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Nominations sought for conservation farm family award

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2012 Conservation Farm Family Awards, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ (ODNR) Division of Soil and Water Resources. The awards program through ODNR is co-sponsored by Ohio Farmer Magazine and the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation.

Since 1984, the Conservation Farm Family Award program has recognized Ohio farm families doing an outstanding job of managing natural and human resources in meeting both production and conservation goals.

Individual farmers, partnerships or family farm corporations are eligible for nomination, provided a substantial portion of their income is derived from farming. Judging is based on the nominee’s use of new and traditional conservation techniques, comprehensive management, individual initiative in applying conservation measures and the nominee’s willingness to share conservation information, experiences and philosophy with others.

Five area finalists will be chosen from around the state, and they will be recognized at the annual Farm Science Review in September.… Continue reading

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ASA urges permanent normal trade relations with Russia

In advance of Wednesday’s Senate Finance Committee hearing on the implications of Russia’s accession into the World Trade Organization (WTO) for the United States, the American Soybean Association (ASA) joined more than 150 organizations from across the business community in submitting a letter urging the committee to establish permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) with Russia.

“The pork and poultry industries, which use soybean meal in animal feed, are poised to see great success in Russia as income levels rise and the demand for meat increases. What benefits these industries benefits soybean farmers,” said ASA First Vice President Danny Murphy, a soybean farmer from Canton, Miss. “Those potential positives, however, hinge on further expansion of trade to Russia. The establishment of PNTR with Russia is critical to our ability to increase soybean exports into Europe’s largest consumer market and the world’s 11th largest economy.”

As part of the Coalition for U.S.-Russia Trade, which comprises businesses from a wide range of industries, ASA advocates the graduation of Russia from the Jackson-Vanik amendment to the Trade Act of 1974, enabling Congress to approve PNTR before Russia’s expected entry into the WTO later this summer.… Continue reading

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NCBA Pushes for Beef Checkoff Reform

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) today, March 14, 2012, submitted comments on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service proposed rule  pertaining to the Beef Checkoff Program. The proposed rule would expand contracting authority by eliminating the requirement that only allows organizations active and ongoing since 1985 to contract with the checkoff. The proposed rule would allow national non-profit, industry-governed organizations that have been representing the cattle industry for at least two years to be eligible to contract for the implementation of checkoff programs.

NCBA President J.D. Alexander said the rule is good for the industry and good for the checkoff. He said the proposed rule would ensure cattlemen are getting the best return on their investment.

“NCBA supports an open and transparent checkoff program that is producer driven. This proposed rule would simply enhance this quest,” said Alexander. “We support a competitive checkoff contracting system that ensures producers are getting the absolute best return on their investment.… Continue reading

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Meat exports holding strong

U.S. red meat exports have a tough act to follow after a record-setting year in 2011, but the early indications for 2012 are good. January pork exports jumped 28% in volume and 43% in value while beef exports were even in volume but rose 14% in value, according to statistics released by the USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

“There is a challenge to follow a very successful year like 2011 and sustain the momentum,” said Philip Seng, USMEF president and CEO. “The good news is that there are opportunities to expand the presence of U.S. red meat by exploring new market niches as well as increasing access with several key trading partners.”

Several key measurements also showed continued growth: export value per head and percentage of total production exported. For pork, January’s export value equated to $59.44 per head of commercial slaughter compared to $43.59 a year ago, and 29.6% of total production (including variety meat) was exported in January versus 24.2% last year.… Continue reading

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Nominations open for Ohio Agriculture Women of the Year

Ohio First Lady Karen W. Kasich and Ohio Agriculture Director David T. Daniels today announced they are now accepting nominations for the 2012 Ohio Agriculture Women of the Year Awards.  The award program is administered through the Ohio Department of Agriculture and the Office of the First Lady.  The 2012 recipients will be announced at the Ohio State Fair.

“Director Daniels and I are excited for the opportunity to honor the impact of Ohio women on our state’s largest industry,” said Mrs. Kasich, who announced the creation of the award during last year’s fair. “We are looking forward to what we hope becomes an annual Ohio State Fair tradition for many years to come.”

Nominations will be submitted online and reviewed by a diverse committee of industry leaders. Winners will be selected on the basis of their outstanding contributions to Ohio agriculture, leadership and advocacy in the agricultural community and significant impact on the agriculture industry as a whole.… Continue reading

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AFBF supports farm truck measures in transportation bill

Although the Highway Bill (S.1813) has been a victim of partisan politics, according toNational Cattlemen’s Beef Association Associate Director of Legislative Affairs Kent Bacus, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) reached an agreement on the consideration of a series of amendments to the Highway Bill. Two of those amendments, which passed, are of particular importance for farm and ranch families. Specifically, an amendment brought forth by Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) will exempt drivers of farm vehicles from having to acquire a commercial driver’s license. Another amendment, introduced by Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), will waive hours of service restrictions during harvest seasons.

“Farmers and ranchers are not professional truck drivers and shouldn’t be treated as such. Hauling livestock to market two times a year is hardly the same as hauling goods across the country on a daily basis. Subjecting family farmers and ranchers to costly and requirements is an unnecessary burden we cannot afford,” said Bacus.… Continue reading

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Can corn keep up?

Key shifts in U.S. corn production are decelerating yield growth, according to a new report released today by researchers at the Rabobank International Food & Agribusiness Research and Advisory (FAR) group. The report, titled “Can Corn Keep Up?” finds that yields are likely to grow at a much slower rate than historical and trendline analysis would suggest and anticipate 2012 growth will be below current USDA estimates.

The Rabobank International Food & Agribusiness Research and Advisory (FAR) group’s “Can Corn Keep Up?” report notes that increased corn acres on less productive land, and reduced crop rotation make it unlikely that U.S. corn yield will increase significantly enough to move world grain stocks out of historically low levels. The report also notes only a 50% probability that U.S. corn production will keep up with worldwide demand.

“We’ve known for some time that corn yield increases will not be able to keep up with the surging global consumption,” said Sterling Liddell, Global Strategist with the Rabobank Food & Agribusiness Research and Advisory team.… Continue reading

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Obama announces Rural Jobs and Innovation Accelerator

The Obama Administration announced a $15 million multi-agency Rural Jobs and Innovation Accelerator challenge to spur job creation and economic growth in distressed rural communities.This competition, which is being funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Delta Regional Authority (DRA), and the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), was designed by the Taskforce for the Advancement of Regional Innovation Clusters and the White House Rural Council.

President Obama recently announced the challenge as part of the Administration’s “We Can’t Wait” efforts to strengthen the economy, create jobs and support business growth, particularly expanding opportunity for rural Americans and supporting new and innovative businesses nationwide.

The national effort will support rural partnerships by identifying and leveraging local assets and strengthening linkages to industry clusters. Strong industry clusters promote robust economic ecosystems and the development of a skilled workforce, both of which are critical to long-term regional success in rural areas.… Continue reading

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HSUS targets Bob Evans

HSUS press release

The Humane Society of the United States submitted a shareholder proposal encouraging Columbus, Ohio-based Bob Evans Farms restaurant chain and food manufacturer to develop a plan that would ensure its sausage, bacon and other pork products no longer come from pigs bred using gestation crates — cages used to virtually immobilize breeding pigs for nearly their entire lives. This practice is one of the most cruel and inhumane abuses in the agriculture industry.

In the pork industry, most breeding pigs are confined day and night during their four-month pregnancy in gestation crates, then are placed into another crate to give birth. They are re-impregnated and put back into a gestation crate, pregnancy after pregnancy, until they are slaughtered. These crates are barely larger than the pigs’ own bodies.

“Consumers are opposed to confining pigs in cages so small they can’t even turn around,” said Josh Balk, director of corporate policy for The HSUS’ farm animal protection division.… Continue reading

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Atrazine not likely to exceed drinking water standard in agricultural groundwater

A new model predicts that atrazine, plus its breakdown product deethylatrazine, has less than a 10% chance of exceeding the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s standard for public drinking-water supplies in shallow groundwater in about 95% of the nation’s agricultural areas. Atrazine is a commonly used herbicide for weed control in corn and sorghum production.

“With the intensive, widespread use of the herbicide atrazine in agricultural production, some communities will need to carefully monitor the risk to groundwater and human health from this contaminant and its residues,” said Marcia McNutt, U.S. Geological Survey director. “The advantage of this new research is that it reveals the spatial variability of risk for atrazine contamination in groundwater across the United States, allowing communities to make wise decisions on allocating scarce financial resources for water-quality testing.”

These findings are based on new statistical models developed from almost 20 years of nation-wide water-quality monitoring data collected by the USGS National Water Quality Assessment Program (NAWQA).… Continue reading

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Do homework before buying a bull

Beef producers who want to purchase bulls or semen for their spring breeding herds should be doing their homework now, says a Purdue Extension beef specialist.

Cow-calf producers can take advantage of high market prices by selecting healthy bulls that will produce calves with more growth potential.

“If we can buy bulls that will produce offspring that will be born with a minimum of dystocia, grow a little bit faster, will produce a little bit higher-quality carcass and produce replacement females that perform above average, I think our cow-calf producers have the opportunity to capitalize,” Ron Lemenager said.

Producers can do this by looking at what will affect offspring and doing plenty of research before investing.

“Good bulls come from good cows,” Lemenager said. “So if producers can take a look at mom before they purchase that bull, I think it helps minimize some of the risk.”

But even if the dam looks good and is healthy, a bull’s own merit still needs to be evaluated, starting with reproductive soundness.… Continue reading

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Wilmington College partners with CIFT & Sensus in producing natural food coloring

By Randy Sarvis, Wilmington College

Wilmington College’s Dr. Monte Anderson and two students hauled 200 pounds of unshelled Bloody Butcher corn to a Cincinnati area ingredient research and development company several weeks ago.

Bloody Butcher is a deep purple-hued corn that Sensus Corp. of Hamilton is using to conduct research on extracting color for use in foods.

Many consumers are demanding that food contain naturally derived products for color, taste and scent. More and more, they are seeking out natural replacements for artificially produced food enhancements.

Indeed, they want the purple color in their energy drink to come from agriculture rather than a concoction produced in a chemistry lab.

Sensus produces essences from natural, agriculture based products with a keen interest in using those produced locally in southwest Ohio. That’s where Wilmington College comes in.

WC and Sensus are member organizations of CIFT, the Center for Innovative Food Technology, which has a regional office at the College headed by Rob Jaehnig, agribusiness development specialist.… Continue reading

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Wilmington College partners with CIFT & Sensus in producing natural food coloring

By Randy Sarvis, Wilmington College

Wilmington College’s Dr. Monte Anderson and two students hauled 200 pounds of unshelled Bloody Butcher corn to a Cincinnati area ingredient research and development company several weeks ago.

Bloody Butcher is a deep purple-hued corn that Sensus Corp. of Hamilton is using to conduct research on extracting color for use in foods.

Many consumers are demanding that food contain naturally derived products for color, taste and scent. More and more, they are seeking out natural replacements for artificially produced food enhancements.

Indeed, they want the purple color in their energy drink to come from agriculture rather than a concoction produced in a chemistry lab.

Sensus produces essences from natural, agriculture based products with a keen interest in using those produced locally in southwest Ohio. That’s where Wilmington College comes in.

WC and Sensus are member organizations of CIFT, the Center for Innovative Food Technology, which has a regional office at the College headed by Rob Jaehnig, agribusiness development specialist.… Continue reading

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AgReliant Genetics receives USDA accreditation

AgReliant Genetics recently received the “USA Accredited Seed Conditioning Program – Process Verified” certification at its production facilities. This certification from the USDA recognizes the company’s Quality Management System (QMS) for the conditioning and blending of Refuge in the Bag (RIB) seed products as well as the company’s ability to meet the stringent standards necessary to receive this prestigious certification.

“The seed business continues to increase in complexity,” said Craig Anderson, AgReliant Genetics’ Vice President of Operations. “We see the USDA Process Verified Program as one more way we can ensure that the products being delivered to the customer are of the highest quality and uniformity.”

The AgReliant Genetics QMS process was implemented as a tool to assist the company in maintaining its commitment of continual product improvement to its customers.

“The single-bag refuge solution is a very efficient way for farmers to meet the refuge requirements,” said Jim Shearl, Director of Quality Assurance at AgReliant Genetics.… Continue reading

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2012 Census of Ag lets farmers share their story

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is  calling on America’s farmers and ranchers to sign up for the 2012 Census of Agriculture and to share stories about how Census data benefits them. Recognizing the central role of agriculture in Americans’ lives, USDA wants to make sure it counts all farmers and ranchers in the upcoming Census. USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) conducts the Census of Agriculture every five years and is currently preparing to send the Census form to all agricultural producers in December.

“Census data can help us to better tell the amazing story of American agriculture, but that story will be incomplete if farmers aren’t all counted,”  said Renee Picanso, director of NASS’ Census and Survey Division.

To put together a complete list of agricultural producers, NASS sent out the National Agricultural Classification Survey (NACS) early in 2012. This initial survey helps identify all potential agricultural activities in the United States and who should receive the Census form later this year.… Continue reading

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Farm Safety 4 Just Kids commemorates 25 years

2012 marks the 25th anniversary of Farm Safety 4 Just Kids (FS4JK). The organization has promoted farm safety to more than 6 million people through local programs and education since 1987.
Over the past 25 years, FS4JK has established a network of more than 120 chapters across the United States and Canada that offer farm safety presentations on a local level. In that time, 35,600 volunteers donated 280,000 hours of their time to help promote safety on the farm.



Marilyn Adams founded the non-profit organization in 1987 after the death of her 11-year-old son in a gravity flow grain wagon accident. Its mission is to promote a safe farm environment to prevent health hazards, injuries and fatalities to children and youth. What started as a tribute to her son has touched nearly 6 million people so far.



“I didn’t really know what to expect when I started FS4JK,” Adams said. “The organization has grown and evolved so much in the past 25 years.… Continue reading

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U.S. to challenge India’s prohibition of U.S. poultry

The USA Poultry & Egg Export Council (USAPEEC), National Chicken Council (NCC) and National Turkey Federation (NTF) applaud announcement by U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk that the United States will initiate dispute settlement proceedings against India before the World Trade Organization (WTO) to challenge its longstanding prohibition on the import of U.S. poultry.

For years, India has used a variety of non-tariff trade barriers to deny access U.S. poultry to the Indian market. Although international health standards, in particular those of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), identify only highly pathogenic stains of avian influenza as warranting trade restrictions, India has long ignored those international norms and has banned poultry imports from the United States or any country that reports any incident of avian influenza, even cases of low pathogenicity. This is a protectionist policy that is inconsistent with accepted international standards, and has no health or safety justification. This policy is particularly problematic in the case of the United States, which is the most efficient poultry producer in the world and the world’s leading exporter of poultry products.… Continue reading

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U.S. to challenge India's prohibition of U.S. poultry

The USA Poultry & Egg Export Council (USAPEEC), National Chicken Council (NCC) and National Turkey Federation (NTF) applaud announcement by U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk that the United States will initiate dispute settlement proceedings against India before the World Trade Organization (WTO) to challenge its longstanding prohibition on the import of U.S. poultry.

For years, India has used a variety of non-tariff trade barriers to deny access U.S. poultry to the Indian market. Although international health standards, in particular those of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), identify only highly pathogenic stains of avian influenza as warranting trade restrictions, India has long ignored those international norms and has banned poultry imports from the United States or any country that reports any incident of avian influenza, even cases of low pathogenicity. This is a protectionist policy that is inconsistent with accepted international standards, and has no health or safety justification. This policy is particularly problematic in the case of the United States, which is the most efficient poultry producer in the world and the world’s leading exporter of poultry products.… Continue reading

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White House clears way for BSE rule

The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) cleared the way for a comprehensive rule for Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), which has been a work in progress since 2004.

The proposed rule would reportedly level the playing field for U.S. beef in the global marketplace by appropriately addressing risk related to BSE. According to National

Cattlemen’s Beef Association Associate Director of Legislative Affairs Kent Bacus, the lack of a comprehensive rule has harmed U.S. beef trade. He said having a comprehensive BSE rule in place will show the United States is willing to talk the talk and walk the walk with regard to following standards developed by the International Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

“It is very difficult for the United States to demand our trading partners follow OIE standards when we are not here at home. The comprehensive BSE rule will change that and will solidify the United States’ commitment to basing our trade relationships on internationally-recognized, sciencebased standards,” Bacus said.… Continue reading

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Dailey recognized as 2012 Ohio CCA of the year

The Ohio CCA Board is proud to announce the winner of the 2012 Certified Crop Adviser of the Year Award is Mike Dailey, independent consultant from Mt. Vernon, Ohio. Dailey was named the winner

on March 6 at the Conservation Tillage Conference in Ada.

The CCA of the Year Award is a state award designed to recognize an individual who is highly motivated, delivers exceptional customer service for farmer clients in nutrient management, soil and water management, integrated pest management and crop production, and has contributed substantially to the exchange of ideas and the transfer of agronomic knowledge within the agricultural industry in Ohio.

Dailey has contributed to the growth and development of countless CCA’s over the years, as well as helping his farmer clients to thrive and prosper with their businesses by making his recommendations based on science and fact. Dailey has taught Sunday School, volunteered as agricultural educator at Kenyon College Environmental Center, and served as former chairman of the CCA board.… Continue reading

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