California acknowledges Prop 12 not science based

In its recently issued proposed rules for implementing California’s Proposition 12, the state acknowledged the ballot initiative’s arbitrary animal housing standards for hogs are not based on specific, peer-reviewed published scientific literature, and the initiative will increase in-state pork prices, impacting low-income residents especially hard. 

The National Pork Producers Council shared those findings in a filing to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. NPPC and the American Farm Bureau Federation have filed a lawsuit with the court, asking it to strike down Proposition 12 as unconstitutional under the dormant clause. Set to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2022, it applies to any pork sold in California, whether raised there or outside of the state’s borders. The proposal is open for comment through July 12; California was required to finalize implementation rules by Sept 1, 2019. As NPPC Assistant Vice President and General Counsel Michael Formica told reporters: “We need final rules and California has not issued final rules.… Continue reading

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Emergency order filed to stop leakage of manure into Ohio stream

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has filed for a temporary restraining order against the owner of dairy farm after a massive manure leak has caused significant pollution of the nearby Moores Fork stream. The farm in question is not an Ohio licensed dairy farm. It is a herd-share farmer providing access to raw milk.

The motion filed on June 8 against Charles Carney in Clermont County comes after an investigation by the Ohio Department of Agriculture discovered the stream was completely black with manure and extending as far downstream as one mile.

“This isn’t a farm right now. It’s a biohazard that needs cleaned up before more harm is done,” Yost said. “I am stepping in to start the cleanup process.”

Carney has a manure storage pond on his property that has overflowed and his property is full of manure.

Investigators with ODA visited Carney’s farm after a complaint was made of dead fish in Moores Fork.… Continue reading

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MVP Dairy named 2021 U.S. Dairy Sustainability Award winner

MVP Dairy, LLC was announced as a U.S. Dairy Sustainability Award winner for their holistic approach to sustainability and commitment to achieving carbon neutrality. This national award honors exceptional dairy farms, dairy processors and others working to improve the wellbeing of people, animals and the planet. 

“Our 2021 winners put U.S. dairy’s great diversity on full display with farms and businesses of all sizes, from coast to coast, showing how dairy is an environmental solution,” said Barbara O’Brien, CEO of the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy.

The Ohio dairy farm is owned by the McCarty and VanTillburg families, whose comprehensive approach to sustainability is rooted in everything they do — from soil health to manure management to animal care.

To conserve natural resources, the MVP Dairy team carefully manages regenerative farming practices that recharge the soil, promote biodiversity, sequester carbon and efficiently use natural resources. These practices have resulted in a reduction of 6,755 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent last year, which is comparable to the average yearly energy use of 662 American homes.… Continue reading

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OPA seeking nominations for American Egg Board

The Ohio Poultry Association (OPA) is accepting suggestions for nominations to serve on the 2022-2023 American Egg Board (AEB), which is U.S. egg farmer’s link to consumers in communicating the value of the incredible egg. AEB is seeking a diverse pool of candidates and appointed members will serve a two-year term. 

“Board members serve a vital role in overseeing and executing AEB’s mission to increase demand for egg and egg products on behalf of U.S. egg farmers,” said Jim Chakeres, OPA executive vice president. “It is an honor to serve with other professionals on a national level to guide the egg community and further our commitment to provide safe, nutritious and affordable eggs to Ohioans and the world.” 

To be eligible for nomination, persons must be producers or representatives of producers and they must own 75,000 or more laying hens. Producers who own less than 75,000 hens are eligible provided they have not applied for exemption and are paying assessments to AEB.… Continue reading

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Public Notice by the Ohio Pork Council and the National Pork Board


The election of pork producer delegate candidates for the 2022 National Pork Producers (Pork Act) Delegate Body will take place at 11:30 am Tuesday, June 22, 2021 in conjunction with a Board of Directors meeting of the Ohio Pork Council at The Union, 130 South Main Street, Marion, Ohio. All Ohio pork producers are invited to attend. Any producer, age 18 or older, who is a resident of the state and has paid all assessments due may be considered as a delegate candidate and/or participate in the election. All eligible producers are encouraged to bring with them a sales receipt proving that hogs were sold in their name and the checkoff deducted. For more information, contact the Ohio Pork Council Office, 9798 Karmar Ct. Suite A, New Albany OH 43054, 614-882-5887.… Continue reading

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Livestock 101 introducing new youth to the show ring

By Matt Reese

Young people love to connect with animals though agriculture, which is proven true time and again with a visit to a county fair. Though the show ring may be full, the exhibitors are typically only a very small representation of the young people in the community. Many young people do not have the ability to take animals to the fair for a host of reasons, but that does not mean they have no interest. 

With this in mind, the 2021 Madison County Fair will have their first ever Livestock 101 show on July 16. Participation is free for those 17 and under to exhibit a livestock project. Each participant may select the species/project of their choice. Madison County youth exhibitors representing each species area will serve as coaches, interacting with participants and providing guidance before and during the show.

“I am looking forward to this. It gives younger people who are not in 4-H the opportunity to get to show livestock at the county fair,” said Cade Smith, 18, from Madison County, who will be helping with Livestock 101 through his poultry and alpaca projects.… Continue reading

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Cyber attack on meat industry yields minimal disruption

Over the Memorial Day weekend, JBS SA, the world’s largest meat marketer, had to shut down all of its U.S. beef processing plants. It total those plants process around 20% of the American beef market. JBS plants in Australia and Canada were also affected by the attack.  

“JBS’ computer networks were infiltrated by unknown ransomware. The USDA released a statement showing its commitment to working with JBS, the White House, Department of Homeland Security, and others to monitor the situation,” said Jeffrey K Lewis, Research Specialist. Ohio State University Agricultural & Resource Law Program. “The ransomware attack comes on the heels of the Colonial Pipeline cyber-attack, leading many to wonder who is next. As part of its effort, the USDA has been in touch with meat processors across the country to ensure they are aware of the situation and asking them to accommodate additional capacity, if possible. The impact of the cyber-attack may include a supply chain shortage in the United States, a hike in beef prices at the grocery store, and a renewed push to regulate other U.S.… Continue reading

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Beef under (cyber)attack

By Jeffrey K Lewis, Research Specialist, Ohio State University Agricultural & Resource Law Program

Over the Memorial Day weekend, JBS SA, the largest meat producer globally, was forced to shut down all of its U.S. beef plants which is responsible for nearly 25% of the American beef market.  JBS plants in Australia and Canada were also affected.  The reason for the shut down?  Over the weekend, JBS’ computer networks were infiltrated by unknown ransomware.  The USDA released a statement showing its commitment to working with JBS, the White House, Department of Homeland Security, and others to monitor the situation.  The ransomware attack comes on the heels of the Colonial Pipeline cyber-attack, leading many to wonder who is next.  As part of its effort, the USDA has been in touch with meat processors across the country to ensure they are aware of the situation and asking them to accommodate additional capacity, if possible.  … Continue reading

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Ohio’s bacon and egg producers support Ohio restaurants through Best Buckeye Breakfasts campaign

Ohio’s egg and bacon farmers have joined efforts to launch Best Buckeye Breakfasts — a statewide restaurant support campaign highlighting Ohio farmers’ favorite breakfast menu items while encouraging the state’s consumers to support their local restaurants and those they employ by dining in, carrying out, or sharing their favorite breakfast spots. Best Buckeye Breakfasts officially launches June 3, on National Egg Day, and will run through Aug. 15, on  

“Ohio is home to one-of-a-kind foodie destinations and, no matter where you go, you’ll likely find a delicious breakfast dish on the menu that features eggs and bacon produced by local farmers,” Jim Chakeres, executive vice president, Ohio Poultry Association (OPA). “While Ohio’s farmers are excited to share their favorite breakfast spots, they want to hear from local communities and restaurateurs as part of this campaign.” 

Over the next 10 weeks, Best Buckeye Breakfasts will highlight different menu items — from eggs benedict to breakfast sandwiches and traditional breakfasts — and which Ohio restaurants serve them best, according to Ohio’s farmers and social media users. Ohioans… Continue reading

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Federal ruling could leave hog producers in a bind ?

By Matt Reese

Citing food and worker safety concerns, there have been multiple recent court cases challenging the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s New Swine Inspection System (NSIS). The results of a recent court ruling in one of those cases could back up production supply chains for hog producers.

In September of 2019, USDA announced a final rule to modernize swine slaughter inspection with the NSIS to protect public health while allowing for food safety innovations and increased line speeds for processing facilities to operate more efficiently. The final rule also allowed market hog establishments to choose if they will operate under NSIS or continue to operate under traditional inspection.

“This regulatory change allows us to ensure food safety while eliminating outdated rules and allowing for companies to innovate,” then USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue said. “The final rule is the culmination of a science-based and data-driven rule making process which builds on the food safety improvements made in 1997, when USDA introduced a system of preventive controls for industry.”… Continue reading

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Watch for cress leaf groundsel in pastures

By Dean Kreager, Licking County Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator Ohio State University Extension

This weed has been showing up everywhere this spring.

The yellow flowers may be attractive but it is toxic to livestock especially if it is made in hay where the animals can’t eat around it.  Click on this link for a 12 minute video on managing this noxious weed: Managing Cressleaf groundsel in hayfields.… Continue reading

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Rotational grazing and water quality

By Steve Boyles, Ohio State University Extension Beef Specialist

Maintaining forage cover and using it for pasture or hay production should meet conservation compliance demands. A diverse group of people representing the local cattle organization, feed store, auction facility, fence building business, veterinary clinic, and the soil and water conservation district cooperated on a grazing project. The primary objective was to observe nitrates levels in surface water run-off from grazed and ungrazed sites. This information could be used to evaluate if rotational grazing is compatible with surface water quality requirements.

An intensive rotational grazing project was initiated within the Indian Lake Water Shed. The land was seeded to orchardgrass, timothy and red clover. The soil was a Napponee St. Clair silt/loam with 6% to 12% slopes which is typical of Logan County. There were not any trees within or adjacent to the grazing site.

The 40-acre area was divided into four sections.… Continue reading

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Registration open for Ohio State Fair junior livestock projects

Junior Fair livestock registration for the Ohio State Fair is now open through June 20 at

When registering, here are some helpful hints.

  1. All entries must be submitted online.
  2. Please allow time to complete the entry process, as the system will shut down at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, June 20. Entries will be locked automatically after midnight.
  3. Late entry fees will be charged ($75.00) beginning June 21 and late entries will be accepted through July 20. Late entries must be emailed to Barb Prince, Entry Department ( Upon receipt of the email the entry department will make contact to secure credit card information. Please reference your department division for more details and to see if late entries are accepted.
  4. All junior livestock exhibitors must provide their date of birth. Date of birth is not required for open entries.
  5. Junior 4-H exhibitors must list the county in which the project is registered (in some cases, this is not the same as the county in which you live).
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March meat exports break records

U.S. red meat exports ended the first quarter on a very high note, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), with March beef and pork exports each posting the highest monthly value on record. Pork exports and shipments of beef muscle cuts also set new volume records in March. 

Beef exports totaled 124,808 metric tons (mt) in March, up 8% from a year ago and the second largest of the post-BSE era. Export value broke the $800 million mark for the first time at $801.9 million, up 14% year-over-year. Beef muscle cut exports set new monthly records for both volume (98,986 mt, up 13% from a year ago) and value ($718.3 million, up 17%). For the first quarter, beef exports pulled even with last year’s pace at 333,348 mt, valued at $2.12 billion. For beef muscle cuts, first quarter exports increased 4% to 262,914 mt, valued at $1.9 billion (up 5%). … Continue reading

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2021 Ohio State Fair schedule

The 2021 Ohio State Fair livestock schedule has been announced and the event for livestock exhibitors and their families will run from July 19 to Aug. 8.

The breeding animal exhibitors and the market animal exhibitors will each have a “Grand Drive,” during their respective weeks of the fair. During this 3-hour event in Ag-Pro Companies Taft Coliseum, youth will have the opportunity to compete in the “Grand Drive” as the final event of the Ohio State Fair livestock competitions. The event raises awareness of the hard work and continued effort that each of these youth champions must do to be at the top of their respective projects.

Beef shows will be held July 25 through Aug. 8 starting with Session 1 check-in after 6 p.m. on July 25. Shows will be held in Cooper Arena. Dairy cattle events will be held from July 27 to July 31 and Aug. 2 through Aug.… Continue reading

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Cattlemen youth celebrate another successful BEST season

Awards and prizes filled the stage as families gathered to commemorate an unusual year at the annual Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) BEST (Beef Exhibitor Show Total) awards banquet held on May 1 at the Ohio State Fairgrounds in Columbus. Over 350 BEST exhibitors were awarded for their show success, cattle industry knowledge, photography skills, community service efforts and more.

This year’s BEST program featured seven weekends of sanctioned shows that wove their way across the state. Over 592 youth participants showed 850 head of market animals and heifers throughout the season.

The 2020—2021 sponsoring partners for the BEST program were Ag—Pro Companies and John Deere, Bob Evans Farms, Dickson Cattle Co., D&E Electric — The Young Family, M.H. EBY, Inc., Farm Credit Mid—America, Ohio Farm Bureau, The Folks Printing, Frazier Farms, Jones Show Cattle, R.D. Jones Excavating and Weaver Leather Livestock.

The banquet kicked off with the annual Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) donation.… Continue reading

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Prop 12 2022 pork deadline looming large

By Matt Reese

While California consumers have demonstrated a love of pork, they have created some real challenges for U.S. pork producers. Due to a number of restrictions in the state, nearly all of the hog producers moved out of California despite the high demand for pork products.

“California is by far the largest state in the country, representing 13% of the U.S. population and about 15% of the domestic pork market,” said Michael Formica, assistant vice president and general counsel for the National Pork Producers Council. “It takes 750,000 sows to supply the California market yet only 1,500 sows are housed in the state. Most of the pork consumed in California is produced in other states.” 

With the approval of Proposition 12 in November of 2018, California voters approved a ballot measure changing production standards again, this time not just for the few remaining sow operations in the state, but for pork sold in the state.… Continue reading

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The energy requirements for an Angus beef cow throughout her annual production cycle

By Kirsten Nickles, Graduate Research Associate and Anthony J. Parker, Associate Chair and Associate Professor. Department of Animal Sciences, Ohio State University

The nutritional requirements for beef cows change daily throughout their annual production cycle. The frequent change in requirements is caused by varying stages of production and environmental factors that affect the cow’s behavior and energy use. To give an example, a spring calving beef cow gestating throughout winter will have energy requirements for maintenance and gestation, and there may be further requirements for cold stress if winter climatic conditions place the cow outside her zone of thermal comfort. To appreciate how great the total net energy cost of a beef cow can be we have included the net energy requirements in Mcal/day throughout the annual production cycle of a mature 1,200-pound Angus cow with a peak milk yield (PMY) of 18 pounds. We included the requirements for maintenance, lactation, and gestation and assume this all occurs without any cold or heat stress on the cow.… Continue reading

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Small ruminant production and management position open at OSU

The Department of Animal Sciences in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University has launched a search for a nine-month, tenure-track faculty member at the assistant professor rank in Small Ruminant Production and Management to begin in the Autumn 2021 semester or when a suitable candidate is found. All application materials must be received before an application will be considered. The anticipated position split will be 80% Extension and 20% research.

Applicants should possess a sound basis in fundamental science, but preference will be given to applicants with interests in small ruminants including sheep and goats. Duties of the position include, but are not limited to, the following: developing educational materials and programs in conjunction with OSU Extension professionals for educating and training sheep and goat producers and conducting applied research on small ruminant production and management. In addition, the position will assist with youth livestock program areas as assigned in coordination with Animal Sciences faculty/staff members and OSU Extension professionals who provide leadership for 4-H programs; assists faculty and staff in undergraduate student recruitment as required; assists with departmental involvement in agricultural and animal industry events; partners with Extension specialists, Extension educators and program assistants, and other educational organizations, agencies, and volunteers in the state and region in programmatic endeavors.… Continue reading

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Farmers provide pork to northern Ohio residents

As members of the Ohio Pork Council (OPC), Ohio pig farmers are pleased to support the Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Bank in Toledo, Ohio, and their eight-county service area. The protein-packed donation from the Ohio Pork Council will provide over 17,500 wholesome meals to those in need.   

As part of OPC’s annual Pork Power program, Ohio pig farmers donated over 1,300 Daisyfield hams produced by J.H. Routh Packing Company in Sandusky. Hams donated to the Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Bank will benefit residents from Defiance, Fulton, Henry, Lucas, Ottawa, Sandusky, Williams and Wood counties.   

“Ohio’s pig farmers care about producing safe, wholesome pork, taking care of their animals and natural resources, and giving back to their communities. Through OPC’s Pork Power program, we’re able to give back to local food banks in Ohio,” said Rich Deaton, National Pork Board member and Ohio Pork Council director. 

In 2020, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, pig farmers in Ohio provided over 86,600 pounds of pork to local food banks.… Continue reading

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