Ohio agriculture remains divided after the HSUS agreement

By Matt Reese

After the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) announced their plan to put an issue on the November ballot to implement restrictive measures on animal agriculture, Ohio agriculture united to thwart the efforts. The efforts from both sides of this contentious issue, however, ended in late June when HSUS announced that they would not pursue a ballot measure after an agreement was struck with Ohio agricultural leaders and Governor Ted Strickland.

This agreement is a list of recommendations that the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board (put into place last fall with the passage of Issue 2) will consider as they formulate the animal care rules for the state. HSUS, in turn, agreed to acknowledge the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Boards as the authority on animal care in Ohio. Both sides say they can live with the agreement, but it still does not necessarily sit well with some in the livestock industry who were ready to fight HSUS.… Continue reading

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Jr. Fair Lamb Show Results

Photo gallery of the lamb show

Breed Champions:


Grand Champion: Madison Banbury
Reserve Champion: Audrey Neal


Grand Champion: Rachel Overs
Reserve Champion: Jordan Barns


Grand Champion: Mattew Walen
Reserve Champion: Austin Springer


Grand Champion: Audrey Neal
Reserve Champion: Logan Harvel


Grand Champion: Kyle Rowe
Reserve Champion: Colin Gump


Grand Champion: Eric Nichols
Reserve Champion: Christy Wildermuth


Grand Champion: Logan Harvel
Reserve Champion: Morgan Melvin


Grand Champion: Logan Harvel
Reserve Champion: Kaitlyan Stillion

All Other Breeds

Grand Champion: Emily Overs
Reserve Champion: Taylor Harris


Grand Champion: Taylor Banbury
Reserve Champion: Trey Miller


Grand Champion: Colin Gump
Reserve Champion: Logan Harvel


Grand Champion: Rachel Overs
Reserve Champion: Madison Banbury

Lamb Sale Results


Age 9 – Sarah Young, Highland; Age 10 – Jacob Fowler, Guernsey; Age 11 – Jacob Wenner, Delaware; Age 12 – Meghann Winters, Guernsey; Age 13 – Taylor Banbury, Knox; Age 14 – Nick Fowler, Guernsey; Age 15 – Adam High, Union; Age 16 – Zak Avers, Ottawa; Age 17 – Emily Limes, Wood; Age 18 – Amanda Price, Lorain; Overall winner – Amanda Price, Lorain

Record Books

Age 9 – Maribeth Pozderac; Age 10 – Haylee Followell, Clark; Age 11 – Milan Pozderac, Knox; Age 12 – Matthew Wallen, Champaign; Age 13 – Abby Pozderac, Knox; Age 14 – Tristan Heidl, Erie; Age 15 – Hallie Sue Hiser, Greene; Age 16 – Brandi Heidl, Erie; Age 17 – Kelly Guthrie, Marion; Age 18 – Darrell Hague, Washington

Market Lamb Showmanship

Age 9 – 1: Chase Eisenhauer, Huron; 2: Brennen Morman, Putnam; 3: Sarah Young, Highland; Age 10 – 1: Olivia Wood, Clinton; 2: Brock Martin, Huron; 3: Brooke Kline, Ross;Age 11 – 1: Renee Schroeder, Putnam; 2: Emma Newsom, Jackson; 3: Brittany Schaefer, Coshocton; Age 12 – 1: Tara Eisenhauer, Huron; 2: Alison Sprang, Holmes; 3: Matthew Wallen, Champaign; Age 13 – 1: Colin Gump, Miami; 2: Jessica Millenbaugh, Crawford; 3: Logan Harvel, Fayette; Age 14 – 1: Ali Pond, Clinton; 2: Maggie Neer, Champaign; 3: Morgan Himes, Tuscarawas; Age 15 – 1: Delanie Wiseman, Madison; 2: Elysha Thoms, Clermont; 3: Rachel Schroeder, Putnam; Age 16 – 1: Cierra Jordan, Hardin; 2: Mackenzie Fruchey, Fulton; 3: Jordan Marx, Shelby; Age 17 – 1: Mark Wallen, Champaign; 2: Megan Hiatt, Darke; 3: Emily Limes, Wood; Age 18 – 1: Emily Shellhouse, Delaware; 2: Trey Miller, Fairfield; 3: Dylan Newsom, Jackson… Continue reading

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USDA announces extension to GIPSA comment period

In late July, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) responded to calls to extend the comment period for the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration’s (GIPSA) proposed rule on livestock marketing.

Concerns expressed by Congress, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) and other leading agriculture organizations led to the 90-day extension of the comment period for the proposed rule that suggests major changes to the way producers can market their livestock.

During a House Agriculture subcommittee hearing on livestock on July 20, 2010, both Democrats and Republicans expressed to USDA that the scope of GIPSA goes well beyond what Congress intended under the 2008 Farm Bill. Industry groups echoed the concern.

“Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle were very clear about the critical need to extend the comment period to allow stakeholders to thoroughly analyze the potential impacts of the rule,” said Colin Woodall, NCBA vice president of government affairs.… Continue reading

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U.S. Cattle on Feed Up 3 Percent

Cattle and calves on feed for slaughter market in the United States for
feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 10.1 million head on
July 1, 2010. The inventory was 3 percent above July 1, 2009. The inventory
included 6.25 million steers and steer calves, up 4 percent from the previous
year. This group accounted for 62 percent of the total inventory. Heifers and
heifer calves accounted for 3.77 million head, up 1 percent from 2009.

Placements in feedlots during June totaled 1.63 million, 17 percent above
2009. Net placements were 1.57 million head. During June, placements of
cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds were 440,000, 600-699 pounds
were 300,000, 700-799 pounds were 408,000, and 800 pounds and greater were

Marketings of fed cattle during June totaled 2.00 million, slightly above

Other disappearance totaled 55,000 during June, 4 percent below 2009.

U.S. All Cattle on Feed Up 3 Percent

Cattle on feed July 1, 2010, from all feedlots in the United States, totaled
12.0 million, up 3 percent from the 11.6 million on July 1, 2009.… Continue reading

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Logan County cattleman joins Ohio beef industry’s elite

By Kyle Sharp

In 1966, at the age of 14, Frank Phelps moved with his family from their farm in Van Wert County to the current farm they operate in Logan County. The previous year, they had become joint owners of a herd of registered Limousin cattle with the O’Connor family, which owns the Logan County property.

“It was quite a change back then from the flatland of Van Wert to some hills down here,” Phelps said.

While the O’Connor family owns the land, co-owns the cattle and assists with broad management decisions, Frank and his dad, Don, oversee the daily operation.

“It’s been a good partnership,” Phelps said. “Every Saturday morning we have a meeting with them. It makes it nice that they’re interested and willing to spend some money to maintain and improve the farm.”

The O’Connor-Phelps farm milked cows for a while, had a farrow-to-finish hog operation, and most recently also had feeder pigs.… Continue reading

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Ag Panel Concerned With What They Heard


Members of a House Agriculture subcommittee expressed deep concern with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s proposed rule on livestock and poultry contracts and marketing arrangements, a regulation that would limit pork producers’ options in selling pigs to processors, according to the National Pork Producers Council.
The chairman and ranking member, of the Agriculture Committee’s Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Subcommittee, in a hearing said they are troubled that the  proposed rule amending the Packers and Stockyards Act (PSA) goes beyond the congressional intent of the 2008 Farm Bill. The legislation authorized USDA’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) to issue rules clarifying certain provisions of the PSA and implementing new ones related to capital investments, arbitration and poultry contracts.
Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn., who attended the hearing, and other subcommittee members also voiced concerns with the broad scope of the rule and its likely adverse effects on the livestock and poultry industries. 
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Allendale Inc. Releases Estimates for Cattle Inventory Report

The Cattle On Feed Report will be released this Friday and Allendale expects that June Placements will be 9.1% smaller than last year. This would represent the fourth month in a row of lower placements. Feedlots continue to react to corn prices as well as the smaller supply of available feeders at this time. Cattle placed in June will be marketed from October through February.

Allendale expects a Marketing total that is 2.4% below June of last year. Market ready cattle numbers may begin to tighten as we transition to the lower supply period in the coming months.

Cattle on Feed total as of July 1 will be the smallest July 1 total in four years. Our placement model suggests slaughters from feedlot cattle may remain below last year levels from now through the remainder of the year. See all our estimates below.

Also scheduled for release at 2 p.m. on Friday will be the July 1st Cattle Inventory Report.… Continue reading

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A conversation with Jack Fisher, executive vice president Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, about the HSUS Agreement

OCJ: How does this agreement affect Issue 2 and the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board?

Jack: The work farmers put into passing Issue 2 is paying off. Farmers said the Care Board was the proper way to handle complex questions about farm animal care. Ohio voters agreed. Now, HSUS acknowledges this. Without the Care Board, the only option to deal with animal issues would be costly, damaging ballot fights. That hasn’t worked out too well in other states.

Farm groups will now make recommendations to the Board that are believed to be acceptable ways to deal with some very contentious issues. The Board will consider recommendations from others as well. HSUS has committed to get in line with everyone else who wants to share an opinion. The Board will make its own decisions, just as intended under Issue 2.

OCJ: If the board doesn’t follow the recommendations, won’t HSUS just come back with its ballot initiative?Continue reading

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Fly Control Essential for Beef, Dairy Herd Health


Whether in the pasture or the barn, fly control is an essential part of keeping healthy dairy and beef cattle herds, said Purdue entomologist Ralph Williams.

In pasture cattle the two primary fly pests are horn flies, which are a biting fly, and face flies. Face flies do not bite, but they feed around the eye tissue and can transmit bacterial conjunctivitis, or pink eye.

“Horn flies are the number one fly pest in the United States,” Williams said. “The threshold at which we recommend control is when those flies reach 200 per animal. It is not uncommon to see a thousand or more horn flies per animal.”

While horn flies do not transmit disease, they can cause economic loss by reducing weight gain, feed efficiency and calf weights.

For cattle in confinement, the stable fly is a biting fly that breeds in the accumulating feed waste and soiled bedding.… Continue reading

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Carl Rittberger Sr., Inc. Issues Precautionary Recall for Product produced without Inspection

Carl Rittberger Sr., Inc. of Zanesville, OH announces a voluntary recall of approximately 15 pounds of Sliced Bacon due to the fact that the product was produced without the benefit of Sate Inspection by the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Division of Meat Inspection.

“As defined by the Class II category of the recall, the possibility of a food safety hazard is remote. It was simply a mistake on my part to not notify Meat Inspection of minimal production on that specific day of production.” said Andy Rittberger, President, Carl Rittberger Sr., Inc.

The product subject to recall include: 20 – 12 oz. packages of Sliced Bacon

Product: RITTBERGER Sliced Bacon 12 oz package

Identified by: Produced by Carl Rittberger Sr., Inc., Zanesville, Ohio.
The packages include Ohio Establishment #13, they include 12 oz. packages with the sell by date of 8/28/10

Manufacture date: 7/09/10

The packages were sold exclusively at the Zanesville Farmer’s Market on 7/10/10.… Continue reading

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Get the Facts on Starting an Aquaculture Business at an Ohio Fish Farm Tour, July 16

Anyone interested in starting an aquaculture business, or perhaps expanding an existing one, has the opportunity to participate in a tour of fish farms throughout northeast Ohio on July 16.

Ohio State University’s South Centers at Piketon and Ohio Soybean Council will sponsor the event, which runs from 7:45 a.m. until 6 p.m. The cost is $20 per person.

The Northeast Ohio Fish Farm Tour will feature stops at Scales to Tails, Laurel Creek Fin Farm, Raber’s Fish Farm, Fender’s Fish Hatchery, and Blue Ribbon Fish Farm. Participants will meet at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center’s Fisher Auditorium at 7:45 a.m. before departing on the tour. The tour is schedule to arrive back at OARDC around 6 p.m. OARDC is located at 1680 Madison Avenue, Wooster, Ohio.

Scales to Tails Seafood Shoppe sells live fish and fresh filets. The shop also boasts a large processing facility. Owners Dave and Wendy Lemke also raise tilapia, yellow perch, bluegill and largemouth bass.… Continue reading

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National Pork Board to meet during National Pork Industry Conference

Planning for the National Pork Board’s 2011 budget begins in earnest next week when board members meet July 13 to review revenue projections from the Pork Checkoff and to set a spending target for the new budget year. The board is meeting during the three-day National Pork Industry Conference at Wisconsin Dells, Wis.

The board, under the leadership of newly elected president Gene Nemechek, will welcome four new pork producer members recently appointed to three-years terms by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack: Julie Maschoff from Carlyle, Ill.; Derrick Sleezer from Cherokee, Iowa; Wathina Luthi from Gage, Okla.; and Steve Wuergler from Drain, Ore. The board also will pay tribute to four retiring board members: Tim Bierman, a Larrabee, Iowa, producer who as the immediate past president remains on the board for one year as a non-voting member; Steve Weaver of Elk Grove, Calif.; Bruce Samson of Three Forks, Mont.; and Henry Moore of Clinton, N.C.Continue reading

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Feeding Wheat Grain to Livestock? Get it Tested for Vomitoxin First

In a year when overly wet conditions and a head scab outbreak are significantly impacting Ohio’s wheat crop, there is no room for assumptions that grain is toxin-free and safe to feed to livestock.

To avoid any health problems in cattle, swine, poultry and other animals, growers are highly encouraged to test the grain for vomitoxin levels before any of the feed or grain byproduct is destined for consumption.

“Farmers shouldn’t think that it’s OK to handle or feed scabby grain without actually testing and knowing how much toxin is in it,” said Pierce Paul, an Ohio State University Extension small grains specialist and plant pathologist. “I always emphasize testing.”

Wheat in some portions of Ohio is experiencing upwards of 60 percent incidence of head scab — a disease that attacks the wheat during flowering under wet, humid conditions. The disease can impact yields. The fungal pathogen that causes head scab also produces mycotoxins (most notably vomitoxin) in the grain that can be unsafe for livestock if consumed in high levels.… Continue reading

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Ohio Department of Agriculture Finds Bovine Tuberculosis in Paulding County Herd

Ohio Department of Agriculture Director Robert Boggs today announces that preliminary tests performed by the department’s Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory revealed a positive result for bovine tuberculosis in a Paulding County dairy herd. There is no known human illness associated with this occurrence.

The herd was found positive after routine tuberculosis testing by the department. The herd was depopulated, and the department is currently conducting a trace-in and trace-out investigation to determine if other livestock may be affected.

“We are currently working with our state and federal partners on this matter to take the necessary steps to identify the origin of the affected cattle,” said Boggs. “This is yet another example of how the Ohio Department of Agriculture works daily to assure the safety of Ohio consumers and livestock.”

Tuberculosis is a disease caused by bacteria which affects the respiratory system. Bovine tuberculosis, also known as Cattle TB, is an infectious form of tuberculosis as it infects most warm-blooded animals, including humans.… Continue reading

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Ohio EPA Awards Nearly $200,000 for Sustainability Efforts on OSU Farm/Research Facility

 A working farm just west of The Ohio State University campus and nestled in the heart of metro Columbus is being transformed into a learning laboratory of best management practices for water quality protection and whole farm sustainability.

A $194,324 grant from Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and local matching dollars totaling $132,456 will enable the Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District to demonstrate several progressive projects on OSU’s Waterman Agriculture and Natural Resources Laboratory (2433 Carmack Rd.). The projects will serve as application tools for current and future farmers and showcase environmental stewardship for students, faculty and urban residents.

“The educational project will provide on-the-ground examples of how to improve operations and the sustainability of production, reduce maintenance costs and protect water resources both on the farm and downstream,” said Russ Gibson, Ohio EPA’s Division of Surface Water Nonpoint Source Section manager. The Franklin Soil and Water grant is one of eight federal Section 319 Clean Water Act grants awarded by Ohio EPA this year.… Continue reading

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Hog Market Outlook Remains Strong

By Jeff Caldwell

A blue moon — when there are 2 full moons in the same calendar month) has come around 15 times in the last 40 years. In that same time period, live hog prices have passed the $60-per-hundredweight mark 13 times.

So, $60-plus live hogs are rarer than a blue moon. But, that magic number was surpassed in May when live hogs hit $63/cwt. Though he expects the rarity of this occurrence to continue, Purdue University livestock economist Chris Hurt says it’s definitely not a sign that the hog market’s softening, at least for a while.

“The outlook is for strong and profitable prices to continue for some time, although with prices generally below the rare $60 mark,” says Purdue University livestock economist Chris Hurt.”

It’s an optimistic projection for market conditions that have been good to hog farmers since spring. But, one thing that has changed in the outlook, Hurt says, is the expectation for expansion.… Continue reading

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Actual Agreement Between Ohio Ag & HSUS

1)    Recommendations will be made to The Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board (OLCSB) to take action on issues related to downer cattle and humane euthanasia using language consistent with the proposed ballot initiative.

2)    The Ohio Department of Agriculture and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources will coordinate and take action on wild and dangerous animals including the prohibition of the sale and/or possession of big cats, bears, primates, large constricting and venomous snakes and alligators and crocodiles. Existing owners will be grandfathered in, but they could not breed or obtain new animals.

3)    Recommendations will be made to the legislature to support and pass SB 95 largely in the current form, which regulates dog breeding kennels.

4)    Recommendations will be made to the legislature to support and pass HB 108, which will increase penalties on individuals who engage in cockfighting.

5)    Recommendations will be made to the OLCSB to adopt the American Veal Association 2007 agreement to transition to group housing for veal calves by 2017.… Continue reading

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