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Ag is Cool winners announced

 The Ohio Expositions Commission has announced that four fifth-grade students from the state are recipients of the “Agriculture is Cool” scholarship competition. 

Representatives from the Ohio Expositions Commission, Ohio Department of Agriculture and Ohio Farm Bureau Federation will present each scholarship winner with a $500 check and commemorative trophy during a special ceremony at his or her school:


  • Stanley “Stash” Apana (Northfield Village), Lee Eaton Elementary

o               Presentation date, time: Tues., Nov. 8, 2011, 10 a.m.

o               Location: Lee Eaton Elementary School cafeteria, 115 Ledge Road, Northfield, OH 44067

o               Presenters: Ohio Expositions Commission Secretary John Spreng, Ohio Department of Agriculture Director James Zehringer and Ohio Farm Bureau Executive Vice President Jack Fisher

  • Katie Meier (Kenton), Benjamin Logan Middle School

o               Presentation date, time: Wed., Nov. 9, 2011, 11 a.m.

o               Location: Benjamin Logan High School auditorium, 6609 State Route 47 East, Bellefontaine, Ohio 43311

o               Presenters: Ohio Expositions Commission General Manager Virgil Strickler, Ohio Department of Agriculture Chief of Markets Janelle Mead, and Ohio Farm Bureau Executive Vice President Jack Fisher

  • Alexa Mier (Medina), at St.
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Hunting season open

By Dan Armitage, the Buckeye Sportsman

For thousands of Ohio hunters — and I’m one of ‘em — fall doesn’t really begin until the season opens on ring-necked pheasant, cottontail rabbit and bobwhite quail. This year, that all begins on Friday, Nov. 4, when rabbits, pheasants and quail may be hunted from sunrise to sunset. The daily bag limits for all three species remain unchanged from the 2011 season at four rabbits, two pheasants (roosters only) and four quail per hunter.

Cottontail rabbit hunting continues through Feb. 29, and ring-necked pheasant hunting is open through Jan. 8, 2012. Both seasons are closed only during the statewide 2011 deer-gun hunting season, Nov. 28 through Dec. 4, and Dec. 17 and 18.

The Division of Wildlife releases pheasants on selected public hunting areas throughout the state on opening day of the pheasant season, the second and third Saturdays of the season, and Thanksgiving Day.… Continue reading

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Comment period extended for proposed farm youth labor regulation changes

The U.S. Department of Labor announced last week an extension of the public comment period for proposed changes to the regulations governing employment of youth on farms and agricultural enterprises.

Experts from Ohio State University Extension’s Agricultural Safety and Health program will host a webinar to discuss the proposed changes and answer questions from the public Wednesday, Nov. 9, at 3 p.m.

“The proposed changes to the Agricultural Child Labor Laws are bringing about many questions for safety professionals, agricultural businesses who hire youth, and agricultural educators who teach farm safety to youth audiences,” said Dee Jepsen, program leader and assistant professor in the Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering. “Due to the impact this topic will make on many small farms and agribusinesses, the public comment period has been extended for another 30 days.”

The new deadline is Dec. 1, 2011.

Jepsen said farmers and parents with a vested interest in the proposal are encouraged to read the changes and be aware the new regulations will go into effect Jan.… Continue reading

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Select Sires seeking interns

Select Sires Inc. has announced plans to offer two summer internships at its headquarters facility in Plain City, Ohio, during the summer of 2012. Positions are available within the sales and marketing department, with applications due by January 1, 2012.

“Both practical work experience within the industry and networking are extremely important in helping college students prepare for full-time employment upon graduation,” said Dave Thorbahn, Select Sires president and C.E.O. “That’s why Select Sires offers hands-on internship opportunities each year. These internships help introduce students to the industry side of agriculture, while they contribute to the day-to-day operation of the Select Sires federation.”

College students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in dairy science, animal science, agricultural economics, agricultural communications or related agricultural fields may apply for these internships.

Applicants must be familiar with cattle pedigree information. Previous dairy judging team experience is an advantage. While important for all internships, strong writing and computer skills are a requirement for students working in corporate communications.… Continue reading

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Think twice before tilling

Farmers should take soil drainage, fertilizer, and planting needs and economic thresholds into consideration before making tillage decisions, says a Purdue Extension agronomist.

“The first thing to consider when looking at tillage is whether we benefited from the tillage we did last year,” Tony Vyn said. “Once again this year, there was very little yield advantage for those that did conventional tillage.”

No-till soybeans continue to perform as well as conventional tillage options, he said. No-till has also been found to be consistently successful for corn in rotation with soybeans when comparisons are based on similar planting dates for alternative tillage systems. But for farmers who intend to plant earlier, incorporate lime, or band- apply fertilizers such as phosphorous below the soil surface, strip tilling and vertical tillage are two relatively new options that still protect the soil resource.

“These new, intermediate systems can preserve surface residue while enabling successful establishment of corn,” Vyn said.… Continue reading

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Heart of America Grazing Conference

Livestock producers from across the Corn Belt can learn about the latest grazing and pasture management techniques at the Heart of America Grazing Conference, Jan. 25-26 in Mount Vernon, Ill.

The conference, sponsored in part by Ohio State University Extension and Purdue Extension, will offer a number of sessions to help producers deal with problem areas and keep pastures in the best possible shape.

“This is a very practical, goal-oriented conference talking about current issues in grazing,” said Jeff McCutcheon, Ohio State University Extension educator, and member of the Extension Beef Team. “We pull in both university experts, as well as farmers currently practicing these methods, so it’s a very balanced program.”

Agricultural entities from five states cooperate to plan and host the annual event. In addition to Purdue and Ohio State, Extension services from the University of Kentucky, University of Illinois and University of Missouri also are involved.

Along with Extension, event organizers include the Ohio Forage and Grassland Council, Indiana Forage Council, Illinois Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative Association, Illinois Forage and Grassland Council, Kentucky Forage and Grassland Council, Kentucky Grassland Conservation Initiative, Kentucky Department of Agriculture, Missouri Forage and Grassland Council, Missouri Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative and the U.S.… Continue reading

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Farm Service Agency county committee elections

Steve Maurer, State Executive Director of USDA’s Ohio Farm Service Agency announced that the 2010 FSA county committee elections ballots will be mailed to eligible voters November 4. Dec. 5, 2011, is the deadline for eligible voters to return ballots to their local FSA offices.

“The FSA county committee system is unique among government agencies, because it allows producers to make important decisions concerning the local administration of federal farm programs,” said Maurer. “I urge all eligible farmers and producers, especially minorities and women, to get involved and make a real difference in their communities by voting in this year’s elections.”

Committee members apply their knowledge and judgment to make decisions on disaster and conservation payments, establishment of allotments and yields, producer appeals, employing FSA county executive directors and other local issues. FSA committees operate within official regulations designed to carry out federal laws.

To be an eligible voter, farmers and producers must participate or cooperate in FSA programs.… Continue reading

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Beef Checkoff announces landmark sustainability project

The U.S. beef industry announced initiation of a landmark checkoff-funded sustainability assessment. Previous checkoff-funded research demonstrated beef’s carbon footprint in the United States decreased 18% in the last 30 years; and numerous sustainability experts have recognized progressive cattle raising practices in the United States as a model for the world. The next and significant step in this sustainability journey is a multi-year research project that will quantify inputs, outputs and identify opportunities for continuous improvement in beef cattle raising practices.

The Beef Checkoff Program will partner with BASF Corp. to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the current state of the U.S. beef industry and identify the most important areas of focus for future innovation. BASF is internationally recognized for its sustainability efforts. It has created tools and initiatives such as S.E.T. (Sustainability, Eco-Efficiency, Traceability) to help the food industry develop more sustainable products to meet the many global challenges and demands confronting the industry today, including the need to increase overall food production by 70% over the next 40 years to feed a growing world population while protecting the planet.… Continue reading

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Senate missed NPDES deadline

The National Corn Growers Association expressed disappointment in the Senate’s failure to act on legislation that would have clarified federal permits are not required when applying pesticides according to their EPA-approved label.

“NCGA is disappointed the Senate did not approve H.R. 872 prior to the October 31 deadline when the NPDES pesticide permitting program takes effect,” NCGA President Garry Niemeyer, an Illinois corn farmer, said. “Despite broad bipartisan support for the proposal, lawmakers were unable to identify a path forward for this important legislation. As a result, farmers like me are now exposed to a new set of legal liabilities and regulatory requirements under the Clean Water Act, without a guarantee of any additional environmental benefits.”

For most of the past four decades, water quality concerns from pesticide applications were addressed within the registration process under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), rather than a Clean Water Act permitting program.… Continue reading

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Ag foundations host rural-urban community auction program

The Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation (Foundation), the Animals for Life Foundation (AFL) and the new Ohio Center on Agricultural Law, Inc. (OCAL) have united to host the Seventh Annual Rural – Urban Community Auction.

The online event takes place Nov. 1 – 29 at The program will conclude with a live finale as part of the Hospitality Corner at Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s (OFBF) Annual Meeting in Columbus Nov. 30.

Online participants will have the opportunity to bid on getaway travel packages, home goods, sports memorabilia, collectibles and unique adventure items. New items will be entered into the auction’s catalog throughout the event.

“County Farm Bureaus throughout Ohio are creating unique items that represent the best of their communities,” said Dale Arnold, Foundation board member and auction coordinator. “Several businesses, organizations and friends of Farm Bureau who support the Foundation, AFL and OCAL programs are donating items for the event, too.”… Continue reading

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Ohio hog farmers fight hunger

The Ohio Pork Producers Council (OPPC), along with several partners, celebrated October being National Pork Month through the power of giving. On Nov. 1, five Ohio foodbanks (Dayton, Cleveland, Lorain, Yougstown and Columbus), each received part of a 30,000 pound donation of pork from Ohio’s hog farming community. This donation was made possible through a generous donation to OPPC from Farm Credit Services of Mid-America, Ohio hog farmers and businesses who support Ohio’s farming community.

As part of this latest donation, OPPC utilized Facebook to get consumers more involved and aware of the efforts being taken to feed hungry Ohioans. “Help Farmers Fight Hunger Virtually” is a Facebook “event” that allowed people to “contribute” to the cause by “attending the “event”. For each person that “attended”, the Ohio Pork Producers Council & Farm Credit Services of Mid-America donated pork (up to 125,000 meals) to the Ohio Association of Second Harvest Foodbanks.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Crop Progress Report – October 31st


Rains throughout the week has delayed the corn and soybean harvest and winter wheat planting.

As of Sunday October 30th, corn mature was rated at 84 percent, compared to 100 percent last year and 99 percent for the five-year average. Corn harvested for grain was 18 percent complete, compared to 89 percent last year and 55 percent for the five-year average. Corn silage was 92 percent harvested, compared to 100 percent for both last year and the five-year average. Soybeans harvested were rated at 51 percent, 45 percentage points behind last year and 35 points behind the five-year average. Winter wheat was 67 percent planted, 29 percentage points behind last year and 24 points behind the five-year average. Emerged winter wheat was rated at 25 percent, compared to 77 percent last year and 66 percent for the five-year average. The forth cutting of alfalfa hay was 84 percent complete, 13 percent behind last year and 14 percent behind the five-year average.… Continue reading

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Ohio's Crop Progress Report – October 31st


Rains throughout the week has delayed the corn and soybean harvest and winter wheat planting.

As of Sunday October 30th, corn mature was rated at 84 percent, compared to 100 percent last year and 99 percent for the five-year average. Corn harvested for grain was 18 percent complete, compared to 89 percent last year and 55 percent for the five-year average. Corn silage was 92 percent harvested, compared to 100 percent for both last year and the five-year average. Soybeans harvested were rated at 51 percent, 45 percentage points behind last year and 35 points behind the five-year average. Winter wheat was 67 percent planted, 29 percentage points behind last year and 24 points behind the five-year average. Emerged winter wheat was rated at 25 percent, compared to 77 percent last year and 66 percent for the five-year average. The forth cutting of alfalfa hay was 84 percent complete, 13 percent behind last year and 14 percent behind the five-year average.… Continue reading

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Two Ohio counties win national Farm Bureau competition

The Darke and Medina County Farm Bureaus have been named winners in the American Farm Bureau Federation’s (AFBF) County Activities of Excellence program and will be exhibiting their programs at the 2012 AFBF annual meeting in Hawaii. The two Ohio counties are among only 25 selected from across the nation for this prestigious honor. Both counties will receive $2,250 from AFBF to defray the costs of participating in the annual meeting.

The County Activities of Excellence program recognizes innovative, action-oriented programs conducted by Farm Bureau’s grassroots membership, and by highlighting them at annual meeting allows winning counties to share their ideas with Farm Bureau members from around the nation.

Darke County was recognized in the Education and Agriculture Promotion category. Their entry, “Home Grown in the County,” was a series of cooking demonstrations featuring area chefs and butchers designed to connect consumers with locally produced foods, build awareness of local agriculture and promote sales of local farm products.… Continue reading

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Corn market attracts wheat industry attention

By Casey Chumrau, USW Market Analyst

The Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) nearby corn contract is currently trading higher than the CBOT wheat contract. This reversal of a historical trend has only happened once before in 1983. As a result, wheat industry stakeholders and grain market analysts around the world are paying close attention to the price spread between wheat and corn. And for good reason: the behavior of the corn market in recent months helps them understand the current wheat market.

On Wednesday, Oct. 26, the CBOT December corn contract closed at $6.37 per bushel, 18 cents higher than CBOT soft red winter (SRW) wheat. Additionally, the spread between the CBOT corn contract and the Kansas City Board of Trade hard red winter (HRW) contract and the Minneapolis Grain Exchange spring wheat contract has narrowed significantly. This reversal in relationship sent ripples through the wheat market and supports higher wheat prices.… Continue reading

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Rabies still a risk in wildlife

The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) wants to remind Ohioans that rabies in wildlife continues to pose a risk to pets and people. Rabies is almost always 100% fatal once a person or animal begins to show symptoms. Protecting pets by keeping them current on their rabies vaccine is an important buffer between wildlife rabies and human exposure. Indoor animals should also be vaccinated as rabid bats are frequently discovered by pets in the home.

Over the past two decades, ODH laboratories have confirmed two dogs and seven cats with rabies. The most recent dog report occurred on Oct. 13 when it was confirmed that a Siberian Husky from Twinsburg Ohio in Summit County was infected with rabies. The dog has since died and was not current on its rabies vaccination.


“Although this is only the second confirmed dog case in Ohio since 1997, the risk of household pets coming into contact with wild animals is ever present,” said State Public Health Veterinarian Kathleen Smith, who oversees the ODH Zoonotic Disease Program.… Continue reading

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OSU working with Iceland to address climate change

As part of its drive to forge lasting global partnerships, Ohio State University has signed two memoranda of understanding (MOU) with the University of Iceland and that European island-nation’s Soil Conservation Service with the goal of enhancing educational experiences and advancing critical research dealing with climate change, environmental sustainability and food security.

The MOUs were signed last July 14 during a visit to Iceland by Ohio State officials, including President E. Gordon Gee; Bobby Moser, dean of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences; William Brustein, vice provost for global strategies and international affairs; and Bill Ravlin, associate director of the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC).

The Ohio State delegation met with Iceland President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson — who has been an avid supporter of the trans-Atlantic partnership that started back in 2007, visiting Ohio twice during that period and offering lectures on global warming, land restoration and green energy.… Continue reading

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Fair competitors sought for new TV series

A Los Angeles-based production company is seeking men and women for a new television series called Blue Ribbon Rivals, featuring fair competitors and their rivals. The program is looking for any and all types of people who compete for ribbons at a county or state fair.

The interested candidates should send an email to: and include name, age, profession, and contact information. Explain why you would be great on the show and how many ribbons (blue or other) you have won, and in what categories. Tell us what your life is like as you prepare your product for competition. Include photos of you and your family – perhaps at the fair, your winning products, and all your ribbons.

Also, tell us about your biggest rivals and then tell them to submit as well! Deadline for application is Monday October 31, 2011.

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Ethanol report highlights role of DDGs

Nearly 40% of the corn used for ethanol goes directly back into the feed supply as a high-protein animal feed, according to a recently released report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service. Growth Energy, the nation’s leading voice for ethanol, noted that the feed from ethanol production saves money for animal producers because it averages 25% cheaper than corn used as feed and can displace a greater amount of corn because of its nutritional value.

According to the report, “Findings demonstrate that, in aggregate (including major types of livestock/poultry), a metric ton of DDGS can replace, on average, 1.22 metric tons of feed consisting of corn and soybean meal in the United States.”

“This report reiterates what we have been saying for years: ethanol produces both fuel and food, in the form of high protein animal feed known as distillers grains. The data proves that food-versus-fuel is a myth.… Continue reading

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Stover study could lead to improved cellulosic production

Not all parts of a corn stalk are equal, and they shouldn’t be treated that way when creating cellulosic ethanol, say Purdue University researchers.

When corn stover is processed to make cellulosic ethanol, everything is ground down and blended together. But a research team found that three distinct parts of the stover – the rind, pith and leaves – break down in different ways.

Michael Ladisch, a distinguished professor of agricultural and biological engineering and director of Purdue’s Laboratory of Renewable Resources Engineering; Eduardo Ximenes, a Purdue research scientist in LORRE; and doctoral graduate student Meijuan Zeng are trying to determine if there is a better method to process corn stover and optimize efficiency. 

Cellulosic ethanol is created by using enzymes to extract sugars from cellulosic feedstocks, such as corn stover, grasses and woods, and then fermenting and distilling those sugars into fuels.

“Today, researchers grind the parts together and treat it based on what’s needed to get at the hardest part,” Ximenes said.… Continue reading

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