Goat cheese processor seeks good sheep dairy producers

By Kyle Sharp

Abbe Turner is by nature an optimist. She was optimistic when she and her husband bought and moved to a Portage County farm in 2002, despite neither of them having a farm background. She was optimistic when she started producing cheese from the milk of her dairy goats at her startup business, Lucky Penny Creamery in Kent, early last year. And she is optimistic that an Ohio sheep dairy industry will develop through an initiative she helped create, so she can begin processing sheep cheeses as well in the near future.

To help emphasize her sunny outlook, her business card for Lucky Penny Farm and Creamery even reads, “CEO, Cheesemaker, Entrepreneur, Optimist.”

When asked why she chose to include “optimist” on her business card, her personality comes out in her tongue-in-cheek response:

“Because ‘fool’ doesn’t look real good to a banker,” Turner said.

So far, her decisions appear to be anything but foolish, as in just 11 months, Lucky Penny Creamery has developed a list of about 55 businesses, including restaurants, grocery stores and other outlets across the nation, that buy her cheeses.… Continue reading

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NSR reports litter recordings trend up in 2010

Accumulative litter recordings for the National Swine Registry in 2010 were up over 2009 totals, the National Swine Registry announced.

“This improvement halts a trend of slight decreases over the past several years, and is a positive sign for the purebred swine industry and our member-based organization,” Darrell Anderson, NSR CEO.

A total of 27,712 litters were recorded for the four breeds of Duroc, Hampshire, Landrace and Yorkshire in 2010, with Duroc and Landrace litter registrations accounting for the boost. Both were up significantly, with Landrace recordings reflecting a 10% increase over 2009. Although down slightly compared to 2009, the Yorkshire breed still remains number one in total recordings with 11,846 litters cataloged in 2010. Yorkshire registrations have shown tenacity over time — dropping by only 522 litters since 1999 registrations.

Total litter recordings for all eight breeds in the National Association of Swine Records, which include the NSR breeds along with Berkshire, Chester White, Poland China, and Spotted, were also up in 2010, showing a 4.2% increase over 2009.… Continue reading

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Strickland issued executive order completing agreement between Ohio’s agricultural leaders and HSUS

Governor Ted Strickland issued an executive order that completes the governor’s responsibilities brokered in the agreement between Ohio’s agricultural leaders and the Humane Society to enhance animal care standards while maintaining a vibrant livestock industry in Ohio.

The emergency executive order allows for the immediate adoption of a new Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Wildlife rule that bans the private ownership of dangerous wild animals.

“This action fulfills my responsibilities within the agreement that will keep Ohio’s vital agriculture industry profitable while appropriately updating animal care standards,” Strickland said. “This rule will help protect Ohioans from deaths and serious injuries caused by attacks from dangerous wild animals held in private ownership.”

The agreement between the major organizations representing livestock producers and other agricultural interests and the Humane Society of the United States was first announced by Strickland on June 30, 2010. It resulted in the Humane Society not pursuing a ballot initiative this past fall, the initiation of several steps to enhance animal welfare and animal care standards including the adoption of rules, and preserved the integrity of the Ohio Livestock Animal Care Standards Board.Continue reading

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Johnson Joins Ohio Beef Council Staff

Andrew Johnson of Wooster joined the staff of the Ohio Beef Council and Ohio Cattlemen’s Association in late December. He is serving as the Director of Programs and Industry Relations for OBC and OCA. This director position will focus largely on developing and implementing checkoff funded programs in the areas of consumer advertising, retail, foodservice, veal and nutrition. Johnson will also coordinate the OCA Young Cattlemen’s Conference, help plan district meetings, oversee the Foundation’s fundraising and scholarship program and is responsible for coordinating the Ohio Beef Expo Junior Show activities. Johnson is a graduate of Capital University with a degree in communications. Johnson has held previous internships with the Ohio Expo Center and State Fair and also with Certified Angus Beef.  Johnson can be reached via email at or by calling the OBC and OCA office at 614-873-6736.

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association is an affiliate of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and is the state’s spokesperson and issues manager for all segments of the beef cattle industry including cattle breeders, producers and feeders.… Continue reading

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New beef position to focus on animal care, food safety and profitability

A newly created position in Ohio State University Extension will address animal welfare, beef management and production, and pre-harvest food safety for Ohioans.

“Animal care and food safety are key issues for Ohio farmers and consumers alike. This position will help promote practices recommended by the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board,” said Keith Smith, associate vice president for agricultural administration and director of OSU Extension.

The OSU Extension Beef Coordinator position will be based out of The Ohio State University South Centers in Piketon, Ohio, and will be funded in partnership with the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) and the Ohio Beef Council (OBC).

“This position is about sharing information across all industry sectors to add economic value to Ohio’s beef production,” said Elizabeth Harsh, executive director of OCA and OBC.

“We are grateful to the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association and the Ohio Beef Council for partnering with us to create this new position,” Smith said.… Continue reading

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Lely USA announces expansion to U.S. headquarters

Lely, the world leader in robotic milking systems, has announced the company will soon expand its production facilities to include Pella, Iowa, the current headquarters for Lely USA. The expansion will significantly increase Lely’s production capacity in the North American market.
“Lely USA has been headquartered in Pella, Iowa for the past 7 years,” said Peter Langebeeke, president of Lely USA. “It’s with great pleasure we’ll be able to pay back this incredibly supportive community with our significant facility expansion and new job creation.”
Plans include a 35 to 40,000 square foot production and office facility dedicated to the production and support of Lely’s line of robotic milking equipment, including the Astronaut robotic milking system as well as Lely’s complete line of feed and animal care products. The new space will be Lely’s first dairy production facility outside of their headquarters and production facilities in Maassluis and Rotterdam, Holland. The new facility will dramatically increase the product capacity in the North American market, allowing the company to expand its current services and technologies to the North American dairy industry.… Continue reading

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Ohio State University Extension “district” programs for sheep and goat producers

This OSU Extension Coordinated Program is an effort to provide outreach programs in several areas of sheep production.  We invite sheep and goat producers from around Ohio to come to one or more of the educational sessions to learn more about different areas of sheep and goat production.

These Educational Programs are sponsored by: Ohio Sheep Improvement Association, Roger A. High, Executive Director, contact (614) 246-8299 or or visit our website at for more information.  Contact Extension Educators for possible meeting fees.

When, Where and What?

Thurs., Jan. 6, 2011 “Clinton County Sheep and Goat Program – Wilmington”

Location:                   Clinton County Extension Office, 111 S. Nelson Ave., Suite 2, Wilmington, OH  45177

Time:                                     7:00 p.m.

Speaker:                   Gregg Fogle, Shepherd, The Ohio State University and Roger A. High, OSU Sheep Extension Program Specialist, “Australian Sheep Production”

Contact:                   Tony Nye, Clinton County Extension Educator, (937) 382-0901

Wed., Jan. 12, 2011 “Top of Ohio Region Sheep and Goat Program – Mt.Continue reading

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Jersey production set records in 2010

The American Jersey Cattle Association (AJCA) announced that new records for production by Registered Jersey cows were established in 2010.

The official Jersey lactation average increased to 18,567 lbs. milk, 876 lbs. fat, and 671 lbs. protein. On a Cheddar cheese equivalent basis, average yield is 2,270 pounds. All are new category records.

A record 88,727 lactations were processed by the AJCA, an increase of 23% in five years.

The lactation average is calculated on a standardized 305-day, twice daily, mature equivalent (m.e.) basis.

The American Jersey Cattle Association, organized in 1868, compiles and maintains animal identification and performance data on Jersey cattle and provides services that support genetic improvement and greater profitability through increasing the value of and demand for Registered Jersey cattle and genetics, and Jersey milk and milk products. For more information on USJersey program and services, call 614-863-3636 or visit the web site at www.USJersey.comContinue reading

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UPI scholarship

United Producers Inc. (UPI) is excited to support the future generation of agriculture through a new scholarship opportunity.

UPI is offering one $1000 scholarship in each of its 16 districts to deserving high school students pursuing agriculture degrees.

“The future of agriculture depends highly on those who are currently considering and pursuing a career in this critical industry,” said Dennis Bolling, President and CEO, United Producers Inc. “We want to do all we can to encourage students who have an interest in agribusiness, farming, veterinary medicine or other agriculture-based industries to pursue their careers, and this is our way of helping them do so.”

Applicants must be a Preferred Member of UPI or a child of a Preferred Member, a graduating high school senior, and enrolled in a college or technical school studying an agriculture-related field. Completed applications and essays must be postmarked by April 1, 2011.

Visit for more information and to download an application form.… Continue reading

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Ohio Department of Agriculture to accept aquaculture grant applications

Ohio’s fish farmers can now apply for their portion of $34,859 in reimbursements through the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Aquaculture Grant Program. The program will assist producers who suffered financial losses associated with high feed costs in 2009.

Aquaculture producers eligible for reimbursement funds include those who experienced a 25 percent increase in feed costs for the 2009 calendar year. Eligible aquaculture species include: sunfish (bluegill, hybrids), yellow perch, largemouth bass, striped bass, trout, salmon, catfish, tilapia, carp, goldfish, koi, amus, baitfish (minnow, shiners), freshwater shrimp and crayfish. Funding for this program is made available by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Applicants must work with their local Farm Service Agency office to begin the application process. Department staff will work closely with Farm Service Agency offices to ensure aquaculture producers have complete support during the process. Applicants are encouraged to begin the application process promptly. A limited supply of hard copies will be available to producers without internet access.… Continue reading

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Nutrient record-keeping proves important for all producers

Livestock producers large and small need to not only manage nutrients properly but also keep detailed records of their nutrient management practices, said Purdue Extension animal scientist Tamilee Nennich.

Smaller producers often think nutrient management record-keeping is necessary only for large producers. But Nennich says that’s not the case.

“Every producer needs to have detailed records, especially regarding manure issues, because those records are the only proof of what’s been done,” she said.

One example she gave is that of a producer who has applied manure and gets an unexpected heavy rainfall the next day, causing runoff. That farmer can only prove there was no over-application by keeping detailed records.

Purdue Extension, the Indiana Soybean Alliance and the Indiana Corn Marketing Council have once again teamed up to make the process simpler for livestock producers by providing free nutrient management record-keeping calendars.

The calendars are designed for all species and provide inspection reminders and space for producers to write daily, weekly, monthly and annual records.… Continue reading

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Ohio hog inventory up 1%

Ohio hog producers had 2,030,000 hogs on hand December 1, 2010, was up 1% from a year earlier, but down 1% from last quarter. The number of market hogs, at 1,860,000 head, was up 1% from last year but down 1% from last quarter. Breeding stock, at 170,000 head, was up 3% from last year and last quarter.

The September-November pig crop numbered 837,000 head, which was up 2% from last year but down 3% from last quarter. The number of sows farrowed during the September-November 2010 quarter at 89,000 was 1,000 head below last quarter but 2,000 head above last year. Pigs saved per litter during the September-November 2010 quarter averaged 9.4 and was unchanged from the same period last year but down 2% from last quarter.

Ohio producers intend to farrow 86,000 sows during the December-February 2011 quarter; down 3% from a year earlier. Farrowing intentions for the spring quarter, March-May 2011, is 87,000; down 2 percent from the same quarter of 2010.… Continue reading

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Great Lakes Professional Cattle Feeding and Marketing Short-course

The 2011 Great Lakes Professional Cattle Feeding and Marketing Short-course will be held January 19 and February 2 at the Wood County Junior Fair Building in Bowling Green Ohio. This short course is a joint effort of Ohio State University Extension, Michigan State University, and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture to enhance the cattle industry in the Eastern Corn Belt.

The industry is implementing programs to maintain consumer confidence in the product produced in our facilities. One of these programs is audits conducted by third party entities on animal care and environmental compliance. The first session will discuss the framework for an audit for your feedlot. Other topics for the first session include animal health, and maximum dietary levels of distiller’s grain with solubles. The impacts of globalization and projections of $10/bu corn have created uncertainty about the future trends in our industry. The second session will address these trends.

Registration and refreshments will be provided beginning at 6 p.m.… Continue reading

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NCBA Opposes Nomination of Ohio Judge with Ties to Animal Activists

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) today, Dec. 21, 2010, sent a letter to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) opposing the nomination of Judge Benita Pearson to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. NCBA Vice President of Government Affairs Colin Woodall said Pearson’s connections to the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), an organization that advocates giving animals the same legal rights as humans, would make it difficult for her to be an impartial judge in cases regarding actions by animal rights activists.

“Beef cattle producers face enough challenges today from agenda-driven activist organizations whose sole purpose is to end animal agriculture and change the 234-year old fabric of our great nation. The last thing they need is a judge furthering this agenda for well-funded animal rights activist organizations like ALDF and the Humane Society of the U.S. by legislating from the bench,” Woodall said.… Continue reading

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HSUS teams up with Forever 21

By Amanda Radke, Beef Daily

Christmas may be just around the corner, but agriculture advocacy never takes a holiday. This just in: Forever 21, a popular clothing store for teens and 20-somethings, is now supporting the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS), the richest anti-animal agriculture organization in America. This is a call-to-action. I hope you will join me in writing to the company and letting them know how you feel.

This sign was discovered in New York by Dustin Homan, an agriculture leadership student at The Ohio State University. The photo was then posted on Facebook by his fellow classmate and Simmental breeder, Emily Brinkman. The sign reads, “With your purchase of this T-shirt, Forever 21 will make a $1.00 donation to HSUS. We and all our furry friends thank you!”

While I don’t think a boycott of the company is necessary, I do believe it’s critically important to educate this clothing store about the true agenda of HSUS, which is, of course, to abolish animal agriculture and eliminate consumers’ choice to put meat, dairy and eggs on the dinner table.… Continue reading

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Legitimacy of EPA Total Maximum Daily Load rule called into question

The Agricultural Nutrient Policy Council (ANPC), a coalition of agricultural groups, released a third party report last month conducted by LimnoTech that raises significant questions about the data used by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop and implement the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) rule. In a report, “Assessment of the Effects of Conservation Practices on Cultivated Cropland in the Chesapeake Bay Region,” developed by the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA), very different estimates of pollutant loads to the Chesapeake Bay are reported compared to EPA’s data.

“Basically, we have two different agencies in this administration studying the same thing but yielding completely different results,” said Ashley Lyon, deputy environmental counsel for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. “USDA’s report clearly shows that farmers and ranchers have already significantly surpassed EPA targets for reductions in sediment and phosphorus.”

The LimnoTech report found many discrepancies between USDA’s report and EPA’s data.… Continue reading

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Swine premises identification surpasses 90%

As of today, 92% of all U.S. swine premises now have a nationally standardized premises identification number (PIN). This milestone figure, calculated by the Pork Checkoff using USDA data, represents 65,907 premises. Nearly half of these farms were registered over the last three years in conjunction with a cooperative agreement between the pork industry and USDA.

“This achievement means that pork producers and the pork industry realize that premises identification is instrumental in helping to take the health of our herds into the 21st century and to protect our industry from long-term negative consequences of a foreign animal disease,” said Gene Nemechek, a swine veterinarian from Springdale, Ark., and president of the National Pork Board. “The nationally standardized PIN is the cornerstone for more rapid and accurate traceability, which supports a faster response to animal-health events from the farm level on up. It has already proven to be useful in states assisting pork producers in a weather disaster.… Continue reading

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Ohio Beef Expo deadlines approach

As you break out your new 2011 calendar and begin to add important dates, be sure to mark March 18-20 for the Ohio Beef Expo to be held at the Ohio Expositions Center in Columbus, Ohio. Plans for the 2011 Expo are well underway and this year’s event is shaping up to be one of the best ever with breed sales, shows and one of the Midwest’s largest and most competitive junior shows.

The Expo will once again include a three-day industry trade show. Last year’s trade show which encompassed over 22,000 square feet of indoor space was a full house. If you are interested in promoting your cattle industry related product with a display in the 2011 event, contact Jamie King at (614) 873-6736 as soon as possible. The early deadline to reserve space in the trade show is January 3.

Consignments are now being accepted for the Angus, Chianina, Hereford, Limousin, Maine-Anjou, Shorthorn and Simmental sales.… Continue reading

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Exports strong for beef and pork

October was a very strong month for U.S. red meat exports, according to results compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Beef exports achieved their second-highest value of the year at $375.3 million (trailing only June’s $377.6 million), surpassing the September total by 11% and beating October 2009 by an impressive 37%.

Pork export value was third-highest of the year at $407.8 million — trailing only May ($419.3 million) and June ($425.3 million). The October value total was 7% higher than September and 9% higher than October 2009.

Beef export value ahead of 2003’s record pace

The strong showing in October pushed 2010 beef export value to $3.28 billion, surpassing the January-October 2003 total of $3.26 billion. Beef export value finished 2003 with an all-time, single-year record total of $3.86 billion. Compared to 2009, beef export value is up by 28%. In terms of volume, beef exports reached 863,046 metric tons for the year, outpacing 2009 by 16%.… Continue reading

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Limited forage supply adds to beef feeding woes

Heavy spring rains and late summer drought were the perfect storm for the forage issues that now plague beef producers.

Forages are in short supply in some areas and of low quality in others, leaving beef producers to deal with the high prices of alternative feeds to meet the energy and protein needs of their herds, said Ron Lemenager, Purdue Extension beef specialist.

“We’re getting a number of calls from producers who are asking questions about a short forage supply, either because they had to start feeding hay earlier than normal, or because they didn’t get a second or third cutting in during the growing season,” Lemenager said. “Some producers have a carryover of hay from the previous year, but that hay is more weathered and lower quality.”

Many of the producers who started to feed hay early had to do so because the drought wreaked havoc on the pastures where cows were grazing.… Continue reading

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