Buckeye Bacon Bash coming soon

Into bacon? Yeah, dumb question. Everyone is into bacon! In fact, so many people are into bacon that VIP tickets to the Buckeye Bacon Bash are now sold out. Have no fear — bacon lovers can still purchase general admission tickets to this elite celebration of bacon at and at the gates of the event on April 23. 

Right now, Ohio farmers are gearing up for quite possibly the coolest bacon event in all of Ohio — the Buckeye Bacon Bash. On April 23 at Scioto Downs, just south of Columbus, the Ohio Pork Council, Sugardale, 92.3WCOL, and the Dispatch Media Group are proudly sponsoring a celebration of bacon and it’s best friend — craft beer.
The Bacon Bash will feature live entertainment from popular musical acts John Schwab, the Jonalee White Trio and DoubleCut, contests, food and drink samples, kids activities….and BACON. Attendees will also have a chance to meet Ohio bacon farmers and chat about where there bacon comes from!
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Lower milk and corn prices equals tough math for dairy farmers

The declining price of milk is causing some serious economic consequences for America’s dairy farmers.

Recent numbers show the price for Class III milk, which is used to make cheese, is down 19% from this time last year, and down 41% since September of 2014. Class I, or fluid milk, has seen a sharp decline in prices since the beginning of the year. These lower figures are primarily driven by large decreases in the commodity values of non-fat dry milk, cheese and dry whey.

“It’s really hard to put this current decline into perspective with other declines,” said Dr. John Newton, Senior Director of Economic Research for the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF). “In 2009, milk prices fell to below $10 a hundredweight and that was a catastrophic environment for dairy farmers.”

In 2012, it wasn’t a milk price decline so much as it was record high feed prices that really put the squeeze on dairymen.… Continue reading

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Antibiotic report issued by White House

Recommendations for addressing antibiotic-resistant bacteria in a report recently issued by a White House advisory panel were welcomed by many in the livestock industry.

The Presidential Advisory Council on Combatting Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria (PACCARB) recommended that federal agencies involved in the effort to address antibiotic resistant take a number of steps. These include:

• Embracing a “One Health” approach that looks at the resistance issue from a human, animal and environmental prospective;

• Improving coordination and collaboration among agencies;

• Establishing partnerships with states and local agencies, tribes, private-sector organizations, commodity groups, philanthropic organizations and international bodies;

• Providing economic incentives for developing and deploying new diagnostic, preventive and therapeutic tools to fight diseases;

• And committing sufficient resources to address the resistance problem.

In terms of resources, PACCARB advocated that, at a minimum, agencies’ fiscal 2016 funding levels be maintained. It also pushed for funding U.S. Department of Agriculture efforts to conduct on-farm antibiotic-resistance surveillance.… Continue reading

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USDA announces changes in Dairy Margin Protection Program

Several important improvements in the new safety net program for dairy farmers were announced Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, following recommendations made to the agency by the National Milk Producers Federation to enhance the value of the dairy Margin Protection Program (MPP).

“We very much appreciate these steps by USDA to implement administrative changes that will improve the program’s usefulness to dairy farmers,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF.  “USDA is constrained in what it can do to strengthen MPP, but the program must continue to evolve based on the experiences of NMPF’s members and others in the dairy industry.”

Since MPP’s enactment in 2014, NMPF has worked with USDA to make the program a more flexible and effective national safety net for all of America’s dairy farmers. Mulhern said the program remains a work in progress, given the challenging farm milk price situation facing dairy farmers in 2015 and this year.… Continue reading

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Individuals honored for service to Ohio’s livestock industry

The Ohio State University Department of Animal Sciences recently celebrated the achievements of those who have enhanced student education and enriched the animal sciences industry through the annual Evening of Excellence program at the Nationwide & Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center. Three individuals were honored.


Normand St-Pierre was inducted into the Ohio State Dairy Science Hall of Service. St-Pierre was born in Quebec andobtained his BS (1978) and MS (1979) degrees from Laval University, Quebec City, in dairy nutrition. He earned his PhD (1985) from Ohio State in the area of statistical applications in dairy nutritionand management. Prior to his employment as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Animal Sciences at Ohio State in 1997, he worked in the dairy feed industry. He retired from OSU on March 31, 2016.

His love of statistics and quantitative approaches has led to major impacts on dairy production. He developed computer software that finds statistical relationships between feed prices and nutrient composition, allowing for economic comparisons among feeds in a local market.… Continue reading

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Slightly different schedule in the swine barn at the 2016 Ohio State Fair

Exhibitors need to be aware of a slight, but important, change in the Ohio State Fair Junior Barrow Show schedule this year.

“The crossbred barrows will show on Friday, Aug. 5 and the purebred barrows will show on Saturday, Aug. 6,” said Angie Barney, co-director of the Ohio State Fair Swine Barn. “In addition, for those youth that participate in the breeding gilt shows, they will be able to participate in the Outstanding Breeding Exhibitor program which is very similar to the Outstanding Market Exhibitor program.  If they choose to participate, they will need to participate in the Swine Skillathon program on Thursday, Aug. 4.”

Exhibitors are encouraged to closely monitor the show schedule and keep these dates in mind as the event approaches to keep the shows running smoothly.

“We are looking forward to a great year in the swine barn,” Barney said.… Continue reading

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Trillium shaping their farms for the future

The marketplace for many agricultural products continues to change. That is one of the reason why Ohio-based egg producer Trillium Farms will begin to take on a different look in the coming months.

“We are most interested in two things,” said Doug Mack, Chief Operating Officer of Trillium Farms. “We are aiming to meet the demands of our customers and providing the best possible care for our hens.”

To ensure their business remains at the forefront of egg production within the context of the changing marketplace, Trillium Farms has already begun transitioning a portion of their barns to cage-free hen housing. As needed to meet demand, and in close collaboration with customers, they will incorporate additional cage-free production.

“As we move forward with these projects, we will be doing everything designed to meet the current standards, as defined by the United Egg Producers,” Mack said. “This will include new construction, as well as some remodeling of our existing buildings.”… Continue reading

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eLearning to address new challenges in controlled environment animal production

The animal industries are facing challenges and need a trained workforce.

Animal production is the largest sector of agriculture and plays an important role in the U.S. economy. Over the past decades, mechanization development and economic pressure have driven commercial animal production into large-scale and industrialized operations for high production efficiency. The large-scale animal production is facing significant challenges due to their environmental impact, climate change and variability, animal welfare issues, and increasing energy costs. Facility and environmental control technologies play a critical role in animal production and can potentially provide solutions to these emerging challenges. The animal industry needs a competent workforce of professionals who are trained with new knowledge in emerging technologies for animal facility and environmental control. This workforce will thus be able to address the challenges related to animal production and to transform the industries’ challenges into opportunities for sustainable operations.

Existing trainings do not meet the new needs.… Continue reading

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Getting things “just right” for that summer livestock show with judge Gary Childs

This time of year, Ohio State Fair exhibitors are beginning to really focus on a myriad of tasks all to prepare for one thing this summer — providing what the judge of their livestock show will be looking for in the show ring. Every exhibitor knows how much time and effort goes into getting things just right at just the right time, but what exactly is the “just right” in terms of both animal and exhibitor for earning that champion banner?

Gary Childs, one of the barrow judges for the 2016 Ohio State Fair Junior Market Show, had plenty to say on the subject.

“Success in the show ring requires lots of attention to many small details,” Childs said. “There are no shortcuts leading to show ring glory.”

With that in mind, Childs compiled a few points to help exhibitors maximize their chances for success. Here they are.


Work at home

The harder I work, the luckier I get.… Continue reading

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Meat exports slow in February

February exports of U.S. pork and beef were roughly steady with last year’s volumes but export value moved lower as prices continued to decline from the 2014 highs, according to statistics released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). The price reductions reflect more abundant red meat supplies and a fiercely competitive international marketplace.

Pork export volume was 171,413 metric tons (mt) in February, down 1% from a year ago, while value fell 12% to $414.3 million. For the first two months of the year, pork export volume remained 1% ahead of last year’s pace at 338,423 mt, but value was down 12% to $819.1 million.

February beef exports totaled 83,203 mt, up slightly from last year, while value dropped 18% to $437 million. January-February exports were up 2% in volume (165,504 mt) from a year ago but fell 16% in value ($875.1 million).

USMEF President and CEO Philip Seng said the February results fell short of expectations.… Continue reading

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ODGA recognizes youth and leaders

On April 2 at Plumb Hall on Ohio State University campus, the Ohio Dairy Goat Association held their spring conference for all Ohio dairy goat youth.

To receive these awards the youth have to take part in many activities throughout the year. They must show in affiliate club goat shows, including the Ohio State Fair and national dairy goat shows and participate in the skillathon. They must give demonstrations to other 4-H members and work at affiliate club dairy goat clinics as well. These youth are the outstanding youth from all age groups. Premiere youth winners were:

11 – 12 years: Arika Zeiter, Fulton County

13 – 14 years: Heather Cade, Delaware County

15 – 16 years: Alexandria Stewart, Ross County

8 – 10 years: Hunter Dye, Delaware County

17 – 18 years: BreAnn McFarland, Guernsey County.

The overall winner was Alexandria Stewart.

In addition, the Ohio Dairy Goat Association 2016 youth Ambassadors were selected.… Continue reading

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Soil testing first step in pasture improvement

Producers thinking about pasture improvement should start by testing the soil, said Jim Camberato, Purdue Extension soil fertility specialist.

“Establishing proper pH and adequate nutrient levels in the root zone is important for the health and productivity of the plants growing there,” he said.

The first step in soil testing is collecting samples. Camberato recommends that farmers use a soil probe to take 15-20 core specimens from a sampling area encompassing no more than 15-20 acres. Each sampling area should be determined on the basis of common characteristics – including soil type, location and management history.

Don’t skimp on samples

“Soil analysis and lime and fertilizer recommendations are only as good as the samples,” Camberato said. “Do not skimp on the number of cores or increase the size of the sample area represented.”

Soil core samples should measure 1 inch in diameter and 4 inches deep in established pastures and 8 inches deep for soils that are to be planted.… Continue reading

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Spring Dairy Expo highlights

Even though prices are down, attendance and exhibitor numbers were up at the 2016 Ohio Spring Dairy Expo that wrapped up yesterday.

“It went wonderfully. We had approximately 550 head shown and that is in addition to the sale cattle. We had Brown Swiss, Milking Shorthorn, Ayrshire, Guernsey, and Jerseys all in the sale this year,” said Angie Kaverman, 2016 Spring Dairy Expo Show manager/co-chair. “Prices are down but our numbers were up with more people showing. We were up on the number of head in the show and also up on out of state exhibitors, which was a really great thing to see. This show does serve as a national show for a lot of our breeds. They earn more credit as far as their All American nominations down the line and it really is an attraction for a lot of people.”

AUDIO: Dale Minyo visited with Allison Mangun about the involvment of the Buckeye Dairy Club at Spring Dairy Expo.Continue reading

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2016 ASI spring legislative trip

It was mid- March, the buds were just starting out of the trees, and the ASI Spring Legislative Trip was being held to Washington D.C. In 2015, the time was moved from early May to mid-March by the American Sheep Industry (ASI) in hopes of being able to catch more legislators in their offices.

Ohio Sheep Improvement Association (OSIA) was able to take two young progressive sheep industry leaders on this lobbying trip to show our legislators that there is a bright future to the sheep industry, and that they want to be involved.

OSIA members Katherine Wenner (Delaware County), Brady Campbell (Washington County) and ASI Region 3 Director Susan Shultz (Logan County) joined OSIA Executive Director Roger High for another enlightening lobbying trip. Along with representatives from many other states, the Ohio delegation worked to promote the interests of the sheep industry through educating our government leaders about its industry issues.… Continue reading

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Fewer hogs and higher prices

The nation’s pork producers have indicated to USDA that they are not expanding the breeding herd and, in fact, intend to reduce farrowings this spring and summer. This means pork supplies will be somewhat less than had been anticipated and that hog prices will be somewhat higher.

For the USDA’s March Hogs and Pigs report, pork producers’ indicated that the size of the nation’s breeding herd was unchanged from the same date one-year earlier. The herd had been in an expansion phase from the last half of 2014 through 2015. That expansion was largely because of record high profits due to baby pig losses from PED. That expansion phase seemingly has now ended.

There is some unevenness in the change in breeding herd numbers over the past year. One constant is that the Southern Plains states have been the most aggressive in adding breeding herd numbers over recent years. For the 16 states that USDA surveys for the March report, the breeding herd is up nine percent in Oklahoma and 10 percent in Texas.… Continue reading

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ODPA Spring Meeting April 11

Dairy farmers from across the state are invited to attend the ODPA Spring Meeting to hear from Domino’s Chief Marketing Offi­cer Joe Jordan about their success in partnering with your dairy promotion program, how dairy and pizza are intertwined, and how we have and must continue working together to grow dairy sales.

Why? We know that consumers today are further removed from agriculture, more interested in where their food comes from, and more confused than ever given the often conflicting information with which they are bombarded.

Click here to register by April 4, 2016 for a program you won’t want to miss!

  • Get updates from OARDC, ATI and the ODPA Dairy Research Fund
  • Hear a legislative update from Scott Higgins, ODPA, and have a chance to provide your input on issues like GMOs, manure management and water quality
  • Enjoy lunch catered by Des Dutch Essenhaus, compliments of our sponsors
  • Discover what is being done to address consumer confidence in dairy and the role dairy farmers play in its success
  • Learn more about the National Dairy FARM Program from Katy Proudfoot, Ohio State College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Get practical ideas from Dr.
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Grazing workshops March 29, April 5 and April 12

Livestock producers looking to improve the forage quality of their pastures, grow healthier forage plants and improve plant persistence should consider rotational grazing, says an agriculture and natural resources expert with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.

Not only does rotational grazing promote timely utilization, it also allows producers to conserve surplus and reduce inputs, said Mark Landefeld, an Ohio State University Extension educator in Monroe County. In addition, it has a positive impact on the environment.

“Rotational grazing is really about better management of grazing for livestock producers,” he said. “Rotational grazing reduces the size of the paddock and allows grass to have a rest period and for roots to have a better chance to regrow and replenish the root stocks to improve both the quality and quantity of forages.”

To provide more information on grazing management, Landefeld and co-workers are organizing a series of workshops for livestock producers March 29, April 5 and April 12.… Continue reading

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Lessons learned from the 2014 and 2015 cattle markets

The last couple of years have been nothing short of a roller coaster ride for beef cattle producers. We saw prices rise to record levels and then fall as sharply as we have ever seen. A combination of factors such as cattle inventory, production of competing meats, increasing slaughter weights, and international trade were all at play in the market. At the same time, producers were making management decisions in a rapidly changing environment. If the old adage is right and history repeats itself, it’s worth taking a look back to reflect on some things that can be learned.


1) If calf prices seem too good to be true, they probably are

There is a long time adage by agricultural economists that the cure to high prices is high prices. The implication is that producers respond to high prices by increasing production, which then brings down prices. As basic as this may seem, it is easy to get caught up in the euphoria of historically high calf prices and try to find reasons why it is different this time.… Continue reading

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Ohio Beef Expo posts new records

Beef industry enthusiasts gathered in Columbus, Ohio, March 18-20, for the 2016 Ohio Beef Expo. The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) hosted more than 30,000 participants and attendees at the Ohio Expo Center. The Expo provides an annual opportunity for those in the cattle industry in Ohio, and across the nation, to learn and enhance their operations through a tradeshow, cattle sales and educational events.

The Expo kicked off with a trade show featuring 140 vendors from 15 states and a nutrition seminar sponsored by Purina Animal Nutrition and Zoetis. This year’s trade show broke the event’s record in number of exhibitors. Armstrong Ag was selected as the premier large booth exhibitor; and K Buildings was selected as the premier small booth exhibitor.

Four breed shows and one breed parade were featured Friday, as well as numerous breed displays representing the Angus, Charolais, Gelbvieh, Hereford, Maine-Anjou, Miniature Hereford, Murray Grey, Simmental and Shorthorn breeds.… Continue reading

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USDA looking for Foot-and-Mouth Disease vaccine manufacturers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) published a notice seeking sources for Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) vaccine as part of its FMD preparedness initiative. FMD, a foreign animal disease endemic in Africa, Asia, South America and the Middle East, can affect all cloven-hoofed animals, including pigs, cattle and sheep. FMD rarely infects humans and isn’t a food safety issue, but an outbreak in North America, which currently is free of it, could negatively affect meat exports and domestic meat sales.

The National Pork Producers Council in February urged lawmakers and the Obama administration to make dealing with an outbreak a priority. “Improving preparedness for an FMD outbreak through development of an adequate vaccine bank must be a priority,” testified NPPC immediate past president Dr. Howard Hill, a veterinarian and pork producer from Cambridge, Iowa, before a subcommittee of the House Committee on Agriculture. According to USDA, the goal of the request for information is to identify vaccine manufacturers that can supply the types of FMD vaccine needed, in the amounts needed and in the appropriate timeframe.… Continue reading

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