Ohio Pork Congress assessed numerous industry challenges

By Matt Reese and Dale Minyo

There are a number of very significant challenges facing Ohio’s pork industry right now, but a casual visitor to the 2024 Ohio Pork Congress held in Lima in February, probably would not know based on the upbeat attendees, optimism for the future and very strong PAC auction, among other things.

“The trade show was full, there were a lot of positive attitudes and the PAC auction was great. It is such a good time to get everybody there. Everybody’s in a great mood and they’re willing to spend money because it goes to a good cause,” said Nathan Schroeder, a board member for the Ohio Pork Council and a Putnam County contract hog producer. “The PAC is there to help us out in D.C. and help lobby and they know how important that is. It was a near record raising around $38,000.”

Nonetheless, some significant problems loom large.… Continue reading

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Beef Expo breed sales

Ohio’s premier beef industry event, the Ohio Beef Expo is March 14-17, 2024 at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus. The event will provide cattle enthusiasts from across Ohio and surrounding states with a unique experience that brings education, breed sales, youth shows, industry retail opportunities, and more together all in one place.

This year’s schedule will be similar to the 2023 event. The Coliseum will be used for all junior show activities. The Junior Show will continue with the Market Animal Show on Saturday and the Heifer Show on Sunday. The Expo Trade Show will continue to host vendors and retailers of all kinds to provide attendees with the opportunity to purchase everything from semen to trailers and from show supplies to insurance. The Genetic Pathway will provide buyers the opportunity to purchase semen from some of the nation’s leading genetics.

Nine breed sales will take place in the Voinovich building on the trade show floor throughout Friday and Saturday, March 15 and 16.… Continue reading

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Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 336 | Talking Ohio Pork Congress, feral swine challenges, and timely Farm Bill update

In this episode of the Ohio Ag Net Podcast, Matt Reese and Dusty Sonnenberg travel to the Ohio Pork Congress for an in-depth discussion with Ohio Pork Council board member, pork producer (and the owner of a new flamethrower) Nathan Schroeder alongside Josh Scramlin, the regional director of producer services of the National Pork Producers Council serving Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio.

Additional audio includes Ohio Ag Net’s Dale Minyo talking with Cheryl Day, executive vice president of the Ohio Pork Council, for an update on the developing feral swine challenge in Ohio and the unique methods being discussed to control it going forward.

Dusty has a chat with Luke Crumley of the Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association for a timely and matter-of-fact Farm Bill update as it has a challenging road ahead in the 2024 election year.

All that and more in this week’s Ohio Ag Net Podcast!

0:00Intro and Pork Congress Discussion
2:38Cheryl Day talks Feral Swine
8:50Luke Crumley talks Farm Bill
23:40Back to the group at Pork Congress
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Boosting dairy rations with high oleic soybeans

By Matt Reese

High oleic soybeans have been highlighted for their benefits in human food, but more evidence is being compiled about their benefits for dairy rations.

“High oleic soybeans are a biotechnological innovation that resulted in a higher portion of the oleic acid relative to linoleic acid. Most soybeans are high in linoleic acid. Bringing that oleic acid up better serves frying applications on the food side, but we’ve had this opportunity on the dairy side that also emerged,” said Keenan McRoberts, vice president of strategic alignment for the United Soybean Board. “It’s an opportunity to increase profits to get a little bit more fat in the dairy ration and to increase butterfat yield. By feeding whole high oleic soybeans, you can get more out of the ration without depressing milk fat.”

Traditional, roasted soybeans have been a common ingredient in dairy diets as an important source of fat and protein, but those commodity soybeans are also high in polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are toxic to rumen microbes and can disrupt normal rumen function.… Continue reading

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Cattlemen’s youth raise over $28,000 for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) BEST Program for youth ages 8-21 years co-hosted the Celebrity Showdown at the Clark County Cattle Battle along with a live auction to benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio (RMHC). The Clark County Cattle Producers sponsored the event.  

The Celebrity Showdown was hosted at the Champions Center in Springfield, Ohio on Jan. 26, 2024. For this event, youth were responsible for raising a minimum of $100 for the opportunity to dress up their cattle and present them to the celebrity judge. This year’s judge was Lane Manning, the lead singer of the Northern Burnouts band. Through donations from family, friends, their local community and members of OCA, youth participating in the Celebrity Showdown raised $6,730 for the show.

The team that took the lead with fundraising was Team Autumn – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs with $3,855 total raised. The other teams/participants with the highest fundraising numbers were Garrett Reusch with $700; Cora Monnig and Emma Helsinger with $555; Kasen Cole with $500; and Alayna Grafft with $500.… Continue reading

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Ohio State breaks ground on Multispecies Animal Learning Center

At a ceremony on Jan. 30, 2024, The Ohio State University broke ground on the $52 million Multispecies Animal Learning Center (MALC), which will advance student learning and workforce development in animal agriculture.

The College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) will build the state-of-the-art facility at Waterman Agricultural and Natural Resources Laboratory on the Columbus campus. 

The MALC will facilitate education in essential STEM fields and will foster workforce development for diverse careers such as animal sciences, engineering, food science, human nutrition, and health. Inside the facility, students will have opportunities to gain hands-on experience with swine, equine, poultry, cattle, sheep, and goats. The public will have a chance to learn about modern livestock production with tours; a viewing area into the animal barns; and interactive, educational displays. 

“This is a game-changer for us. It is integral to our vision for Waterman and will be a world-class facility that brings people and animals together for hands-on learning, engagement, and programming,” said Cathann A.… Continue reading

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A focus on herd health and service

By Matt Reese

With a background as a veterinarian, Dave Shoup has worked extensively on herd health in his family-owned Wayne County farrow-to-finish swine operation. 

“We work with multiple contracted facilities and are located in three counties. Relatively speaking for the size of our swine operation, we are spread over considerable area because we like to be able to use manure over as many acres as we can. I work with three of my brothers on the farm and we each have our own niche in the operation and we think that works out pretty well,” Shoup said. “Years ago, I had heard the nightmares of comingling pigs into nurseries from multiple sow locations. The way we do it is kind of complex, and it probably only works in our setup where we’re fairly well isolated away from other hog farmers here in Wayne County. It’s all designed to establish a consistent herd immunity on all sow farms to our endemically established diseases through vaccination and direct exposure.… Continue reading

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Liability with escaped farm animals

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

Recent collisions involving cattle on Ohio roadways raise the question of who is liable when a farm animal causes a roadway accident? Ohio’s “animals at large law” helps answer that question. It’s an old law that establishes a legal duty for owners and keepers of farm animals to contain their animals. The law states that an owner or keeper shall not permit their animals to run at large “in the public road, highway, street, lane, or alley, or upon unenclosed land.” But as with many laws, the answer to the question of “who’s liable” under the law is “it depends.” Here’s how the law works.

The law applies to both owners and “keepers.” The animals at large law places responsibility on both the owners and the “keepers” of the animals. The reference to “keepers” can expand the duty to someone other than the animal owner.… Continue reading

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Current 2024 U.S. dairy outlook

By Jason Hartschuh, Field Specialist, Dairy Management and Precision Livestock, Ohio State University Extension

With the first month of 2024 coming to a completion, hopefully you have had time to review your 2023 profit and losses to prepare your farm for 2024. The U.S. all-milk price for 2023 will be about $20.60 per cwt, only the fourth time in 20 years that the all-milk price was over $20 per cwt. Unfortunately, the inflation-adjusted milk price was also the fourth lowest in the past 20 years, leading to record low milk-to-feed margins and record high dairy margin coverage (DMC) payments. The milk to feed margin in the DMC program was below the $4 per cwt coverage level for 2 months in 2023. The cull cow market though was a bright spot for 2023, with the last part of the year having cull cow prices above $100 per cwt. While each farm is different, on average dairy farms will have positive profits per cow for 2023.… Continue reading

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Saddle & Sirloin hosts inaugural cattle show

The Ohio State University’s Saddle and Sirloin Club rang in the new year in a big way, hosting their inaugural Saddle and Sirloin Spectacular cattle show on December 29-31 at Pickaway Agriculture and Event Center in Circleville. 

During the livestock show, youth were awarded grand champion through 5th overall in both market and breeding shows. While no animals were sold, all event proceeds went to fund the continuation of the show. 

While the 114 student members of Saddle and Sirloin are no strangers to livestock show management and have facilitated youth opportunities frequently, this is the first year for its cattle show.

The successful show ran nearly 400 head (193 breeding heifers and 194 market animals) through two rings. Show chairs and Department of Animal Sciences students Erin Pope, Savannah Kinley, and Collin Fedderke worked with other club members to ensure a positive experience for families and exhibitors.

While club membership is comprised of a variety of majors, animal sciences students and those with backgrounds in agriculture make up a majority of the club.… Continue reading

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OCA recognizes award winners

During the Awards Banquet at the recent Ohio Cattlemen’s Association, attendees celebrated the achievements of their fellow cattlemen honored with annual awards. The seven awards presented were as follows:

Outstanding County — Darke County Cattlemen’s Association
Sponsored by Ohio Corn and Wheat

The Darke County Cattlemen’s Association president Erin Horst, leads the association’s eight- member board focusing on their mission of educating beef industry youth and long-time producers, as well as to inform consumers about beef. They accomplish their mission through hosting many different educational programs and advertising tactics. The association sponsors and hosts hoof trimming clinics, BQA sessions, and beef tours visiting different farms across the county learning about herd health, AI synchronization, and pasture management. 

Additionally, the Darke County Cattlemen’s Association implemented marketing efforts to educate beef consumers including billboards on main roadways, as well as the association’s Facebook page which houses a Google Map allowing consumers to find freezer beef within the county limits.… Continue reading

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Over $20,000 in scholarships awarded through the Ohio Cattlemen’s Foundation

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Foundation successfully hosted its Annual Meeting, Jan. 13, 2024, where they awarded over $20,000 in scholarships to students within the beef and agriculture industries. These scholarships are presented with the goal of developing future leaders who will pursue careers for the betterment of Ohio’s beef industry.

High school seniors and current college students enrolled in a two or four-year college or university studying a beef or agricultural related field were awarded scholarships.

Scholarships awarded are as follows: 

Tagged for Greatness Scholarships

Four $1,000 scholarships were awarded through the Tagged for Greatness program. Proceeds are generated from the sale of Ohio beef specialty license plates sold at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) office.  

The following individuals were awarded Tagged for Greatness Scholarships: Megan Garrison, Belmont County; Luke Jennings, Clermont County; Katelynn Wallace, Miami County; and Skyler Ward, Preble County.

Cattlemen’s Country Club Scholarships 

Four $1,000 scholarships were awarded from funds raised at the Cattlemen’s Country Club putt-putt golf course at the 2023 Ohio State Fair.… Continue reading

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November pork export value highest in 30 months

Fueled by record performances in Mexico, Central America and Colombia, November exports of U.S. pork reached the highest value since mid-2021, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). U.S. beef exports slowed in November, recording the third lowest value of 2023. November lamb exports also trended lower.

With a month to spare, pork exports set numerous annual records in 2023. November pork exports totaled 258,601 metric tons (mt), up 5% from a year ago and the highest in six months. Export value was up 2% to $737.4 million, the highest since May 2021 and the seventh highest on record. November volume and value to Central America were record-large, while export value reached new heights in Mexico and Colombia. November exports also increased significantly to South Korea and Oceania.

For January through November, pork exports totaled 2.64 million mt, up 8% from a year ago, valued at $7.39 billion (up 5%).… Continue reading

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The year of protein

By Gregg Doud, president and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation

Within dairy and throughout agriculture, the refrain that will be often repeated is that this will be the year of protein. In fact, it may be the first of many: If you look out over the next decade, the supply of animal protein in the world — that’s beef, pork, poultry, and dairy — comes nowhere near meeting the demand.

That means U.S. dairy’s emphasis on exports and our international competitiveness will certainly be an area of focus. Dairy farmers and their cooperatives are extremely well positioned to do this: We’re efficient, we can get high-quality products overseas competitively, and our processing capacity is expanding. Our innovation and technology in the dairy industry to expand international markets is second to none. NMPF can support these efforts by continuing our excellent partnership with the U.S. Dairy Export Council and by seeking sound policy that promotes the powerhouse potential of U.S.… Continue reading

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Ohio Cattlemen’s Association celebrates success at Annual Meeting

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) held its Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet on Jan. 13, 2024, at the Hilton Polaris Hotel, Columbus, Ohio. Cattlemen and women from across the state gathered to engage in important association business, hear updates from many industry partners and recognize the recipients of several prestigious industry awards.

The day was made possible by the following sponsoring partners: Ag Credit, Corteva Agriscience, Heartland Feed Services, Ohio Association of Meat Processors, The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine and PBS Animal Health.

Todd Wilkinson, President of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), joined members to present an industry update on policy issues. In addition, Director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture, Brian Baldridge spoke briefly about the current programs and new construction underway at the department.

OCA President Mark Goecke of Allen County led the OCA Annual Meeting. The first order of business was awarding the association’s Top Hand members.… Continue reading

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2024 Beef Expo March 14-17

Ohio’s premier beef industry event, the Ohio Beef Expo is scheduled for March 14-17, 2024 at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus. The event will provide cattle enthusiasts from across Ohio and surrounding states with a unique experience that brings education, breed sales, youth shows, industry retail opportunities, and more together all in one place.

This year’s schedule will be similar to the 2023 event. The Coliseum will be used for all junior show activities. The Junior Show will continue with the Market Animal Show on Saturday and the Heifer Show on Sunday. All Junior Show stalling will take place online and viaducts will reserved for OCA BEST sponsors. Remaining viaduct bays, premium stalling, and horse stall purchases will be made in an online auction on Feb. 21.

New this year, the Hereford breed will be kicking off the Saturday sale schedule. The newest addition to the Ohio Beef Expo breeds line-up, the Aberdeen Angus breed, will be one of the 10 breeds hosting sales during the Expo on Friday and Saturday.… Continue reading

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Registration open for Pork Congress

The Ohio Pork Congress continues its annual tradition of delivering timely, relevant, and useful information for pork producers and everyone working in today’s pork industry when it takes place on Feb. 6-7, 2024, at the Veterans Memorial Civic and Convention Center in Lima, Ohio.

“I strongly encourage anyone involved in the pork industry to attend Ohio Pork Congress,” said Nick Seger, Ohio Pork Council president and producer from Shelby County. “It’s truly the best opportunity to learn what’s going on in our industry from top experts, to network with fellow producers, and to see what’s new on the trade show floor.”

OPC attendees will not want to miss the presentation by Steve Meyer, lead economist with Partners for Production Agriculture. He will offer his keen insights into what the rest of 2024 has in store in terms of cost of production, profitability, exports, and more. Adding even more context on what the coming year will bring will be the National Pork Board’s Neal Hull and Jose de Jesus as they explain what Checkoff-funded strategies are underway to boost domestic pork demand.… Continue reading

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