OCA youth hold 4th Annual Celebrity Showdown to benefit Make-A-Wish

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association BEST Program for youth ages 8-21 years will host the BEST Celebrity Showdown at the Clark County Cattle Battle to benefit Make-A-Wish. The event, in its fourth year, will be held on Friday, Feb. 5, 2016, at the Champions Center in Springfield, Ohio.

BEST youth will participate in this year’s battle, dressing up their cattle and presenting it to judges from the Harmony Township Fire Department. Through donations from family, friends, the community and members of the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association, youth participating in the Celebrity Showdown hope to raise $16,000 to help grant the wishes of local children battling life-threatening medical conditions. In the past three years, BEST participants raised more than $40,000.

Incentive prizes will be awarded to the top fundraisers at the OCA BEST Program Banquet on May 7, 2016. Donations to Make-A-Wish will continue to be accepted after the Celebrity Showdown until the BEST Banquet.… Continue reading

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Noteworthy rule changes for showing livestock in 2016

Unfortunately there were five Ohio Department of Agriculture investigations regarding livestock exhibition in 2015, up from three in 2014. In response to these types of problems, it seems that rulebooks get a bit thicker every year with regard to showing livestock and this year there will be some notable changes.

State Veterinarian Tony Forshey recently talked about some rule changes for showing livestock at 2016 fairs.

“The Livestock Exhibition Committee met in late October and we discussed several things. One of them was drenching. We have had a lot of complaints asking why drenching is only applicable to lambs. We passed a new rule and now drenching is not allowed with any livestock unless directed by a veterinarian,” Forshey said. “Drenching applies to any substance applied in any way. It will prohibit bottle-feeding of lambs. That is crucial. These lambs really shouldn’t be on bottles at that age and weight anyway.”… Continue reading

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What you need to know about water quality regulations

Who needs to be certified?

By the law and regulations created with the passage of Senate Bill 150 in 2014 anyone in Ohio who applies fertilizer to 50 acres or more must be certified. This law applies to fertilizer (material having an analysis). If it’s manure, lime or other farm residue, you do not need to be certified by this law.

If all of your crop goes through an animal before it leaves the farm, you don’t need to be certified, but I think it’s a good idea if you do go to the class and get certified anyway.


How do you get certified?

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) will certify applicators in Ohio. If you are a Licensed Pesticide Applicator in Ohio, you attend a two-hour meeting and fill in and sign the attendance form. Ohio State University personnel supply the education for this class. We hope you pay attention and actually learn something.… Continue reading

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Ohio Pork Congress welcomes Tri-State Housing Conference

New to the 2016 Ohio Pork Congress is the addition of the Tri-State Sow Housing conference, hosted by The Ohio State University, Michigan State University and Purdue University. This special symposium on Tuesday, Feb. 9, is designed as an educational opportunity for producers, focused on one of the pork industry’s most widely debated animal welfare topics — sow housing.

“As many producers are beginning the transition to group housing, it is the goal of the Tri-State Sow Housing Conference and the hosting universities to support the swine industry by expanding knowledge on options for housing systems and provide educational resources to make the transition from stalls to groups economically successful,” said Monique Pairis-Garcia, Assistant Professor Animal Well-being and Behavior, The Ohio State University. “We look forward to the opportunity to interact with producers across state lines and learn from global leaders in the industry.”
The day-long conference will feature presentations and discussions led by experts representing various facets of the swine industry.
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Dairy promotion leadership elected for 2016

The Board of Directors for the American Dairy Association Mideast, the dairy promotion checkoff program serving nearly 2,700 dairy farmers in Ohio and West Virginia, re-elected their 2016 officers during their annual reorganization meeting. Officers are:

  • Chair — Earl Stitzlein of Loudonville, Ohio
  • Vice Chair — Chuck Moellendick of Pleasantville, Ohio
  • Secretary — Greg Conrad of New Holland, Ohio
  • Treasurer — Carol Losey of East Liberty, Ohio.

The leadership team, along with 11 other dairy farmer board members, set policy and approve program direction and budgets to help increase sales and demand for dairy products and protect the image of dairy foods and farmers.

Programs focus on building trust and sales in dairy foods, creating lifelong dairy consumers, and advancing innovation through partnerships with industry leaders.

ADA Mideast is one of 18 state and regional dairy-farmer funded promotion organizations that work with Dairy Management Inc., which manages the national dairy checkoff program and is funded by the United Dairy Industry Association (UDIA) and the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board (NDB).… Continue reading

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Return of poultry shows in 2016 (maybe)?

The mid-January discovery of avian influenza in neighboring Indiana now leaves plenty of uncertainty about another poultry show ban for 2016.

“At this point, we are encouraging the exhibitors who typically only take poultry projects, if they want to still take a livestock project, to consider signing to up take a hog, lamb or goat or something just because there is a chance that the Ohio Department of Agriculture could shut down poultry shows again. You may want to have a back-up plan. They may want to also sign up for rabbits because it is a later project and they can start later,” said Lucinda Miller, Extension specialist for the 4-H Youth Development Companion and Small Animal Programs. “If there is a ban again it will really hurt us. Exhibitors are discouraged already from a poultry show standpoint and an exhibition show standpoint. If they can’t do a poultry project again this year, many exhibitors are thinking about moving on to something more permanent.“… Continue reading

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Frost seeding tips

The time of the year when frost seedings are most effectively done will be here before long. This seeding method can be used to renovate pastures, improve stands, or alter the species mix within a pasture. Producers should remember however, this is only a means to get the seed in good contact with the soil. If the area you intend to frost seed currently has poor grass/legume growth, the first thing you need to determine is “why the problem has occurred?” Adding more seed to soil that lacks proper nutrient levels, has a pH that is to low or high for the intended crop, or if the crop is not managed properly for the plant species desired (for example repeated close grazings), the soil is not going to grow more of the desired forage if you just broadcast more seed.

When plants are severely grazed, or re-grazed before a sufficient rest period has elapsed, the plant takes energy that has been stored in the roots as carbohydrates to support new leaf growth.… Continue reading

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New look for dairy farmers online

To kick off the new year, the American Dairy Association Mideast (ADA Mideast), which represents Ohio and West Virginia dairy farmers, recently launched a new website — — to answer consumers’ questions about all things related to  milk and dairy foods. On the site, consumers can meet Ohio and West Virginia dairy farmers, learn about cow care and milk safety, get delicious recipe ideas, and understand more about the health benefits of dairy foods.

“Milk and dairy foods play a critical role in a nutrient-rich diet, and Ohio and West Virginia dairy farmers have a great story to tell,” said Scott Higgins, president and CEO of ADA Mideast. “As more and more consumers become generations removed from the farm, we understand the importance of telling that story and showing individuals where their food comes from and the farmers who provide wholesome, nutritious milk and dairy foods.”

The new features more robust content categorized in four easy-to-navigate sections focusing on farms, foods, health and schools.… Continue reading

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Project enrollment for 4-H and FFA members and showing animals at the Ohio State Fair

Heading into the 2016 show season, exhibitors need to be aware that in order to be eligible to show livestock at the Ohio State Fair, they need to be enrolled in the project regardless of whether the project is offered at their county fair.

“For example, they can’t show a breeding gilt at the State Fair if they are not enrolled in a breeding gilt project in their county, regardless if that county offers breeding gilt classes at the county fair. You can show at the State Fair if your county does not offer a certain class, but you have to be enrolled in the project,” said Lucinda Miller, Extension Specialist for the 4-H Youth Development Companion and Small Animal Programs.  “We have had some questions already this year about youth wanting to take market heifer projects as breeding heifers if they don’t work out as a market project or vice versa.… Continue reading

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More avian influenza cases in Indiana

The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) is reporting several additional sites with avian influenza in Indiana.

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed the pathogenicity of eight of the nine H7N8 avian influenza detections announced on Jan. 16. The turkey flocks have been confirmed as low pathogenic avian influenza, with additional testing ongoing for the ninth flock.

These Jan. 16 detections were identified as part of surveillance testing in the control area surrounding the initial highly pathogenic H7N8 avian influenza (HPAI) case in that state, identified on Jan. 15.

Sam Custer, with Ohio State University in Darke County, is watching the situation closely on Ohio’s border with Indiana in the heart of Ohio’s poultry industry.

“This virus is different from last year virus and it is of North American lineage,” Custer said. “This particular combination is uncommon but is not unheard of. Only partial sequences have been obtained and the full sequence of the virus necessary for a better understanding of its origin will be obtained sometime this week.… Continue reading

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Ohio Forages and Grasslands Council Annual Conference Feb. 19

The Ohio Forages and Grasslands Council Annual Conference will be held February 19, 2016 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Ohio Department of Agriculture in Reynoldsburg. The program theme is “Fitting the Pieces Together in a Forage System.” The keynote speaker will be Dr. Stacey Hamilton, University of Missouri Extension State Dairy Specialist, who will discuss “Balancing risk and rewards of annual and perennial pastures” as well as “What we are learning about irrigating pastures,” based on his work with grass-based dairies in Missouri. Chris Penrose, OSU Extension Educator, will speak on what he has learned from his on-farm research with “N-Inhibitors for grass production.” A highlight of the program is always the Producer Panel, and that tradition will continue with several producers highlighting their forage, dairy, sheep, and beef production systems.

Details of the program and a registration form will be available at or to go directly to the program go to reading

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Avian influenza found in Indiana

Today USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that avian influenza, which devastated poultry operations around the country in 2015, was discovered on an Indiana farm.

“Unfortunately we have had a reemergence of avian influenza in a facility in Indiana. We found out about it yesterday. We sent the lab sample and basically confirmed it as the North American variety. We are sending an emergency response team to the farm in question and we will begin the process of depopulation quickly,” he said. “We want to encourage folks to be ever vigilant on the biosecurity of their operations. We are hopeful to contain this as best we can. We were aware this could happen. We were hopeful that it wouldn’t. We want to be as responsive as we possibly can.”

The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic H7N8 avian influenza (HPAI) in a commercial turkey flock in Dubois County, Indiana. … Continue reading

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Dairy industry voices pros and cons to TPP in front of U.S. International Trade Commission

The U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) and National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) continued to play an active role in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement process, as USDEC President Tom Suber testified before the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) representing the U.S. dairy industry.

USITC held three days of hearings to gather information for an economic analysis of TPP as mandated by Trade Promotion Authority legislation. That analysis includes the pact’s impact on specific business sectors, such as agriculture. Suber, following detailed written comments to USITC submitted jointly by USDEC and NMPF in December, sought to outline issues and concerns of the U.S. dairy business.

“USDEC, working with NMPF and other organizations in the dairy industry, is still completing its overall analysis of TPP,” Suber said. “The deal falls short in providing the degree of market access we had been seeking, but it also avoids a disproportionate opening of the U.S.… Continue reading

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Return of poultry in 2016 and other changes for fair exhibitors

It was another successful fair season in 2015, despite the lack of live birds at the shows due to a ban based on concerns about avian influenza. Some fairs are even considering keeping the poultry show fill-in events and activities now that the poultry show ban has been lifted.

One of the featured speakers at the recent Ohio Fair Managers Convention was State Veterinarian Tony Forshey who talked about the learning opportunities for poultry exhibitors at 2015 fairs.

“Without the poultry last year, they implemented some really creative things that helped the exhibitors learn about poultry. I got a lot of calls from county fair boards saying that they really had a good time at the fair,” Forshey said. “Paulding County, for example, had poultry jeopardy. They are going to continue some of those things along with the poultry shows this year.”

Forshey also talked about some rule changes for showing livestock at 2016 fairs.… Continue reading

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South Africa partially lifts ban on U.S. pork

The Obama administration announced that South Africa will open its market to U.S. pork, a move praised by the National Pork Producers Council, which has been working for a number of years with the governments in the United States and in Pretoria to lift a de facto ban on U.S. pork.

NPPC has not yet seen the fine print of the agreement but understands that some restrictions may remain.

“While dropping the ban on U.S. pork is great progress,” said Dr. Ron Prestage, NPPC President and  a veterinarian and pork producer from Camden, S.C., “there is no scientific reason to restrict any of our pork, so we’ll continue to work with both governments to get complete access to the South African market.”

South Africa’s de facto ban on U.S. pork ostensibly was to prevent the spread of Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) to South African livestock even though the risk of disease transmission from U.S.… Continue reading

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Ohio Pork Council seeking intern

The Ohio Pork Council is actively seeking candidates to apply for the 2016 OPC Summer Internship Program. The ideal candidate should be a college student majoring in the field of agriculture, communications, education, marketing or journalism; preferably going into their junior or senior year. Knowledge of swine and modern agriculture is useful, but not required.

While the focus of the program is highly communications based, the selected intern will also work in the areas of member services, event planning and program support. Applications, in the form of a cover letter and resume, must be submitted to the Ohio Pork Council by February 1, 2016.

Additional information on the 2015 Ohio Pork Council Summer Internship Program can be found online at, or by contacting Quinton Keeran at 614-882-5887 or… Continue reading

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OCA accepting bull consignments for Seedstock Improvement Sale

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association is currently accepting bull consignments to the Seedstock Improvement Sale. The sale will be held April 9 at noon at the Union Stock Yards Company in Hillsboro, Ohio. This event offers an affordable way to market bulls from multiple breeds in one location and on one day. Buyers have the assurance of buying bulls with known genetics, a completed vaccination regimen and a breeding soundness exam.

The Seedstock Improvement Sale is open to consignments from all breeds. Consignors must be a current member of the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association to participate. Bulls are required to be registered and to have expected progeny differences (EPDs). The bulls will be placed in sale order based on a within breed evaluation star system using EPDs for birth weight, weaning weight, yearling weight, milk, marbling and ribeye. Bulls consigned to the sale can be one to five years of age. History of the sale shows that bulls 18 months of age and older command a higher price.… Continue reading

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Bumgarner excited for new role at UPI

A conversation with…

Mike Bumgarner, Chief Operating Officer of United Producers Inc.


OCJ: At the start of 2016 you moved into a new role with UPI. How will you tackle your new responsibilities and how has the transition been from COO to CEO?

Mike: Fortunately, I’ve been able to transition into this role over time because our board made the decision about succession fairy early in the year. So, that means I will be hitting the ground running. Obviously, there will be things associated with being the CEO that will be different from my role as COO, but there won’t be a learning curve about the cooperative and meeting our members expectations — that is something that has been ingrained in my way of doing business since day one with UPI — and one that was reinforced when I was with the Farm Bureau. The transition has been extremely smooth and well planned out.… Continue reading

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Hypocrisy is all around us

Hypocrisy can be defined as the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform. In other words, a hypocrite says one thing and does another. I’m sure all of you reading this article can think of examples of hypocrisy in our everyday lives. I will offer a few examples that tend to hit a nerve with me.

Hypocrisy in society

1. The general public complains frequently and loudly about legislation and other policies enacted by local, state, and national government. However, when given the chance to express their opinions about politicians and issues, the general public typically shows up to vote in low numbers.

2. The national restaurant chain Chipotle proudly promises that they source their food ingredients from farms rather than factories and try to source responsibly raised meats and produce for the benefit of their customers. Unfortunately, these lofty goals have not extended to food safety as they’ve failed to prevent dozens of customers from experiencing food poisoning and other foodborne illnesses.… Continue reading

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