Featured News

OFBF sees membership growth

The Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) has reached statewide membership gain with 214,391 members. It is the 43rd time in the past 44 years that the state’s largest farming and food organization has achieved membership growth.

Ohio Farm Bureau is an advocate for farmers and consumers, working in public policy, food and animal issues and communications. The organization works alongside county Farm Bureaus to serve their local communities and provides a variety of savings and incentive programs to its members.

OFBF accomplishments this year that helped build membership included repeal of Ohio’s estate tax, preservation of key farm and food funding in the state budget, assured protections for farm animals and their owners and enhanced environmental assistance.

Membership increased among both farmer members and associate members. Associates are members who are gardeners, food enthusiasts, enjoy agricultural experiences and can take advantage of the savings programs.

“Everything we accomplish in Farm Bureau, including membership growth, is because of our dedicated member-volunteers,” said John C.… Continue reading

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OSU Judging Team performs well at contest

More than 250 young livestock enthusiasts participated in the Ak-Sar-Ben Livestock Judging Contests held on September 25, 2011 at the Sherman Berg Arena of the Qwest Center in Omaha, Nebraska. The contest was hosted by the Ak-Sar-Ben 4-H Stock Show for Senior College, Junior College, and 4-H participants.

Participants evaluated live classes of cattle, sheep, swine and goats for market and breeding. This is the first time that The Ohio State University Judging Team has attended this contest. Ohio State placed 4th overall as a team and 1st overall for class placings. A total of 10 universities from across the country competed in the event. Team members included John Heins, Sidney, OH; Katy Shircliff, Atwater, OH; Caitlin Bushman, Pemberville, OH; Lynette Sell, Hanoverton, OH; Tyler Lones, Somerset, OH; Arlis Young, Glenford, OH; and Ty McGuire, Eaton, OH.

Two Ohio natives did well in the junior college division. Jared Wynn of Ashland, OH was high individual for the sophomore’s.… Continue reading

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RMAP offers funding for small business

A critical economic development program that provides financial assistance for rural entrepreneurs and small business owners is available to Ohioans. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP) provides loans and grants to local organizations that re-loan money from USDA to small business owners and entrepreneurs in rural communities.

“Small businesses and entrepreneurs play an important role in the local economies of Ohio’s rural communities,” said U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown said.  “This funding gives Ohio’s economic development organizations resources to continue providing valuable assistance to create and sustain jobs throughout our state.”

RMAP funding may be used to provide fixed interest rate microloans to rural microentrepreneurs for startup and growing microenterprises. Some examples of eligible projects are: 

Loans for:

• Working capital

• Purchase of furniture, fixtures, supplies, inventory or equipment

• Debt refinancing

• Business acquisitions

• Purchase or lease of real estate that is already improved and will be used for the location of the subject business only (construction of any type is strictly prohibited)

Technical Assistance Grants (provision of education, guidance, or instruction to one or more rural microentrepreneurs):

• prepare them for self-employment;

• improve the state of their existing rural microenterprises;

• increase their capacity in a specific technical aspect of the subject business;

• and assist a rural microentrepreneur in achieving a degree of business preparedness and/or functions that will allow them to obtain or have the ability to obtain business loans independently.… Continue reading

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Be on the lookout for stalk rots

By John Brien, AgriGold agronomist, CCA

Thanks to the ever-challenging growing environment in the Eastern Corn Belt in 2011, many fields are beginning to show symptoms of stalk rots. Pollination and grain fill puts a tremendous demand on the corn plant. Fields that have been put under a number of stresses are having a hard time keeping up with the photosynthetic demands of the ear. Plants that are unable to keep up with the demand will resort to pulling stored carbohydrates from the stalks and roots and moving it to the developing ears. The reallocation of carbohydrates is the driving factor to stalk rots moving into many corn fields.

The pathogens that cause stalk rots are weak and opportunistic pathogens. Being weak and opportunistic means that stalk rots very seldom affect healthy, non-stressed corn, but instead attack corn plants that have a weakened defense system or are under some other stress.… Continue reading

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OEFFA tour heads to Local Roots Market

The next stop on OEFFA’s 2011 farm tour  series will be in Wooster, Ohio (Wayne Co.) at Local Roots Market and South Market Bistro on Saturday, October 1 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Join market manager Jessica Eikleberry for a tour of Local Roots Market, a year-round local food market that innovatively connects consumers with producers. All products at Local Roots Market are produced in Ohio and sold on consignment with 90 percent of the  sales going to the producer. Expect to see fresh produce, baked goods, frozen meats, dairy, grains, and much more from over 100 local producers!

Then, join the tour group  for an afternoon treat at South Market Bistro, where special arrangements have been made for tour participants. The bistro sources Local Roots Market products for their menu, showcasing locally-grown ingredients.

This tour is free and open to the  public. No registration is necessary.

For a complete description of the farm tour, including directions and a map, go to www.oeffa.org/farmtour/Continue reading

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Ohio Crop Progress Report – September 26th



The average temperature for the State was 63.0 degrees, 2.3 degrees above normal for the week ending Sunday, September 25, 2011. Precipitation averaged 1.30 inches, 0.57 inches above normal. There were 85 modified growing degree days, 3 days below normal. Reporters rated 2.5 days suitable for fieldwork during the seven-day period ending Friday, September 23, 2011. Topsoil moisture was rated 0 percent very short, 3 percent short, 72 percent adequate, and 25 percent surplus.


Fields remain wet from continuing rains. Field activities included fall tillage, spreading manure, spraying lime, and installing field tile.

As of Sunday September 25th, corn dented was 84 percent, compared to 96 percent for the five-year average. Corn mature was 19 percent, compared to 83 percent last year and 53 percent for the five-year average. Corn harvested for grain was one percent complete, compared to 22 percent last year and eight percent for the five-year average.… Continue reading

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Ears dropping in corn

By Dave Nanda, 
Director of Genetics & Technology 
Seed Consultants, Inc.


Recently, in a crop-scouting trip, I noticed several dropped ears in a cornfield. Ear droppage does not usually occur so early in the season. So, what could be reasons for early ear droppage?

• There are several reasons for ear droppage in corn. Ear droppage may be caused by both genetic and environmental reasons. Corn breeders try to select against the experimental hybrids with a tendency to drop ears in order to eliminate the genetic component. 

• Severe heat and drought stress, as we experienced this summer can lead to ear-droppage. Stress may affect the proper development of the shank (the small stem which attaches the ear to the stalk) attachment to the ears resulting in ear droppage. 

• European corn borer in conventional hybrids can cause ear droppage. Larvae of the second brood of borer can tunnel into the shank and weaken the attachment of the ears to the shank. 
… Continue reading

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OSU Extension to Lead Ohio Farm to School Program

As students head back to school, they may be eating more fresh Ohio foods in their school lunch, breakfast and snack programs. The Ohio State University Extension program in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences will now provide leadership for the statewide Farm to School program, tapping into the strength of state, county, regional and national networks. The program was formerly administered through the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

Ohio’s Farm to School program provides youth, pre-K through college, with access to nutritious food while supporting local farmers and communities. This program not only provides young people with fresh, local food, but also helps them understand where their food comes from and how food choices affect their health, environment and community.

“OSU Extension and their partners will be able to provide guidance and help make connections that result in healthy young people, healthy economies and healthy communities,” said OSU Extension Director Keith Smith.… Continue reading

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Organic Small Ruminants Workshop Oct. 14

Management Skills For Organic Small Ruminants Workshop  is scheduled at October 14, 2011 from 1 to 5 p.m. at Ohio Agriculture Research and Development Center in Wooster, Ohio.   Sheep and goat producers who are certificated organic, in transition to being organic or just interested in organic methods will benefit from attending this event.

This workshop will focus on the management knowledge needed for organic small ruminant production.  Joan M Burke, PhD, Research Animal Scientist, USDA, Agricultural Research Service from Dale Bumpers Small Farms Research Center inArkansas will be one of the featured speakers.   Joan has done extensive work in small ruminant parasite management and organic practices for small ruminants.  Francis Fluharty, PhD, is a Ruminant Nutritionist Researcher at Ohio State University’s Ohio Agriculture Research and Development Center (OARDC) in Wooster, Ohio.  He will share the importance of nutrition on animal growth, as well as animal welfare concerns.  A staff person from the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) will discuss the new NOP Pasture Rule and the record keeping associated with organic small ruminant production.… Continue reading

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Ohioans are playing a major role in the farm bill debate

Anthony Bush, Vice President of the Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association (OCWGA), is currently serving as the Chairmen of the NCGA Public Policy Action Team that has spearheaded a national effort to shape the next farm bill. We recently had the chance to talk with him on the subject. The complete Q&A will be featured in the October issue of Ohio’s Country Journal.

OCJ: The OCWGA made quit a stir at the last Commodity Classic with regard to shaping the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) Policy on commodity title programs for the next farm bill. Could you share some of the background and the official policy resulting from that meeting?

Anthony: I was part of a small group of board members that last winter made a trip to Indianapolis, Indiana. The idea was to sit down with other State organizations and have a discussion about what we really believed in. … Continue reading

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Ohio Crop Progress Report – September 19th



The average temperature for the State was 61.1 degrees, 3.9 degrees below normal for the week ending Sunday, September 18, 2011. Precipitation averaged 0.53 inches, 0.34 inches below normal. There were 89 modified growing degree days, 20 days below normal. Reporters rated 4.3 days suitable for fieldwork during the seven-day period ending Friday, September 16, 2011. Topsoil moisture was rated 0 percent very short, 9 percent short, 75 percent adequate, and 16 percent surplus.


Fields were still wet from the previous week’s rain, but began to dry and allowed producers to get back in their fields. Field activities included tilling wheat stubble, planting cover crops, hauling manure, harvesting corn for silage, and preparing storage bins and equipment for fall harvest.

As of Sunday September 18th, corn in dough was 96 percent, three percent behind the five-year average.… Continue reading

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U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards seeking nominations

The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, in affiliation with the Dairy Research Institute, announced the U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards, a new program to recognize dairy farms, businesses and collaborative partnerships for efforts that deliver outstanding economic, environmental and/or social benefit, thus helping to advance sustainability of the dairy industry.

The awards are divided into three categories: dairy farm, dairy processing/manufacturing and energy conservation/generation. Nominations are being accepted at USDairy.com/Sustainability/Awards through Dec. 1, 2011.

“Consumers are increasingly interested in choosing nutritious, responsibly made products,” said Larry Jensen, president, Leprino Foods, and chair, Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy. “The U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards highlight the dairy industry’s long-standing commitment to healthy people, healthy products and a healthy planet, while showcasing that sustainability makes good business sense, as well.”

Winners of the U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards will be announced in February 2012. In addition, honorees will share their stories and passion for sustainability on a national scale in forums and venues, and will be featured on USDairy.com/SustainabilityContinue reading

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Crop disease assessment for 2011

By Dave Nanda,
Director of Genetics and Technology for
Seed Consultants, Inc.

Before the summer of 2011, it was generally assumed that high temperatures and humidity would cause high incidence of corn diseases. But the diseases did not spread where it was hot and dry, even though lower leaves had lesions present. We speculated that perhaps it was too hot and dry for corn and soybeans and also for leaf diseases. Was that a correct assumption?

Well, after crisscrossing the states of Indiana from Warsaw, Valparaiso, Decatur, Brookston, Kokomo, Seymour, Scottsburg, Terre Haute, Jamestown, New Castle, Batesville, Shelbyville, Versailles, Indiana to Bradford, Celina and Washington Court House in Ohio, during our Kick-off meetings, field days and crop scouting trips, and observing a lot of corn and soybean fields, I came to the conclusion that our assumptions were correct. If is too hot and dry for corn and soybeans, it is also not favorable for the disease organisms.… Continue reading

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Outdoor learning opportunities valuable for youth

By Dan Armitage

Although I fished all my life, I didn’t come into hunting until my 30s, when a certain person I had an interest in spending time with let me know that if I wanted to extend our summer relationship into the autumn, that I had better learn to shoot a shotgun. It seems that she had an affinity for waterfowl hunting and once the season commenced Terrie informed me that she would be spending more time in a duck blind than poolside at the apartment complex where we had met and enjoyed each other’s company through the warmer months.

Long story short, I bought a Steven’s 12-gauge side-by-side for $150 from the JC Penney’s outlet store in Columbus and found myself wanting for a place to learn to shoot it, let alone practice with the scattergun.

Had I been raised in rural Ohio, as had my love interest, I likely would not have faced such a learning curve when it came to firearms handling.… Continue reading

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Trupointe shows off new South Charleston grain facility

Trupointe has changed the landscape in South Charleston with their remodeled grain facility that includes a new grain bin that will hold more than 720,000 bushels of corn. A new dumping area will also allow corn, beans and wet corn all to be unloaded simultaneously.

Randy Broady, Director Grain Operations for Trupointe shares the details on the new facility and why they built it.

Trupointe Randy Broady longContinue reading

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Ohio corn and wheat CEO moves on

After 15 years of serving Ohio’s grain industry, Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association (OCWGA) CEO, Dwayne Siekman, is stepping down to pursue new career opportunities.

“I’m proud to say that we’ve achieved many goals and accomplishments with the association and agricultural community throughout the years for the betterment of our farmers, ag economy and our state,” Siekman said. “After thoughtful consideration, I’m ready to tackle new challenges in my professional career.”

Siekman and OCWGA worked to address domestic and international issues that affect the success of Ohio’s corn and wheat markets, including ethanol, livestock, trade, environment and transportation issues, as well as federal farm programs, research and marketing programs.

Siekman began his relationship with the Ohio Corn Growers Association (OCGA) and the Ohio Corn Marketing Program (OCMP) in 1996 as director of programs and in 2004 was selected as its executive director.  In 2005 he began managing the Ohio Wheat Growers Association (OWGA).… Continue reading

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Wuebker Farms win national honor for stewardship

The Pork Checkoff, along with its cosponsor, National Hog Farmer magazine, has selected four pork production operations to be honored as the 2011 Pork Industry Environmental Stewards. The award, now in its 17th year, recognizes producers who demonstrate a firm commitment to safeguarding the environment and their local communities. This year’s national award recipients include Jeff and Alan Wuebker of Wuebker Farms from Versailles, Ohio, in Darke County.

The other three national winners are: Golden Circle Pork, Woodward, Iowa, John M. Langdon Farms, Benson, N.C., and Cleveland Pork, Elysburg, Pa.

The Environmental Steward award winners were selected by judges represented by pork producers and environmental organizations. The judges reviewed applications from pork producers who are committed to upholding the ideal relationship between pork production and the environment. Their operations were evaluated on their manure management systems, water and soil conservation practices, odor-control strategies, farm aesthetics and neighbor relations, wildlife habitat promotion, innovative ideas used to protect the environment and an essay on the meaning of environmental stewardship.… Continue reading

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