Country Life

Egg nog blog!

By Shelly Detwiler, berry farmer and dietician

Move over pumpkin spice latte, it is egg nog time! Hallmark Christmas movies have arrived, so it is time for a new drink of the season. Egg nog is it! 

Breaking news on the latte scene is that egg nog Latte is being replaced on menus across the country with some kind of sugar cookie almond milk (nut fluid) concoction. The horror of it all! If egg nog latte is one of your favorites, have no fear, look below for a recipe you can make. It embraces authentic dairy and egg products to create your own egg nog coffee beverage at home. Destined to be spectacular this holiday season!

      Americans are passionate about their egg nog. There appears to be no middle ground; you either stalk the dairy case until it arrives on the shelf or you avoid it like COVID. The Detwiler house was split with Luke drinking egg nog by the carton and Jake ecstatic not to get even a drop.… Continue reading

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Archers rule annual Ohio deer harvest

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

The number of hunters chasing deer with archery equipment in Ohio continues to grow. During the 2020-21 deer season, 48% of deer were taken with archery equipment, including 33% using a crossbow and 15% using a vertical bow. Overall, archery hunters harvested more than 93,000 deer last season, the highest total on record. 

Deer hunting is open in all 88 counties and an estimated 310,000 hunters participate. In 2020, nearly 410,000 deer permits were purchased or issued. Hunters harvested 197,735 deer during the 2020-21 season. Among the total were 80,003 bucks, accounting for 40% of the total harvest. Does represented 48% of the harvest with 94,771 taken, while 19,629 button bucks were taken, for 10%. Bucks with shed antlers and bucks with antlers less than 3 inches long accounted for 3,332 deer, or 2% of the harvest.… Continue reading

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Refrigerated leftovers safe to eat up to four days after Thanksgiving dinner

By Tracy Turner and Sanja Ilic, food safety state specialist, Ohio State University Extension

Safety, it seems, is on the mind of many this holiday season. In that context, it’s also important to consider food safety when planning your meal, not just regarding Thanksgiving but anytime you cook or serve a meal. That includes knowing what to do with any leftovers to make sure they remain safe to eat later.

The recommended, refrigerated storage time for different foods can vary by food type, but in general, the refrigerated storage time is quite short, said Sanja Ilic, food safety state specialist, Ohio State University Extension. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

For instance, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends storing cooked turkey no longer than three to four days. These short-but-safe limits will also keep refrigerated foods from spoiling.

Many consumers, however, do not practice safe leftover storage.… Continue reading

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A look at Ohio’s judicial elections

By Leisa Boley Hellwarth

Woodrow Wilson once said that “the profession I chose was politics; the profession I entered was law. I entered the one because I thought it would lead to the other.” 

Woodrow Wilson, a Democrat, was the 28th President of the United States, serving from 1913 to 1921, so his strategy worked. This came to mind when I read the blog post of July 8, 2021 from Marianna Brown Bettman, a former appellate judge and a professor emeritus of law at the University of Cincinnati, on her website, This is what she reported.

            “Ohio has always had a strange hybrid for judicial elections. There is a partisan primary, followed by the general election, which is nonpartisan. In July, Governor DeWine signed Senate Bill 80 into law which makes the seats on the Supreme Court of Ohio and the intermediate court of appeals races partisan races, beginning in November 2022.… Continue reading

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The wonder drug that few know about

A drug that was discovered in the 1970s has changed the world. This drug’s cure and prevention rate, for a wide spectrum of diseases and parasites, is hailed as the greatest drug discovery since Arthur Fleming discovered penicillin in 1946.

The drug is taken by millions of people in third world countries and used to eliminate internal parasites in animals. It is so effective that once it is used to treat a systemic disease, one tablet taken twice a year will prevent a recurrence. 

It is the most powerful drug ever for treating river blindness in humans. River blindness, which occurs primarily in Africa and Latin America, is caused by a tiny microfilaria parasite (Onchocerca volvulus), which is transmitted by infected blackflies that breed and deposit the microfilariae-containing eggs in fast moving streams and waterways, where the eggs then hatch.

When people fish or wade in these waterways, the immature larval filariae of these parasites bore into their skin much like a mosquito.… Continue reading

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USDA issuing approximately $270 million in pandemic assistance to poultry, livestock contract producers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has begun issuing approximately $270 million in payments to contract producers of eligible livestock and poultry who applied for Pandemic Assistance. Earlier this year, USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) identified gaps in assistance including in the initial proposal to assist contract growers. In August, USDA released the improved program for contract producers to fill these gaps, providing support as part of USDA’s broader Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative.  

“We listened to feedback from producers and stakeholders about impacts across livestock and poultry operations and made updates to be more equitable in the assistance we delivered,” said Zach Ducheneaux, FSA Administrator. “For contract producers this meant expanding eligibility and providing flexibility such as considering 2018 or 2019 revenue when calculating payments and accounting for contract producers who increased the size of their operation in 2020 or were new to farming when the pandemic hit. Filling these gaps and not letting underserved producers slip through the cracks is a common theme throughout our approach under our Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative.” … Continue reading

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Governor DeWine announces $5 million for H2Ohio projects in the Ohio River Basin

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Natural Resources Director Mary Mertz announced today that $5 million in H2Ohio grant funding will be directed to 13 wetland projects in 11 counties to help improve water quality in the Ohio River Basin.  

“We are excited to continue the expansion of H2Ohio’s work into the Ohio River Basin and to take the next big step toward naturally improving water quality across Ohio,” DeWine said. “Water issues expand beyond Lake Erie, so by focusing this funding farther south, we can address water challenges on a bigger scale and help ensure that people throughout the state can experience the benefits of these wetlands.” 

DeWine announced the launch of the Ohio River Basin H2Ohio Wetland Grant Program in July. The program provides up to $500,000 for wetland projects that address nutrient loading and contribute to water quality improvement in the Ohio River and its tributaries.  

Awards will go to projects in Butler (2), Greene, Franklin (2), Hamilton, Holmes, Mahoning, Medina, Miami, Montgomery, Wayne, and Warren counties. Each… Continue reading

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Stronger trade with global partners

The American Farm Bureau Federation joined eight other organizations in reaching out to United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai in advance of the upcoming 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12), which will focus on the future work of the World Trade Organization (WTO), to call for needed reforms.

“The U.S. and global economy, and the livelihoods of workers around the world, depend on an effective WTO,” the groups said in a letter to Ambassador Tai. “A level multilateral playing field helps American manufacturers, services suppliers, innovators and farmers — large and small — by enabling workers and communities to compete more fairly in markets around the globe.”

AFBF supports advancing a comprehensive WTO reform agenda that tackles dispute settlement, special and differential treatment, distortive subsidies and state-owned enterprises. Reforms should also cover improved subsidy notifications, enhance transparency, and help harness trade to improve sustainability.

“The Administration can best support the international rules-based system and the WTO by making concrete proposals and partnering with allies who share market-based trade liberalization, modernization, and reform principles.… Continue reading

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Survey shows Thanksgiving dinner cost is up 14%

Enjoying Thanksgiving dinner with family and friends is a priority for many Americans, but paying attention to how the meal will impact the budget is also important. Farm Bureau’s 36th annual survey indicates the average cost of this year’s classic Thanksgiving feast for 10 is $53.31 or less than $6 per person. This is a $6.41 or 14% increase from last year’s average of $46.90. 

The centerpiece on most Thanksgiving tables — the turkey — costs more than last year, at $23.99 for a 16-pound bird. That’s roughly $1.50 per pound, up 24% from last year, but there are several mitigating factors.

Farm Bureau “volunteer shoppers” checked prices Oct. 26 to Nov. 8, about two weeks before most grocery store chains began featuring whole frozen turkeys at sharply lower prices. Although the survey timeline is consistent with past AFBF Thanksgiving surveys, 2021 brought some unique differences. According to USDA Agricultural Marketing Service data, grocery stores began advertising lower feature prices later than usual this year.… Continue reading

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Are you ready for winter driving?

By Carin A. Helfer
As we watch the leaves fall, we know that winter is approaching. In Ohio, drivers know that winter will lead to snow and ice on the roads, but on that first snowy day, even the most experienced drivers need to remember winter driving habits. Interestingly, most drivers do not think about the most critical component of safe driving, whether on dry, wet, or snowy roads, which is their tires. Many drivers are not even aware of what the tire industry refers to as the “tire contact patch,” which is the amount of tire in contact with the road as we drive.
For one tire, the tire contact patch is relatively small and the total amount of rubber in contact with the road for all four passenger tires is about the size of a standard sheet of paper (8.5 inches by 11 inches). This relatively small amount of rubber is holding your car on the road, and is critical for safely driving your children to their activities, driving yourself to the grocery store, and traveling to grandma’s house for Thanksgiving dinner.… Continue reading

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EPA takes another look at WOTUS

On Nov. 18 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of the Army (the agencies) announced a proposed rule to re-establish the pre-2015 definition of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS).

“In recent years, the only constant with WOTUS has been change, creating a whiplash in how to best protect our waters in communities across America,” said Michael S. Regan, EPA Administrator. “Through our engagement with stakeholders across the country, we’ve heard overwhelming calls for a durable definition of WOTUS that protects the environment and that is grounded in the experience of those who steward our waters. Today’s action advances our process toward a stronger rule that achieves our shared priorities.”

The agencies are taking comment on this proposed rule for 60 days beginning on the date it is published in the Federal Register. This action advances the agencies’ goal of establishing a durable definition of WOTUS that protects public health, the environment, and downstream communities while supporting economic opportunity, agriculture, and other industries that depend on clean water. … Continue reading

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A “mast year” spells acorn abundance

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

Our log cabin has a green metal roof. It is shaded by the branches of a pair of huge white oak trees. In our two decades enjoying the small, rural getaway, never have we been routed out of our sleep or jumped from our seats on the porch as often by the gunshot sounds of acorns landing overhead. While we are used to the occasional “pow” of a nut impacting the metal this time of year, never have we witnessed a rain of acorns like we have experienced this autumn. And now we know why.

The Ohio Division of Wildlife (ODOW) annually surveys oak trees for acorn abundance at 38 wildlife areas, and this year’s poll results show an average of 40% of white oaks and 49% of red oaks bore fruit, meaning white oak production is slightly above average and red oak production is slightly below average.… Continue reading

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OAC to recognize outstanding individuals in agriculture

The Ohio Agricultural Council is accepting applications for two opportunities to recognize outstanding individuals in agriculture: the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame and the OAC scholarship program.

Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame

Created by the OAC in 1966, the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame has now honored more than 250 agriculturalists who have dedicated their lives of outstanding work to Ohio’s number-one industry, agriculture. 

Induction in the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame is Ohio’s highest recognition of an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the agricultural industry. Each year up to four prominent agricultural leaders are honored and inducted into the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame for their superior service, dedication, leadership, and plentiful contributions to agriculture. 

Persons wishing to nominate an individual who he or she believes is deserving of consideration for induction into the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame may download a nomination form at

Nomination forms, along with three letters of recommendation, must be submitted by March 15, 2022, to be eligible for consideration in 2022.… Continue reading

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Thankful for stuffing

By Shelly Detwiler, berry farmer and dietician

The sun is shining and warming the last days of fall. It is hard to imagine Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Imagine there are supply chain issues and you are only able to choose one side dish shipped to you for your holiday meal. What would it be? Three of the four adulting Detwiler children responded in a resounding cheer with: STUFFING! 

My husband Paul recently told me he thinks “most stuffing I’ve ever had has been like a brick.” You can imagine the surprise on my face when I countered with “I have been making stuffing for you for over 30 years and I HAVE NEVER MADE A BRICK!” Backpedaling madly, hoping to avoid the doghouse with Tuck, he mumbled “Uhhhhh, I mean like at potlucks or the Detwiler Thanksgiving.” It was funny thinking about those days when 13 of his aunts, uncles and families gathered in a local church feeding close to 100 peeps.… Continue reading

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Infrastructure & Jobs Investment Act becomes law

The Infrastructure & Jobs Investment Act was approved in early November in a bipartisan vote by the House of Representatives, after being passed by the Senate in August. President Joe Biden signed the bill on Nov. 15. The bill had general agricultural support.   

The Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) was pleased to see investments in several soy-related areas contained in key parts of the bill, including $110 billion in funding for roads and bridges and $17 billion for ports and waterways. These investments will help update the multimodal transportation network on which the soybean industry relies. Importantly, the bill did not increase the tax burden on farmers, a key point of advocacy for OSA as Congress has considered funding bills over the past few months.    

“We recognize that this is not a perfect bill but we also acknowledge that the improvements to infrastructure this bill will bring are vital for our industry to remain globally competitive,” said Ryan Rhoades, OSA president and Marion County soybean farmer.… Continue reading

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Farmland preservation case moving forward

The Arno Renner farm, currently operated by Renner’s nephew Don Bailey and his family, will appear before Union County Pleas Court on Wednesday Nov. 17 at 9:30 a.m. to attempt to uphold its agricultural easements and prevent Columbia Gas from further plans to install a gas line through nine acres of the property. The hearing will determine whether or not there is a necessity to take the land, and whether the public benefit of farmland has priority. The Department of Agriculture currently holds the easements which have previously protected the farm from similar situations.

In 2003, Arno Renner and the Arno Renner Trust donated the Ag Easement to the Ohio Department of Agriculture to ensure that the land would remain forever in agriculture. Several terms of the easement, if enforced by ODA, would prevent the construction of the commercial/industrial natural gas pipeline proposed by Columbia Gas. On July 7, 2021, the landowners requested that ODA enforce the easement and issue a cease and desist letter to Columbia Gas of Ohio.… Continue reading

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USDA funding available to help Ohio wetlands

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has opened enrollment for the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program Wetlands Reserve Easement Program (ACEP-WRE). The program provides financial and technical assistance to Ohio landowners wishing to protect and restore critical wetlands by enrolling property into conservation easements. Applications for ACEP-WRE are taken on a continuous basis. The deadline to receive fiscal year 2022 funding is Feb. 18, 2022.

Many of Ohio’s landowners can take advantage of this program, as eligible lands include farmed or converted wetlands that can successfully be restored; croplands or grasslands subject to flooding; and previously restored wetlands and riparian areas that connect protected wetland areas. Since 2005, NRCS has worked with landowners to restore more than 25,000 acres of wetlands in Ohio. 

“For over 25 years, NRCS has been working with private landowners to protect and restore wetlands through wetland easement programs,” said Barbara Baker, Assistant State Conservationist for Natural Resources in Ohio.… Continue reading

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Two-day OSU Agricultural Policy and Outlook Conference this week

Wondering what’s going to happen with the next U.S. Farm Bill? Want to know more about consumers, shopping, and local foods? Or do you have questions regarding the U.S. trade policy and what the prospects are for agricultural trade? 

Answers to these questions and more can be found next week at the Agricultural Policy and Outlook Conference Nov. 18–19 offered by agricultural economists at The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). The conference is a series of one-hour webinars focused on Ohio’s agricultural and food industry. It is hosted by experts with the CFAES Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics.

The conference will be held virtually over two days, with experts covering issues important to producers, agribusinesses, and elected officials. CFAES agricultural economists will speak along with other experts from Washington, D.C., other leading land-grant institutions, and the Federal Reserve System. Each webinar begins at 9 a.m.… Continue reading

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Sunrise Cooperative and Mercer Landmark Feed partnership

In July, Sunrise Cooperative and Mercer Landmark Feed announced they were coming together into a single operating company. The new company will be called Heartland Feed Services. 
The Mercer Landmark and Sunrise Cooperative Feed teams have been jointly working to finalize this exciting opportunity on or before February 2022. All current Feed Division employees at Mercer Landmark and Sunrise Cooperative will be offered a position with Heartland Feed Services or with either Mercer Landmark or Sunrise Cooperative, the two cooperatives forming the partnership.
Managers from both companies have toured all facilities and have developed a plan that will enable Heartland Feed Services to offer increased value and services for our customers while maximizing operational efficiencies.
The Celina Feed Mill will become a single species facility focusing on supporting and growing Heartland Feed Services’ swine feed business. This includes transitioning all the production capabilities from the New Bremen plant to Celina. Likewise, beef and dairy feed production at the St.… Continue reading

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