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Boysel named supervisor of Select Sires’ Kellgren and Hecker Centers

Select Sires is excited to announce that Joel Boysel is the new supervisor of the Kellgren and Hecker Centers at their Plain City, Ohio facility. He is filling the position after the retirement of Barry Slack who worked at Select Sires for more than 40 years. In this role, Boysel will provide leadership and manage the 125 bulls that reside in these facilities.
Boysel has been employed as a livestock technician at Select Sires Inc. since September of 2013. He previously served as the bull program director at Prairie State/Select Sires in Hampshire, Ill. Prior to that he was the production manager for Harmony Agriculture Products in Marysville, Ohio. Boysel has experience with reproduction and genetics through working with beef cattle on his family’s farm. He resides in Zanesfield, Ohio with his wife, Breanna and two-year-old son, Hollis.… Continue reading

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Pork Checkoff updates its Transport Quality Assurance Program

Since 2001, the pork industry’s Transport Quality Assurance program (TQA) has promoted responsible practices when handling and transporting pigs. In that time, TQA has undergone five revisions – always striving to offer the most current, science-based information on humane handling, biosecurity and proper transportation of swine.

The mission of the TQA program remains unchanged: to continuously build a culture of protecting and promoting animal well-being through training and certification of animal handlers and transport personnel. In that process, TQA uses the most current industry-proven techniques in an effort to build consumer confidence and understanding of the high-quality pork products delivered to market every day.

“Consumers are hungry for information on how their pork is raised — from the farm to the table,” said Sherrie Webb, animal welfare director at The National Pork Board. “That need for information is about more than what happens on the farm and extends to how that animal is safely and humanely transported from farm to market.… Continue reading

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Speaker Boehner visits Ohio hog farm

Recently, Congressman John Boehner, Speaker of the House visited Wuebker Farms in Versailles. Wuebker Farms co-owners, Jeff and Alan Wuebker, their families,

representatives from Ohio Farm Bureau, the Ohio Pork Council were present for the Speaker’s visit and offered insight on many issues facing today’s pork industry.

Bill Minton, a nationally recognized swine veterinarian from Chickasaw was also present and was able to provide an update on Ohio’s work to combat PEDv.

“It was great to have Speaker Boehner on our farm to see, hands-on, what we do everyday to produce safe, affordable pork for the American consumer,” said Jeff Wuebker. “His visit was a good reminder of the many challenges we face in the swine industry and how important the federal government is in helping farmers protect our food supply. Agriculture is the number one industry in the Speaker’s district and in Ohio with over $100 billion in economic activity each year.”… Continue reading

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Jessica Swihart joins Ohio Farm Bureau’s field staff

Jessica Swihart has joined Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s field staff to help support county Farm Bureaus in their operations. Swihart, who was hired in anticipation of future staffing needs, will be training under Darren Frank, organization director of Lucas, Ottawa, Sandusky, Seneca, Wood and Wyandot counties. Swihart’s duties will be helping leaders strengthen county Farm Bureaus through program development and implementation and identifying ways to serve members and their communities.

Swihart has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Findlay with a major in animal science and minor in business management. Before coming to Ohio Farm Bureau, she was a veterinarian assistant for Town & Country Animal Healthcare in Bowling Green and worked as a farm hand at Eckel Cattle Co. She is a co-owner/manager of the family sheep farm, Swihart’s Moonlight Tunis Farms in Perrysburg.

“Jessica will be a real asset to county Farm Bureau leaders who work hard to represent members and make the organization a guiding force in their communities.… Continue reading

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4R Research Fund awards grant to University of Toledo

The 4R Research Fund announced it has awarded $273,500 in grants for five research proposals aimed at identifying the current state of knowledge and existing research gaps regarding fertilizer best management practices. The Fund, supported by the fertilizer industry and other stakeholders, is a science-based research initiative aimed at improving agricultural sustainability by expanding knowledge of 4R Nutrient Stewardship (use of the right fertilizer source, at the right rate, at the right time and in the right place).

With guidance from an industry and academic technical advisory group, the fund’s management committee selected five proposals. These included an assessment of the effects of conservation practices and fertilizer application methods on nitrogen and phosphorus loss from farm fields was awarded to a project partnership between the University of Toledo and USDA ARS.

The projects are scheduled to be finished within a nine-to-12 month time frame. When complete, details from the analyses will be made available for review by all interested stakeholders.… Continue reading

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Use care for bees with delayed corn planting

Beekeepers in Ohio suffered substantial losses of colonies over the exceptionally long and cold winter of 2013-2014. Here in Wooster we lost more than half of our colonies and beekeepers around the state are reporting levels of winter kill in the 30 to 80% range. While the frigid temperatures played a substantial contributing role, losses were undoubtedly made worse by all of the problems facing bees today: parasites, diseases, pesticides, breeding problems, and a general lack of summer and fall forage.

Spring is the only reliably good season for bees in Ohio. Colonies that survived the winter and new colonies brought up from the Gulf Coast are in the process of harvesting nectar and pollen from spring-blooming trees and weeds — but little honey will be made. This spring bounty will be eaten by the bees themselves as they multiply and grow into large productive colonies that will be able to make a honey crop off of clovers, black locust, alfalfa and possibly soybean in the coming months.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Crop Progress – Some corn planted in Ohio

There were 3.7 days suitable for fieldwork in Ohio during the week ending April 27, according to the USDA, NASS, Great Lakes Region. Precipitation for the week ranged between 0.30 inches and 0.47 inches. Average temperatures ranged from 49.0 degrees to 55.8 degrees, with a state average of 53.0 degrees Fahrenheit. Warmer temperatures and less rain allowed producers to spend more time in the field this week. Field work activities included tillage, topdressing wheat, and fertilizer and lime application. Producers have begun planting oats more heavily. While some corn planting has begun, many producers delayed planting due to concerns about cool soils and weather forecasts for the coming week. A small amount soybean planting was reported. While progress for all three crops seems to be slow relative to the 5 year averages, it’s important to note that those averages include the unusually fast years of 2012 and 2010. Winter wheat and hay and pasture conditions are mixed, with most reporting fair to good condition.… Continue reading

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Southeastern Ohio Hay Day

Producers can learn the latest in forage harvesting, forage-handling machinery and ways to save money during a field day offered by educators from Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

Participants can learn new raking, baling, mowing and tedding techniques during the field day, said Breanna Pye, an Ohio State University Extension educator. The field day will be held June 19 from 4 to 8:30 p.m. at the Eastern Agricultural Research Station,16870 Township Road 126 in Caldwell. The station is part of the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC).

In addition to the workshop, equipment dealers will demonstrate the latest in forage harvesting and forage handling machinery at the event, Pye said.

“We will have displays and demonstrations from dealers, who will be showing new equipment and showcasing different techniques,” she said. “The field day is an opportunity for growers and producers to get a different perspective on how to be more efficient and productive and how to get the best use out of your equipment.… Continue reading

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Ohio Agricultural Council announces 49th class of Hall of Fame inductees

Four Ohioans who have committed their lives to working in, promoting and advocating for Ohio’s farm community will be honored Friday, August 1, 2014, by the Ohio Agricultural Council (OAC), when they are inducted into the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame.

The Ohio Agricultural Council will induct Bernard Heisner of Hilliard, Don Ralph of Morral, John Watkins of Prospect, and the late William Hoewischer of Sidney into the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame during a special breakfast ceremony held in the Rhodes Youth Center at the Ohio Expo Center. The 49th annual event will attract approximately 500 guests to honor these four professionals for their lifetime of service and dedication to Ohio’s agriculture community.

“Our Board is pleased to be honoring such a diverse group of inductees into this year’s class,” said Jenny Hubble, OAC president. “Each inductee stands out individually for his exceptional contributions to Ohio’s agriculture industry, but together they represent the passion, leadership and hard work evidenced by their collective decades of unmatched experience in farming and agriculture.”… Continue reading

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Beware of planting into cool soils

Soil temperatures from around the state are highly variable still on the cool side.  From the weather stations at the branches, these are the soil temperatures at 2.5 inches, from April 20 were:


research branch

temperature (f)














Muck Crops






North Central








Cool, wet soils promote the growth of one of the major seed and seedling pathogens of corn and soybean — Pythium. Some of the more than 25 different species of Pythium are particularly favored by these cooler temperatures. Since the soil is moist, oospores which overwinter, are germinating. When the soils become saturated, they will form a structure called a sporangium, which forms the zoospores. What is unique about this group of pathogens compared to watermolds is that these spores will then swim to the roots.… Continue reading

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Research seeking to re-write Ohio’s Phosphorus Risk Index

All farm field test sites have been selected and soil samples from fall testing dates have been collected as part of an ongoing three-year project by an Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences researcher to revise a tool used by farmers statewide to better predict phosphorus runoff, offer them more management options and improve Ohio water quality.

The On-Field Ohio project, now in its second year, seeks to revise the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service Ohio Phosphorus Risk Index to be more useful in predicting the risk of phosphorus moving off farm fields, said Elizabeth Dayton, a soil scientist in the college’s School of Environment and Natural Resources, who is conducting the project.

Dayton garnered a $1 million USDA Conservation Innovation Grant and $1 million in matching donations from Ohio farmers groups to complete the project.

Phosphorus is the agricultural pollutant often implicated in the degradation of Ohio fresh surface water and is a major contributor to harmful algal blooms, experts say.… Continue reading

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Planting delays not yet a concern

Despite the wet conditions that have affected many Ohio corn fields so far this season, growers who haven’t started planting shouldn’t be concerned yet, says an agronomist with Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

According to corn planting data for the past 15 years, less than 10% of Ohio corn has typically been planted by April 15. In fact, historical planting data shows that an average of just about 2 percent of corn has normally been planted statewide by that date.

As of the week ending April 13, there had been no appreciable acreage of corn planted in Ohio, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. That compares with 1% that had been planted by the same time last year and 2% that had been planted on average during the same time period over the past five years, the agency said.

“I’m really not surprised that we’re not seeing more corn planted,” said Peter Thomison, an Ohio State University Extension agronomist.… Continue reading

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Monitor stored grain quality

Farmers who have grain from last growing season still in storage this spring need to closely monitor its condition — especially if corn was stored at moisture contents higher than 15%, a Purdue Extension agricultural engineer said.

While the cold winter likely kept mold and insect problems at bay, the threat of both increases as temperatures rise. Grain stored at moisture levels of 17 to 18% or higher is at extra risk.

One way to deal with the problem is to consider in-bin drying.

“For those who couldn’t dry corn to 15% in the fall but stored at 17 to 18%, the warm spring temperature offers the opportunity to dry to a safe storage moisture using natural air, in-bin systems,” Klein Ileleji said. “Farmers need to begin to implement natural air drying immediately if they haven’t started already.”

Natural air, or ambient, in-bin drying can be used to dry corn with up to 20% moisture in the spring.… Continue reading

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“Farmland” showing in Ohio theaters

“Farmland” is coming to Ohio. The farm documentary will be shown at:

These are one day only screenings. Please visit each theater’s website for ticket information, which may not be listed until closer to the date. For additional information about the movie as well as additional theaters, visit

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New report shows renewable fuels support 852,000 jobs and $46 billion in wages

The Fuels America coalition released an economic impact study by John Dunham & Associates showing the far-reaching benefits of renewable fuels for America’s workers and the U.S. economy — including supporting more than 850,000 American jobs.

Renewable fuels now represent nearly 10% of America’s fuel supply and have helped reduce U.S. reliance on foreign oil to the lowest level in years.  The analysis takes into account the entire supply chain for renewable fuels and quantifies the impact to the U.S. economy, including:


  • Driving $184.5 billion of economic output
  • Supporting 852,056 jobs and $46.2 billion in wages
  • Generating $14.5 billion in tax revenue each year


The full analysis is publicly available on the Fuels America website, including localized reports for every state and every congressional district in the country.

The report tells the story of an innovative, advanced renewable fuels and biofuels industry that is producing growing benefits for America’s economy. … Continue reading

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Brown and Gibbs named Legislators of the Year

The Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) recently recognized Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-OH) as OSA Legislators of the Year. OSA awards this distinction to a legislator or legislators who have shown a tremendous contribution to the success of the Ohio soybean industry.

Brown and Gibbs both played critical roles in the passage of the farm bill in early 2014 as both men served on their respective chambers’ Agriculture Committee. Thanks to their work, Ohio soybean farmers’ priorities were front and center in the new bill.

“It’s my pleasure to recognize Sen. Brown and Rep. Gibbs as OSA Legislators of the Year,” said Jerry Bambauer, OSA president and Auglaize County soybean farmer. “As agriculture is only one percent of the U.S. population, it is more important than ever to cultivate the relationships we have with the legislative leaders who understand farmers’ contribution to U.S. citizens and the economy. I want to thank Sen.… Continue reading

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Good fishing opportunities in early May

The first weekend of May offers all of us anglers who have non-fishing friends an opportunity to get them on the water without having to buy them a fishing license. That Saturday and Sunday, the state waives all fishing license requirements for Ohioans, saving the $11 cost for a one day license — let alone the price of a $19 season-long permit — for adults who may want to give the sport a try. That gives those of us who have non-fishing friends who argue that they don’t want to gamble the cost of a license just to wet a line (“What if I don’t like fishing?…”) the opportunity to call their bluff, tell them it’s free and eliminate that excuse.

Ohio residents can fish without a license on Saturday and Sunday May 3 and 4 during Ohio’s “Free Fishing Days.” For these two days, Buckeye State anglers may fish in any of the state’s public waters without having to buy a fishing license.… Continue reading

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ASA talks with leaders about partially hydrogenated oils

American Soybean Association Chairman Danny Murphy, CEO Steve Censky and National Oilseed Processors Association president Tom Hammer met with the White House Domestic Policy Staff and FDA to discuss ASA’s concerns with the FDA’s proposal to withdraw Generally Regarded As Safe (GRAS) status for partially hydrogenated oils (PHO).

ASA shared projections for high oleic soybean production ramp up provided by QUALISOY, emphasizing that not only is more time required, but that the withdrawal of GRAS, even if postponed to 2018 or 2020, will have the immediate effect of driving food companies to substitute highly-saturated palm oil since no company wants to have an ingredient in their product for multiple years that the FDA says is “unsafe.”

ASA emphasized this would be a bad development for both consumers and American farmers. ASA also emphasized that there has already been a 70% reduction in trans fat intake since labeling for trans fats was mandated beginning in 2006, and that the easy switches have already been made.… Continue reading

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OABA Grain Grading School to be held June 3

Those looking to obtain or renew a Commodity Tester Certificate can attend the Grading School on June 3. The deadline to renew certificates is September 30, 2014. A Grain Grading School on June 3 — approved by the Ohio Department of Agriculture — is structured to provide certification/recertification opportunities.

Individuals seeking certification will receive training in the procedures for grading corn, soybeans and wheat, as well as sampling and equipment, and then take an open-book exam consisting of 50 questions. Those seeking recertification receive the same training and sign a verification of attendance form.

The event will run from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and registration starts at 8:30 a.m. For those obtaining a certification, the ODA Commodity Tester Certification Exam will start at 12:30 p.m. It will be held at the Ohio Department of Agriculture, Bromfield Building; 8995 East Main Street; Reynoldsburg, OH 43068 For secure online registration, click here or download a printable form that can be mailed, emailed or faxed.… Continue reading

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Social media boosting meat exports

Ten years ago, most people would have never dreamed of putting a picture of their breakfast on the Internet, or sharing musings while siting in traffic. And poeple couldn’t show the world videos of the funny tricks performed by their children or dog.

Now they can, courtesy of social media outlets such as Facebook (founded in February 2004), YouTube (February 2005) and Twitter (March 2006), to name a few.

It didn’t take long for the social media phenomenon to sweep around the world, and while it is a global tool, it has local applications, making it ideal for an organization like the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) that supports U.S. beef, pork and lamb exports around the world, but tailors the message to each individual market.

“Social media is insanely popular and is incredibly powerful – and cost-effective – if used properly,” said Dan Halstrom, USMEF senior vice president of global marketing and communications.… Continue reading

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