USDA announces final BSE rule

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) commends the announcement by the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), that it has completed its efforts to modernize import regulations for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). This final import regulation is based on internationally-accepted scientific literature and the standards set by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

“The basis of these import regulations, set on internationally-accepted science and the OIE guidelines, is critical in showing that the U.S. is committed to ensuring trade, unfettered by protectionist motivations, and sends a clear message to our trading partners of the value we place on fair trade,” said Scott George, NCBA president and Cody, Wyo. cattleman. “I am pleased that NCBA has been a leader on this issue since 2003 and that the USDA/APHIS incorporated the comments of cattle producers in finalizing these regulations. These regulations show that cattlemen and women not only talk about market access, but that we stand behind it.”… Continue reading

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Livestock profits looking up

The last couple of years have offered many challenges for the livestock industry with higher feed costs, though many have turned to alternative feed sources to weather the extended period of expensive feed.

“We use alternative products to feed. We used distillers, corn screenings, potato waste and increased our corn silage a little bit,” said Phil Watts, who raises cattle and is the president of Granville Milling Company in Licking County. “We did what we could do to bring that ration cost down. It has been challenging, — there is no doubt about it — and there are definitely not as many cattle being fed in the country as there used to be.”

With a business that is involved with both crop and livestock producers, Watts is looking for crop price levels that are acceptable for both sides of the equation.

“Even the crop guys were saying $7 corn was too high,” Watts said.… Continue reading

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Buckeye Shepherd’s Symposium programming to concentrate on the future

The 2013 Buckeye Shepherd’s Symposium (BSS) will concentrate on, “Looking to the Future: Marketing, Nutrient Management, and Product Demand.” The event will be held Dec. 14 at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) Shisler Conference Center, 1680 Madison Ave, Wooster.

We have put together a program with the future of all segments of the sheep and goat industries in mind. The symposium keynote speaker is Jack Fisher, Ohio Farm Bureau executive vice president. He will discuss issues facing sheep and goat farmers as they relate to Ohio’s water resources and the issue of nutrient management on farms. In addition, several sheep, lamb, wool marketing and nutrient management experts will be on the program. Ohio State University Extension will play a major role in the program, concentrating on the nutrient management issue.

Prior to the symposium, the OSIA Annual Meeting will be held Dec. 14. At the annual meeting, the election of the OSIA officer team will be held, as well as other important items for members to discuss.… Continue reading

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Ohio Cattlemen’s Association accepting Best of the Buckeye nominations

Ohio seedstock breeders are encouraged to take advantage of an enhanced marketing opportunity through the Best of the Buckeye program beginning in the 2014 show season, hosted by the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) in conjunction with the Ohio Beef Expo and the Ohio State Fair.

The Best of the Buckeye program will recognize top-placing Ohio bred, born and registered calves, along with the breeder and exhibitor, in each breed division at the two shows. Thanks to generous sponsors, $45,000 will be presented during 2014 in the form of premiums at the two shows, scholarships and awards. This year’s sponsors are Green Oak Farms, heifer division; Steve R. Rauch, steer division; and Franklin Equipment, scholarship division.

The program was formed to provide Ohio seedstock breeders an additional marketing opportunity, create a source for moderately priced show steers and heifers by providing a program with awards and prestige, and to attract new participants interested in showing at the Ohio Beef Expo and/or the Ohio State Fair.… Continue reading

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Ohio hog producers win national award while working to protect water quality

Krikke Pork, owned by Howard and Jane Krikke of Greenwich, Ohio, has been selected as a 2013 Pork Industry Environmental Stewards award winner, for their ongoing work to protect water quality and other natural resources on and near their farm.

“Being good stewards of the environment is a requirement for farming,” said Howard Krikke. “If we don’t take care of the land and the water it won’t take care of us.”

For the Krikke family, taking good care of the land and water is top priority. Since 2006, Krikke Pork has been home to two, state-of-the-art, 2,500-head wean-to-finish barns.

When constructing the barns, the Krikkes installed a system that allows them to collect all of the rainwater run-off from the barn roofs. The rainwater is directed above ground through grassed waterways or below ground through tile to a natural water recharge facility. Under normal Ohio precipitation, Krikke Pork returns 160% of the water used in their barns back to the groundwater supply.… Continue reading

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2013 Ohio Hereford Futurity results

Hereford breeders and enthusiasts gathered Sunday afternoon October 6, 2013, at the Wayne Co. Fairgrounds in Wooster. The Buckeye Hereford Association hosted the annual event which showcases Ohio bred seedstock. Judge Aaron Arnett of Select Sires sorted the entries and noted the depth and quality of the cattle. Judge Arnett complimented the breeders on producing the right type of cattle needed to move the industry forward.

2013 Ohio Hereford Futurity champions

Grand Champion Bull: UHF 27P Xavier U16Z, February 2012 bull sired by UHF Mark Embracer U27 bred and owned by Ralph E. Ullman & Sons, Rinard Mills, Ohio.


Reserve Champion Bull: Pennells Exxon 1303 a March 2013 bull sired by H Excel 8051 ET, bred and owned  by Pennell Brothers, Navarre, Ohio.


Grand Champion Female: HH Sassie 373, a January 2013 heifer sired by H Excel 8051 ET, bred and owned  by Sara Beanblossom, Bradford, Ohio


Reserve Champion Female: Circle D Miss October an October 2012 heifer sired by UPS TCC Nitro 1 ET, bred and owned by Caitlin Decker, Vincent, Ohio


Grand Champion Prospect Steer: March 2013 steer sired by THM Brother 8699 ET,

bred  & owned by J&L Cattle Services, Jeromesville, Ohio.… Continue reading

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Funding available for water quality and nutrient management outreach

Funding assistance is still available for organizations interested in hosting meetings to educate farmers on two of the most pressing issues currently facing Ohio agriculture — water quality and nutrient management. The funding is available through the Ohio Livestock Coalition (OLC).

“Water quality and nutrient management issues are far-reaching and affect all farmers, farm managers and anyone who buys, sells or manages manure or uses fertilizer,” said David White, OLC executive director. White said that OLC created the funding mechanism as a way to provide financial assistance to organizations seeking to educate farmers on these topics. Organizations are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity while funds are available.

To apply for funding, an intent form must be submitted to OLC at least 30 days prior to the scheduled meeting date. Applicants’ intent forms must demonstrate how the meeting will educate attendees on water quality and nutrient management issues, including:

  • Promoting the 4Rs of nutrient management;
  • Impact of nutrients on water quality;
  • Promoting the use of best management practices (BMPs);
  • Availability of cost share programs to address this specific issue;
  • The benefits of using manure as a nutrient and its role in water quality;
  • Voluntary action vs.
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October is National Pork Month

With October being recognized as National Pork Month, the Ohio Pork Council has taken the opportunity to reach out to Ohio communities, promote pork and have conversations about pigs, pork and farming.

“Pork Month is a great time to extend efforts put forth by the Ohio Pork Council and highlight some of the promotions taking place in our state,” said Jim Heimerl, president of the Ohio Pork Council. “The Ohio Pork Council works on behalf of our farmer members to promote pork and the image of farmers. We continue to develop new programs and are proud of our on-going efforts.”

During Pork Month, the Ohio Pork Council has travelled the state, focused on encouraging conversations about pork and modern agriculture. OPC staff and member volunteers participated in two Taste of Home cooking schools (Columbus and Botkins), setting up displays in the events’ trade shows to sample boneless pork loin and discuss the versatility of pork and the importance of proper cooking temperature.… Continue reading

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Animal disease traceability meetings

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) will host a series of meetings throughout the state in October and November regarding the new Animal Disease Traceability (ADT) rule and how it relates to moving animals from one state to another.

The purpose of the Animal Disease Traceability rule is to protect American animal agriculture by providing producers and animal health officials with the infrastructure to improve efforts in current or emerging disease eradication and control; by providing proper traceback and traceforward capabilities for a timely response; and by addressing threats from deliberate disease introduction.

Those who transport livestock across state lines are strongly encouraged to attend. Veterinarians and their staff, OSU extension personnel, licensed livestock dealers, haulers or others interested in learning about the new Animal Disease Traceability rule are also invited.

The meetings will include officials from ODA and USDA APHIS.… Continue reading

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Ohio beef producers team up to feed the hungry

More than one ton of lean ground beef was donated to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank in early October by Ohio’s beef farmers and Kroger. Throughout the summer, Columbus Clippers, Kroger, the Ohio Soybean Council, Ohio Corn Marketing Program and the Mid-Ohio Foodbank partnered with Ohio beef farmers in Striking Out Hunger with Lean Beef. A donation of 2,478 pounds of lean ground beef is the result of that partnership in 2013 with a total of more than 4,500 pounds from the duration of the program which started in 2012.

Thanks to the skill of the Columbus Clippers’ pitching staff, every strike out they recorded during the 2013 baseball season resulted in a donation of two pounds of lean ground beef to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank.

The donation doesn’t stop there, as one pound of lean ground beef feeds a family of four while providing 10 essential vitamins and nutrients and accounting for only 150 calories.… Continue reading

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Cattle prices continue to climb

Expectations of tight beef cattle supplies and strong demand are pushing cattle prices higher this fall — a trend that could continue for the foreseeable future, Purdue Extension agricultural economist Chris Hurt said.

Finished cattle prices hit their summer lows in early August at slightly below $120 per hundredweight, but have climbed back toward $130 in anticipation of small beef supplies in the coming year.

According to Hurt, per capita beef supplies, or the amount of beef available per person in the U.S., likely will be down by about 5% for the rest of this year and on into next.

High cattle prices combined with low feed prices — corn hit $4.32 per bushel on Oct. 14 — likely means the small number of available calves could be placed on feedlots at lighter weights than a year ago when feed prices were high.

“Lower priced feed and the expectations for increasing finished cattle pries over the next four to five months should also encourage feedlot managers to feed to heavier weights,” Hurt said.… Continue reading

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Use care with frost and forage

We have had a beautiful fall so far, but Jack Frost will be visiting us soon. Now is the time to finish harvesting and grazing several forage species that can be extremely toxic soon after a frost. Those include primarily annual grasses in the sorghum family and other closely related species that contain compounds called cyanogenic glucosides, which are converted quickly to prussic acid (i.e. hydrogen cyanide) in freeze-damaged plant tissues.

Other species that can develop toxic levels of prussic acid after frost are Johnsongrass, shattercane, chokecherry, black cherry, indiangrass, and elderberry. It is always a good idea to check areas where wild cherry trees grow after a storm and pick up and discard any fallen limbs to prevent animals from grazing on the leaves and twigs.

The potential toxicity after frost varies by species. Sudangrass varieties are low to intermediate in cyanide poisoning potential, sudangrass hybrids are intermediate, sorghum-sudangrass hybrids and forage sorghums are intermediate to high, and grain sorghum is high to very high and is most likely to be toxic after a frost.… Continue reading

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LAMB 509

LAMB 509 is a 2-day short course designed to address several factors associated with producing consistent, high quality, wholesome lamb at the farm, packing-plant and retail levels. This is a hands-on program that will enhance your understanding of quality attributes that affect consumer acceptability and ultimately consumer demand of lamb products. The objectives of the LAMB 509 are to:

  • Improve the competitive position of Ohio lamb producers through marketing high quality, consistent, wholesome lamb products.
  • Explain and teach through hands-on training the differences in value determining factors that influence prices received for market lambs and lamb products.
  • Provide an overview of muscle quality attributes affecting lamb and discuss the management, environmental, nutritional, and genetic factors that contribute to muscle quality deficiencies.
  • Enhance the understanding of the numerous links in the production chain between the producer and the consumer and the interaction among these links.

This program will provide necessary information and enhance your understanding of meat quality and marketing, enabling you to make informed decisions that will ultimately affect the profitability, competitiveness and wholesomeness of the food products you are producing.… Continue reading

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Blizzard relief efforts for South Dakota ranchers

Those in agriculture around the county watched the news with heavy hearts after seeing the tremendous loss of cattle in the sudden, early blizzard in South Dakota.

The record-breaking early-October storm dumped 4 feet of snow in parts of western South Dakota and left ranchers dealing with heavy losses, in some cases up to half their herds. The storm claimed the lives of maybe 10,000 to 20,000 cattle, based upon the most recent estimates, and many are wondering how they can help.

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association are suggesting that those interested in helping their fellow farmers to the west give to the South Dakota Rancher Relief Fund. The South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association, South Dakota Stockgrowers Association and South Dakota Sheep Growers Association established the South Dakota Rancher Relief Fund Oct. 8, 2013 with the Black Hills Area Community Foundation to provide support and relief assistance to those in the agriculture industry impacted by the blizzard.… Continue reading

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Center of the dairy universe: 2013 World Dairy Expo

Dairy farmers and dairy cattle breeding enthusiasts gathered at the Center of the Dairy Universe, more commonly known as the 2013 World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin the first week of October. Dubbed the Center of the Dairy Universe, WDE drew over 70,900 devotees from across the globe eager to explore the dynamic dairy industry. Whether a breeder of registered dairy cattle or a commercial dairy farmer, the central purpose in attending WDE is the knowledge gained for more efficient milk production. With the growing consumption of dairy products and rising export market, the American dairy farmer strives to fill that demand.

The central attraction throughout the show was the 2,225 bovine beauties representing seven dairy breeds paraded across the colorful shavings before throngs of admirers and the Dairy Universe backdrop. The grand finale of WDE was staged Saturday, Oct. 5 when Bonaccueil Maya Goldwyn, owned by a group from Cap Sante, Quebec – Canada, was named Supreme Champion.… Continue reading

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Falling feed prices bringing back hog profitability

Hog production is returning to profitability as feed prices fall, and a reduction in slaughter numbers seems to show that producers are noticing, Purdue Extension agricultural economist Chris Hurt said.

Major drought in 2012 ransacked the nation’s feed crops, sending livestock feed prices sky high and driving hog producers to quickly send animals to slaughter. With a large-yielding corn crop expected this year, feed prices have been decreasing, which has turned around the outlook for hog profits.

“This year, the hog outlook is almost the opposite of what it was last year,” Hurt said. “Feed prices, especially corn, have been falling sharply. The hog outlook is profitable, so producers are more likely to be retaining or building the breeding herd and weights are expected to increase as producers hold onto market hogs longer to gain profits on every pound.”

The most recent hog numbers available from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, from the September Hogs and Pigs Report, showed that hog inventories are unchanged to somewhat larger compared to a year ago.… Continue reading

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Aquaculture Boot Camp sign ups

Aquaculture Boot Camp (ABC) transforms civilians into fish farmers. Recruits enlist in a one-year “Tour of Duty” that includes classroom and field training paired with mentoring from some of the industry’s top-ranked leaders. Upon graduation, participants will be armed with the knowledge and hands-on experience to successfully operate a fish farm.

Twenty-five recruits will be selected to participate in this year’s program which includes:

  • 12 one-day training exercises held the second Saturday of each month (most held in Piketon).
  • Participate in three aquaculture workshops throughout the year at various locations in Ohio.
  • Attend the Aquaculture Bus Tour of Farms.
  • Complete homework and study assignments on-line between monthly trainings.
  • A minimum of 16 days of the year will be required for this tour of duty plus travel time to base and for homework assignments. Most training is on Saturday or Sunday, with some on Friday.

To be eligible, participants must: submit an electronic application by Nov.Continue reading

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CAB seeking interns

CAB seeking interns

College sophomores or juniors who understand the cattle business and have a passion for effective writing could be the next interns with the world’s leading beef brand.

Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB) offers paid positions for those who will be juniors or seniors during the internships from next summer into spring 2015. Students with a strong writing background majoring in agricultural journalism or animal science/communications may apply for the 10- to 12-week summer position or part-time school terms.

Specific dates will be determined to coincide with academic semesters and all internships are available for college credit. The fall position may be offered as renewable through spring but depending on applicants, a separate spring internship may be offered. Interns can work from home or from the CAB Supply Development office at 1107 Hylton Heights, in Manhattan.

Applications are due by Nov. 25, 2013 for the summer 2014 and/or school-year 2014-2015 positions.… Continue reading

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Best Food Facts sets record straight on food questions

To many of us, “bff” stands for “best friend forever.”

When it comes to questions about food industry issues, there’s another “bff” that you may wish to call upon.

Best Food Facts (BFF) provides its website ( visitors with the opportunity to connect with food system experts. Its mission is to bring the most objective, trustworthy and accurate information directly from the experts. Additionally, it seeks to ensure that its content is useful, timely, relevant and simple to understand so that, based on facts, visitors can make informed decisions. It’s also dedicated to providing information on the many facets of food production, preparation, consumption and everything in-between.

In today’s web-based (and sometimes driven) society, information on any given subject is readily available. With that, from time to time, it can be difficult to separate fact from fiction, so the validity of that information can sometimes be questionable. On BFF, the food experts sort truth from fiction on all things food, and can let you know what’s true, false or somewhere in between.… Continue reading

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Now is a good time to evaluate pastures

October is a good month for livestock producers to look at pastures to see what’s there and what might need a boost to help improve grazing yield and quality for next year, a Purdue Extension forage specialist said.

Looking at pastures early gives producers time to plan for, and implement, stand improvement and weed control.

“Early fall is a wonderful time to assess perennial pastures and hay fields, because the season is about over and there are still actively growing plants,” Keith Johnson said. “It also gives us enough time to get some matters accomplished, such as making plans for soil testing and application of fertilizers or limestone.”

A soil test, which gives pH and nutrient information, should be the first step. If farmers have questions about proper soil sampling procedures, they can contact a local Purdue Extension agricultural and natural resources educator or an agribusiness consultant who specializes in soil fertility.… Continue reading

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