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Applications open for 2023 ExPloreAg STEM camps

Ohio Farm Bureau’s signature ag literacy and workforce development program, ExploreAg, will once again be offering free weeklong camps and one-day experiences for high school students in 2023.

In ExploreAg, teens learn about agriculture and related STEM fields from industry experts, scientists, and educators. Participants visit locations like Kroger and Bob Evans, manufacturers like John Deere and Certified Angus Beef, and research laboratories at Ohio State, Wilmington and Findlay. Youths are able to develop their leadership and collaboration skills and prepare for college and further careers during these multiday and daylong immersion programs

“Providing students with opportunities to explore the variety of educational and career opportunities open to them is always a struggle,” said Jana Mussard, ExploreAg and ag literacy specialist with Ohio Farm Bureau. “At the same time, our society is faced with the great challenge of feeding a growing world population while doing so sustainably. It is going to take this generation of students to get the job done.”… Continue reading

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Farmers and hunters are still teaming up to feed the hungry

By Dan Armitage, Buckeye Sportsman

One of my favorite conservation programs got a financial boost recently. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife contributed $25,000 in a grant to Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry (FHFH) to support local food banks with donated venison. The organization will use the funding to pay for white-tailed deer harvested by hunters to be processed and distributed to charitable organizations in Ohio. Additional funding will be secured by the organization with a goal to match or exceed the amount provided by the grant.

FHFH, assisted by the Division of Wildlife’s grant, covers the processing cost for deer donated by hunters for the program. FHFH expects to pay the processing cost for 350 deer with the grant each of which yields approximately 50 pounds of venison and 200 meals. Hunters who harvest a deer and would like to donate the venison can bring it to one of approximately 30 certified deer processing shops in Ohio, which will process the deer and donate it to a verified charitable organization that offers food assistance for underprivileged individuals and families.   … Continue reading

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Ohio’s Country Journal & Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 285 | Train a Farmer, Feed a Nation – Bethel Agriculture Association, Inc Plans To Do Just That

This week Matt and Joel catch up with Warren Dick who is the President and Director at Bethel Agriculture Association, Inc. At Bethel Agriculture Association, Inc. they work to help teach sustainable agriculture practices in Ethiopia and other parts of Africa. Jared Bernstein, a member of the White House Council on Economic Advisors chats with Dusty about the current state of inflation and the economy. Dusty also talks with Paul Schadegg, who is the Sr. Vice President of Real Estate Operations for Farmers National Company. He discusses trends they are seeing in land sales nationwide and the competition for high quality farm ground. All this and more on this week’s podcast.

00:00 Intro and OCJ/OAN Staff Update  

06:48 Jared Bernstein – Economy

10:21 Paul Schadegg – Real Estate

16:04 Back with Warren… Continue reading

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Ohio Organic Corn Performance Test results

By Rich MinyoOsler Ortez, Ohio State University Extension

The purpose of the Ohio Organic Corn Performance Test (OOCPT) is to evaluate certified organic corn hybrids for grain yield and other important agronomic characteristics. Results of the test can assist farmers in selecting hybrids best suited to their farming operations and production environments as well as recommendations made by seed companies and breeding programs.

Results for the 2022 Ohio Organic Corn Performance Test are available, you can access a copy of the PDF full report here. Additionally, you can access results by selecting any of the three 2022 test locations (including 2-year and 3-year summaries) on the Ohio Organic Corn Trial webpage. The web-based version of the trial includes sortable tables, and the information can also be downloaded as spreadsheets.

In 2022, wet and cold soil conditions in May delayed field preparation and planting. The Organic OCPT fields were planted in the second half of May into conventionally tilled fields with good soil moisture.… Continue reading

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Check out the new eFields report!

By Elizabeth Hawkins and John Fulton

Now that 2022 has wrapped up, it is time to look forward and make decisions to set our farms up for success in 2022. Each year, Ohio State University Extension partners with Ohio farmers to bring local research results to you through the eFields program. The 2021 eFields Research Report highlights 292 on-farm, field scale trials conducted across Ohio. Research topics included nutrient management, precision crop management, cover crops, technology and forages. Other information about crop production budgets, planting progress, and farm business analysis was also included. 

The 2022 report is now available in both a print and e-version. To receive a printed copy, contact your local OSU Extension office or email The e-version can be viewed and downloaded at with the online version readable using a smartphone or tablet device.

Jan. 31 there will be a webinar focused on eFields research projects and will provide the opportunity to discuss results and gather information about research interests for 2023.… Continue reading

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Upcoming soybean educational opportunities

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Field Leader, a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean check-off

There are two educational opportunities to learn more about soybean production coming up in February. One is a virtual meeting and one is available in-person.

The OSU Extension AgCrops Team will be hosting their 3rd annual virtual Corn College and Soybean School on Feb. 10, 2023 from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m featuring your OSU Extension state specialists and soil fertility guest speaker, Dr. Kurt Steinke, from Michigan State University.

CCA CEUs will be available during the live presentations.

To register for this online meeting, visit:

Registration is requested by February 9 at noon. There is a $10 registration fee for this event, which goes directly to support OSU AgCrops Team activities.

Presentations will be recorded and uploaded to the AgCrops Team YouTube channel after the event ( However, CCA CEUs will not be available for the recorded presentations.… Continue reading

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Ohio FFA — Welcome to 2023!

Message from Ohio FFA State President Aubrey Schwartz

It’s hard to believe that 2023 is already here!

This year, my teammates and I have been so blessed to meet so many of our 27,703 Ohio FFA members. Throughout this year, we have been impacted by so many of you in such a positive way. You all have added value to our lives in ways that we can’t explain! Whether that has been at FFA Camp, Chapter Visits, Leadership Nights, Greenhand and Chapter Degree ceremonies or National Convention, we’ve had a great time celebrating Ohio FFA with dance moves, laughs and joy. 

Speaking of national convention…what a week in Indianapolis we had! Ohio truly beamed with Buckeye pride as many of our members crossed the stage. 

We had two American Star finalists, 28 proficiency finalists, 25 agriscience finalists, a national band member, a national choir member, five national talent competitors, numerous career development teams, and five chapters competed to be one of the top chapters in the nation. … Continue reading

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Trade on a mission

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Field Leader, a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean check-off

The U.S Grains Council in conjunction with the Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association hosted a North African Trade Team of feed grain buyers from the countries of Algeria, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Tunisia, and Senegal. The buyers were looking for corn and distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) to import into their countries to use for livestock and poultry feed.  

The trade team visited an ethanol plant, the Andersons, a beef feedlot operation, a large dairy, and took a combine and grain cart ride, and enjoyed lunch and a livestock farmers roundtable/meal. The goal was to share information and build relationships among the trade representatives, agribusiness people, and farmers. 

Keith Truckor, a farmer in Fulton County, hosted the trade team for a meal the final evening. Truckor feels that the American farmer needs to do a better job building relationships with end users from around the globe. … Continue reading

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WOTUS rule challenged in court (again)

American Farm Bureau Federation is legally challenging the new Waters of the United States rule. AFBF joined 17 other organizations representing agriculture, infrastructure and housing, as well as county and state Farm Bureaus in filing suit.

“Farmers and ranchers share the goal of protecting the resources we’re entrusted with. Clean water is important to all of us,” said Zippy Duvall, AFBF president. “Unfortunately, the new WOTUS rule once again gives the federal government sweeping authority over private lands. This isn’t what clean water regulations were intended to do. Farmers and ranchers should not have to hire a team of lawyers and consultants to determine how we can farm our land.”

There is broad agricultural and landowner concern about the lack of clarity in the rule.

“The new rule is vague and creates uncertainty for America’s farmers, even if they’re miles from the nearest navigable water,” Duvall said. “We believe a judge will recognize these regulations exceed the scope of the Clean Water Act, and direct EPA to develop rules that enable farmers to protect natural resources while ensuring they can continue stocking America’s pantries.”… Continue reading

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Baldridge nominated as next Ohio Director of Agriculture

Governor Mike DeWine announced he will nominate Brian Baldridge of Winchester to be the next Director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture. 

State Representative Brian Baldridge is currently serving his third term in the Ohio House of Representatives. He represents the 90th House District, which encompasses all of Adams and Scioto Counties and eastern Brown County.

He served as a firefighter and paramedic for the Wayne Township Fire Department. In addition to serving his local community, he also served as a career firefighter and paramedic with Anderson Township Fire Department. Baldridge served four terms as Adams County Commissioner, and was also elected to the Ohio County Commissioners’ Association Board of Directors. He has also served two terms as a Wayne Township Trustee, where he was elected to serve on the Ohio Township Association Board of Directors. Baldridge was raised on a seventh generation family farm, and is still active in the family’s agriculture seed business.… Continue reading

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Stover scores a big win for Ohio beef

By Matt Reese

A farm boy turned football star had a great season for the Ohio State Buckeyes and a big win for Ohio’s beef producers.

Stover grew up on a cattle and grain operation working with his family. He developed a strong work ethic there and paired it with his athletic ability for great success in the last couple of years. 

“I grew up in Lexington, Ohio, running feeder calves up there. We sell freezer beef to local people and have a small row crop operation. Growing up and watching my dad work really inspired me to do what I can do today. I like all parts of it. I like the cattle, I like the crops and I really like the big equipment,” Stover said. “I love playing football and I love farming, but I loved farming before I knew what a football was, so I guess you could say I loved farming first.… Continue reading

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Ohio frontier battles in the Northwest Indian War

By Mike Ryan, OCJ field reporter

The Northwest Indian War (~1785-1795), also known as Little Turtle’s War, was fought to establish European dominance and control of the Northwest Territory north of the Ohio River in what is now the state of Ohio. The Northwest Indian War played a significant role in the white settlement of the United States frontier and the displacement of the area’s indigenous tribal peoples. The lands of Ohio hosted the largest and most consequential battles of this often small-scale and tit-for-tat series of armed skirmishes that pitted confederated Native American tribes against white settlers and the United States military.

After the Revolutionary War, the British-ceded land of the Northwest Territories had yet to be fully settled and governed. Following a series of tribal attacks against pioneer settlements such as the Big Bottom Massacre in 1791 that left around 11 settlers dead and the attempted Shawnee/Wyandotte siege on Dunlap’s Station in that same year, it became clear from the European perspective that settlement north of the Ohio River would only occur with a significant defeat and vanquishing of the native population. … Continue reading

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Cover crop value

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

What value do cover crops bring to a farm field?  As the old saying goes: There are a 1000 ways to skin a cat! Please do not take that literally.  I came across two sources that try to put a value on cover crops for their farms. 

Rulon farms in Indiana have been doing no-till and cover crops since 2005.  They farm 5600 acres, 50-50 corn -soybean, using no-till and about 90% of their acres have cover crops. This is a family farm with one brother being a Purdue Economist.  Since they believe the benefits accrue over many years, they do a “whole farm” cost-benefit approach (costs and benefits/acre are additive).  The Rulon’s have used 4 different cover crop mixes using mostly spring oats, radish, rape, and crimson clover (after early corn) or simply cereal rye after late corn.  Their average cost per acre for seed is around $22/acre. … Continue reading

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Farm bill decisions for risk management in 2023

By Chris Bruynis, Ohio State University Extension educator, Ross County

If I could accurately predict the future, I would then know which farm bill decision to elect for my farm. Even without knowing future yield and prices, I can determine what risks I face, and which are mitigated by the different farm bill programs. Each farm might have its own inherent risk related to yield and price, making the farm bill program election different for each FSA farm number.

Price Loss Coverage (PLC) 

PLC is considered a disaster loss program and covers price risk when the market year average price falls below the reference price. The reference price can adjust over time, but even with the higher prices in recent years, they will remain the same for 2023 at Corn $3.70; Soybeans $8.40; and Wheat $5.50.  The market year average price (MYA) for the 2023 crops is from harvest to the following year’s harvest (July through June for Wheat and September through August for Corn and Soybeans). … Continue reading

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Ohio poultry producers ready to tackle the challenges of 2023

By Matt Reese

After a postponement due to an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), the Ohio Poultry Association was able to finally gather late in 2022 to celebrate successes of the year, but some challenges for the industry still loom large. 

At the top of the list of ongoing concerns from the poultry industry was HPAI. 

“We spent quite a bit of time talking about HPAI. The industry is still faced with this on a daily basis and in Ohio we have had a few backyard flock incidents as well as one commercial operation. It was a learning opportunity for us,” said Jim Chakeres, OPA executive vice president. “This HPAI strain has been different than ones we have dealt with in the past. For example, in the past with avian influenza, we didn’t see it in the summer when the birds weren’t migrating and the temperatures were higher. But this year we did.… Continue reading

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New book from “Bob the barn guy” showcases round barns

By Matt Reese

I have long enjoyed travelling Ohio and admiring the beautiful historic barns dotting the state’s rural landscape. They are simultaneously symbols of our agricultural heritage, a demonstration of incredible human ingenuity and uniquely nostalgic. Maybe the most notable examples of this are the rare round barns, of which Ohio has several. 

I know a trip to the Fairfield County Fair is not complete without a stroll through the round dairy barn. At least as impressive, though much less visited, is a 16-sided, 60-foot-tall barn on the Workley farm in Harrison County, nestled in the Appalachian woodlands. And no Ohio round barn conversation can be complete without referencing the incredible structure on the Manchester farm in Auglaize County. 

My friend Robert Kroeger, who I call “Bob the Barn guy,” has been hard at work again documenting round barns to help preserve their historic significance through his painting and story-telling.… Continue reading

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Wheat Yield Enhancement Network registration closing soon

By Mike EstadtLaura LindseyEric Richer, CCA, Ohio State University Extension

Wheat growers interested in becoming part of a ground-breaking new program in the Great Lakes region must register now, so they don’t lose out on the 2023 opportunity to learn more about their wheat crop and how to hit their yield potential.

Registration closes January 27 for growers interested in participating in the second year of the Great Lakes Wheat Yield Enhancement Network (YEN) program. To register or for more information on Great Lakes YEN visit or look for the hashtag #GreatLakesYEN. 

Every farm involved in the Great Lakes YEN anonymously shares soil, tissue and whole plant analysis for comparison and benchmarking. Growers receive reports specific to their farm. Growers will learn more about how their wheat crop develops and produces yield, and how they compare to their peers.

According to 2022 participant Rick Clifton of Circleville, Ohio, “The sampling aspect of the YEN program in itself is a learning opportunity. … Continue reading

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Ohio leaves its mark on AFBF policy

At the 104th American Farm Bureau Annual Convention earlier this month, Ohio Farm Bureau member-approved policies were shared with AFBF delegates for consideration.

“We had several policies that came from Ohio and were adopted as part of the delegate session,” said Brandon Kern, senior director of state and national policy with Ohio Farm Bureau. “More importantly, the issues we brought to the table were substantive policy, based on experiences that we have had in Ohio.”

One of those issues included approvals of ag technologies through the Environmental Protection Agency. In spring 2022, Ohio farmers in 12 counties were suddenly prohibited from using Enlist One and Enlist Duo herbicides as a result of label changes from EPA, catching them off guard after most had already made planting decisions for the year.

“New policy offered by Ohio Farm Bureau members tells the EPA to give growers more lead time to be able to adapt,” Kern said.… Continue reading

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Census of Agriculture deadline approaching

By Hubert Hamer, administrator of USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service

The USDA’s 2022 Census of Agriculture is officially underway across the United States and Puerto Rico. It is important for every farmer, rancher and producer to make sure they respond by the deadline on Feb. 6.
Every five years, America’s producers have the opportunity to take part in the nation’s only, most comprehensive and impartial data collection for agriculture. Since 1840, the ag census has played a significant role in showing the value of agriculture and informs decision-makers on how and where to allocate resources. The data collected impact everything from farm programs and funding, crop insurance rates, rural development, disaster assistance, the farm bill and more.
Producers, your voice needs to be represented in these important data. Who better to tell the story of American agriculture than the producers themselves? These statistics will directly impact our farming and ranching communities for years to come and without your input, your hard work to provide safe and abundant agricultural products to the world risks being underserved.… Continue reading

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