Doc's Talk: Making peace … what’s next?

By “Doc” Donald E. Sanders, DMV, OSU Large Animal Field Service

The livestock farmers I’ve visited lately are mad as Hades. They are frustrated over our ag leadership and governor entering a “kiss your sister” kind of agreement regarding animal welfare in Ohio.
Jack Fisher, executive vice president of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF), says the deal with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) makes good sense. And politically it may make good sense for Governor Strickland, too. He didn’t say so, but it
was clear he didn’t want a bunch of farmers going to the polls in November to vote on the HSUS initiative. That would have made it too convenient for them to also have given his re-election bid a thumbs down.
Wayne Pacelle, president of the HSUS, appears to be a happy camper. But is he really? The agreement delays full implementation of his animal rights agenda until 2025.… Continue reading

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Doc’s Talk: Making peace … what’s next?

By “Doc” Donald E. Sanders, DMV, OSU Large Animal Field Service

The livestock farmers I’ve visited lately are mad as Hades. They are frustrated over our ag leadership and governor entering a “kiss your sister” kind of agreement regarding animal welfare in Ohio.
Jack Fisher, executive vice president of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF), says the deal with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) makes good sense. And politically it may make good sense for Governor Strickland, too. He didn’t say so, but it
was clear he didn’t want a bunch of farmers going to the polls in November to vote on the HSUS initiative. That would have made it too convenient for them to also have given his re-election bid a thumbs down.
Wayne Pacelle, president of the HSUS, appears to be a happy camper. But is he really? The agreement delays full implementation of his animal rights agenda until 2025.… Continue reading

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Ohio State Fair Dairy Show Results

Junior Ayrshire Show

(36 exhibitors, 76 animals)

Junior Champion – Ashley Hawvermale, Wooster; Reserve Junior Champion – Rachel Duncan, Warsaw; Grand Champion – Tanner Topp, Wooster; Reserve Grand Champion – Lane Greiwe, Sidney

Junior Brown Swiss Show

(31 exhibitors, 65 animals)

Junior Champion – Alexandra Lammers, Botkins; Reserve Junior Champion – Bradley Moffett, Jeromesville; Grand Champion – Keaton Topp, Botkins; Reserve Grand Champion – Amber Baumer, Wapakonet

Junior Guernsey Show

(36 exhibitors, 89 animals)

Junior Champion – Amber Dietz, Southington; Reserve Junior Champion – Becky Cooley, Baltimore; Grand Champion – Ericq Showalter, New Concord; Reserve Grand Champion – David DiGiovanni, Wapakoneta

Junior Holstein Show

(73 exhibitors, 117 animals)

Junior Champion – Cole Cummings, Sidney; Reserve Junior Champion – Anna Miley, West Salem; Grand Champion – Cole Cummings, Sidney; Reserve Grand Champion – Keaton Topp, Botkins

Junior Jersey Show

(70 exhibitors, 181 animals)

Junior Champion – Keaton Topp, Botkins; Reserve Junior Champion – Megan Cornish, N.… Continue reading

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Ohio State Fair Scholarship Winners

The Ohio State Fair is pleased to announce the 2010 Junior Fair Scholarship winners. Applicants were judged on scholastic standing, citizenship, leadership, Ohio State Fair participation, county fair participation and financial need.

The following is a list of winners:

Rhodes Endowment — $1,500, Kelsey Brockman, Coldwater; Nationwide — $1,000, Paige Pottkotter, Ft. Recovery; Governor’s Scholarship — $1,000, Kara McCarthy, Sycamore; Market Beef Exhibitor — $1,000, Lacey Uhler, Wooster; Beef Breeding Exhibitor — $500, Hannah Winegardner, Lima; Barrow Exhibitor — $1,000, Joel Hamric, Coshocton; Swine Breeding Exhibitor — $500, Cody Dudte, Wooster; Market Lamb Exhibitor — $1,000, Linsey Howell, Danville; Sheep Breeding Exhibitor — $500, Emily Shellhouse, Delaware.

Poultry Exhibitor — $1,000, Elizabeth Bender, Prospect; Dairy Cattle Exhibitor — $1,000, Ashlee Dietz, Southington; Dairy Goat Exhibitor — $500, Alaina Schraufnagel, Granville; Rabbit Exhibitor — $500, Tyler Fields, Marion; Dog Exhibitor — $500, Rachel Olson, Canfield; Horse Exhibitor — $1,000, Amber Baumberger, Jacobsburg; Exhibits & Activities Exhibitor — $1,000, Katherine Lorson, Hilliard; Exhibits & Activities Exhibitor — $500, Connie Price, Grove City; Exhibits & Activities Exhibitor — $250, Katherine Wenner, Lewis Center, Megan Thobe, Celina.… Continue reading

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A conversation with … Gary Conklin, Conklin Dairy, Plain City

Editor’s note: Due to death threats received by the Conklin family, a photo has not been included. Conklin was recently cleared by a Union County grand jury in an animal-abuse case involving his farm and a video released by Mercy For Animals.

OCJ: What is your family’s history in the dairy Industry?

Gary: The business started in 1919 marketing all types of livestock. Over time the business evolved into just Holstein heifers and cows. Up until 1990 a large part of our sales were from public auctions. Since that point it has been primarily private treaty sales.

OCJ: Will you please describe your dairy operation?

Gary: We broker close up and fresh Holstein heifers. We freshen out 1,000 to 1,200 first calf heifers per year. Many of our customers prefer to acquire fresh heifers. But, we do have some that prefer to buy springing heifers 30 to 60 days from calving.… Continue reading

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4000th Operation Main Street Speech Helps Take We Care Message to Millions

Pork producers are more committed than ever to demonstrating how much they care about producing safe and nutritious food, the well-being of their animals and protecting the environment. Through some amazing efforts, they have reached another important milestone for the National Pork Board’s Operation Main Street (OMS) program. On Aug. 4, volunteer OMS speakers achieved the Pork Checkoff-funded program’s 4,000th speech.  

“Thanks to our volunteers, OMS has grown into a significant asset for the pork industry and an important voice for the pork industry’s We Care initiative,” said Perry Aasness, vice president of industry relations for the Pork Checkoff. “OMS speakers are now showing key decision-makers and influencers such as county commissioners, dietitians, and small animal veterinarians, how pork producers are working hard every day to do the right thing.”

We Care is a pork industry initiative designed to help producers demonstrate they are committed to established ethical principals and animal well-being practices.Continue reading

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Jr. Fair Market Hog Show Results

Photos of the Jr. Fair Hog Show

Light Crossbreds

Grand Champion: Haley Clinker
Reserve: Troy Elwer

Darke Crossbreds

Grand Champion: Alec Brenek
Reserve: Nathan Siefker


Grand Champion: Mason Creager
Reserve: Samantha Darner


Grand Champion: Kalie Bodey
Reserve: Christopher Nott

Poland China

Grand Champion: Jason Geer
Reserve: Samantha McAlister


Grand Champion: Kelsey Zircher
Reserve: Blair Kenney


Grand Champion:    Nick Brautigam
Reserve: Allen Lenhart


Grand Champion: Evan Argabright
Reserve: Blaine Neikirk


Grand Champion: David Devore
Reserve: Victoria Devore

Chester White

Grand Champion: Alex McCullough
Reserve: Samantha Norman


Grand Champion: Victoria Devore
Reserve: Chelsea O’Diam


Grand Champion: David Devore
Reserve: Levi Stauffer

Gilt Show Results

Grand Champion Gilt: Grant Gehret
Reserve Champion Gilt: Riley Wendt
3rd Overall: Zach Anderson
4th Overall: Madelyn Ferron
5th Overall: Skyler Marker


Age 9 – Dakota Zurface, Clinton; Age 10 – Alexus Burkhart, Crawford; Age 11 – Josie Chaddock, Stark; Age 12 – Hunter Frobose, Wood; Age 13 – Samantha Norman, Fulton; Age 14 – Nicholas Fowler, Guernsey; Age 15 – Kyle Kisamore, Portage; Age 16 – Jordan Mullett, Coshocton; Age 17 – Tonya Fender, Highland; Age 18 – Kyle Kissick, Brown; Overall – Jordan Mullett, Coshocton

Record Books

Age 9 – Christina Norman, Fulton; Age 10 – Jason Cook, Union; Age 11 – Caleb Horn, Fairfield; Age 12 – Ellie Chaddock, Stark; Age 13 – Samantha Norman, Fulton; Age 14 – Cole Riddle, Union; Age 15 – Leanna Bachman, Fairfield; Age 16 – Emily Herring, Fulton; Age 17 – Amanda Coe, Greene; Age 18 – Joel Hamric, Coshocton

Barrow Showmanship

Champion Senior: Tonya Fender, Highland; Champion Intermediate: Gus Mitchem, Fayette; Champion Junior: Tyla Voight, Miami; Overall Champion: Tonya Fender, Highland… Continue reading

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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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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. 
Continue reading

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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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