The Ohio State Fair will be featured in new movie

When Academy Award winning director Taylor Hackford’s latest action thriller, “Parker,” opens next Friday, moviegoers throughout the nation will become familiar with the Ohio State Fair.

In the months leading up to the 2011 Ohio State Fair, a representative from the film reached out to administrators of the Ohio Expo Center, making plans for a small crew to come and film atmospheric footage during the Fair to blend with scenes shot in professional studios in New Orleans. However, as discussions continued, the project expanded in scope and the director, producer and several of the stars traveled to Ohio to film scenes while the Fair was underway.

That August, as fairgoers enjoyed lemon shake-ups and rides down the Giant Slide, a film crew and prominent actors including Jason Statham descended upon the Ohio State Fair, spending two days shooting a variety of scenes which now make up the movie’s opening segment.… Continue reading

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Pork Checkoff offers tools to help producers facing a crisis

The Pork Checkoff recently introduced two new tools to help pork producers in the event of a crisis or emergency on their farm. The Farm-level Crisis Response Plan template and Emergency Action Plan, provide customizable, step-by-step guides to help producers be prepared and stay on track in their commitment to providing a safe, quality product.

“Whether you have a large or small farm, you can never be too prepared for a crisis or emergency,” said Derrick Sleezer, a pork producer from Cherokee, Iowa, and member of the National Pork Board. “The two new Checkoff-funded tools allow producers to fill in the blanks and tailor each plan to his or her operation, providing a clear plan of action in an otherwise challenging time.”

The Farm-Level Crisis Response Plan template provides a framework for evaluating the risk of on-farm crisis situations, identifying prevention measures and responding effectively should a crisis occur. The electronic planning tool outlines five crisis response steps, as well as how to assess the intensity level of a crisis.… Continue reading

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Robotic milking boosts production while cutting labor cost

By Heather Hetterick and Matt Reese

Doug Horst got to take his family on a Disney trip away from the dairy farm this year, but chances are that they did not encounter anything much more magical then what they have at home. Doug’s newfound flexibility to travel somewhere other than the milking parlor on his family’s Legend Dairy, Ltd. in Wayne County is a result of the addition of two Lely Astronaut milking robots in September of 2011, which are pretty magical in their own right.

The cost of labor continues to rise and, even with a higher pay grade, finding the right person for the job on a dairy farm is challenging, particularly for small to mid-sized farms. Though they cost around $200,000, robots can make economic sense when looking at the labor savings and increased milk production they offer.

“Three or four years ago we went to the Farm Science Review and saw robotic milkers down there and it sparked an interest.… Continue reading

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Ohio Forages and Grasslands Council Annual Meeting

The Ohio Forages and Grasslands Council Annual Meeting will be held Feb. 8, 2013 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Ohio Department of Agriculture in Reynoldsburg. The program focuses on “Adapting to our Changing Climate” featuring Dr. Chris Teutsch, the Forage and Livestock Specialist at Virginia Tech’s Southern Piedmont Research and Extension Center near Blackstone, Virginia. An Ohio native and an outstanding speaker, Dr. Teutsch has very practical advice on how to make pasture and forage systems more resilient to weather extremes.

Do you know how often we face water deficits for pasture production? Come and find out — the statistics may surprise you. Teutsch will discuss management that will improve pasture production by more than 33% while also increasing drought tolerance of pastures through a stronger plant root system.

You will also learn how to plan ahead for filling in the cool season grass summer slump and other periods of forage deficit with alternative forages.… Continue reading

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Pork Congress coming soon

The 2013 Ohio Pork Congress will be held on Feb. 12-13 in Columbus at the Crowne Plaza North. Those involved in the pork industry across the state will want to attend the Ohio Pork Congress to view and learn about the latest pork industry technologies.

On Feb. 13, pork producers are invited to attend the Professional Pork Producers Symposium, a set of educational seminars featuring experts from around the U.S. The Ohio Pork Congress trade show will offer the latest information from agribusinesses throughout the nation. The trade show will be open on Wednesday from 7:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.

“We encourage all pork producers to attend the Ohio Pork Congress and the Professional Pork Producers Symposium this year. Congress will be very educational, presenting valuable information for all of those involved in the industry,” said Dick Isler, OPPC executive vice president.

On Wednesday, the pork industry will recognize and honor leaders and outstanding pork producers at the OPPC Awards Luncheon at 12:00 p.m.… Continue reading

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OLC sets direction for 2013

The Ohio Livestock Coalition (OLC) Board of Directors (Board) recently elected new officers and identified three key focus areas to guide its direction for 2013. Dick Isler, executive vice president of the Ohio Pork Producers Council, will serve as president of OLC. He will lead the organization as it addresses its priority issues, including antibiotics in food producing animals, nutrient management and water quality issues, and maximizing resources available from national farm organizations working on similar issues.

“The use of antibiotics in livestock and environmental management at farms are important issues for farmers and all Ohioans,” said David White, OLC executive director. “The Board prioritized these focus areas that will advance our ability to engage in public dialogue and support our mission to assist Ohio’s livestock farm community in expanding its positive contributions to the state by advancing environmentally friendly, socially responsible and economically viable farming. ”

The focus areas were approved at the December 19, 2012, Board of Directors meeting.… Continue reading

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Kicking the milk jug down the road

By Ty Higgins, Ohio Ag Net

For the dairy industry, 2013 will be the same old, same old as far as policies from last year. The farm bill has been extended through September and the dairy price support program is now good through the end of December.

For groups like the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) that were hoping for a fresh five-year farm bill including the Dairy Security Act, the actions made by Congress to avoid the Fiscal Cliff were not even close to what the dairy industry needs moving forward.

“The real issue for dairy farmers is that we don’t have a meaningful safety net as we start 2013,” said Chris Galen, Senior Vice President of Communications for NMPF. “Yes, Congress extended the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program, but that really doesn’t help as many people as we would like in the way that we would like.”

Congress also extended the price support program, not at the 1949 level but at the existing level, which is much lower.… Continue reading

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Sorting facts, half-truths and fiction of antibiotics

By Don “Doc” Sanders

Antibiotic resistance continues to be a major topic of discussion in the press. Unfortunately, accurate information is hard to come by, thanks to do-gooder activists who cloud the issue with their agenda. Here, I offer you my take on antibiotic resistance and the implications of antibiotic use for livestock.

First, please understand that there are two major categories of antibiotics for food animals: therapeutic antibiotics and sub-therapeutic antibiotics.

Therapeutic antibiotics

Used to treat sick animals, some of these drugs also are used to treat humans. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandates withdrawal times to help prevent therapeutic antibiotics from entering the food chain. The U.S. has one of the most regulated food systems in the world. Milk and meat from treated animals must be tested multiple times to ensure no residue is present when these food products enter the market. The FDA also tightly regulates the classes of antibiotics designated to fight major diseases in humans.… Continue reading

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ADM Alliance Nutrition Recalling MoorMan’s® ShowTec® 18 Elite Lamb Feed

ADM Alliance Nutrition, Inc. (“Alliance Nutrition”) is recalling 50-pound bags of MoorMan’s® ShowTec® 18 Elite Lamb DC, product number 80939MPS, because the product has high levels of copper. There are three lot numbers involved in this recall: BF23512, BF27812, and BF29312. These were distributed between Aug. 24, 2012, and Nov. 21, 2012. The product could have been purchased directly from Alliance Nutrition or through distributors.

Copper toxicity in sheep may lead to lethargy, anemia, constant teeth grinding, extreme thirst, jaundice, dark brown or red urine, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, weakness, recumbency and/or death.

The recalled sheep feed was shipped to distributors and customers in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. The high copper levels were discovered as a result of an investigation stemming from a report of two sheep deaths. The lot number, BF23512, BF27812, or BF29312, can be found at the bottom of the label. Customers who have purchased the recalled feed may return it to their distributor or directly to Alliance Nutrition for a full refund.

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North Central Ohio Grazing School

The first Grazing School of 2013 is scheduled for Saturday January 19, 2013. The Ohio Forage and Grassland Council will be hosting a Pasture Management Workshop/ Grazing School/ Pasture for Profit Program at the New London Grange Hall. The Grange Hall is located east of the square in New London on State Route 162, southeast Huron County. The workshop will start at 9:00 A.M. and conclude about 5:00 p.m.

The session will cover setting your goals and objectives, evaluating your resources, understanding plant growth, grazing economic, and forage species selection, developing contingency plans for drought, mud and deep snow, soil pasture fertility, fencing and livestock watering systems. Producers need to register by January15th, 2013, by contacting OFGC at bobhendershot2011@gmail or 740-477-1114 or Eric Grim 419-929-4304. A registration fee of $50 per farm will include materials, Pasture for Profit notebook, Pasture Stick, refreshments and Saturday’s lunch. A registration form and agenda is available on line at reading

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Ohio Sheep and Wool Program proposal funding approved

By Roger A. High, Executive Director, Ohio Sheep and Wool Program

The Ohio Sheep and Wool Program (OSWP), Ohio’s Sheep and Wool check-off program will invest up to $36,500 into sheep and wool promotion, education, industry information, and producer programs in FY 2012-2013. OSWP received seventeen Requests for Proposals for FY 2012-13, with 13 of these proposals approved for full or partial funding by the board. The funding plan was approved by the Ohio Sheep and Wool Program Board of Directors at their October board meeting.

The Ohio Sheep and Wool Program approved programs that would benefit every segment of the Ohio Sheep Industry. Lamb promotional programs approved included the Ohio Lamb Jam, Ohio Lamb Chef’s Day and Ohio Soybean Council Grocery Store Promotion. Educational programs include the Buckeye Shepherd’s Symposium, Ohio Sheep Day, AGRI-Power Institute, Statewide Sheep Shearing Schools, Ohio Sheep Summit, Ohio Sheep Forage and Farm Tour, and a Fall Education Program.… Continue reading

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Pacelle withdraws attempt to gain seat on Tyson’s board of directors

In what was an unusual move, Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), announced that he filed paperwork as a candidate for election to the board of directors of Tyson Foods last fall. Pacelle said he planned to urge the company to commit to a definite time frame to phase out the confinement of sows in gestation crates. That effort has been withdrawn.

Tyson spokesman Worth Sparkman says their company backs farmers right to choose the best method for raising their hogs. Pacelle says HSUS will continue using public awareness efforts, litigation, investigations and corporate campaigns to pressure Tyson. This year close to 50 major food retailers have agreed to phase out purchases of pork from suppliers that rely on gestation crates.… Continue reading

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Ohio Cattlemen’s Association to host annual meeting and banquet

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association’s (OCA) Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet are set for Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013, at the Marriott Columbus Northwest in Columbus. All OCA members are encouraged to attend the day’s events which include policy development sessions, an update on OCA events and programs and OCA’s annual awards banquet.

The annual meeting will begin at 1 p.m. and will feature Kent Bacus, Associate Director of Legislative Affairs in the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Washington, DC office. Kent specializes on trade issues for NCBA and also handles tax, transportation and appropriations issues. The membership will also hear reports from OCA committee chairmen and take part in the association’s policy development session. Following the meeting, a hospitality hour is scheduled for 5 p.m.

The OCA Awards Banquet starts at 6 p.m., an event recognizing outstanding contributors to Ohio’s beef industry. Awards include: Outstanding County Affiliates, Young Cattleman of the Year, Industry Service Award, Industry Excellence Award, Seedstock Producer of the Year, Commercial Producer of the Year and scholarship presentations.… Continue reading

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USDA announces final rule establishing traceability for livestock

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a final rule establishing general regulations for improving the traceability of U.S. livestock moving interstate.

“With the final rule announced today, the United States now has a flexible, effective animal disease traceability system for livestock moving interstate, without undue burdens for ranchers and U.S. livestock businesses,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “The final rule meets the diverse needs of the countryside where states and tribes can develop systems for tracking animals that work best for them and their producers, while addressing any gaps in our overall disease response efforts. Over the past several years, USDA has listened carefully to America’s farmers and ranchers, working collaboratively to establish a system of tools and safeguards that will help us target when and where animal diseases occur, and help us respond quickly.”

Under the final rule, unless specifically exempted, livestock moved interstate would have to be officially identified and accompanied by an interstate certificate of veterinary inspection or other documentation, such as owner-shipper statements or brand certificates.… Continue reading

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Dean recognized for work with no-till

By Matt Reese

Allen Dean was recently recognized as the No-Till Farmer of the Year by the Ohio No-Till Council for his dedication to the lack of tillage on his Williams County soybean and wheat farm.

Dean’s parents did not farm, but he learned to love working on the land at a young age and spent many hours helping on area farms. Dean bought his first farm in the mid-1970s and then started expanding his acreage. With limited labor and funds, Dean soon saw the appeal of no-till farming.

“I started with conventional tillage, but all of that equipment was expensive,” he said. “I knew I could never afford all of that equipment, so I planted my first no-till corn field back behind the woods where no one could see it. That was 34 years ago on a 23-acre field. I was young and a lot of people were saying how this could never work, but within four years we were full blown into no-till with corn and beans.… Continue reading

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OSIA recognizes winners at Shepherd’s Symposium

By Connie Lechleitner, OCJ field reporter

During the 2102 Buckeye Shepherd’s Symposium, the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association also held its membership meeting and elected 2013 officers, which included Daryl Clark, Muskingum County, president; Shawn Ray, Noble County, vice president; Mark McCabe, Marion County, secretary/treasurer; and Jim Percival, Greene County, past president.

The association recognized three youth members for their achievements,

including 2012 Lamb and Wool Queen Mikayla Pitman, Megan Hunker, winner of the Ralph Grimshaw $1,000 scholarship and Adam High, Ohio State FFA Sheep Proficiency award winner.

Six Distinguished Service awards were presented, including to district and board of trustees members Bob Deuker, Val Jorgensen, Leslie Jordan and David Inbody. They were joined by the Ohio Farm Bureau’s accounting department.

Steffee Farms of Dresden were recognized as the recipient of the environmental stewardship award, which was presented at the Ohio Livestock Coalition annual banquet. Friends of the Ohio sheep Industry recipients were the former co-editors of The Shepherd magazine.… Continue reading

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Cover crops boosting soils and profits

By Matt Reese

Like a kid on Christmas morning, Allen Dean can hardly wait to dig into his soil test results from the fields on his Williams County soybean and wheat farm. He excitedly looks to see how his soil nutrient holding has improved each year —something that has been happening consistently since he combined no-till and cover crops nine years ago.

“We’re applying less and less fertilizer and our soil test levels keep going up,” Dean said. “The cover crops are mineralizing a lot of nutrients and it is exciting to see that.”

Though no-till has been a standard practice on the farm for many years, the use of cover crops has been a more recent addition. Dean started looking into cover crops, including hairy vetch and oats, in the early 1980s as a way to improve his soils.

“We weren’t getting the results we wanted so we stopped planting them until we started looking at cover crops again nine years ago,” Dean said.… Continue reading

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Pasture management crucial to grazing operations

By Connie Lechleitner, OCJ field reporter

David Robison, forage manager at Legacy Seeds, Inc., Winona Lake, WI, provided attendees at the recent Buckeye Shepherd’s Symposium with a presentation on making the farm operation more profitable using proper forage species in pasture and grazing management.

The least expensive way to improve profitability is to feed the pasture.
“If you start with one ton of forage, worth approximately $400, add two ton of Nitrogen at a cost of $200, and gain three tons of forage, you’ve just made $1,200. I’d call that a reasonable investment,” he said.

He noted that ammonium sulfate (21-0-0-21) is a very inexpensive way to improve the pasture soil (if the pasture contains no clovers). Robison recommended one pass of fertilizer in May when fields begin to green up, a second pass in August or early September (hopefully when fall rains occur), and another application in early November.

Robison suggested that a complete ruminant forage profit system could be divided into several parts, including 30% permanent pasture, 20% alfalfa/alfalfa grass hay, 10% cereal grains and annual forages, 10% “drought buster,” 10% row crop and cereal forages, 10% stockpiled tall fescue and 10 tons per acre of annual forages.… Continue reading

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ForYourInFARMation teaching about ag to Ohio third graders

By David White, Ohio Livestock Coalition

There was a time when just about everyone knew where their food came from and how it was produced, because it was probably their dad, uncle or grandfather producing it on the family farm. But that’s not the case anymore.

The Ohio Livestock Coalition (OLC) believes that as more and more families become generations removed from the farm, it is increasingly important to educate students at a younger age about where their food comes from and the critical role Ohio livestock farmers play in feeding Ohio and the world.

That’s just one of the many reasons that five years ago OLC created ForYourInFARMation (FYI), an educational outreach program designed for third grade students that seeks to teach them about the origins of the food they eat every day and the important role agriculture plays in Ohio’s economy. Through these materials, students learn about farmers, the economy, livestock farming, keys to safe and healthy food, careers in agriculture, and how farmers provide excellent animal care protect precious natural resources.… Continue reading

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Cover crop seeder turning heads in Williams County

By Matt Reese

Allen Dean’s wife Shelly has been talking about building a new house for years. But, unfortunately, the house will have to wait a bit longer.

The dream house project has been temporarily shelved due to a new cover crop seeder designed to facilitate the booming interest on the farm and in the area. Even though it had a dream house sized price tag, Allen decided he could not go another autumn without fulfilling another dream — a more viable way to seed cover crops on his William County farm.

“We had done a lot of work seeding with helicopters and airplanes, but we decided we could do a lot better job with a ground applicator. We had researched three different grant proposals and none of those worked out. So, in May we just decided to get this applicator built and we just went ahead and did it on our own,” Allen said.… Continue reading

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