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Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) for 4-H youth livestock producers and families

What is a VFD?

A VFD is a written (nonverbal) statement issued by a licensed veterinarian that authorizes the use of an approved VFD drug or combination VFD drug in or on an animal feed. This written statement authorizes the client (owner of the animal) to obtain and use animal feed bearing or containing a VFD drug or combination VFD drug to treat the client’s animals only in accordance with the conditions for use approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). The client (youth producer) must establish a veterinarian-client-patient relationship (VCPR) to be able to get a VFD. This is true whether the 4-H member has one food-producing animal or several.


When must the VFD be implemented?

January 1, 2017. Starting January 1, 2017, you can no longer stop by a feed store and buy a bag of medicated feed containing certain types of antibiotics that were previously classified as over-the-counter (OTC) drugs.… Continue reading

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Dicamba and soybeans: What to expect in 2017

One barrier to weed control on soybean farms has just been lifted. In early November, the Environmental Protection Agency approved a label allowing use of the herbicide dicamba in dicamba-resistant soybean, although only one commercial product received that label. Many farmers anticipate this technology will provide a much-needed method to control weeds that are resistant to multiple herbicides, as well as other difficult-to-control species.

“Without question, there are instances and scenarios in which dicamba will improve control of certain weed species, but dicamba will not bring back the ‘good ol’ days’ of POST-only weed control programs in soybean. Current expectations of what this technology can accomplish tend to be a bit more optimistic than what the technology actually will be able to deliver,” said Aaron Hager, University of Illinois weed scientist.

Hager expects the technology will work well in a handful of scenarios. For example, dicamba should be effective for glyphosate-resistant horseweed (i.e.,… Continue reading

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Tips for buying firewood from ODA

As winter quickly approaches and more people look to firewood to help heat their homes, the Ohio Department of Agriculture is offering some basic tips to help when purchasing wood.

“Many Ohioans rely on firewood to heat their homes during the cold winter months,” said David Daniels, director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture. “That’s why it’s important to know the laws about how firewood must be sold in order to make sure you, the consumer, are getting what you pay for.”

The following firewood rules and regulations are helpful to review before making purchases:

  • Non-packaged firewood must be sold by the cord or by fractions of a cord. One cord, when properly stacked, should be 8 feet long by 4 feet high and 4 feet wide (128 cubic feet).
  • If sold in bulk, firewood must be purchased by the weight in ton measurements. This must be weighed on a certified scale.
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Ohio volunteer effort yields 28,600 pounds of produce for local communities

To improve access to locally grown produce for communities in need, more than 10 Farm Credit Mid-America employees in Ohio harvested and packaged more than 28,000 pounds of produce for communities in need during a four-month volunteer effort. This summer, employees volunteered their time as part of a commitment to provide fresh produce to food banks in the four-state area of Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee, making use of excess and donated produce from area farms. Overall, the effort netted 97,000 pounds of produce for the four-state area.

Farm Credit Mid-America partnered with Ag Clearance Program, a program that directs surplus and donated agricultural products from farmers to food bank distribution centers. From there, the produce makes its way to food kitchens, community churches and other emergency food providers throughout local communities.

“Ag Clearance Program is a home for the produce farmers either donate or cannot sell,” said Mary Courtney, who operates Courtney Farms in Bagdad, Ky.… Continue reading

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The 2016 Ohio Dairy Challenge

The 2016 Ohio Dairy Challenge was held Oct. 21 and 22 and was sponsored by Cargill Animal Nutrition, Elanco, Purina Animal Nutrition, Renaissance Nutrition, Sexing Technologies, and VitaPlus. 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 Three Flags Dairy in Forest owned by Geert and Wiesje Kruiter. The Kruiter family started milking at the facility in 2010, and there are about 715 cows in the operation.… Continue reading

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OEFFA annual conference registration open

Registration is now open for the largest sustainable agriculture conference in Ohio, which is relocating in 2017 to a larger venue in order to offer an expanded program and more networking opportunities for farmers, backyard gardeners, consumers, businesses, and others interested in sustainable and organic agriculture.

The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s (OEFFA) 38th annual conference, Growing Today, Transforming Tomorrow, will run Thursday, Feb. 9 through Saturday, Feb. 11 at the Dayton Convention Center.

“We are thrilled with this new location, and excited about this year’s line up,” said OEFFA Program Director Renee Hunt. “There certainly is something for everyone interested in food and farming.”

Online registration is now open at As a special “Move With Us” incentive, OEFFA is offering a reduced registration rate for members who register by Dec. 15. A limited number of beginning farmer scholarships and reduced volunteer spaces are also available. Online registration will be open until Jan.… Continue reading

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ODA issues health alert for raw milk

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) is issuing a health alert for unpasteurized raw milk and raw milk products from Sweet Grass Dairy’s herd share, due to contamination with Campylobacter. Sweet Grass Dairy is located in Knox County at 6049 Bryant Rd., Fredericktown, OH 43019.

This alert is the result of an investigation by ODA and the Ohio Department of Health after foodborne illnesses were reported in Franklin County. Later testing confirmed a connection between the illnesses and raw milk from Sweet Grass Dairy.

Campylobacter bacteria may cause diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, nausea and vomiting within two to five days after exposure to the organism. Illness can last for up to a week or more and can be especially severe for those who have weakened or compromised immune systems, and for young children and the elderly. Although most people who get campylobacteriosis recover completely, some patients do suffer long-term effects, including arthritis and paralysis.… Continue reading

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Still time to take part in PERC’s 2016 Propane Farm Incentive Program

With the 2016 Propane Farm Incentive Program soon coming to a close, the Propane Education & Research Council recommends producers act quickly to take advantage of limited time incentives before availability and significant program changes take effect in 2017.

Sponsored by PERC, the program provides financial incentives to qualifying and selected farmers who purchase propane-powered farm equipment in exchange for sharing real-world performance data. The program is designed to help farmers experience the benefits of propane technology while helping offset the upfront costs of new agricultural equipment.

“If you’ve been considering the purchase of new, highly efficient propane-powered equipment, now is the time to move forward to ensure optimal savings,” said Cinch Munson, Director of Agriculture Business Development at PERC. “We have a limited number of incentives still available for 2016, and now is the optimal time to make those purchases and save as much as possible in the process.”

The 2016 Propane Farm Incentive Program provides $300 per liter of fuel displacement for propane-powered irrigation engines as well as $1,500 for qualifying generators and $2,000 for qualifying agricultural heaters.… Continue reading

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Fennig Equipment announces new sales team members

Fennig Equipment, based near Coldwater is pleased to announce two new additions to their sales team.

Mike Shellenbarger will handle territory in northern Ohio. Shellenbarger hails from Middle Point, Ohio, has an extensive ag sales and service background, having worked the past 12 years for Agro Chem.

Kevin Toschlog lives near Richmond, Ind., and worked as an accounts manager for Climate Corp, and the crop insurance business. In addition to handling territory in southwest Ohio and southern Indiana, Toschlog will also be a part of the Fennig-Homan Agribusiness division.

Both Shellenbarger and Toschlog will handle sales for Fennig Equipment, which includes on-farm visits. They will be promoting demos for Salford and Yetter tillage tools.

“With the farming industry rapidly recognizing the value-added benefits, per bushel, of nutrient placement practices, cover crops, and fertilizer placement, demand is high for the services that Fennig Equipment offers their customers,” said Gary Fennig, president of Fennig Equipment.… Continue reading

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National Corn Growers Association welcomes court ruling on seed protection case

In a win for farmers’ rights to use proven-safe technology, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ruled last week that additional regulation of treated seeds would unnecessarily duplicate the Environmental Protection Agency’s existing science-based regulatory review.

The decision protects farmers’ ability to continue using seed treatment technology and maintains the EPA’s currently regulatory approach for treated seeds.

National Corn Growers Association President Wesley Spurlock, a farmer from Stratford, Texas, applauded the Court’s decision.

“At NCGA, we support regulations that are reasonable and based on sound science. These crop protection tools have already undergone a thorough regulatory review as required by law and have been established as safe and effective. Creating additional regulatory hoops for agriculture to jump through is unnecessary, and only hurts farmers. We are pleased that the Court upheld farmers’ access to this technology,” Spurlock said.

In the Anderson v. EPA ruling, the Court sided with EPA and an industry coalition of intervenors that included NCGA, CropLife America, American Seed Trade Association, Agricultural Retailers Association, American Soybean Association, National Cotton Council of America and the National Association of Wheat Growers.… Continue reading

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The ExtendiMax label for Xtend Soybeans

As everyone has probably heard by now, there is finally a federal label for the use of a dicamba product, XtendiMax, on dicamba-resistant (Xtend) soybeans, such as it may be. Here are some of the highlights from the label.

• The XtendiMax is based on dicamba DGA (Clarity), and the formulation contains “Vapor Grip” (imagine a deep voice with reverb), which reduces the volatility of the dicamba spray mix. It’s a 2.9-pound per gallon liquid, so 22 ounces provides 0.5-pound of dicamba, which is equivalent to 16 ounces of Clarity and other 4-pound per gallon dicamba products.

* Minimum application rate for any use is 22 ounces per acre. The maximum rate per application prior to soybean emergence is 44 ounces per acre, which is also the total maximum allowed for all applications prior to soybean emergence. The maximum rate per application after soybean emergence is 22 ounces per acre, and the total of all POST applications cannot exceed 44 ounces per acre.… Continue reading

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Santa’s busy holiday schedule includes visits to Apple Farm Service: Are you on the nice list?

Farmers know that if Santa picked favorites, it would be farm boys and girls. Maybe it’s the hard work ethic, maybe it’s the family values, maybe they just tend to be more on the “nice” list.

Santa is excited to visit Apple Farm Service’s four locations this winter and the man in red will be taking pictures with children and their parents/grandparents from 9 a.m. to noon at each Apple Farm SantaService location. He will be at their Botkins and Mechanicsburg locations on Dec. 3, and their Covington and West College Corner, Indiana, locations on Dec. 10.

Apple Farm Service is excited to have Santa this year.

“There are thousands of malls and parades he could have visited, and he chose us! We are tickled!” said Kent Holmes, Apple Farm Service marketing director, .

To celebrate the big man’s visit, Apple Farm Service is offering free create-your-own ornaments, hot chocolate, cider, and Christmas cards with a picture of Santa.… Continue reading

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Ohio wins one-third of AFBF’s County Activities of Excellence Awards

Ohio county Farm Bureaus won one-third of the nation’s top county programs. Every year American Farm Bureau Federation recognizes the top 24 county Farm Bureau programs through its County Activities of Excellence awards. Ohio received an impressive eight awards in the contest, which identifies programs that serve as models of innovation for local activities and showcase the value of volunteers working together to build and strengthen their communities.

“Outstanding is the word that comes to mind when describing Ohio’s county Farm Bureaus’ programming. County volunteers pour their hearts into these projects, which help make a difference in their communities whether it’s raising money for the needy, improving local water or educating youngsters about where their food comes from,” said Ohio Farm Bureau Executive Vice President Adam Sharp.

The county Farm Bureaus competed along with Farm Bureaus of similar membership size in one of these categories: education and ag promotion, member services, public relations and information, leadership development, and policy implementation.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s deer-gun season opens with more than 18,000 deer harvested

Hunters checked 18,776 white-tailed deer on Monday, Nov. 28, the opening day of Ohio’s deer-gun hunting season, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). In 2015, 22,253 deer were reported the first day of the deer-gun season.

Ohio’s deer-gun season remains open through Sunday, Dec. 4. Two additional days of deer-gun season (Saturday, Dec. 17, and Sunday, Dec. 18) are available for people to hunt with firearms. Find more information about deer hunting in the Ohio 2016-2017 Hunting and Trapping Regulations or at Past years’ harvest summaries and weekly updated harvest reports can be found at

The ODNR Division of Wildlife remains committed to properly managing Ohio’s deer populations. The goal of Ohio’s Deer Management Program is to provide a deer population that maximizes recreational opportunities, while minimizing conflicts with landowners and motorists.

Hunting Popularity

Ohio ranks fifth nationally in resident hunters and 11th in the number of jobs associated with hunting-related industries.… Continue reading

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Commodity Classic registration opening soon

Commodity Classic registration and housing reservations will open online at 10 a.m. CST on Wednesday morning, December 7, 2016. Rooms are expected to book quickly, so those interested should register and make reservations as soon as possible once registration is open.

The 2017 Commodity Classic will be held in San Antonio, Texas March 2-4, 2017, at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center.  The convention center will house all Commodity Classic events, including the Welcome Reception, General Session, Evening of Entertainment, Trade Show, Learning Center Sessions and What’s New Sessions.

All registration and housing reservations should be made online at  Experient is the official registration and housing provider for Commodity Classic.  In order to stay at an official Commodity Classic hotel, reservations must be made only through Experient to ensure favorable rates, reasonable terms and confirmed hotel rooms.

Established in 1996, Commodity Classic is America’s largest farmer-led, farmer-focused convention and trade show, produced by the National Corn Growers Association, American Soybean Association, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Sorghum Producers, and Association of Equipment Manufacturers.… Continue reading

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The Pork Checkoff is encouraging pig farmers to pay-it-forward with a new holiday campaign called #HamsAcrossAmerica. This first-annual event encourages farmers and others involved in the pork industry to show their appreciation for friends, family and neighbors through the gift of ham —  in the form of gifts or donations of ham or ham-based products.

“For pig farmers, volunteering at community events and participating in local fundraisers, has always been a part of what makes us who we are,” said Brad Greenway, 2016 America’s Pig Farmer of the Year, from Mitchell, South Dakota. “Hams Across America allows farmers to not only live the We Care ethical principles, but also share their love of the product that they produce.”

Pig farmers are encouraged to extend Giving Tuesday through Dec. 23 with Hams Across America by simply purchasing a gift of ham and paying-it-forward. Participants are also encouraged to share their pay-it-forward stories on social media using #RealPigFarming and #HamsAcrossAmerica.… Continue reading

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Pastures, woodlands and pipelines

As the development of shale energy continues, pipelines and related infrastructure are spreading across farmland. New gathering lines now extend out to wells that have come on-line in recent years. In addition, intrastate and interstate transmission pipelines are being built so that more natural gas can move from settings where it is extracted to distribution networks serving homes, businesses, and other end-users.

Though much of this infrastructure is constructed to the satisfaction of rural landowners, complete with restoration of pastures and crop fields, complaints are registered from time to time. In some cases, dissatisfaction can be traced to landowners’ attempts to negotiate with pipeline companies on their own, without legal counsel. Based on observations in Guernsey County and the surrounding region, there are items one can do to avoid needless conflict.

It is important that the landowner understand the total number of pipelines, depth of pipeline burial, appurtenances, future uses which the pipeline company desires for the right-of-way area, and what uses the company may want to grant to other utilities.… Continue reading

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Ohio Farm Bureau annual meeting to be held Nov. 30-Dec. 2

The Ohio Farm Bureau Federation will hold its 98th annual meeting Nov. 30 – Dec. 2 in Columbus. Nearly 340 delegates from all Ohio counties will establish the organization’s policy goals for the coming year, elect leaders, recognize county Farm Bureau and individual achievements and conduct leadership training.  

 The theme of the meeting is Growing For Our Future. Among the top policy issues will be protections for members’ rights as parties to oil and gas leases, addressing needed funding for Ohio’s roads and bridges and voluntary tracking of best farm management practices that improve the quality of Ohio’s waters. Delegates are also expected to discuss the huge property tax increases farmers are experiencing and efforts to obtain legislative relief.  

Keynote speeches will be delivered by Ohio Farm Bureau President Frank Burkett III and the organization’s new Executive Vice President Adam Sharp. Attendees also will hear from Nationwide Chief Executive Officer Steve Rasmussen. Continue reading

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Large pork supply being addressed by checkoff efforts

America’s pig farmers will produce a record-breaking number of market hogs this year, resulting in ample supplies of pork hitting grocery stores and restaurants. It is anticipated that this high level of production will continue well into 2017.

“The U.S. economy is growing, and that is good for meat demand,” said Len Steiner, a pork industry economist. “Some key indicators of growth include the stock market recently hitting all-time record highs, increasing consumer confidence and an unemployment rate now at 4.9%, demonstrating the U.S. economy is at or near full employment.”

Steiner added that total meat production continues to increase, moving from 90.9 billion pounds in 2014 with expectations for meat output to exceed 101 billion pounds this year. Not since the mid-1990s has meat production increased so quickly.

“We estimate that 2016 U.S. pork production will set an all-time record just shy of 25 billion pounds, with even more pork expected to be produced in 2017,” Steiner said.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Crop Progress — November 28th, 2016

The final Ohio Crop Progress Report for 2016 was released on Monday.

Harvest is essentially completed, according to Cheryl Turner, Ohio State Statistician with the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. There were 5.4 days available for fieldwork for the week ending November 27th . Winter wheat is in good condition. Warm temperatures this fall allowed the majority of produces to finish harvest and complete some tillage and spraying work for next season. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, nearly 3 percent of the State was rated as in “moderate drought” while another 45 percent was rated “abnormally dry”.

Click here to read the entire reportContinue reading

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