Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 330 | ODA Director Brian Baldridge

Ohio Department of Agriculture Director Brian Baldridge is the featured guest for the first Ohio Ag Net Podcast of 2024, joining hosts Matt Reese and Joel Penhorwood. The three discuss a wide variety of issues, including Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza, ODA’s groundbreaking of the new animal diagnostics laboratory, H2Ohio, the new recommendation to lead the Ohio State Fair and Ohio Expo Center, as well as much more. Director Baldridge also gives a recap of the big items of 2023 as well as the issues that lie ahead in 2024, including farm preservation and even a quick chat about artificial intelligence.

Other guest audio in the podcast includes:

  • Ohio Ag Net’s Dale Minyo visits with Tom Fontana and Jeanne Gogolski on GrowNextGen
  • Ohio Ag Net’s Dusty Sonnenberg hears from Dale Arnold, director of energy policy at Ohio Farm Bureau, about the issues of the day in that changing world.


Intro and conversation with ODA Director Brian Baldridge0:00.000
Tom Fontana and Jeanne Gogolski on GrowNextGen4:51.299
Dale Arnold on energy25:17.182
Back with Director Baldridge28:28.342
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COBA/Select Sires merges with others to become Select Sires Member Cooperative

COBA has merged with other cooperatives to become the Select Sires Member Cooperative, headquartered out of central Ohio. Chris Sigurdson, CEO of the dairy and beef genetics company, speaks with Ohio Ag Net’s Joel Penhorwood about the change, the reasons behind it, and the future of the farmer-owned organization in a changing time for the cattle business.

The merger brings together the formerly separate cooperatives of All West/Select Sires, COBA/Select Sires, Select Sires MidAmerica, and Minnesota/Select Sires – representing the Select Sires federation in 27 U.S. states and the country of Mexico. The change officially took place October 1, 2023. The new organization is headquartered in central Ohio, with multiple regional distribution offices around the country.… Continue reading

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Economist: Ohio farmers really hit a home run

“Just an outstanding year. Ohio farmers really a homerun,” said Tanner Ehmke, CoBank Knowledge Exchange lead economist for grains and oilseeds.

Ehmke joins Ohio Ag Net to discuss a wide range of topics impacting the farm economy. Thought 2023 was a strong year for Ohio, how do farmers keep their pencils sharp in their marketing plans to take advantage of changing market dynamics around the globe? Tune in for his tips.… Continue reading

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Great Plains partnering to innovate in regenerative ag

James Shurts, ag division president of Grain Plains Manufacturing, joins Ohio Ag Net to talk their forward-looking perspective at the company, including an update on their ownership by Kubota. Discussions also focus on regenerative agriculture and sustainability through their partnership with Bayer, taking advantage of the unique relationship farmers potentially have with carbon markets. Tune in to learn more.… Continue reading

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Lorain County Jr. Fair perseveres in Fight the Hunger, Stock the Trailer

Farm Credit Mid-America’s ‘Fight the Hunger, Stock the Trailer’ contest saw great competition for the good cause of raising food for local communities in 2023. The results are in and for the second year in a row, the Lorain County Jr. Fairboard has again seized the winning place across Ohio with a total of nearly 24,000 pounds of food donated. In this video, Ohio Ag Net hears from Evan Han of Farm Credit Mid-America alongside Lorain County Fair’s Holden Harker and Nolan Norman about how they persevered through a year of flood conditions to continue giving back to their community.… Continue reading

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Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 329 | Festive Folks and Farm Wisdom

In this festive edition of the Ohio Ag Net Podcast, hosts Matt Reese and Dusty Sonnenberg bring holiday cheer and valuable insights from Larry Davis and Elizabeth Long of Ag Resource Management (ARM). As an added bonus, it’s the annual Christmas Sweater Day – so a bit of a festive flair is brought to the podcast!


  • Dale Minyo and Jamie Brown – GrowNextGen Teacher of the Year: Jamie Brown is the GrowNextGen Teacher of the Year from Miami East.
  • Dusty and Leah Curtis – OFBF Policy Council: Dusty chats with Leah about CAUV (Current Agricultural Use Value) and Property Taxes.
  • Dusty and Jordan Hoewischer – OFBF Director of Water Quality and Research: Dive into a discussion at the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation as the two explore topics such as H2Ohio and the Ohio Agriculture Conservation Initiative (OACI), shedding light on water quality and conservation efforts in the state.
  • Special Christmas Message: Stay tuned until the very end as Matt Reese shares a special Christmas message, wrapping up the episode with holiday warmth and good wishes.
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McCarthys honored with top award from Ohio’s sheep industry

By Matt Reese and Joel Penhorwood 

One role of today’s leaders in Ohio’s sheep industry is setting up a bright future for the next generation of leaders. Farabee and Joy McCarthy of Wyandot County, the winners of the 2023 Charles Boyles Master Shepherd Award from the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association and Ohio Sheep and Wool Program, have spent many years doing just that. 

Farabee and Joy McCarthy, Wyandot County, center, were recognized with the Charles Boyles Master Shepherd Award, the highest award presented for the Ohio Sheep Industry.

They were presented the surprise award at the 2023 Buckeye Shepherd’s Symposium in December held in Wooster. Farabee currently serves as the chair of the Animal Science and Pre- Veterinary studies at the University of Findlay.

“I’ve been here about 22 years. When I came, we were a relatively small department. We’ve grown since and now we have about 700 undergraduate students. In addition to cattle, we also have sheep, we have goats and farrow out a few sows every semester because of class needs.… Continue reading

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