Ohio State University

Senate Bill 234 was just introduced on Nov. 6, 2019. The bill would give voters in the unincorporated areas of townships the power to have a referendum vote on certificates or amendments to economically significant and large wind farms issued by the Ohio Power and Siting Board.

The voters could approve or reject the certificate for a new wind farm or an amendment to an existing certificate by majority vote. The bill would also change minimum setback distances for wind farms might be measured.… Continue reading

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A dairyman’s dilemma — How chemicals threaten a farm’s future

By Don “Doc” Sanders

You may remember that I’ve written a few times in this column about false claims made against Roundup — namely, that it causes cancer. In my most recent column on the topic, I wrote about how several respected health and environmental organizations have cleared the popular herbicide of these charges, like the Environmental Protection Agency, Health Canada, the European Food Safety Authority and the German consumer health agency BfR.

Now I want to share with you a news report I recently ran across about how a New Mexico dairy operation is being threatened by cancer-causing nonagricultural chemicals that have contaminated the groundwater.

The chemicals in question are perfluoroakyl and polyfluoroakyl substances, a group of manmade chemicals that I’ll refer to by their acronym, PFAS. Since 1940 PFAS chemicals have been incorporated into products used all over the world. Some compounds in this group are familiar, such as Teflon, which keeps food from sticking to frying pans.… Continue reading

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Have you taken your Vitamin C today?

By Judit E. Puskas and Carin A. Helfer

Vitamin C is an essential ingredient for all living creatures. In humans, it is necessary for proper working of many biological processes, including intracellular respiration, i.e., the ways that cells transform nutrients into energy through a complex series of reactions. Albert Szent-Györgyi, a Hungarian biochemist, is credited with first isolating Vitamin C from adrenal glands while completing his Ph. D. thesis at Cambridge University in 1927. At that time, he did not know what the substance was — so he called it “hexuronic acid.”

 

Discovery of Vitamin C

The story of discovering Vitamin C is quite fascinating. Szent-Györgyi began investigating plant respiration, specifically the phenomenon of browning. Some plant tissues turn brown rapidly when cut and exposed to the air — everybody knows this from cutting up an apple. Plants containing certain chemicals known as peroxidase enzymes (for example, cabbages and citrus fruits), however, resist browning.… Continue reading

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Ohio State report evaluates options for reducing Lake Erie’s harmful algal blooms

Several research teams, led by The Ohio State University, have concluded a three-year study evaluating the ability of agricultural management practices to reduce phosphorus-causing harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie.

In 2012, the United States and Canada set the goal of reducing phosphorus entering the lake by 40%. Now, researchers have a better understanding of what management practices need to be implemented, and what research still needs to be done to meet these goals by 2025.

The majority of phosphorus entering Lake Erie originates from the Maumee River watershed. More than 85% of the phosphorus entering the lake comes from agricultural sources such as fertilizer runoff. To address this, researchers are evaluating what agricultural management practices have potential to reduce this phosphorus, while supporting farmers to maintain profitability.

Photo courtesy of NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory

“There’s a lot of edge-of-field work going on that identifies successful practices in single fields.

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Ohio Farm Bureau adds Schwyn to staff

Kelsie Schwyn has been named director of strategic partnerships and Nationwide services for Ohio Farm Bureau’s Strategic Partnerships department, which was recently created to develop and manage key relationships and partnerships within the farm and food sector and with businesses, educators, public officials and others.

Schwyn joins Ohio Farm Bureau after working as an associate account executive at FLM Harvest, an agricultural strategic consulting, marketing and communication agency, where she supported clients, managed marketing campaigns and cultivated client relationships.

Schwyn was raised on an Angus cattle farm in Newcomerstown. She has degrees in agribusiness and applied economics from both Lake Land College in Mattoon, Illinois and The Ohio State University.

She and her husband, Brandon, reside in Marysville. They are members of the Union County Farm Bureau and are active in their local church.… Continue reading

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Registration now open for OEFFA’s Sustainable Food and Farm Conference

Registration is now open for Ohio’s premier educational and networking event for ecological farmers, backyard growers, and others committed to sustainable agriculture, local food, and green living.

The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s (OEFFA) 40th annual conference, A Climate for Change, will run Thursday, Feb. 13 through Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020 at the Dayton Convention Center in Dayton.
“This year’s event features speakers and sessions dedicated to creating a climate to change agriculture,” said Renee Hunt, OEFFA program director. “Cultivating a resilient, just, and sustainable agricultural system can help farmers mitigate their climate risks, and address our global crisis.”

Each year, the conference draws more than 1,100 attendees. Online registration is now open at www.oeffa.org/conference2020.

OEFFA’s popular conference will feature keynote speakers including:

  • Friday keynote speaker Laura Lengnick is an award-winning soil scientist who has explored agricultural sustainability for more than 25 years as a researcher, policy-maker, educator, author, consultant, and farmer. 
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Highlighting rural health

By Dee Jepsen and Shoshanah Inwood

National Rural Health Day was Thursday November 21, 2019. This day brings attention to the unique challenges rural communities face when it comes to health services and healthy people.

Each year, the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health selects a topic to organize its efforts and creates awareness for health care services. The 2019 theme is: Plug into the power of rural.

 

Ohio has rural health deficits

When it comes to health care services, 50% of Ohio counties are designated as Governor’s certified shortage areas. There are 44 counties, or regions within counties, considered underserved.

Rural communities do not see the same health advancements as urban counties. Residents within rural areas face accessibility issues and an overall lack of providers. Access to ambulatory and emergency medical services are especially critical in rural America, where the majority of trauma deaths occur. The opioid crisis can also affect rural communities’ need for first-responder services.… Continue reading

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U.S. agriculture pushing for a full Japanese Trade Agreement

robotic-milker-on-cow

Russell Boening, a Texas rancher, farmer and President of the Texas Farm Bureau, told Congress that the recent trade deal with Japan is welcome, but U.S. negotiators still have work to do.

“It is obvious the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement is a win; however, the U.S. must pursue the next phase of negotiations with Japan,” Boening told the House Ways and Means Subcommittee for Trade. “Not all agricultural products, such as rice and some dairy products, were included in this agreement. We must work toward additional market access. Sanitary, phytosanitary and biotechnology issues should also be addressed.”

At nearly $13 billion a year, Japan is the fourth-largest destination for U.S. farm exports.

“While we have a strong trading relationship with Japan, we are about to make substantial advances,” Boening said. “The new U.S.-Japan trade agreement was welcome news for farm and ranch families across the entire country. This agreement will level the Japanese trade playing field.”… Continue reading

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USDA will issue second MFP payments before Thanksgiving

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the second tranche of 2019 Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments aimed at assisting farmers suffering from damage due to unjustified trade retaliation by foreign nations. The payments will begin the week before Thanksgiving. Producers of MFP-eligible commodities will now be eligible to receive 25% of the total payment expected, in addition to the 50% they have already received from the 2019 MFP.

“This second tranche of 2019 MFP payments, along with already provided disaster assistance, will give farmers, who have had a tough year due to unfair trade retaliation and natural disasters, much needed funds in time for Thanksgiving,” said Secretary Perdue. “President Trump has shown time and again that he is fighting for America’s farmers and ranchers. While we continue to have confidence in the President’s negotiations with China, this money shows President Trump following through on his promise to help and support farmers as he continues to fight for fair market access.”… Continue reading

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H2Ohio strategies and farm practices outlined by Gov. DeWine

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine unveiled an overview of his new H2Ohio plan for water quality Thursday afternoon in Toledo. Backdropped by the National Museum of the Great Lakes, Governor DeWine presented basic details of the plan to an invited audience of over 100 farmers and legislators, as well as collaborators from farm associations, conservation groups, universities and research centers, agribusinesses, and public and government entities.

“H2Ohio is a dedicated, holistic water quality plan that has long lasting solutions,” said Governor DeWine. “It addresses the causes of the problems and not just the symptoms.”

H2Ohio will invest in targeted solutions to help reduce harmful algal blooms, ensure clean water in disadvantaged communities, and prevent lead contamination in daycare centers and schools. In July, the Ohio General Assembly invested $172 million in the plan.

“This is one of the most comprehensive data-driven planning processes in our state’s history.… Continue reading

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Do trade assistance payments disproportionately benefit large-scale operations?

A government program intended to support farmers and ranchers affected by trade disputes disproportionately benefitted large-scale and Southeastern operations, according to a minority staff report published by the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) program, known as the Market Facilitation Program, compensated most commodity grain producers based on a single county rate per planted acre. National Farmers Union (NFU) initially expressed concern that the payment disparities among counties would put some farmers at a financial disadvantage, a fact that has been confirmed by today’s report. Although farmers in the North, Midwest, and West have experienced the greatest harm from trade disputes, 95% of counties receiving the highest payment rates are based in the Southeast. Even in adjacent counties, payment rates sometimes vary by two to three times.

“Farmers in every county have been affected by withering export markets,” said Roger Johnson, NFU president.… Continue reading

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Trade war Phase One progressing

As the U.S. and China continue to work on an interim trade deal,  the Chinese commerce ministry said both countries have agreed to cancel existing tariffs in phases that were imposed during the trade war.

It’s expected that a “phase one” trade deal would include the U.S. eliminating tariffs scheduled for Dec. 15 on about $156 billion worth of Chinese imports. However,  President Trump said he has not agreed to roll back the tariffs. As already announced, “phase one” would include a pledge for China to buy $40 billion-$50 billion in U.S. agricultural products, including pork.

President Trump had hoped to sign the “phase one” trade agreement in mid-November while at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Chile, but the summit was cancelled due to domestic unrest. Numerous venue locations have been discussed, including domestically in Iowa and Alaska, as well as London, where Trump is scheduled to attend a NATO summit from Dec.… Continue reading

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Survey results highlight roles of women in agriculture

Women are active advocates for agriculture and successful business owners interested in filling leadership roles, according to a new Farm Bureau survey. A majority of those surveyed, 91%, also believe there should be more women in leadership roles in the industry. More than 3,000 women completed the informal survey online, which was conducted to determine the goals and achievements of women in agriculture.

“Women play a vital role in modern farming and ranching,” said Sherry Saylor, an Arizona farmer and chair of the American Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee. “We hope to use the survey results to drive our program of work and also to give women their voice and help them make even more of an impact in their communities.”

More than 50% of women surveyed have started their own business that’s still in operation; 25% have not started a business but indicated they would like to do so in the future.… Continue reading

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Workforce development program launches in Ohio to promote careers in food and agriculture

Food production and agriculture is Ohio’s largest industry and essential to our economy, contributing $124 billion annually in economic value and employing 1 out of every 8 Ohioans. Today’s farms and food companies are challenged by unprecedented barriers to finding a stable, reliable workforce. To address this issue, a broad group of Ohio’s leading agriculture organizations have collaborated behind a new initiative — Futures Grow Here.

“The focus of Futures Grow Here is to demonstrate the opportunities that are available for young adults in food production and agriculture,” said Jim Chakeres, executive vice president of the Ohio Poultry Association, a supporting organization of Futures Grow Here. “The initiative reframes the narrative around these jobs, creates excitement for them, and engages a broader and more diverse group of job seekers.”

Futures Grow Here is a collaborative initiative among Ohio food production and farming companies to educate students, young professionals and their families about their growing and innovative businesses and career opportunities that may not have been previously considered.… Continue reading

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