Ohio Cattlemen’s Association to host annual meeting and banquet

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) will celebrate Ohio’s cattlemen, hear from industry leaders and set new policy for 2015 at the OCA Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet on Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015, at the North Pointe Hotel and Conference Center in Lewis Center, Ohio.

The day’s events start at 9:30 a.m. with the OCA county affiliate leader meeting. A luncheon is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. featuring the first of three “Around the Water Tank” sessions. The first session will feature a presentation from National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s (NCBA) Senior Executive Director of Integrated Communications, Michele Murray on checkoff funded advertising, online/social media outreach and public relations efforts, as well as marketing to millennials. Directly following lunch, “Around the Water Tank” Session 2 will take place with Certified Angus Beef’s David O’Diam presenting on the expectations consumers have for beef.

The OCA Annual Meeting will begin at 2:30 p.m. Membership will hear reports from OCA committee chairmen and take part in the association’s policy development session.… Continue reading

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NPPC introduces strategic plan

Following more than a year of planning and development, the National Pork Board today released its new strategic plan focused on anticipating and managing the changing world facing U.S. pork producers now and in the future. The plan, to be implemented starting in January 2015, will be in place through 2020 to guide the organization.

Rooted in collaboration between industry and supply chain partners, the new National Pork Board vision is to elevate U.S. pork as the global protein of choice by continuously and cooperatively working to do what’s right for people, pigs and the planet.

“It’s a plan sharply focused on a vision for the future of America’s pork producers. It defines in clear, customer-centered language a set of objectives focused on results,” said Dale Norton, Pork Checkoff president and a pork producer from Bronson, Mich. “Our task force, which included pork producers and representatives from allied industries, defined a commitment to leverage industry and supply chain collaboration to achieve the vision.”… Continue reading

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Alpacas for fun and fiber

Once reserved for Incan royalty, the luxurious fiber from an alpaca fleece has become widely recognized for its quality and comfort.

The animals are native to South America and were first brought to the United States in 1984. They initially were very high priced and relatively rare, though now they have gained a broader appeal in this country.

“We had been looking at alpacas for a long time and prices are coming down so you can get into it more easily. If you look, you can even find rescue animals now because people can’t afford the hay or feed. There are animals out there in the $20,000-range for alpaca breeding stock, but they have also come down in price, which makes them more accessible for more people,” said John McClintock, who owns Shady Lane Farm in Morrow County with his wife, Jean. “They eat grass and make it into really good fiber.”… Continue reading

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Beef Industry Update meeting

A Beef Industry Update meeting provided by the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) will take place in Madison County. Beef producers from Madison and surrounding counties are encouraged to attend. The meeting will be held Nov. 20 at 7 p.m. at the Madison County Fairgrounds, 205 Elm Street, London.

Dinner will be prepared by the Madison County Cattlemen’s Association and door prizes will be provided. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear from John Grimes, OSU Extension Beef Team, on expanding their cow herd. Sasha Rittenhouse, OCA District 8 Representative, will be in attendance to discuss OCA events and policy updates.

Contact Stephanie Sindel at 614-873-6736 or email for more information about the industry update meetings. More information can also be found at

The Beef Industry Updates are sponsored by the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association.… Continue reading

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USDA extends Dairy Margin Protection Program Deadlines

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, speaking at the National Milk Producers Federation annual meeting, announced extended deadlines for the dairy Margin Protection Program. Farmers now have until Dec. 5, 2014, to enroll in the voluntary program, established by the 2014 Farm Bill. The program provides financial assistance to participating farmers when the margin — the difference between the price of milk and feed costs — falls below the coverage level selected by the farmer.

“We want dairy producers to have enough time to make thoughtful and well-studied choices,” Vilsack said. “Markets change and the Margin Protection Program can help protect dairy producers from those changes.”

Vilsack encouraged producers to use the online Web resource at to calculate the best levels of coverage for their dairy operation.

“Historical scenarios also can be explored to see how the Margin Protection Program would function should poor market conditions occur again in the future,” Vilsack said.… Continue reading

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Students rose to the challenge for the 2014 Ohio Dairy Challenge Contest

The 2014 Ohio Dairy Challenge was held October 24-25 and was again sponsored by Cargill Animal Nutrition. Dairy Challenge provides the opportunity for students at Ohio State University to experience the process of evaluating management practices on a dairy farm and to interact with representatives in the dairy industry. The program is held in a contest format for undergraduate students whereby they are grouped into teams of three to four individuals. Veterinary and graduate students are invited to attend the farm visit and participate in a meeting later in the evening with the contest judges to discuss observations on the farm.

The farm selected for the contest this year was the Pro Milk Dairy, LLC in Mt. Sterling (Pickaway County). The dairy farm is a partnership, with the managing partners being Theo and Christiane Huegemann.

The operation began in February 2014 and consists of 1,100 Holstein cows. The parlor consists of a 60-cow-rotary Bou-Matic system and cows are milked 3 times-a-day.… Continue reading

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Corn stalks can be a good option for feed

As corn harvest progresses, don’t overlook corn stalks as a feed resource. Corn residue can meet the nutrient needs of ruminant livestock that are in early to mid-gestation.

The University of Nebraska has done quite a bit of research on the topic of grazing corn residue. A University of Nebraska study conducted over a five-year period from 2004 to 2009 measured corn grain left in the field after harvest. An average of 1.0 bushel per acre was available for livestock grazing. A 2004 Nebraska beef report on corn stalk grazing included more information about the make-up of corn residue.

Generally, stalks account for 49% of the residue dry matter, leaves 27%, husks 12% and cobs another 12% of the residue dry matter. Livestock typically consume any corn grain first. After the grain, plant leaves and husks are eaten and the last portions of residue eaten are cobs and stalks.

Strip grazing across a corn field can even out the nutritional quality because livestock will be forced to consume both the higher and lower quality components of the residue within a given grazing period before the fence is moved to provide a new strip.… Continue reading

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Dairy leaders highlight priorities for coming months

With a major reform of the federal dairy safety net now complete, the leadership of the National Milk Producers Federation pledged to step up efforts on other key issues, including the fight for meaningful immigration reform, and opening more foreign markets to U.S. dairy products.

Speaking at the organization’s two-day annual meeting, Board Chairman Randy Mooney and President and CEO Jim Mulhern also stressed the need to address environmental issues and concerns over the treatment of animals on dairy farms.

The Mooney-Mulhern joint presentation came less than two months after the Agriculture Department formally launched the new dairy safety net, a margin insurance program known the Margin Protection Program, or MPP.

“The new Margin Protection Program is going to be more flexible, more fair, and more functional than the old MILC program,” said Mooney, a dairy farmer from Rogersville, Missouri.

“I want, most of all, to remind farmers to take action and enroll their operation in the Margin Protection Program by USDA’s Thanksgiving deadline,” said Mulhern, who took over as NMPF president 10 months ago.… Continue reading

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Ag classroom materials support Ohio teachers

Across the nation, and in Ohio, eight- and nine-year-old students are facing increasing pressures to pass reading proficiency targets in order to advance to the next grade. To support third-grade teachers, the Ohio Livestock Coalition (OLC) has developed a package of free educational materials that support key Ohio academic content standards while also teaching students about agriculture.

Now in its sixth year, the For Your InFARMation program is a three-day lesson that focuses on how Ohio livestock farmers help feed our communities, state and our world, and the important role agriculture plays in the Buckeye state. The materials support academic content standards for language arts, social studies, science and math, and can be downloaded free of charge at The curriculum also includes a variety of nonfiction reading passages to support teachers with Ohio’s Third Grade Reading Guarantee.

“Agriculture is the number-one contributor to Ohio’s economy; however, many students are unaware of the role that Ohio livestock farmers play in feeding Ohio and the world,” said Leah Dorman, representative of the OLC.… Continue reading

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Pork producers taking steps to prevent a winter resurgence of PEDv

While the recent threat of Ebola in the United States has the Centers for Disease Control in a frenzy to track outbreaks of the virus and determine how easily it is spread, the pork industry continues similar efforts with the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv). Since it first appeared in Ohio during the summer of 2013, pork producers have been looking for ways to combat the virus that can devastate a farm by wiping out entire barns of newborn pigs.

Much like the common flu, PEDv thrives in cold and wet conditions. While it has trailed off over the summer, it is anticipated that producers will see resurgence with winter on the way. Efforts to combat the disease include extensive work being done to develop vaccines that will help control loss and eventually allow prevention.

Wyandot County pork producer, Kyle Brown, manages his family’s hog operation, Maken Bacon Farms, and is the third generation of his family to serve on the Ohio Pork Producers Council.… Continue reading

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Ohio egg farmers benefitting Nationwide Hospital

For the third year, 10 Columbus restaurants that usually are open for breakfast and lunch only re-opened their doors from 5 p.m. to close on Thursday, October 23, 2014, to serve breakfast for dinner starring the incredible edible egg and one worthy cause.

This year’s event set a new record as guests of all ages donned their favorite family-friendly PJs and donated more than $533.68 in monetary contributions and 1,269 pairs of pajamas to patients at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Since the program’s inception, the event has raised more than $3,200 in monetary contributions and 3,170 pairs of pajamas. In exchange for their donated pajamas, diners received a free dozen eggs from Ohio’s egg farmers.

“PJs and Eggs offers a unique opportunity for families to support a great cause while wearing their pajamas and enjoying their favorite breakfast dishes for dinner at restaurants typically closed during the evening hours,” said Jim Chakeres, executive vice president of the Ohio Poultry Association.… Continue reading

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NFU: WTO ruling on COOL shows USDA is headed in the right direction

National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson said that the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) recent ruling on Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) clearly shows U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is headed in right direction.

“This ruling demonstrates the legitimate nature of the COOL objective and finds that the current labeling rule is an improvement over the original rule, but it remains unbalanced between consumer information and production costs,” said Johnson. “This decision, as it has been issued, will likely be modified on appeal and NFU strongly urges USTR to appeal the ruling.”

Johnson moderated the panel discussion, and was also joined Danni Beer, president of U.S. Cattleman’s Association, Patrick Woodall, research director at Food & Water Watch, and Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, to discuss the details and implications of the WTO ruling.

The WTO recently released the long-awaited, 200-plus page ruling that found the regulatory goal of COOL was WTO-compliant, and that the new 2013 labels provided better, more accurate information for consumers.… Continue reading

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Select Sires internship opportunity

Select Sires Inc. has announced plans to offer two summer internships at its headquarters facility in Plain City during the summer of 2015. Positions are available within the sales and marketing and communications departments, with applications due by January 1, 2015.

“Both practical work experience within the industry and networking are extremely important in helping college students prepare for full-time employment upon graduation,” said David Thorbahn, Select Sires president and C.E.O. “That’s why Select Sires offers hands-on internship opportunities each year. These internships help introduce students to the industry side of agriculture, while they contribute to the day-to-day operation of the Select Sires federation.”

College students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in dairy science, animal science, agricultural economics, agricultural communications or related agricultural fields may apply for these internships. Applicants must be familiar with cattle pedigree information. Previous dairy judging team experience is an advantage. While important for all internships, strong writing and computer skills are a requirement for students working in corporate communications.… Continue reading

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Ohio State Fair to require DNA submission and electronic ID for all market beef animals

The Ohio State Fair Beef Department has adopted new protocols for identifying market beef animals beginning with the 2015 Fair, July 29 through August 9. These protocols include the use of an electronic identification (EID) ear tag that has a unique 15-digit number and a DNA sample that will be submitted for all market beef animals that exhibitors plan to enter in the 2015 Ohio State Fair Junior Market Beef show.

The DNA collection will be in the form of a hair sample that will be submitted to the Ohio State Fair by January 15, 2015 to meet the ownership deadlines for market beef animals. Along with the DNA hair submission, each market animal’s 15-digit EID tag must also be included on the DNA packet. DNA packets may be picked up at an exhibitor’s local Ohio State University Extension Office or at any Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) BEST sanctioned show prior to the Jan.… Continue reading

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WTO announces decision on COOL

After a lengthy process, the World Trade Organization officially announced that the United States’ implementation of mandatory country of origin labeling (COOL) for imported meat is noncompliant with WTO rules. WTO that found that COOL in its amended form discriminates against the Canadian and Mexican livestock industries. The U.S. amended the COOL regulations after a similar ruling in 2012.

Opponents of COOL have long feared this noncompliance and WTO repercussions, while COOL supporters feel it is a valuable tool for consumers and producers in terms on marketing and transparency.

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association has been concerned about possible sanction from the WTO for quite some time.

“The announcement today by the WTO dispute panel on the U.S. Country of Origin Labeling rule brings us all one step closer to facing retaliatory tariffs from two of our largest trading partners. Our producers have already suffered discounts and faced the closure of a number of feedlots and packing plants due to the effects of this shortsighted regulation.… Continue reading

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2014 Ohio Hereford Futurity results

A large crowd of Hereford enthusiasts gathered Sunday September 8, 2014, at the Wayne Co. Fairgrounds  in Wooster, Ohio. The Buckeye Hereford Association hosted the annual event that showcases Ohio bred seedstock. Judge Bruce Everhart of Waldron, Indiana sorted out the entries and noted the depth and quality of the cattle. Judge Everhart complimented the breeders on bringing a top quality set of cattle to the show.

2014 Ohio Hereford Futurity Champions

Grand Champion Bull: Pennells WD Delmonico, December 2013 bull sired by Harvie Dan T-Bone 196T,

bred and owned by Pennell Brothers, Navarre, Ohio.

Reserve Champion Bull: Creek Trusts Reflection 344A, October 2013 bull sired by NJW 73S M326 Trust 100W ET, bred and owned  byCreek Bottom Farms, Navarre, Ohio.

Grand Champion Female: PK WMS 145R Nora 1373, a March 2013 heifer sired by Grandview 7Oaks Sonora 145R, bred and owned  by Kyndall Williams, Mount Gilead, Ohio

Reserve Champion Female: Circle D Hadley 713, an October 2013 heifer sired by LCC Back N Time,

bred by Caitlin Decker, Vincent, Ohio and owned by Bryce Hines, Patriot, Ohio

Grand Champion Prospect Steer: Creek 130Y Buster 427B, a March steer sired by Creek Tradition 130Y,

bred  and owned by Creek Bottom Farm, Navarre, Ohio.… Continue reading

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Winter ventilation can make a big difference for calves

Many calf barns rely on natural ventilation to provide clean, fresh air to calf pens. But, as the weather cools down and winter approaches, there can be a tendency to close the doors, windows and curtains on the calf barn in an effort to reduce drafts. Preventing cold air from blowing on calves can help keep calves warm, but when buildings are closed proper air exchange to keep calves healthy through the winter months can be prohibited.

“If you fail to get good ventilation or adequate air exchange in calf barns, you get a build-up of dust, pathogens and moisture in the air,” said Gary Geisler, calf and heifer specialist with Purina Animal Nutrition. “A build-up of ammonia can occur and cause irritation to the respiratory system of calves.”

Geisler cautions that if close attention is not paid to ventilation, a breakout of pneumonia or another respiratory disease could occur. Symptoms that might indicate a respiratory infection include: coughing, nasal discharge and watery eyes.… Continue reading

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Beef alliance looks at Trans-Pacific Partnership

The Five Nations Beef Alliance concluded a successful meeting and tour in south Texas, capped by the unanimous endorsement of a public statement calling for all Trans-Pacific Partnership nations to support “gold standard outcomes” for beef that do not sacrifice important reforms for political expediency.

Five Nations Beef Alliance is comprised of the Cattle Council of Australia, Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, Confederación Nacional de Organizaciones Ganaderas, Beef + Lamb New Zealand and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. Together, FNBA members represent producers from countries that account for one-third of global beef production and approximately half of global beef exports.

The annual meeting, hosted by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, unites beef industry leaders from the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand. This year, members of the group toured several Texas beef value chain operations, including McFaddin Enterprises Ltd., a fifth-generation ranch operated by NCBA President Bob McCan; King Ranch; Graham Land & Cattle, a 30,000 head feedlot; and Capitol Land & Livestock, one of the largest livestock dealers in the United States.… Continue reading

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Cattlemen’s associations respond to potential beef checkoff changes

This week, 45 state cattlemens’ associations representing more than 170,000 cattle breeders, producers and feeders sent a letter to Agriculture Secretary Vilsack, urging him not to issue an Order for a supplemental beef checkoff under the 1996 General Commodity Promotion, Research and Information Act.

“This announcement by the Secretary was just not something that we could support,” said Elizabeth Harsh, Executive Director of the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association. “The existing Beef Checkoff program is overwhelmingly successful, supported by 4 out of 5 beef producers, and what Secretary Vilsack proposal of a second Beef Checkoff really smacks of Federal control and taking the say away from producers.”

Harsh has been traveling around the state and around the country recently and she is hearing from Ohio beef producers about this surprise announcement from the Ag Secretary and getting many questions and concerns.

“People don’t always understand all of the specifics about state and federal checkoff programs and so there is a lot of confusion and that is unfortunate,” Harsh said.… Continue reading

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Manure regulation in Ohio

Although long considered a natural fertilizer that can benefit our soils, manure has a history of increased regulation in recent years based on potential impacts to water quality. The following explains how state and federal law regulates the production, storage and application of animal manure in Ohio.


Livestock Environmental Permitting Program

The Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Division of Livestock Environmental Permitting (ODA) administers a permit program for Ohio’s largest confined livestock operations, or Concentrated Animal Feeding Facilities (CAFFs). Ohio Revised Code Chapter 903 and Ohio Administrative Code 901:10 contain the program’s legal provisions.

An owner must obtain a “permit to install” and a “permit to operate” from ODA before operating a CAFF. The permit requirement applies to a CAFF that houses any of the following, at a minimum:

  • 700 mature dairy cows
  • 2,500 hogs over 55 pounds
  • 10,000 baby pigs under 55 pounds
  • 82,000 laying hens
  • 125,000 pullets or broilers
  • 1,000 head of beef animals of any size
  • 500 horses
  • 10,000 sheep or lambs
  • 55,000 turkeys.
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