OSU Extension to host two winter beef programs

Mark your calendars now for the Ohio Beef Cattle Nutrition and Management School, targeted for anyone raising, feeding, or marketing any class of beef cattle.

Session 1 (6 to 9:00 p.m. Jan. 29 at Luckey Farmers Inc. main office in Sandusky County, and Jan. 30 at the OSU Newark Campus in Licking County) will feature former OSU research nutritionist and current University of Georgia Department of Animal Sciences Chair, Francis Fluharty discussing the use of small grains, by-product feeds, and cover crop forages in both feedlot and beef cow diets. Session 2 (Feb. 12 in Sandusky County, and Feb. 13 in Licking County, both 6 to 9:00 p.m.) will feature talks by OSU Extension educators on marketing strategies, feeding and managing for carcass quality, forage testing, and managing annual forages for grazing and hay, as well as discussion led by OSU Clinical Veterinarian, Dr. Justin Kieffer on herd health, parasite management, and vaccination protocols.… Continue reading

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2020 OCA Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet highlights

By Madi Kregel, OCJ field reporter

The 2020 Ohio Cattlemen’s Association Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet showed the bright future members needed on a very gloomy and rainy Saturday.

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association vice president of government affairs, Ethan Lane, spoke multiple times during the event about key issues at the federal level for the beef industry. Lane explained the NCBA aims to continue to work with the current presidential administration’s interest in trying to help the agricultural community. On the regulatory front, NCBA had a significant recent victory with an announcement by President Trump promulgating new regulations to implement the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

NEPA was first enacted in 1970 to “create and maintain conditions under which man and nature can exist in productive harmony,” and has not undergone substantive regulatory revision since 1986. Ranchers must undergo NEPA reviews for many reasons, but common examples include renewal of a term grazing permit, construction of range improvements, or to become eligible for participation in USDA programs.… Continue reading

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Borden second major milk seller to declare bankruptcy

Dallas-based Borden, one of America’s largest dairy companies founded in 1857, announced this month that it initiated voluntary reorganization proceedings in the District of Delaware under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. Borden is the second major U.S. milk seller to declare bankruptcy in recent months after Dean Foods Company announced bankruptcy in November.

Borden intends to use the court process to pursue a financial restructuring designed to reduce its current debt load, maximize value and position the company for long-term success. Borden plans to continue operating in the ordinary course of business, under the court’s supervision.

“Borden is EBITDA-positive (earning before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) and growing, but we must achieve a more viable capital structure,” said Tony Sarsam Borden CEO. “This reorganization will strengthen our position for future prosperity. Over the past 163 years, we have earned the distinction of being one of the most well-recognized and reputable national brands.… Continue reading

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2020 OSIA LEAD Marketing Advantage Sale date set

The date has been set for the second annual Marketing Advantage Sale for the OSIA LEAD Council and the Ohio State Fair — January 14, 2020. The event is hosted online by Breeders World.

The Marketing Advantage Sale is the exclusive opportunity to secure advertising visibility during market lamb and breeding sheep events at the 2020 Ohio State Fair through the purchase of one or more sale lots.

New for 2020, the sale will also include expanding marketing opportunities at the LEAD Council’s premier spring educational event, the No Show Lamb Show. There will be four unique sale lots featuring options such as booth space during the event to display business or products to an audience of parents and other adults in attendance at the No Show Lamb Show.

The Marketing Advantage Sale has been established as the primary funding source for the Ohio State Fair Market Lamb and Breeding Sheep Programs.… Continue reading

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Ohio Beef Expo set for 2020

The Ohio Beef Expo, the premier event of Ohio’s beef industry, will take place March 19 through 22 at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus, Ohio. This annual event, coordinated by the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA), includes a kick-off social; breed sales, shows and displays; beef quality assurance sessions; a multi-day trade show and a highly competitive junior show.

The Ohio Beef Expo will officially kick-off with the opening of the trade show at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 19. This is the second year for the Expo to open on Thursday, allowing more time for attendees, especially those that exhibit cattle at the Expo, to visit with vendors in the Voinovich building. The Expo trade show features over 140 vendors from 25 states that offer products and services beneficial to all cattlemen. OCA members and Expo exhibitors are invited to attend The Social on Thursday evening at the Expo headquarters hotel, the Hilton Columbus/Polaris.… Continue reading

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Animal welfare bill becomes federal law

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

In November, the President signed the “Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act” (PACT), into law. PACT makes it a federal offense to purposely crush, burn, drown, suffocate, impale, or otherwise subject non-human mammals, birds, reptiles, or amphibians to serious bodily injury.

PACT also outlaws creating and distributing video of such animal torture.  The law includes several exceptions, including during customary and normal veterinary, agricultural husbandry, and other animal management practices, as well as during slaughter, hunting, fishing, euthanasia, etc.… Continue reading

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United States hog inventory up 3%

As of Dec. 1, there were 77.3 million hogs and pigs on U.S. farms, up 3% from December 2018, but down slightly from Sept. 1, 2019, according to the Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report published today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

Other key findings in the report were:

  • Of the 77.3 million hogs and pigs, 70.9 million were market hogs, while 6.46 million were kept for breeding.
  • Between September and November 2019, 35.1 million pigs were weaned on U.S. farms, up 2% from the same time period one year earlier.
  • From September through November 2019, U.S. hog and pig producers weaned an average of 11.09 pigs per litter.
  • S. hog producers intend to have 3.13 million sows farrow between December 2019 and February 2020, and 3.15 million sows farrow between March and May 2020.
  • Iowa hog producers accounted for the largest inventory among the states, at 24.8 million head.
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Winter application of manure: Remember setbacks

By Glen Arnold, CCA, Ohio State University Extension

Some Ohio livestock producers will be looking to apply manure to farm fields frozen enough to support application equipment. Permitted farms are not allowed to apply manure in the winter unless it is an extreme emergency, and then movement to other suitable storage is usually the selected alternative. Thus, this article is for non-permitted livestock operations.

In the Grand Lake St Marys watershed, the winter manure application ban from December 15 to March 1 is still in effect. Thus, no manure application would normally be allowed from now until March 1.

In the Western Lake Erie Basin (WLEB) watershed, the surface application of manure to frozen and snow-covered soils require there to be a growing crop in the field. This could be a pasture, alfalfa, clover, ryegrass or a rape crop. There must be enough vegetation visible to provide a 90% cover of residue and growing vegetation.… Continue reading

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2020 Draft Horse Sale Dates

If you have sales you would like to see included on this list, e-mail


January 14-15, 2020

Keystone Draft Horse Sale, Harrisburg, Pa


February 3, 2020

Kalona Special Work Horse Sale, Kalona, Iowa


February 18-21, 2020

Mid-America Draft Horse Sale, Gordyville, Illinois


Feb 19, 2020

Mel’s Stable Draft Horse Sale, New Holland, PA


Mar 4-6, 2020

Southern Indiana Spring Draft Horse, Carriage, Machinery & Equipment Auction, Montgomery,



March 7, 2020

LaRue Horse & Tack Annual Spring Sale, LaRue, OH


March 9-14, 2020

Mid-Ohio Draft Horse and Carriage Sale, Mount Hope, Ohio


March 11-14, 2020

Boone Draft Horse & Mule Sale, Sedalia, MO


March 16-20, 2020

Topeka Spring Draft Horse, Carriage & Equipment Sale, Topeka, IN


March 20-21, 2020

Dixie Draft Horse Mule and Carriage Auction, Troutman, North Carolina


March 20, 2020

Vineyard Road Driving Horse Sale, Romulus, NY


March 24-27, 2020

Waverly Midwest Horse Sale, Waverly, Iowa


March 26 & 27, 2020
2020 Can/Am Clydesdale Extravaganza Sale
Michiana Event Center (MEC) Shipshewana, IN


April 1-3, 2020

Midwest Select Draft & Driving Horse Sale, Madison, Wis.Continue reading

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Cattlemen’s Annual Meeting to feature speakers Mark Gardiner and Ethan Lane

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) will feature speakers Mark Gardiner and Ethan Lane at its Annual Meeting and Banquet on Saturday, Jan. 11, at the Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center in Lewis Center.

Mark Gardiner, president of Gardiner Angus Ranch in Ashland, Kansas, will be featured during the opening luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Gardiner Angus Ranch is a family-owned operation and leading Angus genetics business located near the Oklahoma Panhandle. The family has developed an embryo transfer program that makes over 3,500 transfers a year, making it one of the largest of its kind in the world. The ranch presently consists of over 48,000 acres and breeds more than 4,500 head of Angus females each year and calves about 2,000 cows each fall and spring.

Gardiner graduated with a bachelor’s degree in animal sciences and industry from Kansas State University in 1983. He is active in the Beef improvement Federation and is also a former President of the Kansas Angus Association.… Continue reading

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OCA BEST Program introduces Stockmanship division

New for the 2019-20 BEST season, OCA is introducing the Stockmanship division. This new opportunity was developed in an effort to further youth’s knowledge of cattle throughout the state and to allow youth to showcase their abilities and talent outside of the show ring.

The Stockmanship division will be comprised of beef industry-focused events and competitions that are held in conjunction with BEST shows and OCA events. This division of the BEST program is open to all Ohio youth regardless of if they own or show cattle during the BEST show season. If an existing BEST participant would like to sign up for the Stockmanship division, they will do so under their BEST user profile at for no additional cost outside of existing cattle nominations. If age-eligible individuals would like to participate in the Stockmanship division but don’t have any cattle enrolled in the 2019-2020 BEST program, they should create their username and profile at best.ohiocattle.orgContinue reading

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Genetic excellence a family tradition at Bunker Hill Farm

By Matt Reese

Whether through on-farm production, the show ring or industry service and leadership, the Shultz family and Ohio’s sheep industry have been intertwined for generations on Bunker Hill Farm in Logan County. The current generation on the farm — Bill and Susan Shultz — were recognized with the 2019 Charles Boyles Master Shepherd Award Dec. 14.

“The award is about being good shepherds and good sheep people, but also leadership and involvement in the industry,” said Roger High, executive director of the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association, Ohio Sheep and Wool Program and director of livestock policy for Ohio Farm Bureau. “Both Bill and Susan as well as Bill’s dad have been very involved in the leadership of the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association for what is now 70 years.”

Farrell Shultz served as the first president of the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association in 1949. His son, Bill, served as OSIA president in 1979 and Bill’s wife, Susan, served as president in 2009.… Continue reading

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World champion Buckeyes celebrate success in the sawdust

By Emily Beal, writer for The Ohio State University College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences

This time of year, Ohio State University fans around the world are getting ready to watch a Buckeye team make a run for a National Championship. Many, though, many not realize that there are already some 2019 champion Buckeyes that compete in a different type of venue. The Ohio State Dairy Judging Team proved it was the cream of the crop, placing first at the National Intercollegiate Dairy Cattle Judging Contest at the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wis. this fall. The last time Ohio State won the contest was in 1986.

The Dairy Judging Team placed first among 18 schools in the National Intercollegiate Dairy Judging Contest on Sept. 30. Coached by Bonnie Ayars, The Ohio State University team placed seventh for reasons with a score of 788. The team consists of fourth-place overall individual Billy Smith and ninth-place overall individual Lauren Almasy along with Sarah Lehner and Ian Lokai.… Continue reading

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USDA extends deadlines for Dairy Margin Coverage, Market Facilitation programs

Due to the prolonged and extensive impacts of weather events this year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) extended the deadline to Dec. 20 for producers to enroll in the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program for the 2020 calendar year. The deadline had been Dec. 13. USDA announced is also continuing to accept applications for the Market Facilitation Program through Dec. 20.

“2019 has challenged the country’s ag sector — prevented or late planting followed by a delayed harvest has been further complicated by wet and cold weather,” said Bill Northey, USDA Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation. “Because some of our producers are still in the field, time to conduct business at the local USDA office is at a premium. We hope this deadline extension will allow producers the opportunity to participate in these important programs.”

Authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill and available through USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), the program offers reasonably priced protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all-milk price and the average feed cost (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer.… Continue reading

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China fuels October pork exports, beef exports down

Strong demand from China bolstered U.S. pork exports in October, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Export Federation (USMEF), while October beef exports were below the very high totals posted a year ago.

October pork exports increased 8.5% year-over-year to 225,376 metric tons (mt), while export value climbed 10% to $592 million. January-October export volume was 5% ahead of last year’s pace at 2.13 million mt, while value increased 3% to $5.48 billion.

Pork export value averaged $48.13 per head slaughtered in October, up 4% from a year ago. For January through October, the per-head average was down 1% to $51.12. October exports accounted for 24% of total U.S. pork production and 20.9% for muscle cuts only, up from 23.6% and 20.7%, respectively, a year ago. January-October exports accounted for 26% of total pork production and 22.6% for muscle cuts, both up slightly year-over-year.

October beef exports totaled 108,017 mt, an 8% decline from last year’s large volume, while export value ($649.1 million) was down 11%.… Continue reading

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Frobose Meat Locker adding local flavor to community

By Matt Reese

Much of rural and small town Ohio is built on the character of local agricultural businesses that have been woven into the fabric of the community — a bit of local flavor.

There a few better examples of this local flavor than Frobose Meat Locker in the village of Pemberville in Wood County. The business includes, of course, a meat locker where customers can rent freezer space to house their meats, but the business is widely known for its vast array of brat recipes and high quality, locally produced meat products. The family business is also known for its role in the local culture.

Bob and Elaine Frobose both grew up on area farms and now they operate Frobose Meat Locker with their children Ben, Jacob, Zach, and Abby. The family raises cattle and a few pigs to supply the business along with procuring poultry, pork and beef from area farms.… Continue reading

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Farm groups file legal challenge to California’s Prop 12

The National Pork Producers Council and the American Farm Bureau Federation have filed a legal challenge to California’s Proposition 12, which imposes animal housing standards that reach outside of California’s borders to farms across the United States and beyond.

“Proposition 12 revolves around a set of arbitrary standards that lack any scientific, technical or agricultural basis, and will only serve to inflict further harm on U.S. hog farmers,” said Jen Sorenson, NPPC vice president. “California represents approximately 15% of the U.S. pork market, and Proposition 12 will force hog farmers who want to sell pork into the populous state to switch to alternative housing systems, at a significant cost to their business. U.S. pork producers are already fighting to expand market opportunities overseas. We shouldn’t have to fight to preserve our domestic market too.”

Beginning Jan. 1, 2022, Proposition 12 prohibits the sale of pork not produced according to California’s highly prescriptive production standards.… Continue reading

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Rule proposed to level the playing field for organic dairies

A policy that allows a one-time transition of dairy cows from conventional to organic production has been inconsistently enforced, putting farmers who play by the rules at a competitive disadvantage and undermining the integrity of the organic label. However, a proposed rule would level the playing field by more clearly defining current regulations.

The Origin of Livestock proposed rule, which was originally published in 2015 but has not yet been finalized, would allow organic dairy farms to transition conventional replacement animals into organic production only once, prohibiting the continuous transition that some farms have incorrectly practiced. In comments submitted, National Farmers Union (NFU), a longtime advocate of fair and commonsense organic rules and regulations, voiced support for the rule and urged its immediate finalization and implementation.

“The organic label is only as meaningful as the enforcement of organic standards. But currently, the origin of livestock provisions are being applied inconsistently across the industry, allowing some farmers to repeatedly transition conventional replacement animals into organic production while others comply with the rules and only transition a single, distinct herd once.… Continue reading

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Cooperatives Working Together settlement lifts legal cloud

The National Milk Producers Federation announced it has reached a settlement agreement to end a class-action lawsuit concerning a herd retirement program that ended in 2010 and was administered through NMPF’s Cooperatives Working Together initiative. The settlement will safeguard ongoing efforts to aid U.S. dairy producers, lift a years-long legal cloud and allow NMPF member cooperatives and the current CWT program to move forward with greater legal and fiscal certainty.

The plaintiffs (generally larger retailers and companies who directly purchased butter and cheese from CWT member cooperatives) in First Impressions Salon, Inc. v. National Milk Producers Federation et al, (pending in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois), and defendant NMPF have agreed to a settlement of $220 million in exchange for a release from all claims. Based on antitrust rules that mandate a tripling of any damages, that amount is less than 6% of the damages sought by plaintiffs.… Continue reading

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Ohio Pork Council names Melissa Bell Interim Executive Vice-President

The Ohio Pork Council is pleased to name Melissa Bell as Interim Executive-Vice President, beginning December 16, 2019.

In this role, Bell will work alongside the board of directors to manage and execute OPC’s strategic goals, coordinate state checkoff programs, and continue the organization’s involvement in H2Ohio, in addition to the Ohio Agricultural Conservation Initiative. Bell has served as OPC’s Director of Membership Outreach since May 2018, in which she organized events and maintained relationships with key investors, members and partners of the organization.

“Melissa is a tremendous asset to the Ohio Pork Council, which is why we are pleased to offer her the opportunity to serve as Interim Executive Vice-President,” said Dave Shoup, President, Ohio Pork Council. “Given Melissa’s leadership experience in agriculture, coupled with her passion for the industry, we are confident she will excel in this role.”

Before joining OPC in 2018, Bell served as the Sponsorship Development Consultant at the Ohio FFA Foundation, and prior to that as the Executive Director for the Foundation.… Continue reading

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