Avian Influenza found in Franklin county backyard flock

A release from the Ohio Department of Agriculture Wednesday confirmed that Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza has been detected in a backyard chicken flock located in Franklin county. The test samples were confirmed at the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service laboratory. According to the release, the virus is highly contagious among birds and can be deadly to flocks in backyards and commercial facilitates.

Authorities have quarantined the area and are maintaining a surveillance zone in a 10-kilometer radius around the infected premises. The impacted livestock will be depopulated to contain the disease. Animals will not enter the food supply.

“Enhanced Biosecurity is the number one preventative measure against avian influenza,” said Dr. Dennis Summers, State Veterinarian in a statement. “HPAI can infect any size flock. We urge all poultry owners to intensify their biosecurity and best management practices.

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza is carried by waterfowl like ducks, geese and shorebirds and can infect all poultry including chickens, turkeys, pheasants, quail, domestic ducks, geese, and guinea fowl.… Continue reading

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USDA extends application deadline for Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the Department is extending to May 11, 2022, the application deadline for the Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program (MPPEP), which provides funding to expand meat and poultry processing capacity. 

The decision to extend the deadline comes after Rural Development heard directly from applicants about challenges with System for Award Management (SAM) registration, which must be completed prior to filing an application. 

“Strengthening our food supply chain is a top priority of the Biden-Harris Administration,” Vilsack said. “The new deadline should ensure that all interested and eligible meat and poultry processors have ample time to complete their applications.”

USDA Rural Development is making $150 million of American Rescue Plan Act funding available through the MPPEP. USDA is offering grants of up to $25 million each to expand processing capacity through a variety of activities, including but not limited to construction, expansion of existing facilities, and acquisition of equipment.… Continue reading

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Efforts encouraging more dairy in school lunches

The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) and the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) submitted joint comments to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service urging the agency to improve nutrition security by updating school meal nutrition standards to encourage increased consumption of dairy in keeping with recommendations from the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) report and with leading health organizations.

In 2020, the federal Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee report found that a staggering 79 percent of 9- to 13-year-olds are not meeting the recommended intake of dairy foods and thereby under-consuming a variety of nutrients during childhood and adolescence, including potassium, calcium, and vitamin D. In their comments to USDA, IDFA and NMPF noted that school children of all ages are falling short of these recommendations, and they rely on school meals to meet their nutritional needs. IDFA and NMPF also noted that falling participation rates in school breakfast and lunch programs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic are a growing concern for overall nutrition security among students.… Continue reading

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Breed show results from Beef Expo

The 34th Ohio Beef Expo was held March 17-20 at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus, Ohio.

Four breeds held shows on Friday to display cattle being sold in the sales. The following are the results from the shows: 

Miniature Hereford 

Judge – Ray Ramsey, Greenfield, IN
Champion Bull – THF TB12 2721 – Brenna Thorson, Rudolph, Ohio
Reserve Champion Bull – ALL HIS WAYLON – All His Farm, Butler, Ohio
Champion Prospect Steer – EL THEO – Cayden Wood
Reserve Champion Prospect Steer – RDS FRITTER – Seamus Bly, Painesville, Ohio

Champion Female – WCR STLZ HF BELLA D01J ET – John Humphreys, Wolcott, IN
Reserve Champion Female – AAH SHE’S ALL CASH J001 ET – Anville Acres, Boonsboro, MD
Champion Market Steer – EL WOODY – Trenton Havenar, Piqua, Ohio
Reserve Market Steer – EZ THOR – Kylie McDonald, Greenville, Ohio 


Judge – Gene Steiner, Ohio 

Champion Shorthorn Bull – Pleasant White Lightening – Pleasant View Farms, Given, WV 

Reserve Champion Shorthorn Bull – MBCF Raising A “LiL” Kane – Maple Brook Farms, Ridgeway, Ohio 

Champion ShorthornPlus Bull – KCE Wicked Pissah 094J – Kleine Cattle Enterprises, Middletown, IN 

Reserve Champion ShorthornPlus Bull – Rainy Day Kamikaze – Rainy Day Shorthorns, Jerusalem, Ohio 

Champion Shorthorn Female – Paradise Proud Fool 2103 ET – Paradise Cattle Company, Ashville, Ohio 

Reserve Champion Shorthorn Female – DASC Cindy Beauty 2103 ET – Dasco Cattle Company, LLC, Republic, Ohio 

Champion ShorthornPlus Female – JJB Moonstruck 428C ET – BIll Apple Cattle Company, Gowanda, NY 

Reserve Champion ShorthornPlus Female – Agle Max Rosa – Agle Family Shorthorns, South Vienna, Ohio 


Judge – Ray Ramsey, Greenfield, IN 
Champion Bull – UHF U14F Stetson U24H – Ralph E.… Continue reading

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How did increased 2021 exports impact the domestic cattle industry?

By Andrew Griffith, Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Tennessee

A recent question I received had to do with what the record quantity and value of beef exports in 2021 really means to the domestic cattle industry.

The question was slightly more technical than this, however, the basic concept is that trading beef internationally provides a broader demand for domestically produced product. The more product that is moved, the more price is supported. From a value standpoint, it is all predicated on the price of beef, which is influenced by total demand for beef. This simply means eat more beef to support prices.… Continue reading

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United States and Japan reach an agreement to increase beef safeguard trigger level 

United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai and United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced that the United States and Japan have reached an agreement to increase the beef safeguard trigger level under the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement.

“This agreement is a great win for our two countries that ensures American farmers and ranchers can continue to meet Japan’s growing demand for high-quality U.S. beef,” said Ambassador Katherine Tai. “I especially want to thank Ambassador Rahm Emanuel for his fierce determination to get this deal done. Today’s agreement is the latest example of the Biden-Harris Administration’s successful resolution of trade disputes with our partners that increases market access and economic opportunity for our producers and their workers.”

The new three-trigger safeguard mechanism will allow U.S. exporters to meet Japan’s growing demand for high-quality beef and reduce the probability that Japan will impose higher tariffs in the future. 
 “This is a positive development for America’s farmers and ranchers.… Continue reading

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Beef Expo puts up solid numbers in 2022

There was a great turnout for the 34th Ohio Beef Expo.

Shorthorn show.

The Expo, held March 17 to March 20, hosted by the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA), is the premier event for Ohio’s beef industry covering many facets of the beef world with seedstock shows and sales, a trade show, a competitive junior show and much more all in one place.

“There aren’t many states with a Beef Expo quite like ours here in Ohio,” said Shane Riley, Expo chairman. “We have a junior show program that is envied across the country and our breed sales and trade show are something we are proud of. Once someone attends the Ohio Beef Expo, they make plans to come back each year after and we just keep growing.”

Stephen Boyles, Professor in the OSU Department of Animal Sciences, shares tips for youth on Beef Quality Assurance at the Ohio Beef Expo.

The Expo kicked off with a full trade show featuring many eager exhibitors selling everything from cattle chutes to farm insurance.… Continue reading

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Senate Commerce Committee passes Ocean Shipping Reform Act

The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) and the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) lauded passage by the Senate Commerce Committee of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act (OSRA). 

“Today’s action by the Senate Commerce Committee brings the Ocean Shipping Reform Act one step closer to passage,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF. “Export supply chain issues continue to pose immense challenges to dairy exporters, which is why this legislation remains so critical as part of a broad-based approach to tackling those problems. Dairy farmers appreciate the leadership of OSRA sponsors Senators Klobuchar and Thune as well as Commerce Chair Cantwell and Ranking Member Wicker on this issue. We urge the Senate and House to expeditiously advance the conference process and ensure that the final text includes a strong focus on the needs of American agricultural exporters.” 

The approval establishes Senate committee support for action to address shipping supply chain challenges as Congress prepares to commence conference procedures on the Senate-passed U.S.… Continue reading

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Beef Expo back in full force

By Matt Reese

After major challenges in the last couple of years, the Ohio Beef Expo was back to full force at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus this weekend.


“It is a great crowd and it really is our first recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. We’re back to the numbers we saw in 2019 and it looks like we are actually way above those numbers. We sold out our trade show very early,” said Tom Karr, president of the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association. “One of the things I enjoy is talking to the exhibitors in the trade show. They don’t mince any words. They say the Ohio Beef Expo is the place to be in the eastern part of the U.S. We have big numbers for the youth program, we have big numbers for the purebred cattle and big numbers for commercial cattle. It is very gratifying and it is a relief that we can bounce back from the adversity we saw in 2020 and 2021.”… Continue reading

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Spot Market Hog Pandemic Program eligibility broadened

USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced it has modified the Spot Market Hog Pandemic Program (SMHPP) eligibility requirements. The program — announced last year — provides payments to pork producers who made spot market transactions between April 16 and Sept. 1, 2020. 

The clarified eligibility requirements expand the agency’s interpretation of “spot market sales” and “sale to a packer” to better reflect the nontraditional types of transactions made during that period, including sales to dealers, cull markets, meat lockers, intermediaries and others.

“The changes to SMHPP are certainly welcome and producers thank FSA for its commitment to clarifying the parameters of the program,” said Terry Wolters, NPPC president. “Producers forced into spot market sales have been excluded from many of the previous recovery programs, and these modifications will hopefully lead to these funds making it into the right hands.”

During the covered period, many producers were forced onto the spot market after meat processors were unable to meet their obligations due to COVID-19-related shutdowns.… Continue reading

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First generation cattle producers making a name for themselves

By Brianna Gwirtz, OCJ field reporter

The year 2010 was transformative for Zane Gross. Not only was it the year he met his now-wife, Courtney, it was also the year he took a leap of faith and bought his first four heifers. 

The first-generation cattleman got his start by taking 4-H and FFA projects to the county fair. After a few years of showing calves and steers, Gross realized he was particularly drawn to the production side of the business. In 2010, he purchased four Limousine/Angus crossbred heifers and brought them back to his family’s farm in Ashland. He raised calves for freezer beef for a few years before attending a dispersal sale in 2013, where Gross bought his first registered Angus cow, the foundation for his herd, Buckeye Creek Angus

“I transitioned to an Angus herd because I really grew a passion for genetics,” Gross said. “The Angus breed has an advanced genetic database with good EPD tracking.… Continue reading

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HPAI concerns are increasing for Ohio poultry

High Path Avian Influenza (HPAI) has been confirmed in poultry flocks in Kentucky, Indiana, Virginia, New York, Maine, Michigan, Delaware, Maryland, Missouri, Connecticut and Iowa. HPAI spreads quickly and can be fatal to flocks and devastating to poultry owners. 

HPAI has also been found in wild birds in Ohio. Wild birds can be infected with HPAI and show no signs of illness, though the birds positive for HPAI in Ohio had died. They can carry the disease to new areas when migrating, potentially exposing domestic poultry to the virus. APHIS anticipates additional avian influenza detections will occur in additional states as wild bird surveillance continues into the spring. 

The Ohio Department of Agriculture is urging poultry owners to intensify biosecurity and best management practices:
•    Prevent Contact with wild birds and waterfowl. Keep birds indoors when possible. Add wildlife management practices around your farm. hpaifactsheet_wildlife-biosecurity.pdf (
•    Keep visitors to a minimum.Continue reading

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Momentum continues for beef exports

Coming off a record-breaking performance in 2021, U.S. beef exports remained red-hot in January, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Pork exports continued to trend lower in January, despite another outstanding month for exports to leading market Mexico.

Wide range of markets fuel another $1 billion month for beef exports

Beef exports totaled 119,066 metric tons (mt), up 13% from a year ago, while value soared 57% to $1.03 billion. This was the third-highest value total on record – trailing only August and November of last year – and export value per head of fed slaughter set a new record, exceeding $500 for the first time. Export value to South Korea set a new record – topping $300 million – and strong year-over-year increases were achieved in China/Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, the Caribbean and Central America. 

“This is a truly remarkable run for U.S.… Continue reading

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Pastures for Profit webinar

Building off a successful online launch in 2021, the Pastures for Profit program will be offered as a virtual course again this year during March and April 2022. Anyone interested in pasture management and forage production is welcome to join the course. One live webinar will be offered each week for three consecutive weeks along with “work at your own pace” videos and exercises that accompany each webinar. The Pastures for Profit program is a long-standing collaboration between Ohio State University Extension, Central State University, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Ohio Department of Agriculture, and the Ohio Forage and Grasslands Council.

Each webinar will be offered live on Zoom at 7 P.M. and feature three presentations in a 90-minute span. Attendees will be able to interact with the speakers and ask questions in real time. Once registered, attendees will be granted access to the online course including the webinars, social events, and complementary resources.… Continue reading

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New spending bill includes extension of livestock price reporting law

As the result of an extensive lobbying initiative from agricultural organizations,  the Senate and House passed an omnibus budget bill to keep the government operating through fiscal 2022. A long list of National Pork Producers Council priorities were funded in the $1.5 trillion spending measure. Among the most important USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) programs funded, all at levels up from fiscal 2021, were ones for:

• Swine health — $25.4 million.

• Veterinary diagnostics — $61.4 million. 

• Zoonotic disease management — $20.3 million.

• Emergency preparedness and response — $42 million.

Importantly, the bill included $250 million for APHIS’s Agricultural Quarantine Inspection program to offset the loss of user fees from international passengers and planes, ship and other vehicles bringing cargo into the United States. Those funds are for U.S. Customs and Border Protection agricultural inspectors who conduct searches at U.S. ports of entry. Additional priorities were funded in the catch-all spending measure such authorization for the Livestock Mandatory Reporting Act through the end of the fiscal year and the bill includes provisions continuing a delay on the Electronic Logging Device requirement for livestock truckers and one preventing the U.S.… Continue reading

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Forseth to oversee animal health for NPPC

The National Pork Producers Council has hired Dr. Anna Forseth for the newly created position of director of animal health. She will focus on foreign animal disease prevention and preparedness, as well as antibiotic use and resistance issues.

“We welcome Dr. Forseth to the NPPC team,” said Bryan Humphreys, NPPC CEO. “She has a wealth of knowledge about hogs and swine diseases and a great background in swine research. We know she will be a great asset to and resource for the U.S. pork industry.”

A Montana native who grew up on the family’s farrow-to-finish swine operation near Three Forks, Forseth received a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Montana State University, her DVM from Colorado State University and a master’s in veterinary preventive medicine from Iowa State University.

Prior to joining NPPC, she was a program veterinarian for the Montana Department of Livestock, overseeing foreign animal disease preparedness, including grant projects, the Secure Food Supply, the Swine Health Improvement Plan, One Health activities and disease programs.… Continue reading

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Conference will focus on using manure, protecting environment

Manure happens. And when it does, there are ways you can use it that help crops grow and yet also protect the environment.

That’s the premise of Waste to Worth 2022, set for April 18–22 near Toledo, which will share the latest science on animal agriculture and environmental stewardship. 

Organized by the national Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Community (LPELC) and hosted by The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), the conference brings together leading experts on manure use. Its theme is “Advancing Sustainability in Animal Agriculture.”

Speakers from CFAES will include:

  • Cathann A. Kress, Ohio State vice president for agricultural administration and dean of CFAES, who will give the conference’s welcoming address. CFAES’ many research and outreach areas include nutrient management, manure management, soil health, and water quality.
  • Chris Winslow, director of Ohio Sea Grant and The Ohio State University Stone Laboratory, who will share a history of water quality issues in Lake Erie.
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One man’s trash: Implications of litter for livestock

By Christine Gelley, Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator, Noble County Ohio State University Extension

One of the many challenges of flooded conditions we have seen in recent weeks is dealing with the garbage that is often swept into crop fields and pastures along with the water. It certainly is frustrating to watch the water recede and leave a trail of litter tangled in crop residue and fence lines. As disheartening and downright gross it is to walk the trail and gather other people’s garbage, it is important to make sure litter is removed promptly to prevent further issues at a later time.

Along with being unsightly, this litter may be accidentally ingested by livestock if it is baled in hay or harvested with grain and can cause damages to equipment if it becomes entangled. Ingested metals and plastics can lead to a variety of digestive problems that can cause chronic struggles, acute illness, and/or death.… Continue reading

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When do I start grazing?

By Victor Shelton, retired NRCS Agronomist/Grazing Specialist

Certainly, if you have any stockpiled forage left from the previous season, that is game for grazing. To have decent quality at this time, it had to be good stockpile from last fall with adequate nitrogen present and is likely tall fescue which holds its value better over winter than other grasses.

During this time of year, you absolutely want to make sure that you have enough residual forage present to not only provide fodder for the livestock, but also protect the soil surface. That generally means a minimum of at least 3,000 pounds of dry matter or a good thick ten inches of forage. If you don’t have good cover and the soil is thawed and wet, you can quickly do more damage than good. Even if you have good cover, you shouldn’t let your livestock stay on any one place too long. They have got to keep moving or they will damage the sod opening it up to pesty weeds, erosion and yield reducing compaction.… Continue reading

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Aggies’ Livestock Judging Contest back in person

By Matt Reese and Dale Minyo

While last year Wilmington College was forced to go virtual with its annual Aggies’ Judging Contest, the student-run event was back in person at the Champion Expo Center in Springfield for its 64th year.

“We have freshman and sophomores working as volunteers and our juniors and seniors are all helping with the planning since the last time we had an in-person contest was March of 2020 and a couple of weeks later we were shut down,” said Carley Asher, Wilmington College student, Aggies president and coordinator of the event. “I was part of doing the virtual contest last year. We definitely found a learning curve getting it back in person, but we are super stoked to be back in person.”

The March 2 contest included general livestock, agronomy, equine, and dairy. As usual, it was great practice for FFA and 4-H members from multiple states to prepare for upcoming judging events.… Continue reading

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