Pork Congress award highlights

At the awards luncheon held during the Ohio Pork Congress on February 8, 2023, several volunteers were recognized for outstanding contributions to the Ohio pork industry. The Ohio Pork Industry Excellence, Service, Pork Promoter of the Year, Manager of the Year, and Friend of Pork Industry awards were presented. 

“Looking ahead to 2023, our industry faces challenges, however, the Ohio pork industry is filled with great leaders from top to bottom. The big wins we’ve had don’t mean the fight to protect our industry is over but I am confident we can use this momentum rise to occasion to overcome and adapt,” said Nick Seger, Ohio Pork Council President Shelby County. 

Wendell Waters, West Lafayette, Ohio, received the Ohio Pork Industry Excellence Award. Given annually, this award recognizes a pork farmer, or farm family, for their willingness to go above-and-beyond to donate time, money, and talents on behalf of the industry at the state and national level. … Continue reading

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Meat exports holding strong

U.S. beef exports set annual records for both volume and value in 2022, according to year-end data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Pork exports finished lower year-over-year but export value was the third largest on record, trailing only the highs reached in 2020 and 2021. Pork exports continued to gain momentum in December, led by another outstanding performance in Mexico. While lamb exports slowed in December, 2022 shipments were sharply higher than the previous two years, approaching the pre-COVID levels of 2019.

Beef exports reach new heights in several key markets

Despite slowing toward the end of the year, beef exports reached 1.47 million metric tons (mt), up 2% from the previous high in 2021. Export value climbed to a record $11.68 billion, up 10% from 2021 and nearly 40% above the previous five-year average. The U.S. exported a record share of its record-large beef production in 2022, and at higher prices.… Continue reading

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Wendell Waters: A career of collaboration in Ohio agriculture

By Matt Reese and Joel Penhorwood

Farmers working together can accomplish big things — few have demonstrated this better than Wendell Waters of Coshocton County who has played instrumental roles in several significant collaborative accomplishments in Ohio agriculture. Recently, Waters was recognized with the Pork Industry Excellence Award at the Ohio Pork Congress held in Lima. 

“Working as a group for a goal — that always brings people together,” Waters said in a 2020 video for his induction into the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame. “If you have a common cause, you can work together to accomplish your goals.”

From teamwork with his wife, Marsha, to collaboration with fellow farmers on various boards, to the creation of a vital cooperative, Waters has demonstrated a keen ability to leverage efforts of others to make positive progress. Along with row crops, and hogs, the Waters were also involved in berry production for many years.… Continue reading

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Frost seeding for pasture renovation

By Jordan Penrose, Ohio State University Extension Educator, Gallia County

At the start of 2023 in southeastern Ohio, we have faced muddy conditions. One of the areas that have taken the biggest hit is the pastures the livestock are staying on. I guess that some of you are trying to find the best ways to limit the damage to your pastures. We are facing the same thing on my family’s farm. If you do not have a heavy-use pad to keep livestock on during times when the mud is bad, the pastures are going to take a hit from the conditions that we have had this year. While we are taking what mother nature is giving us day by day, now is the time to start thinking of ways to renovate pastures. A few questions to ask are, how well will your pastures come back if they have been through a rough winter?… Continue reading

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Adjusting feed requirements for cold weather

By Dean Kreager, Ohio State University Extension Educator ANR, Licking County

A few years ago, I used to smile a little when my wife complained that our house was too cold at 64 degrees F during the winter months. Now, I find myself sneaking over to the thermostat and bumping it up a couple of degrees.
It is easy for us to know when we are cold, but how do we know when livestock are cold? In some situations, it is easy to see, such as if they are hunched up and shivering. Often, though, it is hard to tell when they are cold. Their comfort range is not the same as ours. Research has shown that below a certain point, our grazing animals will increase their metabolism to produce heat. This maintains body functions such as rumination and keeps the animal comfortable.

To meet the needs of increased metabolism, the animal will consume more feed.… Continue reading

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A look at reducing methane in the beef industry

By Alejandro Pittaluga, Fan Yang, James Gaffney, Mallory Embree and Alejandro Relling of the Ohio State University Animal Science Department

Greenhouse gas emissions are a major concern in the beef industry. This study entitled Effect of supplementation with ruminal probiotics on growth performance, carcass characteristics, plasma metabolites, methane emissions, and the associated rumen microbiome changes in beef cattle examined the effects of supplementation with ruminal probiotics consisting of three native ruminal microbes (NRM) for their influence on methane reduction and growth performance of beef cattle.

Eighty Angus × SimAngus-crossbred cattle were grouped by sex and weight, randomly assigned to a treatment group, control or NRM supplementation, and subsequently fed commercially relevant diets for at least 134 d with or without NRM supplementation until they reached a target finishing weight. Methane emissions and growth performance metrics were recorded at regular intervals. Cattle-fed diets with NRM had a greater average daily gain during most part of the experimental period, required fewer days to reach the finishing weight, and emitted less methane than cattle in the control treatment.… Continue reading

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Ohio beef industry highlights from OCA Awards Banquet

By Matt Reese

Filet mignon was on the menu, but it was the fine group of people who attended and were highlighted at the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) Awards Banquet who were the highlight. Attendees had the chance to network, hear about the latest issues and recognize the top-tier set of award winners at the event (along with the delicious meal).

Membership is up, cattle markets look strong and OCA is looking to build on a successful 2022 Ohio Beef Expo with a bigger and better show coming up in March, said OCA president Tom Karr.

“We are approaching our smallest cow herd in 40 years — that’s dairy and beef combined — so that’s an indication that there are not going to be as many calves next year and especially the year after that, so it should be good for the cow-calf producers to maybe recoup some of their losses from the past,” Karr said.… Continue reading

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Celebrity Showdown beef exhibitors raise big money for charity

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) BEST Program for youth ages 8-21 years co-hosted the Celebrity Showdown at the Clark County Cattle Battle along with an online auction to benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio (RMHC). The Clark County Cattle Producers sponsored the event. 

The Celebrity Showdown was hosted at the Champions Center in Springfield on Jan. 20, 2023. For this event, youth were responsible for raising a minimum of $100 for the opportunity to dress up their cattle and present them to the celebrity judge. This year’s judge was Cade Stover, Ohio State Football Tight End, with a special appearance from Steele Chambers, Ohio State Football Linebacker. Through donations from family, friends, their local community and members of OCA, youth participating in the Celebrity Showdown raised $17,383 for the show.

The team that took the lead with fundraising was HR Cattle Company with $5,005 raised. The other teams/participants with the highest fundraising numbers were Aiden Ruffing and Austin Hunker with $2,325; Kasen Cole with $2,008; Austin Sutherly with $1,550; Lara, Lexi and Rylan Rittenhouse with $1,245; and Bentlee and Hailee Clem, Alex Oldham, and Cordeliah and Jolie Ervin with $1,165.… Continue reading

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Stover scores a big win for Ohio beef

By Matt Reese

A farm boy turned football star had a great season for the Ohio State Buckeyes and a big win for Ohio’s beef producers.

Stover grew up on a cattle and grain operation working with his family. He developed a strong work ethic there and paired it with his athletic ability for great success in the last couple of years. 

“I grew up in Lexington, Ohio, running feeder calves up there. We sell freezer beef to local people and have a small row crop operation. Growing up and watching my dad work really inspired me to do what I can do today. I like all parts of it. I like the cattle, I like the crops and I really like the big equipment,” Stover said. “I love playing football and I love farming, but I loved farming before I knew what a football was, so I guess you could say I loved farming first.… Continue reading

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Ohio poultry producers ready to tackle the challenges of 2023

By Matt Reese

After a postponement due to an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), the Ohio Poultry Association was able to finally gather late in 2022 to celebrate successes of the year, but some challenges for the industry still loom large. 

At the top of the list of ongoing concerns from the poultry industry was HPAI. 

“We spent quite a bit of time talking about HPAI. The industry is still faced with this on a daily basis and in Ohio we have had a few backyard flock incidents as well as one commercial operation. It was a learning opportunity for us,” said Jim Chakeres, OPA executive vice president. “This HPAI strain has been different than ones we have dealt with in the past. For example, in the past with avian influenza, we didn’t see it in the summer when the birds weren’t migrating and the temperatures were higher. But this year we did.… Continue reading

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Continuous certification option for perennial forage

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reminds agricultural producers with perennial forage crops of an option to report their acreage once, without having to report that acreage in subsequent years, as long as there are no applicable changes on the farm. Interested producers can select the continuous certification option after USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) certifies their acreage report.  

“FSA’s continuous certification option simplifies future acreage reporting of perennial crops, and it can also help streamline the application process for many of our farm programs, including disaster assistance programs,” said Zach Ducheneaux, FSA Administrator. “For example, when persistent drought conditions over the past year affected livestock producers in the West and Great Plains, producers who had previously filed a continuous acreage report were able to benefit from a streamlined application process for the Livestock Forage Disaster Program.”  

An acreage report documents a crop grown on a farm or ranch and its intended uses, including perennial crops like mixed forage, birdsfoot trefoil, chicory/radicchio, kochia (prostrata), lespedeza, perennial peanuts and perennial grass varieties.… Continue reading

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A look at Ohio’s aquaculture industry

By Brianna Gwirtz, OCJ field reporter

Fishing alongside dad or grandpa is a core childhood memory for many people — baiting the hook with a worm, casting the line as far as you could, and feeling that sense of excitement at that tug on the end of the line. 

For Bill Lynch of Union County, fishing alongside his dad made such a lasting impression that he decided to pursue a career in the fish industry. Lynch attended the Ohio State University, graduating with a B.S. and an M.S. degree in Fisheries Management in 1980 and 1982, respectively. Lynch worked for the School of Environment and Natural Resources for 18 years and then Ohio State Extension for another 12 years as the Aquatic Ecosystem Management Specialist. 

Over his lifetime, Lynch completed many studies. One particular research subject made an impact on him. 

“When I was at Ohio State, I had a lot of research experience with yellow perch.… Continue reading

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Beef Expo coming in March

Ohio’s premier beef industry event, the Ohio Beef Expo, will celebrate 35 years for the 2023 event on March 16-19 at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus. The event will provide cattle enthusiasts from across Ohio and surrounding states with a unique experience that brings education, breed sales, youth shows, industry retail opportunities and more together all in one place.

This year’s schedule will be similar to the 2022 event. The Coliseum will be used for all junior show activities. The Junior Show will continue with the Market Animal Show on Saturday and the Heifer Show on Sunday. All Junior Show stalling will take place online, and viaducts will be reserved for OCA BEST sponsors. Remaining viaduct bays will be auctioned online in mid-February.

Nine breeds will host sales during the Expo on both Friday and Saturday.

The Expo Trade Show will continue to host vendors and retailers of all kinds to provide attendees with the opportunity to purchase everything from semen to trailers and from show supplies to insurance.… Continue reading

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Pork Congress registration open

Ohio Pork Congress continues to deliver relevant information for everyone in the pork industry, from pig caretakers to farm team members to decision makers and allied industry partners. The event will take place Feb. 7 and 8, 2023, at the Veterans Memorial Civic and Convention Center in Lima. The Ohio Pork Council invites all producers and members of the pork industry to attend. 

“Anyone who is involved in the pork industry is encouraged to attend Ohio Pork Congress,” said Nick Seger, Ohio Pork Council president and producer from Shelby County. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to network, discuss what is happening in our industry, and gain insightful knowledge from the educational seminars and our keynote speaker.”

Veterans Memorial Civic and Convention Center continues to allow Ohio Pork Congress the opportunity to expand its tradeshow space and offer even better educational seminars. 

“Our industry is full of amazing people and Ohio Pork Congress offers them the ability to gather at the state’s largest swine-specific tradeshow for networking and professional development opportunities,” Seger said.… Continue reading

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What to watch for in pastures and hay fields in 2023

By Clifton Martin, Ohio State University Extension, Muskingum County

As we kickoff 2023 it has me thinking of what has been accomplished and what goals lie ahead. It’s a new year and a great time to think forward into what we might expect in the new year. Here are three things I am watching for in pastures and hayfields in 2023.

Asian longhorned tick

The Asian longhorned tick (ALHT) has been making slow but steady progress across pastures and fields from the Eastern Mid-Atlantic through the Appalachian regions and into Ohio. It has the potential to become a productivity-limiting factor in many operations if left ignored and the time to plan for it in your fields is now. This tick population is increasing and spreading around the eastern half of the United States and management of ticks is developing into a predominant limiting factor in more operations. It could present a few management conundrums in your pasture.… Continue reading

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Pastures for profit

New to pasture management? Join the Ohio Forage and Grasslands Council for Pastures for Profit Mondays, Feb. 13, 27 and Mar. 13 at three eastern Ohio locations. Call 740-264-2212 to register or to learn more.
Pastures for Profit classes look at topics such as management intensive grazing, goal setting, improving soil fertility and forage growth, meeting animal needs, water quality, paddock design, grazing economics, and year-round grazing. Cost of the course is $55 per person, which covers meals for the 3 sessions and a course manual.
This Pastures for Profit Course is a partnership between the Ohio Forage and Grasslands Council, USDA-NRCS, Ohio State University Extension, Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Ohio Dept. of Agriculture and the Eastern Ohio Grazing Council.… Continue reading

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Could this be a new marketing strategy for milk?

By Don “Doc” Sanders

Demand for milk continues to decline despite dairy farmers’ stepped-up efforts to produce high quality milk while striving towards a carbon neutral environment. Several reasons, I believe, contribute to this problem in milk consumption.

High on the list is rising popularity of non-dairy milk alternatives, like oat milk, almond milk, soy milk — you name it. Companies are continually trying to glean higher profits with these products that offer the advantage of lower production costs compared to real milk. 

Foodie activists have helped raise the popularity of milk alternatives by presenting them to consumers as a way to save the environment. Activists like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, better known as AOC, promote false narratives that cow farts are a major contributor to global warming. 

Another reason for real milk’s loss of beverage market share is the continuing growth of the massive soft drink industry. But, interestingly enough, soft drink giant Coca-Cola is getting a piece of the real milk action.… Continue reading

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OSU ATI adding a livestock judging team

The Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute (Ohio State ATI) is launching a livestock judging team and has taken a crucial first step: hiring a team coach. Jeromesville native Seth Ebert is joining the ATI faculty as coach and lecturer in animal sciences. Ohio State ATI has an established dairy cattle judging team that has placed highly in state and national competitions, including World Dairy Expo, and hopes to achieve similar success in livestock judging.

Livestock judging involves evaluating market or breeding beef cattle, sheep, goats and swine against a set of commonly accepted criteria for an ideal animal (placing) and then defending those evaluations to a panel of judges (oral reasons). As did Ebert, many young people begin judging as part of 4-H and FFA activities and seek to continue judging at the college level.

Ebert was successful enough in 4-H and FFA to garner a scholarship from Casper College in Wyoming.… Continue reading

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New report looks at dairy reform

A new report compiled by the American Farm Bureau Federation lays out priorities, principles and recommendations for dairy policy reform.

The Farm Bureau Dairy Working Group, comprised of 12 dairy farmer representatives (three from each of the four Farm Bureau regions), explored options for strengthening the dairy industry through the 2023 farm bill and modernizing the current Federal Milk Marketing Order system. AFBF also received input from a first-of-its-kind industry-wide Federal Milk Marketing Order Forum held in Kansas City, Missouri, in October 2022. The forum was hosted and led by AFBF.

When FMMOs were last reformed in 2000, the U.S. exported less than 5% of annual milk production, compared to 18% today. Per capita milk consumption has grown in the United States by almost 10%, but there are almost 50% fewer dairy operations now than in 2003.

“America’s dairy farmers continue to meet the challenges of growing demand for milk products, even while the number of dairy farmers in the United States continues to shrink,” said Zippy Duvall, AFBF president.… Continue reading

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Cattlemen’s Academy Calving Clinics set for new Ohio locations

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) will bring back the Cattlemen’s Academy Calving Clinics to three new locations across Ohio during the month of January. The Calving Clinics will offer members a unique, hands-on learning experience with a calving simulator and will feature discussions on bull selection and pre-natal cow and calf health from industry experts. 

All calving clinics will begin at 5:30 p.m. with dinner being served first. Special thanks to Ohio Corn & Wheat for sponsoring these educational programs. The dates, locations and special guests for each clinic are as follows:

Date: Jan. 11, 2023
Location: Northwestern Jr/Sr High School – Clark County, Springfield, OH
Address: 5780 Troy Road Springfield, OH 45502
Calving Simulator: Alvaro Garcia-Guerra, PhD, DVM, assistant professor, Ohio State Department of Animal Sciences
Pre & Post Calving Cow Care: John Huston, Educator 
Calf Health Care: Dr. Frank “Bimbo” Welker, Veterinarian  
Dinner Sponsor: Ohio Corn & Wheat

Register here for Clark County: reading

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