Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 309 | Strickler reflects on 30 years with Ohio State Fair

Long-time Ohio Expo Center and State Fair General Manager Virgil Strickler is retiring after 30 years with the Ohio State Fair. In his tenure, major changes to the fair and junior livestock programs have taken place. In this podcast, Ohio’s Country Journal’s Matt Reese and Ohio Ag Net’s Joel Penhorwood joins him to discuss the success of the Ohio State Fair under his charge, challenges along the way, and his perspective on leadership.

Other interviews in this episode of the podcast include…

Between the Rows highlight with Lawrence Onweller

Matt talks with Fulton County farmer Lawrence Onweller about the major rain variability in his part of the state and how the crop is shaping up in 2023.

Jed Bower re-elected to National Corn Board

Ohio Ag Net’s Dusty Sonnenberg hears from Fayette County corn grower Jed Bower about his re-election to the National Corn Board.

Farmhand Mike

Mike Less of Darke County, better known as Farmhand Mike on social media, joins Joel from the recent Fennig Equipment ride and drive event to introduce their new offering of Deutz-Fahr tractors.… Continue reading

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2023 Ohio State Fair Junior Market Goat results

Grand Champion Market Goat: Braxton Method, Auglaize County
Reserve Champion Market Goat: Ethan Davies, Wood County
Third overall: Jada Shroyer, Logan County
Fourth overall: Maya McCoy, Fayette County
Fifth overall: Braxton Method, Auglaize County
Sixth overall: Addie Foor, Licking County

Judge: Spencer Scotten, El Reno, OK

Addison Flynn from Lorain County. Photo by Caroline Endsley.

Light Weight Div.

  1. Braxton Method, Auglaize
  2. Anara Shroyer, Logan
  3. Taylen Thompson, Fairfield

Middle Weight Div.

  1. Braxton Method, Auglaize
  2. Maya McCoy, Fayette
  3. Addie Foor, Licking 

Heavy Weight Div.

  1. Ethan Davies, Wood
  2. Jada Shroyer, Logan
  3. Brylyn Bryant, Ashland

Champion Drive
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Howard Wyman Leadership School securing a strong future for sheep

The Howard Wyman Sheep Industry Leadership School was recently held in Ohio, bringing together young producers as they work to become leaders in the sheep feeder industry. Ohio Ag Net’s Jake Zajkowski reports with organizers and participants from across the nation about their experience in sheep auction barns and meat processing facilities in the Buckeye state. A strong future for sheep production means hands-on training in lamb harvesting, marketing, and flock management. Tune in to hear how the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association is training emerging leaders.… Continue reading

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Pasture risk management decisions for dry weather

By Clifton Martin, Ohio State University Extension Educator ANR, Muskingum County

We passed through a May and June that looked more like a July and August if we consider rainfall. Usually, July and August are more likely to put managers under pressure with hot temperatures and limited precipitation that force choices that might often be classified as “which wrong choice is the most right?” as we work to make the best of less-than-ideal conditions.

Timely rainfall is easing the current drought pressure that had been developing locally, but we still have a way to go for summer heat. As we navigate these choices, here are some points to remember.

A goal of managing grazing systems is to keep forage plants healthy and growing so that they meet the nutritional needs of grazing livestock. Two easy principles to follow on that journey are first, the “take half/leave half” concept and, second, provide a rest period so plants can recover.… Continue reading

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2023 Wayne – Ashland Dairy Service Unit Twilight Tour

Please join the Wayne-Ashland Dairy Service Unit and OSU Extension – Wayne County for the 2023 Dairy Twilight Tour at New Prospect Farm, 12391 Benner Road, Rittman, OH 44270. There will be a Dairy Summit held on July 18, from 3-5 P.M., with the tour taking place from 6-9 p.m. There will be free dinner served from local favorites including Amy’s, Joe’s, Exclusively Yours and Lerch’s. Ice cream, milk and cheese will also be available. There will be over 65 different companies to visit, activities for kids, and an opportunity to see the farm and visit with the Gary Dotterer family.

New Prospect Farms LLC is a partnership between Gary Dotterer and sons, Kent, and Kevin. After farming with Gary’s brothers in the past, this dairy farm was established in 2008. The crops continue to be raised with the extended family through the Dotterer Brothers operation. New Prospect Farms continually strives to become more efficient by making improvements to the farm.… Continue reading

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Public Notice by the Ohio Pork Council and the National Pork Board

The election of pork producer delegate candidates for the 2024 National Pork Producers (Pork Act) Delegate Body will take place at 3:00 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 24, 2023, in conjunction with a Board of Directors meeting of the Ohio Pork Council at The Silo, 138 W. Main St., Plain City, Ohio. All Ohio pork producers are invited to attend.

Any producer, age 18 or older, who is a resident of the state and has paid all assessments due may be considered as a delegate candidate and/or participate in the election. All eligible producers are encouraged to bring with them a sales receipt proving that hogs were sold in their name and the checkoff deducted. For more information, contact the Ohio Pork Council Office, 9798 Karmar Ct. Suite A, New Albany, OH 43054, 614-882-5887.… Continue reading

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Sharing the story of beef production

By Matt Reese

W.J. Fannin III loves to share the story of beef production.

“I enjoy the direct marketing. It gives us a chance to tell the story from the producer level. Big corporations have never been able to figure out a way to mass produce beef. They have never been able to take a momma cow and have calves in barns and have the success rate be high. Why would you want something grown in a petri dish to eat when you could have something natural and grown in pasture on a farm? Selling direct lets me tell that story. We’re trying to tell the story of what we do whenever we can,” Fannin said. “We are marketing in every way possible. We sell cattle in any way to suit a person’s needs. We sell freezer beef, we sell to restaurants, we sell them live on the hoof, we sell direct to packers.… Continue reading

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Ban lifted on U.S. poultry exports to Columbia

Quick action by FAS, USDA’s Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service, and the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has resolved an issue that temporarily stopped U.S. poultry product exports to Colombia, the tenth largest market for these products.

Colombia’s Ministry of Agriculture instructed all Colombian ports to deny import permits to any poultry products beginning June 1 on concerns of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI). Roughly $1.1 million in U.S. exports were impacted by the ban between June 3 and June 8.

FAS, APHIS, and USTR joined forces to leverage our free trade agreement to pressure Colombian officials to lift the ban. In parallel, USDA staff in Colombia directed U.S. companies, Colombian importers, local trade associations, and State Department Economic officials to communicate the impact of the ban on bilateral relations with Colombia’s Ministries of Agriculture and Trade.

These cooperative efforts brought a reversal on the ban to fruition on June 8.… Continue reading

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Pasture management in dry conditions

By Chris Zoller, Extension Educator, ANR, Tuscarawas County and Garth Ruff, Extension Field Specialist Beef Cattle

The some much-needed June rains brought some relief, Ohio has been showing up on the U.S. Drought Monitor already in 2023. With the potential for more dry conditions yet this summer and fall, there are management practices you can take to minimize damage to pastures, while maintaining cattle health and growth. Please consider the suggestions provided below if we continue to see dry conditions in 2023.

  • Do not overgraze. Plants require leaf area to capture sunlight to complete the photosynthesis process.  Overgrazing will diminish available leaf area and impact root reserves needed to maintain plant growth.
  • Depending upon forage species, plants should be approximately 8 inches to 10 inches tall before being grazed and follow the “take half, leave half” rule.
  • Consider using temporary posts and fencing to reduce paddock size to improve utilization with more frequent pasture rotations.
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OPC bringing the bacon

On behalf of all the state’s pork producers, the Ohio Pork Council (OPC) is again partnering with a community-based nonprofit to further demonstrate how much its members are dedicated to bringing high-quality, nutrient-dense protein to those in need. A $2,000 donation from OPC to the SAME Café in Toledo has been used to purchase many pounds of ground pork and bacon, allowing thousands of people in Northwest Ohio to get access to the protein at no cost.

“Donations like this from the Ohio Pork Council are a lifeline to us,” said Rori Quinonez, Executive Director of SAME Café.  “We don’t get a lot of high-quality animal protein for our kitchen to use for our meals, so this is an amazing gift for us to use to feed those in need in the Toledo area.”

While giving back to the state’s rural and urban communities is a regular part of the OPC’s Pork Power initiative, it is even more critical during uncertain economic times that are affecting so many Ohioans.… Continue reading

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Thomas family champions the small dairy farm

By Joel Penhorwood, Ohio Ag Net

A trip to the rolling hills of north Champaign County will put visitors among some of most beautiful pastures, highest quality cows, and hardest working people in the world.

In a time when small dairies are becoming harder to find, Nathan and Jenny Thomas of Triple-T Holsteins near North Lewisburg have found a niche in the dairy industry. What the husband and wife’s 35-cow herd lacks in quantity, it makes up for in quality with a world-renowned focus on show genetics and prize cattle, all while selling into a specialized milk market.

“We started milking cows in 2006. That was the same year Jenny and I got married. We farm here with my dad, John, and my brother, Andy,” said Nathan Thomas.

“We only milk 35 registered dairy cattle, but our main focus has been our genetics and our cow families,” said Jenny Thomas. “We’re very much into presenting our cattle in the show rings across the country.”… Continue reading

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Biden-Harris Administration Partners with agricultural producers to strengthen markets

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA is making investments that will create new and better markets for agricultural producers and food businesses in 19 states across rural America.

“The Biden-Harris Administration and USDA are standing up for America’s farmers and ranchers by expanding processing capacity, creating fairer markets, more revenue streams and market opportunities which help bring down food costs for families at the grocery store,” Secretary Vilsack said. “We are partnering with entrepreneurs in rural areas to build brighter futures, connect business owners to new markets and create good jobs for generations to come. These investments reflect the goals of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda to rebuild our economy from the bottom up and middle out and make our communities more resilient.”

USDA is making investments worth $320 million to strengthen food supply chains and create more opportunities for producers and entrepreneurs in 19 states: Alabama, California, Connecticut, Iowa, Idaho, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia.… Continue reading

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EATS Act introduced to address interstate market concerns

On June 15, U.S. Senator Roger Marshall, M.D. (R-KS), alongside Republican Senators Chuck Grassley (IA), John Cornyn (TX), Tom Cotton (AR), Deb Fischer (NE), Kevin Cramer (ND), Joni Ernst (IA), Eric Schmitt (MO), Ted Budd (NC) and Bill Hagerty (TN) introduced the Ending Agricultural Trade Suppression (EATS) Act to address concerns regarding interstate markets.

The legislation would preserve the exclusive right of states and local governments to regulate agricultural practices within their jurisdiction, free from interference from other states, ultimately preventing large states from regulating farmers and ranchers outside of their borders.

This would apply to situations such as California Proposition 12, which prohibits the sale of pork from hogs whose mothers were raised on farms — anywhere in the world — that does not comply with the state’s arbitrary standards. It applies to any uncooked pork sold in the state, whether produced there or outside its borders.

The requirements of Prop 12 will increase consumer food prices and drive small farmers out of business.… Continue reading

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West Central Ohio Hay Day

Please join Ohio State University Extension and Channel Equipment on July 6 for the West Central Ohio Hay Day, sponsored by the Champaign and Clark County Farm Bureau’s, and Americas Trusted Insurance Group. The event will take place on the Southeast corner of South St. Rt. 68 and W. Dallas Rd. Or, go to Channel Equipment at 338 W Dallas Rd, Urbana, OH 43078 and follow the signs.

The day will begin at 10 a.m. with talks from Extension personnel on various aspects of growing, making, storing, and feeding quality hay. Insurance representatives will also be speaking on some new offerings available to hay and forage producers. Lunch will be provided by Fresh Harvest food truck and will be free for those registered by July 1 thanks to the support of our sponsors.

The afternoon will be filled with equipment demonstrations from Krone and H&S company representatives. There will also be door prizes provided by generous donations from area vendors for those that register by July 1.… Continue reading

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Thomas family champions the small dairy farm

Step with us into the picturesque landscape of north Champaign County and witness the extraordinary journey of the Thomas family as they dedicate themselves to the small dairy farm.

Nathan and Jenny Thomas, along with their 35-cow herd at Triple-T Holsteins near North Lewisburg, have carved out a unique niche in the dairy industry. Focusing on show genetics and prize-winning cattle, they have earned a global reputation for their exceptional breeding program, all while participating in a unique milk market.

Join Ohio Ag Net’s Joel Penhorwood to discover the relentless passion, hard work, and unwavering commitment of the Thomas family as they navigate the challenges of modern agriculture, showcase their cattle at prestigious events across the country, and uphold their deeply rooted values of cow care and sustainability.… Continue reading

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Prop 12 ruling leaves plenty to sort out for pork producers (and consumers)

By Matt Reese

The long-awaited May 11 ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court on California’s Proposition 12 animal confinement law was not in favor of the arguments made by the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) and the American Farm Bureau Federation.

“We are very disappointed with the Supreme Court’s opinion,” said Scott Hays, NPPC president, and Missouri pork producer. “Allowing state overreach will increase prices for consumers and drive small farms out of business, leading to more consolidation. We are still evaluating the Court’s full opinion to understand all the implications. NPPC will continue to fight for our nation’s pork farmers and American families against misguided regulations.” 

The groups initially petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to take their case against California’s Prop 12 back in September of 2021.

The decision by the court was 5-4 with dissention from Justices Samuel Alito, Brett Kavanaugh, and Ketanji Brown Jackson and Chief Justice John Roberts.… Continue reading

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Mow pastures or not?

By Chris Penrose, Extension educator, Morgan County Extension 

A tough question developing on many farms right now is if we should start mowing pastures. Clipped pastures reduce eye irritation on the cows, makes for a less favorable environment for ticks, and stimulates new leaf growth. However, the pastures in my area are still green and if we mow them now without adequate moisture, I fear they will turn brown and go dormant sooner. Hay fields I have seen that were mowed last week are yet to initiate new growth and that could be the same case if we mowed pastures right now.

If we wait to mow, more vegetation on the surface will keep the soil cooler and hold moisture better and even have some mature forages that could still be grazed if needed. I am not sure what the right answer is for you but if the pastures have been heavily grazed and there are primarily weeds growing, I see an argument to mow pastures.… Continue reading

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Soybean meal powers swine diets to produce nutritious pork

By Matt Reese

While he enjoys most aspects of the farrow-to-finish and crop farm his family operates in Putnam County, Nathan Schroeder particularly loves the chance to work with baby pigs. 

“My favorite part is the nurseries. I enjoy getting a new group of weaned pigs in. I enjoy spending the extra time in there getting them going when they’re small,” Schroeder said. “We are contract growers for Hord Livestock, and we have 4,800 finishing spaces, so that’s two double-wide barns. We also have two nurseries, each holding 5,200 head. We are celebrating our tenth year with hogs. We are just the first generation with the hog farm and the fourth generation of the overall farm.”

Schroeder and his family had been renting their farm ground to a neighbor but decided to get back into crop production several years ago and expand with the contract hog operation.

“We decided we wanted to expand.… Continue reading

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LegenDairy milk

By Emmy Powell, communications specialist at Texas Farm Bureau 

Milk is the ultimate drink. It helps your body rehydrate, repair and replenish. It is full of nutrients and helps your body build strong bones and supports your immune system.
Milk contains 13 essential nutrients and minerals: protein, calcium, potassium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, vitamin A, riboflavin, phosphorus, niacin, zinc, iodine, selenium and pantothenic acid. Holy cow! That’s impressive.
Compared to alternatives, milk has the least amount of ingredients. It has none of the stabilizers or flavorings often found in the ingredient list of non-dairy alternatives.
Milk is not only is the top food source of calcium in the American diet, but it also has a lower carbon footprint than most foods.
For centuries, dairy farmers have been good stewards of the environment, and they continue to look for ways to improve and learn more sustainable practices each day.
Tasty, nutritious and sustainable…milk will always be my first choice in the morning!… Continue reading

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BEST Banquet awards

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association’s (OCA) Beef Exhibitor Show Total (BEST) program wrapped up the 2022-2023 BEST season on May 6 at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus at an awards banquet attended by over 750 participants and their families. Over 350 BEST exhibitors were awarded for their show success, cattle industry knowledge, photography skills, community service efforts and more.

This year’s BEST program featured seven weekends of sanctioned shows held throughout the state. Over 700 youth participants showed 1,000 head of market animals and heifers throughout the season.

This year’s sponsoring partners were Evans Family Ranch, Ag-Pro Companies, Bob Evans Farms, Diamond T Land and Cattle Co., Dickson Cattle Co., D&E Electric – The Young Family, M.H. EBY, Inc., The Folks Printing, Jones Show Cattle, R.D. Jones Excavating, Ricer Equipment, 6R Farms, Shepard Cattle Company and Weaver Livestock.

BEST Committee

The OCA BEST program is coordinated through the leadership of the BEST Committee.… Continue reading

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