OSIA elects officers and travels to ASI

During the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association Annual Meeting on Dec. 6, 2014, elections were held for 2015 and new officers and members of the Board of Trustees were elected. Officers elected include Shawn Ray, President (Noble County); Mark McCabe, First Vice-President (Marion County); Mike Stitzlein, Second Vice-President (Ashland County); and Daryl Clark, Past President (Guernsey County).

OSIA Board members re-elected to serve two-year terms include: Dusty Knapke (Auglaize County); and Kathy Bielek (Wayne County). Newly elected board members include: Denise Percival (Greene County); and Bob Hendershot (Pickaway County).

Retiring OSIA Board members include: Jerry Allison (Muskingum County); and Don Van Nostran (Athens County).

In addition, Ohio Sheep and Wool Program (OSWP) Board members have been named for the 2015 program year. Four three-year re-appointments for years 2015-2017 to the Board include: Roger Hunker (Huron County), Gary Wilson (Hancock County), Lori Shroyer (Logan County) and Don Hawk (Knox County). One new 3-year appointment for years 2015-2017 to the Board is Becky Sexten (Greene County).… Continue reading

Read More »

Cable Acres Farm finds that fighting the trend can pay off

Sometimes it pays to not do what everyone else is doing.

In recent decades there has been an undeniable shift away from livestock for many farms in Ohio. The Dagger family from Champaign County went a different direction.

“I have always told the boys we should be as diversified as we can be and not put all of our eggs in one basket,” said Larry Dagger, of Cable Acres Farms, the winner of this year’s Ohio Cattlemen’s Association Commercial Producer of the Year Award. “I think you can still make money by being diversified in agriculture. People have cut back on their cattle numbers while we went in the opposite direction. We can make more money on cattle now than on corn. And when corn gets high we can convert some of our hay ground to corn.”

As cattle prices have strengthened in recent months, the Dagger philosophy has really paid off for Larry and his two grown sons, Justin and Jason, and their families.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio Club Lamb Association dissolves to create the OSIA LEAD Council

As many of you already know, the Ohio Club Lamb Association has been legally dissolved. This legal dissolution was voted on and approved by the 2014 Ohio Club Lamb Association membership at the OCLA Annual Meeting on Sunday, October 12, 2014.

After the dissolution paperwork is finalized, the Ohio Club Lamb Association will no longer exist, with those who are current and future members with an interest in the exhibition of sheep and lambs becoming members of the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association. We are very hopeful for a very smooth transition period and with all of your help, we can make it a successful transition period.

The current Ohio Club Lamb Association members will become members of the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association with programs and activities coming under the OSIA LEAD Council, a name that was approved by the 2014 OCLA Board of Directors on Monday, October 27, 2014.

Impact on former OCLA members

The OSIA LEAD Council will be offering the same opportunities for youth as the OCLA has developed and implemented in the past several years.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio Sheep and Wool Program proposal funding approved

The Ohio Sheep and Wool Program (OSWP), Ohio’s Sheep and Wool check-off program, will invest up to $34,112 into sheep and wool promotion, education, research, industry information, producer and youth programs in fiscal year 2014-2015. OSWP received eleven Requests for Proposals for fiscal year 2014-15, with ten of these proposals approved for full or partial funding by the Board during their October board meeting.

OSWP approved programs which will benefit every segment of the Ohio sheep industry. A major lamb promotional program approved is the Ohio Lamb Jam. Major educational programs funded include the Buckeye Shepherd’s Symposium and Ohio Sheep Day programs and activities.

Producer related programs include funding to support a Starter Flock/Mentoring Program for purebred, club lamb, and commercial flocks within Ohio, as well as a Young Entrepreneurs Educational Program, which includes providing funding for sheep producers to attend the Howard Wyman Sheep Industry Leadership School. The youth related program dubbed the No-Sho Lamb Show has also been added to the funded programs list.… Continue reading

Read More »

SB 1 passes Senate

Late last year there was a hard push to pass House Bill 490 to address water quality in Lake Erie. The Ohio Senate resumed work on this effort right out of the gate in 2015 with Senate Bill 1, which passed the Senate unanimously on Feb. 18.

“Legislators have included agriculture in discussions from the beginning and this bill represents a science-based approach to tackling some of the challenges we face in maintaining clean waterways for all Ohioans,” said Tommie Price, Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) president. “Ohio soybean farmers share their neighbors’ concern about water quality in Ohio and are committed to doing their part to find solutions that work. As water quality has been and will continue to be a priority for the OSA, our organization appreciates the due diligence that the Ohio Senate has done in drafting substitute Senate Bill 1.”

SB 1 would prohibit the spreading of manure or fertilizer in the Lake Erie Watershed when fields are frozen, snow-covered or saturated, or if there is a greater than 50% chance for at least an inch of rain in the next 12 hours.… Continue reading

Read More »

UPI to sponsor new feeder cattle sale at Beef Expo

The 2015 Ohio Beef Expo will feature a new feeder cattle internet board sale. The sale, sponsored by United Producers, Inc. (UPI) will be held Friday, March 20 at 1:30 p.m. in the Voinovich Building on the Ohio Expo Center grounds, in Columbus.

A board sale offers consignments of uniform packages of feeder cattle. The cattle are sold while on the farm with a specific pick up period defined in the sale catalog. Typical pick up times range from one week to four months after the sale. Lots are typically sold in 48,000 to 50,000 pound load lots. However, smaller groups are encouraged as well. These sales may include all types and breeds of feeder cattle. Uniform lots sold in groups that would average between 400 and 900 pound are common. Uniform groups of Holstein feeder cattle may range as low as 300 pounds.

Consignments will be accepted at any time prior to 12:00 noon Friday, March 13, 2015, and are open to Ohio and out-of-state producers.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio poultry owners advised to increase biosecurity as virus spreads in western U.S.

Three worrisome strains of avian flu have been detected in birds out West. These viruses can cause serious disease in birds, and their appearance has prompted poultry veterinarians at The Ohio State University to recommend that Ohio’s commercial producers and backyard chicken enthusiasts alike take precautions to protect their flocks.

The strains are related to a virus that circulated in Asia and Europe in 2014. In December 2014, they were detected in the Pacific Migratory Bird Flyway, in Washington, Oregon, California, Utah, Idaho and Nevada. These viruses are classified as highly pathogenic, meaning they are extremely infectious and fatal for birds.

Migratory birds appear to be playing a role in spreading the virus, said Mohamed El-Gazzar, poultry veterinarian for Ohio State University Extension. It’s important to note that these strains are not considered a human health concern, said El-Gazzar, who is also an assistant professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine. … Continue reading

Read More »

Annual Ohio Dorset Sale March 21

Plans for the 39th Annual Ohio Dorset Sale have been set for March 20 and 21 at the Preble County Fairgrounds in Eaton, Ohio.  Billed as “the first, the biggest, the best” Dorset sale, it will feature both Horned and Polled Dorsets.

Established in 1977, the Ohio Dorset Sale has been a barometer used to gauge how the registered sheep industry is doing in the New Year.  Entered in the sale are 100 head of Polled Dorsets and 42 head of Horned Dorsets.

“The nation’s finest Dorset genetics from nine different states have been consigned to this year’s sale,” said Greg Deakin, sale manager. “The sale’s history is rich, dating back to 1977.  More breed National Champion Rams and Ewes have sold through the Ohio Dorset Sale than any other sale.”

Both Horned and Polled Dorset rams and ewes will be offered consisting of classes for yearling, fall and winter lambs. … Continue reading

Read More »

Beef and pork exports on the rise

Export value for both U.S. beef and pork reached new heights in 2014, posting double-digit gains over the previous year’s totals, according to statistics released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation.

Supporting meat exports is an important part of the National Corn Growers Association’s commitment to building profitable demand for corn, noted NCGA President Chip Bowling, a Maryland corn farmer. Several of NCGA’s affiliated state checkoff programs support the work of the U.S. Meat Export Federation.

“Providing quality corn-fed meat to consumers around the world, many of whom are looking for new and healthy sources of protein, helps support corn growers here at home — especially when you consider how livestock feed is our largest corn use,” Bowling said. “We value our ties to livestock and would like to work closely with them as partners in building demand for beef and pork products worldwide.”

According to the federation, beef export value was $7.13 billion — an increase of 16% (and nearly $1 billion) over the previous record set in 2013.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio Pork Congress highlights

It is a time of change and optimism for the Ohio Pork Congress as Bryan Humphreys, the new Executive Vice President of the Ohio Pork Council (OPC), has taken over for the recently retired Dick Isler. The event highlighted numerous success stories over the past year and outlined many of the challenges ahead.

A new event added to this year’s Pork Congress was the State of the Pork Industry Address. This luncheon created a unique opportunity to hear from two of the newest executives in the pork industry in both state and national roles. Humphreys was joined by the freshly appointed CEO of the National Pork Board (NPB), Chris Hodges, to discuss the current position of their organizations and the future of the industry as a whole.

“Markets could be higher and margins could be wider, but I’m pleased to say that the fundamentals of the Ohio pork industry are strong and I am incredibly excited about the future,” Humphreys said.… Continue reading

Read More »

Northeast Ohio Pork Producers serving up delicious food and information

The county fair — there are few better ways to bring people together and showcase the enthusiasm and talent of local community members. Visit the Wayne County Fair in Wooster and it becomes clear that some members of the community have developed a special enthusiasm for the pork industry. Their passion has earned the group’s food stand a prime location and astounding sales numbers at the event.

A project of the Northeast Ohio Pork Producers, the pork stand at the Wayne County Fair brought in more than $90,000 in gross sales in 2014. Sales that high are not unusual for the group that has become an icon at the Wayne County Fair and recently caught the eye of the Ohio Pork Council that is honoring the group as this year’s Pork Promoter of the Year.

The group itself has been around for decades, and while they have had a decline in members and do not hold regular meetings, they are certainly having a huge impact in their community and doing a remarkable job at promoting pork.… Continue reading

Read More »

COOL lawsuit dismissed

National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson praised the recent dismissal of the U.S. District Court lawsuit on Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL), filed by the multinational meatpacking industry and their allies to try and stop the USDA from implementing the very popular labeling law.

“This is a clear and indisputable win for American consumers and producers, and it’s a huge relief to know that common-sense labeling laws, like COOL, can prevail in court despite the deep pockets of the multinationals,” Johnson said.

The papers ending the long and costly lawsuit were filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, ending American Meat Institute (AMI) et al. v. U.S. Department of Agriculture et al., originally filed in July, 2013.

Then, in early February a Canadian delegation comprised of the Canadian Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Gerry Ritz and members of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, the Canadian Pork Council and the Canadian Meat Council made a lobbying trip to Capital Hill on the heels of the release of a new study conducted by Auburn University Professor Robert Taylor showing that allegations that COOL depressed prices of Canadian cattle were false.… Continue reading

Read More »

A cautionary tale of manure, insurance and the neighbor’s well

A case was recently decided by the Wisconsin Supreme Court that got my attention. This is not law in Ohio and may never be law in Ohio. If a similar set of facts were to come before an Ohio court, it is likely that this case may be referred to by one of the parties as informative or persuasive. The Ohio judge, however, would be the one to determine that.

The trouble all started in early 2011 when Robert and Jane Falk, dairy farmers with 600 cows near West Bend, Wisconsin, spread liquid cow manure onto their farm fields for the purpose of fertilization. Sound familiar? This happens all of the time in Ohio and throughout the country. The Falks applied the manure in accordance with a nutrient management plan approved by their county land and water conservation department.

Six neighbors complained to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources that their wells were contaminated.… Continue reading

Read More »

2016 Federal Budget proposal addresses food safety, antibiotics and trade

President Obama’s $4 trillion fiscal 2016 budget includes several measures important to the U.S. pork industry. Contained in the funding blueprint are proposals that would impact the hog industry and agriculture, according to the National Pork Producers Council. Provisions included in the budget:

  • Consolidate the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service and the food safety components of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to create a single agency within the Department of Health and Human Services.
  • Address emerging swine diseases, such as Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus and other swine enteric coronaviruses.
  • Devote $20 million to USDA for the national control program for feral swine.
  • Increase by $57 million USDA’s budget for fighting antimicrobial resistance, including: an increase of $17 million for the Agricultural Research Service to study the relationships among microbes and livestock, the environment and human health; a $10 million increase for the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to enhance monitoring for antimicrobial-resistant bacteria among livestock; and $2 million more for the National Agricultural Statistics Service to enhance survey work related to antimicrobial resistance.
Continue reading

Read More »

Water quality law and program update for Ohio agriculture

Winter’s cold may have cooled the algae growth in Lake Erie, but it continues to be a hot topic at the Ohio AgriBusiness Association (OABA) Industry Conference Dinner and Annual Meeting.

A large crowd of representatives from 250 different Ohio grain, feed, seed, fertilizer, and chemical companies were in attendance at the event to hear a number of presentations on water quality. The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program, which is administered by OABA, was part of the water quality discussion.

“We are really excited about the certification program and within the first couple of years we would like to see a million acres of ag land that is in accordance with the 4 Rs,” said Carrie Vollmer-Sanders, Western Lake Erie Basin project director for The Nature Conservancy. “When someone gets audited for the program, it may be that not all of the pieces and parts are there, but the education is happening and they are making progress.… Continue reading

Read More »

National Dairy Shrine seeking nominations for awards

National Dairy Shrine is again seeking nominations for its most prestigious awards: Guest of Honor, Pioneer, Distinguished Dairy Cattle Breeder, Progressive Dairy Manager, and Graduate Production Award.

The Guest of Honor is given to a contemporary dairy leader for outstanding accomplishments and contributions to the dairy industry. It has been awarded every year since 1949 when Dean H. Kildee was named the first Guest of Honor. Each year, three to four living or deceased Pioneers of the dairy industry are honored by National Dairy Shrine for their service and leadership in the dairy industry. Meanwhile, the Distinguished Dairy Cattle Breeder is an award which recognizes active, progressive dairy producers who, through their expertise in managing a dairy breeding herd based upon sound genetics and business principles, serve as a model of success for fellow breeders throughout the country. All these award winners’ accomplishments are on permanent display in the National Dairy Hall of Fame at the National Dairy Shrine Museum in Fort Atkinson, Wis.… Continue reading

Read More »

Meat and feed prices driving expansion

The expansion of the nation’s cattle herds for the first time since 2007 is largely the result of record-high cattle prices and the availability of more abundant feed, Purdue University agricultural economist Chris Hurt said.

Hurt, analyzing a U.S. Department of Agriculture semiannual report that cattle numbers have increased by slightly more than 1% following seven years of decline, said there were multiple incentives for expansion in 2014.

“These were led by record-high cattle prices in 2014 with finished cattle averaging near $155 per live hundredweight and Oklahoma 500-550 pound steer calves averaging $250,” Hurt said. “The other part of the incentive was more abundant feed due to a retreating drought in the Central and Southern Plains that restored range conditions and to favorable feed crop production in 2013 and 2014 which lowered corn and protein feed costs.”

The most significant expansion has been in beef cows, which were up 2% from the previous year, the USDA said.… Continue reading

Read More »

Cattle numbers up

As of January 1, there were 89.8 million head of cattle and calves on U.S. farms, according to the Cattle report published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). This is the first increase in U.S. herd inventory since 2007.

Other key findings in the report were:

  • There are 29.7 million beef cows in the United States as of January 1, 2015. This is up 2% from last year.
  • The number of milk cows in the United States increased to 9.3 million.
  • U.S. calf crop was estimated at 33.9 million head, up 1% from 2013.
  • Of the 89.8 million cattle and calves, 39.0 million were all cows and heifers that have calved.
  • All cattle on feed increased to 13.1 million, up 1% from 2014.

To obtain an accurate measurement of the current state of the U.S. cattle industry, NASS surveyed more than 38,200 operators across the nation during the first half of January.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio Cattlemen’s Foundation awards scholarships

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Foundation (OCF), in partnership with several generous donors, was honored to award 12 scholarships, totaling $14,000 to youth across the state of Ohio at the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association Annual Meet­ing and Awards Banquet, January 24th, at the Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center in Lewis Center.

The first scholarship, awarded to three students was the Steve R. Rauch Benchmark of Excellence Scholarship. Re­cipients included: Megan Hunker of Huron County, Sierra Jepsen of Fairfield County and Laura Schmuki of Stark County. This scholarship is a $5,000 scholarship that is awarded over a 3 year span to a student enrolled in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. Each year the recipient must maintain a 3.0 grade point average. This scholarship was founded to award the highest standard of academic achievement and was first awarded in 2000 due to the generous contribution of Steve R.… Continue reading

Read More »

Isler retires with more than 40 years of friends in Ohio’s pork industry

In 2010, Ohio agriculture shocked anyone who was paying attention by making an agreement with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). What initially seemed to be a deal forged with the devil ultimately took the wind out of the well-funded sails of HSUS in their quest to implement their agenda in Ohio.

Among the individuals squarely in the HSUS crosshairs was Dick Isler, the executive vice president of the Ohio Pork Council. At the time, Isler had a wealth of pork industry and consumer relations experience to rely upon, but great leaders know that unified efforts based on years of carefully cultivated relationships are vastly more powerful than individuals.

Hours after the shocking agreement was settled, Isler had this to say.

“We involved the Ohio Pork Council executive committee made up of our officers and those representing us at the national level. We also engaged key stakeholders in the industry as to what terms we could live with,” he said.… Continue reading

Read More »