Country Life

Ohio Soybean Association announces scholarship winners

The Ohio Soybean Association (OSA), the membership and policy arm for Ohio soybean farmers, is pleased to announce the scholarship recipients for the 2024-2025 academic year. The OSA Scholarship Program was created to recognize outstanding student advocates for the soybean industry. It is available to Ohio Soybean Association members and their immediate families.

OSA awarded $1,000 each to Delaney Moore, a freshman studying agriculture communications, and Sheriden Schuerman, a junior studying sustainable plant systems. Both winners attend The Ohio State University.

“Our 2024 scholarship winners exemplify what it means to be a leader in the soybean industry,” said Rusty Goebel, OSA President and Williams County farmer. “Our industry will be in good hands as people like Delaney and Sheriden begin to take on more responsibility.”

For more information on OSA and how to become a member, visit… Continue reading

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Good brownies, good friends and good memories

By Barb Lumley

As my granddaughter and I recently welcomed consignors and organized the paperwork for a dairy sale, a good friend stopped by to say “hello” and brought us a plate of brownies. So chocolaty, so filled with nuts, so delicious and so nice of her — brownies are always perfect with a big glass of cold milk.

The first person to put a recipe for “brownies” in a cookbook was Fanny Farmer, who adapted her cookie recipe to be baked in a rectangular pan in the 1896 edition of The Boston Cooking School Cookbook. However, that recipe contained no chocolate. Farmer had made what we today call a blondie. In the late 1890s two advertisements referring to brownies appeared. The first, in the 1897 Sears Roebuck catalog, advertised brownies, but those treats could have been either chocolate or molasses based. In 1906, Fannie Farmer published an updated version of her cookbook that included a blondie recipe and a brownie recipe, both called brownies.… Continue reading

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Molly Caren Ag Center, Farm Science Review left battered in wake of storms

Considerable storm damage in Ohio has left a noticeable mark on farm country, including the Molly Caren Agricultural Center, outside of London – home of the annual Farm Science Review.

Damaged buildings and downed trees were the extent of the damage left by the storm with, thankfully, no injuries reported, as detailed by Ohio State Emergency Management.

The Ohio State University posted the following message on Twitter/X Wednesday afternoon.

The following pictures are courtesy of Rebekah Headings:

Farm Science Review Storm Damage – Photo by Rebekah Headings
Farm Science Review Storm Damage – Photo by Rebekah Headings
Farm Science Review Storm Damage – Photo by Rebekah Headings

The Farm Science Review (FSR) is of the largest farm shows in the country and held each year in mid-September.… Continue reading

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California fuel standard updates leave biofuels behind

Growth Energy, the nation’s largest biofuel trade association, submitted comments to the California Air Resources Board (CARB) regarding the board’s proposed changes to California’s low-carbon fuel standard (LCFS). Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor issued the following statement in response:

“While California has its sights set on the future, the state continues to overlook a significant challenge that it faces right now: decarbonizing the millions of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles in the state that will continue to be on the road for decades.

“Despite its commitment to being an environmental leader, the state’s recently proposed changes to its LCFS ignore plant-based fuel options that could immediately help the state achieve its climate goals. Instead, the proposals put up roadblock after roadblock that prevent the deployment of crop-based biofuels — one of the only proven, drop-in solutions available today that can significantly lower the emissions of ICE vehicles.

“CARB’s proposed changes to crop-based biofuels’ status in the LCFS defy the program’s commitment to technology neutrality, fly in the face of the state’s administrative rules, and place an unfair burden on bioethanol that isn’t supported by science.… Continue reading

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First seeds planted at new Buckeye State Tree Nursery

In February, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine joined Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Director Mary Mertz to plant the first seeds in Ohio’s new Buckeye State Tree Nursery. 

“The opening of the Buckeye State Tree Nursery is a huge step toward protecting and replenishing forests across Ohio,” Governor DeWine said. “Planting trees is an investment into our state’s future, and by growing the seedlings right here in the Buckeye State, we are making that future even brighter for our children and grandchildren.”

The only tree nursery of its kind in Ohio, the Buckeye State Tree Nursery will address regional shortages of suitable tree seedlings, assist with integral tree conservation projects, and invest in the future of Ohio’s forests. The nursery will be located on ODNR Division of Forestry property at the same site as the previous Zanesville Nursery, which closed in 2003. 

The nursery will focus on growing hardwood producing trees including several species of oak, hickory, black walnut, sycamore and American chestnut. … Continue reading

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Be smart, and don’t be dumb

By Leisa Boley Hellwarth

My contracts law professor used to begin every exam by encouraging us “to be smart, and don’t be dumb.”  At the time, I thought that was the most irritating, condescending advice and an obnoxious way to start a test.  And then I graduated law school, passed the bar and started representing clients.  And you have no idea how many times I wanted to tell clients “to be smart, and don’t be dumb.”  In fact, some might have benefited from a wrist tattoo of those very words (and I am not a tattoo person), or at least an engraved medallion worn around their neck as a remembrance of the advice.

There is a case hot off the press from federal court in the Western District of Pennsylvania that illustrates less than intelligent behavior by defendants, and it is an agricultural case. United States of America v. Robert Yost and Jacob Reese.Continue reading

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Ohio 4-H Spark Expo Returns in June

Students will have the opportunity to explore future careers at the 4-H Spark EXPO this summer on The Ohio State University campus.

From June 12-15, teens at the Spark EXPO will learn about agriculture and related STEAM fields from industry experts, and faculty and staff of the Ohio State College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). 

“Not all students find their way to a four-year college, so we want to ensure all young people know 4-H is a space to prepare them for wherever their path may lead them after high school,” said Margo Overholt-Seckel, 4-H workforce development and pathways program manager. “Spark introduces them to a variety of educational and career opportunities they may not know about.”

As part of Spark EXPO, students visit Ohio State’s Columbus and Wooster campuses and learn from Ohio State students, teachers, scientists, and researchers. Students explore careers, hear from Ohio 4-H alumni who share their career stories, and learn about the college and career-readiness program: Ohio 4-H Pathways to the Future.… Continue reading

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Policy priorities for 2024 unveiled at OFBF Ag Day at the Capital

By Matt Reese

Land use, broadband and property taxes were all part of the discussion at the 2024 Ag Day at the Capital when Farm Bureau members from around Ohio came to Columbus to meet with legislators.

 “It is very good to put a face with a story. It’s a little more personal, you know, when you talk to somebody face to face. It’s a little bit better than just sending a letter or even making phone calls,” said Rich Maxwell, from Perry County Farm Bureau who serves on the Public Policy Committee. “I’ve left these meetings and 4 or 5 months later I’ve been in a different meeting and met that representative and they remember me and they give me an update on the issues that we’ve talked about. They’re very receptive to the issues.”

Land use and farmland preservation were brought up in Maxwell’s meetings.

“We talked about land use and urban sprawl, trying to figure out agricultural easements and how to preserve farmland,” he said.… Continue reading

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National Ag Day March 19

The Agriculture Council of America (ACA) announced March 19, 2024, will be National Agriculture Day with the theme of “Agriculture: Growing a climate for tomorrow.” 

Activities planned for March 19 feature a virtual Ag Day program, and in-person events in Washington DC. ACA will invite students to interact virtually with legislators and agency representatives, delivering the Ag Day message. A core leadership team of college students will participate in the DC events, along with representatives of national farm and commodity organizations, representatives of the food, fuel, and fiber communities. 

Jenny Pickett, ACA President says students from AFA, 4-H, FFA, and MANNRS participated in 2023 National Ag Day.

“Students are interested in advocating on behalf of agriculture and their future roles in the industry. Their participation in National Ag Day activities provides a glimpse of the future of agriculture. It’s exciting to learn from the students what they think agriculture will be like in the years ahead, and how their involvement will shape the industry and America as a whole,” she said. … Continue reading

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Teaching the practicality of science in agriculture

By Matt Reese and Dale Minyo

The definition of freezing point depression is: a colligative property observed in solutions that results from the introduction of solute molecules to a solvent. Make sense?

While this definition may not immediately seem even remotely interesting or relevant, freezing point depression happens to be the concept behind salting roads to improve winter driving conditions and a key component in the development of ice cream.

“I’ll teach chemistry until I’m blue in the face and the students just stare at me. But then I can kind of trick them if we make some soy ice cream. I calculate freezing point depression with them and then the macromolecule content — that’s when it clicks with them because they’re able to associate between the two and we can have a deeper conversation. Everyone eats, so that’s how I can connect the science with their real life,” said Jennifer Foudray, a biotechnology lab instructor for the Miami Valley Career Technical Center.… Continue reading

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Come intern with us!

Ohio Ag Net is seeking a highly-organized and efficient individual to fill a spring/summer internship. Because of the nature of this internship, only students enrolled at or attending a College/University /Tech School this fall qualify.

Ideal candidates live in the central Ohio area and thrive in a work-from-home environment.

Equally important is the ability to prioritize work around a constant flow of deadlines.

Position: Radio Intern

Hours: 5 hours a week April through Mid-May for training. 32 to 40 hours a week Mid-May through Mid-August.

Pay: Varies by experience

Location: Works remotely – home based; Some travel required for training or special events

Start date: April 2024

End date: Mid-August 2024

Deadline to apply: March 8, 2024

Interested applicants should send a résumé and cover letter to


  • Strong organization skills
  • Ability to self-motivate and stay on task without a present supervisor
  • High speed internet
  • Interest in broadcasting
  • Ability to attend the NABF Convention in Kansas City, Missouri Nov.
Continue reading

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CFAES Wooster hosts Night for Young Professionals 2024

By Kelsie Mannasmith, ACELT at CFAES Wooster

The Agricultural Communicators, Educators, and Leaders of Tomorrow club (ACELT) hosted their second annual Night for Young Professionals event (NYP) at The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences Wooster campus (CFAES Wooster) on Feb. 15. Professionals across the agriculture industry offered their insight about development in the workplace. The event was sponsored by the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean checkoff.

Bill Bayliss, Ohio Soybean Council chairman from Logan County, wrote in a letter to the students, “The Ohio Soybean Council and soybean checkoff is proud to sponsor this event. We want to do our part to ensure every segment of the value chain has a pipeline of driven, talented, and enthusiastic students looking to take agriculture to the next level.”

ACELT aims to connect students of the Wooster campus with valuable professional advice and tools from NYP. Students involved in the planning committee helped to develop the schedule, program, events, topics and speakers.… Continue reading

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The business of relationships

By Terri Moore, vice president of communications at the American Farm Bureau Federation

Farming is a beautiful way of life for many families…it’s also a business. An often-quoted phrase is an important one in agriculture: the business of business is relationships. It’s the theme of a growing conversation between farmers and those downstream in the supply chain. And that’s something to celebrate. Why? Because it can make the difference between untenable mandates and collaborative progress.

As an example, we hosted a conversation at our convention at the end of January with Hans Specht, manager of global agriculture for Kraft Heinz, and Mallory Flanders, regional sustainability specialist for Cargill. It started by acknowledging that communication up and down the food supply chain hasn’t always been great, and there is shared responsibility for that. On the bright side, we heard how attitudes are evolving and relationships are strengthening within the food supply chain. … Continue reading

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DeWine announces Rural Transit funding

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) Director Jack Marchbanks announced more than $100 million in investments to support quality public transportation in Ohio. This includes more than $39 million for the Rural Transit Program.

A total of $106 million will be awarded to 383 transit projects throughout Ohio. ODOT’s Office of Transit is awarding the funds through seven separate grant programs that focus on workforce mobility, senior citizen and special needs transportation, rural transit, and busing. 

“This funding will help ensure that transportation is not a barrier to opportunity. We are improving the quality of life for Ohioans who depend on public transportation to access jobs, education, and medical services,” said Governor DeWine.

Funding will be used for a variety of purposes such as transit fleet expansion, replacement vehicles, preventative maintenance, facility upgrades, new equipment and technology, and operating assistance.

“Transportation isn’t just about moving vehicles; it’s about moving people.… Continue reading

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Big farmland auctions in March wrapping up a busy winter

By Matt Reese

In spite of any economic woes in the U.S. agricultural economy, auctioneer Matt Bowers has had a blistering schedule this winter, with a couple of big upcoming farm auctions.

Bowers, with Lima-based Dye Real Estate and Land Co., also took some time this winter to put on a mock auction at the Ohio Farm Bureau Young Ag Professionals Winter Leadership Experience held in January.

“We love to work with Ohio Farm Bureau and the Young Ag Professionals. We put on a mock auction for them so they can understand the ins and outs for something like a multi-parcel auction that can be very confusing. There’s a lot of math that comes into play and a lot to keep track of,” Bowers said. “In the mock auction, we covered how we come up with  the prices that are on the board from our computer system, so if they’re at these auctions in the future they can figure out where they need to be in terms of bidding.… Continue reading

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USDA releases 2022 Census of Agriculture data

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) announced the results of the 2022 Census of Agriculture, spanning more than 6 million data points about America’s farms and ranches and the people who operate them down to the county level. The information collected directly from producers shows a continued decline in the total number of U.S. farms. However, the data also show a rise in the number of new and beginning (operating 10 or fewer years on any farm) as well as young (under the age of 35) producers.

The full Census of Agriculture report as well as publication dates for additional ag census data products can be found at Ag census data can also be found in NASS’s searchable online database, Quick Stats.

“We are pleased to provide updated Census of Agriculture data to all those who serve U.S. agriculture, especially the producers who gave their time to complete the questionnaire.… Continue reading

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Eastern Ohio Small Farm Conference

By Julie Wayman, Community Development Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Ashtabula County

Ohio State University Extension announced plans to host a Small Farm Conference in Senecaville on April 6, 2024. The theme for this year’s Mid-Ohio Small Farm Conference is “Sowing Seeds for Success.” 

Conference session topics are geared to beginning and small farm owners as well as to farms looking to diversify their operation. There will be five different conference tracks including: horticulture and produce production, business management, livestock, natural resources and new this year, the farm kitchen.   

Some conference topic highlights include: raising meat rabbits, making goat milk soap, timber harvesting and marketing, basics of growing pawpaws, food preservation basics, herb vinegars, organic pest management, growing produce with hydroponics, starting and setting up a business, solar and wind leasing.

Anyone interested in developing, growing or diversifying their small farm is invited to attend including market gardeners, farmers market vendors, and anyone interested in small farm living.… Continue reading

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Popular Fish Ohio pins awarded

By Dan Armitage, Ohio-based freelance outdoor writer/author

The highly anticipated annual processing of Fish Ohio pins is underway by the Ohio Division of Wildlife (ODOW), awarding 10,166 Fish Ohio pins to successful anglers with qualifying catches. The avid anglers’ catches join more than 410,000 recognized since 1976 in the Fish Ohio program. In 2022, the program recognized 9,723 qualifying catches.

The Fish Ohio program celebrates the successful landing and documentation of 25 species of fish here in the Buckeye State. Those who reel in a qualifying catch receive the commemorative Fish Ohio pin for their first entry and a Master Angler pin for catching qualifiers of four different species in the same year. Last year, 964 anglers were awarded a Master Angler pin.

Applications for a Fish Ohio pin and minimum length requirements are found at The Fish Ohio pin for 2023 depicts a walleye and the 2024 pins will feature a longear sunfish.… Continue reading

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Last chance for 2024 EQIP funding

Ohio producers are urged to apply for Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and Inflation Reduction Act — Environmental Quality Incentives Program — (IRA-EQIP) funding before the Feb. 16, 2024 deadline. 

Currently, an unprecedented amount of funding is available for EQIP through the Inflation Reduction Act and Farm Bill. The Inflation Reduction Act provided $19.5 billion in additional funding for NRCS’ oversubscribed programs like EQIP for five years. Inflation Reduction Act funds are available to help producers adopt climate-smart practices. 

NRCS accepts producer applications for its conservation programs year-round, but producers interested in this cycle of Inflation Reduction Act funding should apply as soon as possible. Producers interested in EQIP should apply by Feb. 16, 2024 for consideration this year. Funding is provided through a competitive process and will include an opportunity to address the unmet demand from producers who have previously sought funding for climate-smart conservation activities. 

Learn more about EQIP and other program information on the Ohio NRCS EQIP website.… Continue reading

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