Ohio Spring Dairy Expo Results

Jr. Show Junior Champion: Geminaecho Showstar Sherry, summer yearling, exhibited by Ashley Hawvermale, Wooster
Jr. Show Senior Champion & Grand Champion: Geminaecho Remington Shellie, junior three year old, exhibited by Ashley Hawvermale, Wooster

Open Show Junior Champion: Tri-Line Lobo, winter calf, exhibited by Walton & Thornburg, Pleasant Plain
Open Show Senior & Grand Champion: Geminaecho Remington Shellie, junior three year old, exhibited by Ashley Hawvermale, Wooster

Brown Swiss
Jr. Show Junior Champion: Topp View Totally All In, winter calf, exhibited by Keaton, Kinley & Madelyn Topp, Botkins
Jr. Show Senior & Grand Champion: Rolling Knolls Agen Jerne, four year old, exhibited by Braxton Perry, N. Lewisburg

Open Show Junior Champion: Top Acres Wonder Girl ET, fall calf, exhibited by Wayne Sliker, St. Paris
Open Show Senior & Grand Champion: Rolling Knolls Agen Jerne, four year old, exhibited by Braxton Perry, N. Lewisburg

Jr. Show Junior Champion: Hearts Desire Jackpot Sweet, fall yearling, exhibited by Marshall Overholt, Big Prairie
Jr.… Continue reading

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March Hogs & Pigs Report


Ohio hog producers had 2.13 million hogs on hand March 1, 2013, up 4 percent from last quarter, but unchanged from last year. The number of market hogs, at 1,965,000 head, was also up 4 percent from last quarter, unchanged from last year. Breeding stock, at 165,000 head was unchanged from last quarter and last year.

The pig crop during the December-February 2013 quarter numbered 889,000 head, down 2 percent from last quarter but 4 percent above last year. The number of sows farrowed during the December-February 2012 quarter, at 88,000, down 3 percent from last quarter and unchanged from last year. Pigs saved per litter averaged 10.1, up 1 percent from last quarter and up 4 percent from last year.

Ohio producers intend to farrow 87,000 sows during the March-May 2013 quarter, 6,000 head below a year earlier. Farrowing intentions for the summer quarter, June-August 2013, is 86,000 sows, 4,000 head below the same quarter of 2012.

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Ohio hog farmers provided over 187,000 meals to hungry Ohioans

Ohio hog farmers have been actively involved in the fight against hunger for years, donating nearly 935,000 meals of nutritious pork to Ohio foodbanks since 2009. This Easter, the Ohio Pork Producers Council (OPPC) again rose to the occasion, donating 37,554 pounds of protein-rich ground pork to several Ohio foodbanks in a generous effort to make sure that no Ohio family goes without a nutritious, hearty meal this holiday season.

“This timely and generous donation means so much to the hungry people our foodbanks serve,” said Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, executive director of the Ohio Association of Foodbanks. “Providing Ohio-raised, Ohio-produced pork to people in need is a true testament to the generosity of our state’s agriculture industry. Our emergency food assistance network is thrilled to be able to provide this pork to the people it serves to make their Easter holiday a bountiful one.”

OPPC is proud to continue its commitment to fighting hunger in Ohio and encourages other agricultural leaders and everyday Ohioans to join them.… Continue reading

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Extension offering beef cattle artificial insemination school April 30-May 2

Beef cattle producers who want boost their profit potential by increasing success with artificial insemination can attend a school on the subject April 30 through May 2, taught by Ohio State University Extension and Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center experts.

The three-day program covers a broad range of artificial insemination topics, including factors that influence reproduction efficiencies, heat synchronization, semen handling and thawing.

The techniques taught at the school are important for beef cattle producers because they can influence the success artificial insemination, said Clif Little, OSU Extension educator in agriculture and natural resources.

“One reason we do this school is because it allows small cow-calf producers to bring in superior genetics to improve performance,” he said. “Using this technology for artificial insemination will allow producers to need fewer bulls or no bulls at all on their farms.”

The artificial insemination school is sponsored by OSU Extension and OARDC and is held at the Eastern Agricultural Research Station in Belle Valley, just off of Interstate 77 in Noble County.… Continue reading

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Water quality rules proposed for Ohio

By Matt Reese

Experts have been talking for years now about impending and increasing regulation on agricultural nutrients in an effort to address the notorious toxic algal blooms plaguing the state’s water. As of March 7, those regulations have been proposed for Ohio.

“There are essentially two components to this. One component deals with the Ohio Department of Agriculture and a fertilizer applicator certification program,” said Larry Antosch, Ohio Farm Bureau Federation senior director of environmental policy development. “If you are applying nutrients to more than 10 acres, you need to be certified by the ODA. This would be a companion to the restricted use pesticide applicator program. There are not a lot of details in the proposed legislation. Those details will come out in the rule making process and you never know what will happen there. We have questions about clarification regarding whether that applies to manure also or just commercial fertilizer.… Continue reading

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Fruit and vegetable producers considering new voluntary approach to food safety certification

Fruit and vegetable producers of all sizes now have the option of participating in a voluntary food safety certification program in Ohio. The Ohio Produce Marketing Agreement (OPMA) offers producers food safety standards and an opportunity to attain food safety certification through third party inspections. Born from growing concerns about fruit and vegetable contamination outbreaks, the OPMA takes an aggressive yet voluntary approach to addressing food safety risk.

The OPMA is the first “agricultural marketing agreement” developed under a new law in Ohio. The agricultural marketing agreement law allows agricultural commodities to create voluntary marketing programs to expand or improve the market for their commodity. Marketing programs may promote the sale and use of products, develop new uses and markets for products; improve methods of distributing products to consumers or standardize the quality of products for specific uses. To create a voluntary marketing program, the commodity group must obtain the approval of both the Ohio Department of Agriculture and producers within the commodity group.… Continue reading

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Record year for meat exports boosts feed demand

These little piggies went to market — international markets, that is, and in record numbers. Despite challenging issues, such as the struggling global economy and trade barriers, U.S. poultry and livestock farmers enjoyed a record year for meat exports, which helps keep domestic demand for U.S. soy strong.

U.S. poultry, egg and pork shipments exceeded previous highs for value and volume set in 2011. International beef sales dipped slightly in volume but broke the previous value record.

Growing U.S. meat and poultry exports reinforce demand for U.S. soy since soy meal constitutes a significant portion of animal feeds. Domestic animal agriculture uses about 98% of the domestic supply of U.S. soy meal, making it the U.S. soy industry’s No. 1 customer.

“Exporting meat and poultry is a big issue for U.S. soybean farmers,” said John Butler, a farmer-leader from Dyersburg, Tenn. “If we can feed animals soybeans here and sell them abroad, we’re creating a value-added product.… Continue reading

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2013 Ohio Beef Expo a success

By Matt Reese

As a reflection of the robust beef industry, the crowd was large and the sales were strong at the 2013 Ohio Beef Expo.

“It was the biggest Beef Expo combined that we have seen since the start. Our numbers were up in the sale barn with some new breeds exhibiting and having shows. In addition, the junior cattle numbers were up from previous years,” said Sam Sutherly, Ohio Cattlemen’s Association president and Expo co-chair. “I attribute that to having great support from our sponsors and having the ability to offer educational events for the youth of our industry. The trade show seems to continue to expand beyond the space we have available, but with creative minds of our volunteers we manage to expand utilizing outdoor areas. This event takes many volunteers and it would not be possible without the support of venders and sponsors. It’s a great feeling to see growth and support of the cattle industry in Ohio.”… Continue reading

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Hard work pays off for Kimley in the show ring

By Jessica Shanahan, OCJ field reporter

Few could have predicted that winning a peewee showmanship class at age 5 would lead to countless trophies, banners, and champion titles for Lea Kimley of South Charleston in Clark County.

“I showed in the open show and won peewee showmanship, and from that moment, I just loved doing it,” Lea said.

The family involvement in the hog industry began in 2005 with Lea’s brother, Levi’s, 4-H project. In 2008, Levi won Reserve Grand Champion at the Ohio State Fair and the family’s success has only increased since.

In 2012, Lea accumulated several titles including: Reserve Champion Overall, Champion Yorkshire Guilt, and Champion Bred and Owned at the World Pork Expo; Reserve Champion Bred and Owned and Fifth Overall Yorkshire Barrow at the Summer Spectacular; Reserve Champion Yorkshire at the Clark County Fair and Grand Champion Overall at the Ohio State Fair.

In addition to the success of her hogs, Lea is proud to have been the Champion Intermediate Showman at the Ohio State Fair and the

National Show in Perry, Ga.… Continue reading

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USDA proposes rule to modify COOL

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) issued a proposed rule to modify the labeling provisions for muscle cut commodities covered under the Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) program.

Under the proposed rule, origin designations for muscle-cut covered commodities derived from animals slaughtered in the United States would be required to specify the production steps of born, raised and slaughtered of the animal from which the meat is derived that took place in each country listed on the origin designation, the proposal says. In addition, this proposed rule would eliminate the allowance for any commingling of muscle cut covered commodities of different origins. These changes will provide consumers with more specific information about muscle cut covered commodities, AMS said.

“The proposed changes will increase the discrimination against exports of cattle and hogs from Canada and increase damages to the Canadian industry,” Canadian Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz said. “Our government will consider all options, including retaliatory measures, should the United States not achieve compliance by May 23, as mandated by the WTO.”… Continue reading

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C.W. Harting Farm is part of a new era in free-range eggs

By Heather Hetterick and Matt Reese

cw-hartingWhen one imagines free-range chickens, C.W. Harting’s chicken barns near Convoy in Van Wert County certainly don’t come to mind.

After all, the chickens are contracted, kept mostly indoors and raised on a large scale.  But, there are no cages involved and the chickens are fed an organic diet and that is enough to satisfy retailers that have customers looking for free-range produced eggs.

When the now 27-year-old graduated from the University of Northwestern Ohio, he wanted to add livestock to the family’s grain operation.

“Getting into livestock allowed us to add cash flow and we’re helping out the grain side with labor by being here and with the resources. We built one hog building in 2005 and another in 2006 for my brother to operate. Then, we decided to start another venture with chickens to allow room for my cousin to be a part of the farm,” Harting said.… Continue reading

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Ohio Beef Expo under way

The Ohio Beef Expo, the premier event of Ohio’s beef industry, kicked off today at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus. This year’s schedule once again includes breed sales, shows, educational seminars, trade show and a highly competitive junior show. Attendees will also be able to take part in a silent auction and social hour on Friday and Saturday.

The trade show, kicking off the Expo at 8:30 a.m. today, will run throughout the event and features more than 100 exhibitors from 15 states. A series of educational seminars are taking place today, giving producers an opportunity to gain useful knowledge from industry experts about advancements and current trends, and will allow producers to improve their own operations in areas such as marketing and herd management. A complete list of seminars is available at

Cattle from across the country will be represented at the Expo through the breed shows, sales and displays.… Continue reading

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Livestock 365 days a year

By Jessica Shanahan, OCJ field reporter

Most 10-year-olds would choose to spend their money on clothes, video games, or other material items, but not Olivia McDade. At the age of 10, after already finding her passion for livestock, she chose to put her money into adding on to their barn.

Olivia McDade, now a freshman at Greenville High School in Darke County, spends her time breeding, raising, and caring for several goats and 125 sheep.

“I do this 365 days a year,” Olivia said. “It’s basically my life.”

A typical summer day for Olivia includes getting up at 5:30 to feed and work her animals, then returning to the house to study for the skillathon. Throughout the day, she makes multiple trips to the barn to check on her animals and usually works them again in the evening.

Olivia does not take the skillathon lightly. She spends nearly as much time studying as she does working with her animals.… Continue reading

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Is it time to try something different in the cow herd?

By John F. Grimes, OSU Extension Beef Coordinator

The 2013 Ohio Beef Cattle School has examined important management issues impacting profit potential. Strategies for the use of genetics in the cow herd and efficient forage management practices have been the primary issues discussed in the school to this point. Producers are constantly searching for any new or proven methods to improve the bottom line. While there is always room for improvement in an existing enterprise, the producer must often think “outside of the box” and consider less traditional enterprises in order to improve total profitability.

Many cattlemen are conservative by nature and deliberate in their decision-making. Regardless, if the enterprise is cow-calf production, stocker cattle, or finishing cattle, any changes in an operation are usually slow and incremental. However, economic volatility and weather extremes will require the producer to analyze evolving opportunities and make unconventional decisions to carve out their niche in the beef industry.… Continue reading

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Bob Evans announces it will eliminate gestation stalls

Bob Evans Farms, Inc. made the following statement on sow housing and animal care:

“Bob Evans Farms, Inc. is committed to the responsible care of animals that are raised to provide food products for our customers. We have an obligation to meet the expectations of our consumers on food quality, food safety and the well-being of animals. We also recognize that many challenges exist with respect to sow housing, and that some current systems may not provide ample space for gestating sows.

“To meet those responsibilities, decisions made by our company must be ethically grounded, scientifically verified, sustainable and economically viable. As part of that decision-making process, Bob Evans Farms recently held extensive discussions with a wide range of stakeholders – including farmers, customers, industry trade groups and animal rights advocates – to discuss housing systems for gestating sows.

“Bob Evans Farms’ internal experts consulted regularly on sow housing with members of our Animal Well-Being Committee, which includes three independent outside experts in animal behavior and well-being.

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Sisters share a dedication for the show ring

By Jessica Shanahan, OCJ field reporter

It is easy to see the passion and dedication displayed by Rachael and Emily Overs. From an early age, their family infused the girl’s lives with a love of raising and showing sheep.

“It didn’t really start,” Rachael said. “We were just born into it.”

Rachael and Emily spent much of their childhood summers showing at the county fair and in the jackpot circuit. They recall loading the trailers and heading to Ohio State Fair with at least 12 sheep every summer to conclude their show season. On occasion, the Overs family would travel to Louisville for one final show in the fall.

It is clear that Rachael and Emily have formed a deep bond throughout the years as competitors, best friends, and sisters while growing up in Logan County. Through the years, they each developed separate roles that led to their success.

“Emily packs the trailer.… Continue reading

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Pork producers reaffirm industry support for producer choice on sow housing

At the National Pork Industry Forum last week, pork producers approved a resolution reaffirming the industry’s position that producers should be able to select a sow housing system, including gestation stalls or individual maternity pens, which best promotes employee safety and animal care while ensuring a reliable supply of pork for consumers.

“Pork producers, working with veterinarians, understand what it takes to provide the best care and welfare for their animals,” said Karen Richter, a farmer from Montgomery, Minn., and National Pork Board vice president. “The National Pork Board builds its animal and well-being programs on the foundation of what are best for the pig. By adopting this resolution, producers are reaffirming their commitment to choose what type of housing is best for their animals.”

The National Pork Board provides educational programs and materials that focus on how producers can best ensure the well-being of their pigs. The programs offer methods that help producers take an objective look at each animal’s well-being, independent of the size of farm or the specific type of housing.… Continue reading

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Kalmbach Feeds celebrates 50 years is business

Kalmbach Feeds is celebrating being in business for 50 years this year. They held a sales conference for their dealers March 7-8, 2013.

Kalmbach Feeds was founded in 1963 by current CEO, Paul Kalmbach’s parents Milton and Ruth Kalmbach. Since then the company has grown from three employees to 325.

“My dad wanted to bring better products and a better focus on the customer, it was that simple,” PaulKalmbach said.

The company started out producing poultry feed, but has greatly diversified now producing feed for general livestock, dairy, poultry, pets, equine, show animals and exotics.

“We’ve continued to expand our product line and hope to do that in future also,” Kalmbach said.

Dale Minyo spoke to Paul Kambach about his career at the company and their plans for the future.

Kalmback Feeds Paul Kalmbach

The third generation in the company, Paul Kalmbach Jr. shares how he fits into the company and his vision for the future.… Continue reading

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National Dairy Producers Conference

The outlook for a new farm bill, and a better safety net for dairy farmers, will be one of the key sessions at the upcoming National Dairy Producers Conference (NDPC) April 7 – 9 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The conference, open to dairy farmers from across the country, will provide an in-depth discussion of the issues facing the dairy industry, with educational discussions on topics ranging from farm policy to immigration reform to agricultural finance. The meeting is organized by the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF).

On Monday, April 8, a two-hour session will address the prospects in 2013 for the NMPF-backed dairy reforms contained in the 2012 Farm Bill. That session will feature presentations from congressional staff, NMPF leadership, and agricultural economists – all discussing the outlook for getting the Dairy Security Act (DSA) passed this year, and how that measure would benefit farmers. Although the DSA came close to passage at the end of 2012, the agriculture committees in the House and Senate will have to restart the farm bill process this spring.… Continue reading

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Beef 510 Program planned for March 23

The Ohio Beef Council, Ohio State University Extension and The Ohio State University Department of Animal Sciences will host a sequel to the Beef 509 educational program. Beef 510 will be a one-day event that features an elite group of well-known speakers covering industry topics, coordinated through the Ohio Cattlemen’s Foundation. Designed to accommodate a larger number of participants, Beef 510 will build on the original 509 program to enhance producer knowledge from the pasture to the plate.

Beef 510 will be March 23, 2013, at the Ohio State University Animal Sciences building. The program begins with registration at 8:30 a.m. and will include a barbeque beef lunch and plans to adjourn by 4 p.m.  Registration is $50 per person and is open to Beef 509 alumni and any interested individuals. Registration deadline is March 15 and early registration is encouraged as the program is expected to quickly reach its maximum of 75 participants. … Continue reading

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