European Commission proposes tripling spending to support ag exports

While the U.S. Congress continues to debate budget cuts, the European Commission has proposed more than tripling its spending in the international marketplace to support the export of EU agricultural and agri-food sector products.

“Enjoy, it’s from Europe” is the slogan for the proposed expanded export initiative that “aims to help the sector’s professionals break into international markets and make consumers more aware of the efforts made by European farmers to provide quality products, based on a genuine strategy established at European level,” according to EU media reports.

The proposal, which will be submitted to the European Parliament for its review, would boost European aid for agricultural exports progressively from €61 million ($82.5 million) in the 2013 budget to €200 million ($270.5 million) in 2020.

“In a world in which consumers are increasingly aware of the safety, quality and sustainability of food production methods, European farmers and small- or medium-sized enterprises are in a position of strength,” said European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Dacian Ciolos.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio highlights from 2013 NAILE Beef Cattle Show

The following are some Ohio highlights from the 2013 North American Livestock Exposition Beef Cattle Show. For complete results, visit

Junior Angus Show

Kaitlyn Clark of West Chester won Reserve Senior Champion


Junior Chianina Show

Shelby Manning of Union City won Late Junior Calf Champion


Junior Limousin Show

Sarah Anne Johnson of Williamsport won Reserve Cow/Calf Champion


Junior Maine Anjou Show

Austin Hunker of Bellevue won Senior Calf Champion

Hannah Topmiller of Pleasant Plain won Best Bred and Owned


Junior Shorthorn Show

Clayton Boyert of Seville won Reserve Junior Heifer Calf Champion, Senior Heifer Calf Champion, and Reserve Senior Champion Female


Junior Simmental Show

Allison Reed of Lindsey was Division IV Champion and Grand Champion


Open Angus Show

Kinsey Crow of West Alexandria won Reserve Champion Senior Female


Open Chiangus Show

Winegardner Show Cattle of Lima won Early Junior Bull Calf Champion


Open Chianina Show

Wingardner Show Cattle of Lima won Reserve Early Bull Calf Champion and Early Junior Heifer Calf Champion

Shelby Manning of Union City won Reserve Late Junior Heifer Calf Champion

Aaron Reindel of Delphos won Reserve Summer Yearling Champion


Open LimFlex Show

Sarah Anne Johnson of Willamsport won Division Lim-Flex Cow Calf Champion


Open Limousin Show

Sarah Anne Johnson of Williamsport won Produce of Dam


Open Maine Anjou Show

Jones Show Cattle of Harrod won Junior Champion Bull, Grand Champion Bull, Division I Junior Heifer Calf Champion, Premier Breeder, and Premier Exhibitor


Open MainTrainer Show

Jones Show Cattle of Harrod won Reserve Junior Heifer Calf Champion


Open Salers Show

Fraziers Farm of Fredericktown won Spring Heifer Calf Champion and Reserve Junior Heifer Calf Champion


Open ShorthornPlus Show

Duvelius, Jerry, and Family of Hamilton won Reserve Grand Champion Bull

Ali Muir of Jackson Center won Division I Reserve Champion


Open SimAngus Show

Lauren Grimes of Hillsboro won Champion Senior Heifer


Open Simmental Show

Jones Show Cattle of Herrod won Reserve Champion Junior Heifer Calf and Champion Summer Yearling Heifer

Collin Watson of Cable won Champion Junior Yearling Heifer… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio highlights from 2013 NAILE Dairy Cattle Show

The following are some Ohio highlights from the 2013 North American Livestock Exposition Dairy Cattle Show. For complete results, visit


Junior Ayrshire Show

Lane Greiwe of Sydney won Reserve Champion Female

Blake Greiwe of Sydney won Junior Champion Female

Ohio won Junior State Ayrshire Herd


Junior Brown Swiss Show

Chelsea Skidmore of Union City won Reserve Senior Champion Female and Reserve Grand Champion Female

Kinley Topp of Botkins won Junior Showmanship

Ohio won Junior Brown Swiss State Herd


Junior Guernsey Show

Amber Dietz of Southington won Senior Showmanship


Junior Holstein Show

Logan Schlauch of Big Prairie won Junior Showmanship


Junior Jersey Show

Ohio won Junior Jersey State Herd


Junior Mid-East Fall Red and White Show

Korey Oechsle of Van Wert won Junior Showmanship

Clay Hershberger of Sugarcreek won Senior Showmanship


Junior Milking Shorthorn Show

Hannah Rhoades of Greenville won Intermediate Showmanship and Junior Champion Female

Garret Hageman of Sydney won Junior Supreme Heifer


Open Ayrshire Show

Jack Miller of Braduen won the Total Performance Class

Emerald Farms of Winchester won Exhibitors Herd and Premier Breeder


Open Brown Swiss Show

Renegade Swiss of Madison won Reserve Senior Champion Female and Reserve Grand Champion Female

Lucas Ayars of Mechanicsburg won the Total Performance Award

Ohio won the Open Brown Swiss State Herd


Open Holstein Show

Gene Iager of Pleasant Plain won Junior Champion Female, Senior Champion Female and Grand Champion Female

Express/Stan-Mar-Dale of Urbana won Premier Exhibitor and Premier Breeder


Open Jersey Show

Gene Iager of Pleasant Plain won Junior Champion Female… Continue reading

Read More »

Congressional Analysis of Farm Bill finds Senate Dairy Title costs less than House version

A recent analysis by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) of the competing House and Senate farm bills shows that the Senate’s dairy program costs less than the House version, the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) said, helping fortify the case for the Senate‘s dairy title as negotiations continue in the congressional farm bill committee.

The House farm bill’s dairy title is projected to cost $418 million above the baseline, according to the CRS report released in October, while the Senate dairy program costs $302 million more over the next ten years.

Incoming NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern said that the CRS report — the first to compare the two competing farm bill versions that conferees are attempting to reconcile — buttresses the point that NMPF has been making about the need to couple margin insurance with a market stabilization program, as the Senate bill does, to achieve cost controls.

“While even this analysis seriously underestimates what we and other independent analysts believe would be the real cost of the badly-flawed House approach, the CRS report demonstrates that the Senate plan is the most fiscally responsible program,” Mulhern said.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio and national pork groups team with Rep. Marcia Fudge to help those in need

Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, joined with the

National Pork Producers Council, the Ohio Pork Council and Walmart to provide Thanksgiving food baskets of ham, turkey and all the trimmings to needy families in the Cleveland area.

Fudge greeted families and thanked volunteers who participated in the City Mission — a Cleveland charity — effort to distribute the food baskets at the Corinthian Baptist Church in Cleveland.

“NPPC and Ohio pork farmers are honored to work with Congresswoman Fudge to do a small part to help those in need have a great Thanksgiving,” said Dick Isler, executive vice president of the Ohio Pork Council.

Ohio pork farmers have been involved in the fight against hunger for years, donating just over 1 million meals of nutritious pork to Ohio foodbanks since 2009. This Easter, the Ohio Pork Council, Ohio farmers and other industry partners rose to the occasion, providing 37,554 pounds (187,770 meals) of protein-rich ground pork to several Ohio foodbanks in an effort to make sure that no Ohio family went without a nutritious, hearty meal during the holiday season.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio highlights from 2013 NAILE Dairy Goat Show

Here are some Ohio highlights from the 2013 North American International Livestock Exposition Dairy Goat Show. For complete result, visit


Heather Cade, Galena, won Junior Showmanship

Jenna Johnson, Delaware, finished second in Junior Showmanship


Open Alpine Show

Dardy Acres, N. Lewisburg, Grand Reserve Champion, Second Best Udder, Premier Exhibitor, Premier Breeder


Open LaMancha Show

Dicke Brothers, Minster, Junior Champions, Second Dairy Herd


Open Nubian Show

Lisa Begley, Martinsville, ADGA Reserve Junior Champion, Junior Reserve Champion, ADGA Senior Champion, Grand Champion, Best Udder, Dairy Herd, Premier Exhibitor


Open Supreme Show

Lisa Begley, Martinsville, Supreme Champion Best Three females (Nubian)


 … Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio highlights from 2013 NAILE Sheep Show

Here are some Ohio highlights from the 2013 North American International Livestock Exposition Sheep Show. For complete results, visit


Junior Border Leicester

Thomas Drew, Bowling Green, Best fleece


Junior Sheep Showmanship

Brock Martin, Attica, won the 8-14 year old junior sheep showmanship competition

Tyler Myers, Rushylvania, was second in the 13-19 year olds

Blake Martin, Attica, was second in the 8 and 9 year olds


Junior Columbia

Megan Inbody, Bluffton, Best Fleece


Junior Corriedale

Kody Wolf, Upper Sandusky, Res. Champion Ram and Grand Champion Ewe

Ohio won State Flock


Junior Dorper

Wyatt Wertz, Raymond, Champion and Reserve Champion Ram and Reserve Champion Ewe

Jessica Larrick, Leesburg, Champion Ewe


Junior Hampshire

Ava Shroyer, DeGraff, Reserve Champion SS Ewe


Junior Horned Dorset

Christina Shotts, Quincy, Champion Ram and Reserve Grand Champion Ewe

Tyler Myers, Rushyvania, Reserve Champion Ram, Reserve Junior Champion Ewe

Micah McCoy, Lancaster, Grand Champion Ewe


Junior Market Lamb Showmanship

Paige Bremke, Wellington, second in 6-7 year old

Margo Sturgis, Wooster, second in 4 -11 year old

Colin Gump, Fletcher, won 10 – 17 year old and Senior Champion Showmanship

Delanie Wiseman, London, won 18-19 years old


Junior Market Show

Delanie Wiseman, London, Champion Suffolk, Champion Dorset

MacKenzie Fruchey, Fayetteville, Reserve Champion Hampshire

Ali Muir, Reserve Champion Shropshire


Junior Natural Colored

Kody Wolf, Upper Sandusky, Champion Ram and Reserve Champion Ewe

Kodi Paulus, Casstown, Reserve Champion Ram


Lead Classes

Alexis Hagler, Bloomingburg, won 8-10 class

Sidney Peyton, Greenfield, was second in 8-10 class

Rylee Hutton, Baltimore, won 14-16 class

Ellen Peters, Versailles, was second in 14-16 class

Ashley Morgan, Lebanon, won 17-21 class

Kensey Parker, Martinsville, won the Sheep Costume Class

Kennedy Algire, Fredericktown, was second in Sheep Costume Class


Open Border Leicester Show

Marilyn and Carroll Fogle, Raymond, Reserve Grand Champion Ram, Best Headed Ram

Jerry Early, West Liberty, Grand Champion Ewe, Best Natural Colored Fleece, and Flock


Open Corriedale Show

Kody Wolf, Upper Sandusky, Senior Reserve Champion Ram, Reserve Grand Champion Ram, Best Fleece


Open Dorper

Wyatt Wertz, Raymond, Champion Ram, Reserve Champion Ewe, Premier Exhibitor

Riverwood Farms, Powell, Reserve Champion Ram, Champion Ewe, White Dorper Champion Ram, White Dorper Champion and Reserve Champion Ewe, White Dorper Premier Exhibitor, Supreme Champion White Dorper Ewe and Ram


Open Hampshire Show

Riviera, Cable, Junior Champion Ewe


Open Horned Dorset

Micah McCoy and Kim Root, Lancaster, Reserve Champion Senior Ram

Christina Shotts, Quincy, Champion and Reserve Grand Champion Ram, Junior Champion Ewe, Reserve Grand Champion Ewe, Premier Exhibitor


Open Katahdin Show

Julian and Moore Sheep Co.,… Continue reading

Read More »

ARS working to protect domestic livestock from foreign disease outbreaks

A deadly animal virus is on the loose, treading through Russia and knocking on the doors of Eastern Europe and Asia. After its introduction into the Republic of Georgia and the Caucasus region in 2007 and spread into Russia, the virus that causes African swine fever (ASF) was spotted for the first time last year in Ukraine, putting European and Asian countries on high alert. The virus moves quickly, killing 100% of infected pigs within a week in some instances.

Standing between a possible U.S. invasion by foreign animal diseases like ASF is the Plum Island Animal Disease Center, situated off the northeastern tip of Long Island, New York. For almost 60 years, the center has served as somewhat of a fortress, where a small force of scientists tackles dangerous diseases that threaten the health of livestock and world economies.

In 1954, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service took over Plum Island from the U.S.… Continue reading

Read More »

The changing landscape of dairy feed storage

Upright silos keeping silent watch over farms are a common sight and are generally accepted as a vital part of the traditional farm. However, the changing landscape of agriculture proves to slowly be putting these edifices out of commission. Upright silos on American farms have a long and rich history.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, there were only 91 silos in the country in 1882. By 1895 that number had grown to more than 50,000 and by 1903 there were thought to be up to 500,000 silos across the nation. The quick rise in popularity of the silo shows there is more to the structure than just good looks, but silage bunkers and bags are becoming increasingly popular.

“We usually have less dry matter loss in an upright silo than with a bunker. For the uprights, it’s dealing with a smaller overall surface of exposure. With the bunker you have a larger face so you’ve got more of a chance of spoilage on feed out,” said Maurice Eastridge, a professor of dairy nutrition at The Ohio State University.… Continue reading

Read More »

2014 a year of growth for the beef industry

The combination of the recharge in feed grains and hay stocks, along with the prices that calves are bringing this year, is just the right set of scenarios to see a recovery in the beef industry.

“With this change in paradigm between feed costs and positive closeouts in the fed cattle markets, guys are starting to pay a bit more attention to their barns than their fields again, and it’s about time,” said Don Close, Senior Analyst with Rabo AgriFinance.

Close says he expects the Jan. 1 inventory report to have a small decline, but 2014 will clearly see some growth.

“If you take a look at the all-time record cattle numbers in 1973 and 1974 of 139 million head, we’ve steadily eroded to the 89 million head this past January,” Close said.… Continue reading

Read More »

Wrestling to reconcile reality in food production

While the application of science and innovation has made food safer, more affordable and more available than ever before, these same advancements now fuel a cultural tide of mistrusting “big food” and the science that comes with it. This mistrust was the topic of recent comments in Time magazine by writer Bryan Walsh (Reports Peg Lingering Problems with Meat Production in the U.S., October 25, 2013), regarding a new report by the Center for a Livable Future (CLF) on the state of industrial food animal production in the United States.

The report, intended to be a progress update on the Pew Commission’s 2008 Industrial Farm Animal Production study, sites concerns about “animal welfare, pollution from big CAFOs, and the growing economic concentration of the farming sector.” The report also underscores the lack of progress to date regarding federal legislation or regulations to improving the transparency and accessibility to sustainable food across the country.… Continue reading

Read More »

Antibiotic resistance complex and misunderstood

The sharing of science-based antibiotic use and resistance information continued among experts and leaders from the animal, human and public health communities during the “Bridging the Gap Between Animal Health and Human Health” symposium sponsored by the National Institute for Animal Agriculture and conducted Nov. 12-14, in Kansas City, Mo. Adding to the symposium’s insightful, transparent discussions were presentations by media and consumer advocacy group representatives as well as questions generated by symposium attendees.

“Antibiotic resistance has been called the single most complex problem in public health, and this symposium provided respective health communities and disciplines a platform where they shared their latest research findings,” said Nevil Speer, co-chair of the symposium and a professor at Western Kentucky University. “This year’s antibiotic use and resistance symposium not only shed additional light on this often polarized topic but we identified common ground so a collective path forward that serves the best interests of all parties can be forged.”… Continue reading

Read More »

Take time to winterize cattle operations

Now is a good time for beef producers to assess their pastures and facilities and take care of some routine tasks to prepare their cattle operations for winter, a Purdue Extension beef specialist said.

Cattle are healthier, have more successful pregnancies and have better rates of gain when they have access to quality nutrition and facilities during the cold winter months.

One of the first recommendations from Ron Lemenager is to assess pastures and hay fields and have forages analyzed as soon as possible. Once producers know what they have in terms of forage, they can start to plan their supplemental feeding strategies based on animal protein and energy needs.

Common supplements include corn and grain byproducts, such as soybean hulls, corn gluten feed and distiller’s grains.

“The market’s somewhat lower now, and it’s a good time to start checking supplement prices,” Lemenager said.

While corn might be an economical energy supplement this year, Lemenager said producers need to compare prices and evaluate energy requirements for their herds before deciding.… Continue reading

Read More »

Simple steps to up your cow herd’s profitability

Each fall, cattle veterinarians from North America and beyond gather for the American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP) annual conference. As always, there were many excellent talks at this year’s meeting in Milwaukee to help herd health DVMs stay current on cattle health and production.

One particularly useful talk was a small-group discussion in which 20 of us discussed how we, as herd health DVMs, can help our clients improve herd profitability. The goal of the session was to learn from the collective wisdom of the group, and that mission was accomplished.

A recent National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) report indicated that cows are checked for pregnancy in only 20% of all U.S. beef herds each year. However, NAHMS says 71.7% of large herds (those over 200 cows) undergo preg checks annually. Thus, this means that about 60% of all beef cows in the U.S. are preg-checked each year.

Our AABP discussion group was in agreement that this number is still too low.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio Cattlemen’s Association Replacement Female sale

The 2013 Ohio Cattlemen’s Association Replacement Female sale is coming up on Friday, November 29, at 7:00 p.m. The sale will be held at the Muskingum Livestock Auction Company located at 944 Malinda St., Zanesville, OH 43701. Producers from around the state have stepped up to consign 88 bred heifers for the sale.

The primary purposes of the Replacement Female Sale are to: 1. Provide Ohio cow-calf producers with a viable source of quality replacement breeding stock; 2. Encourage beef cattle operations to consider the purchase of replacement breeding stock as a viable alternative to keeping small numbers of replacement females and hopefully reduce management and production difficulties; 3. Offer a marketing option to producers as a membership benefit to OCA members; and 4. Demonstrate that the principles of beef herd female replacement which have been taught in recent years via Ohio State University Extension and the OSU Beef Team are cost effective and viable alternatives for Ohio’s cattlemen.Continue reading

Read More »

Food trust must be earned

This year’s consumer trust survey from the Center for Food Integrity evaluated the attitudes and opinions of consumers towards the use of antibiotics in food production, concerns about life and current events, identifying issues with high impact and high concern, what leads to social outrage and the impact of perceptions of good actors and bad actors.

Half of CFI’s 2013 consumer trust survey respondents believe antibiotics are less effective in humans because they have been over-prescribed by physicians, and among those highly concerned, nearly half of them say it has impacted their decision to seek a prescription. One-third believes antibiotics are less effective in humans because of their use in livestock.

When it came to trepidation about the use of antibiotics in dairy, meat and egg production, high concerns were at a similar level for all three (just over half) with about one out of three respondents believing antibiotics are less effective because of their use in cows, hogs and layers.… Continue reading

Read More »

Turkey gamble pays off for stay-at-home mom

In college, Kelly Hahn needed another couple of credits to graduate and the poultry science class sounded interesting, so she signed up. Years later, when she wanted to stay home with her children, she remembered that class, and thought that the things she learned could translate into a way for her to generate some income while being a full time mom.

Kelly and her husband, Evan, lived in Indiana and started raising few chickens for their own food. They butchered them on the back of a pickup truck. When they moved back to Ohio in Ashland County and started a family, the few chickens they were raising turned into a bigger endeavor — Acorn Ridge Poultry Farm, LLC.

“We started raising chickens again when we came back to Ohio and friends asked us if we could raise a few more for them. Then more people started asking,” Kelly said. “Four years ago we started raising chickens in a larger volume on pasture, we did 800 in the first year of the larger scale.… Continue reading

Read More »

Sow packers to require premises ID tags in 2015

In an effort to improve pre-harvest traceability and improve national disease surveillance in the pork industry, many major U.S. packers and processors will require a USDA-approved, official premises identification number (PIN) swine tag as a condition of sale for breeding stock beginning Jan. 1, 2015.

“This is a positive step for our industry as we continue to create a more robust surveillance and traceability system that can help protect our animals, our livelihoods and our customers,” said National Pork Board President, Karen Richter, a producer from Montgomery, Minn. “That’s why I encourage producers who may not already be using official PIN tags to register their premises and begin using the tags now.”

According to Dr. Patrick Webb, Pork Checkoff’s director of swine health, the USDA-approved, official PIN tags for breeding swine are customizable with or without a management number and can be purchased in multiple colors.

“This allows producers to use the official tag in any color as a management tag or wait to apply the tag to sows and boars before leaving the production site to enter harvest channels,” Webb said.… Continue reading

Read More »

U.S. Appeals Court halts horse slaughter again

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver issued a temporary injunction barring the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) from providing horse meat inspection services to Roswell, New Mexico-based Valley Meat Co., Responsible Transportation in Iowa, and Rains Natural Meats in Missouri.

The order comes after a U.S. District Judge in New Mexico on Friday threw out a lawsuit, which the Humane Society of the United States and other animal protection groups had filed in July that sought to permanently halt the slaughter of horses.

The suit alleged that USDA failed to carry out environmental reviews before it gave approval to the three companies to slaughter horses for human consumption.

The district judge had found that the grants of inspection were properly issued and dismissed the lawsuit, clearing the way for the processing.

However, in an emergency request to the 10th Circuit on Monday, the animal activist groups argued that an emergency injunction was necessary to prevent environmental harm and the violation of federal environmental laws while their appeal is pending.… Continue reading

Read More »

OCA office raises flag to honor past president

The next time you drive by the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association’s main office on Route 42 in Marysville you may notice a new addition to the landscape. In early November, the location’s first flag pole was put in place to honor the association’s past President Bert Skinn (1976-77).

“OCA built this building and moved its office here in 1997, and we have always wanted a flag pole and flag,” said current OCA President Sam Sutherly. “Thanks to the Huron County Cattlemen’s Association and their desire to recognize one of their local cattleman, a partnership effort between Huron County and OCA made the flag pole a reality.”

IMG_5747 (640x417)Mr. Skinn passed away in August of this year and was a lifelong resident of Huron County. He was a very active member of the Norwalk community as well as the local and state cattlemen’s associations. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army, serving with the 9th infantry Division in World War II and received 3 Purple Heart Medals.… Continue reading

Read More »