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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

OHIO CROP WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS

WEEK ENDING SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 18th 2011

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.

FIELD ACTIVITIES AND CROP PROGRESS

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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Consumers say U.S. farmers not responsible for feeding the world

A new study indicates that a large segment of consumers do not believe U.S. farmers should be responsible for addressing global hunger. In its latest analysis of consumer trust in the food system, the Center for Food Integrity (CFI) found that 40% of those surveyed strongly disagreed that, “the United States has a responsibility to provide food for the rest of the world.”

The study also shows that more than half the survey participants strongly agreed with the statement, “It is more important for the U.S. to teach developing nations how to feed themselves than to export food to them.”

“These results clearly indicate that consumers do not believe U.S. farmers should be responsible for feeding the world.  Agriculture needs to find messages that deliver a direct benefit to consumers or society to build support for today’s farming practices,” said Charlie Arnot, CEO of CFI. “If consumers don’t believe U.S agriculture has a responsibility to feed the world then we can’t build consumer support for today’s farming simply by claiming we need to feed more people, unless we can build public support that feeding the world should be a priority.”… Continue reading

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Livestock industry voices concerns with corn supply

The House Committee on Agriculture’s Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy and Poultry heard firsthand the challenges the livestock and poultry industries face today and expect to face in the coming years because of tight feed grain supplies. The hearing came on the heels of a U.S. Department of Agriculture World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates report that projected this year’s corn crop will be 417 million bushels lower than initial estimates.

Tight corn supplies have pushed prices to nearly $7.50 a bushel and prompted concerns about possible feed grain shortages.

Representatives from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Pork Producers Council, National Turkey Federation, National Chicken Council and the American Feed Industry Association, who testified before the subcommittee, issued the following statements subsequent to the hearing:

“While U.S. corn usage for food and industrial purposes other than ethanol have remained relatively constant since 2008, the amount of corn used for ethanol has increased eight-fold, with three-quarters of that increase occurring since 2005,” said Steve Meyer on behalf of NCBA.… Continue reading

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OSA supports HB 276

The Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) applauded State Representatives Jim Buchy (R-Greenville) and Lou Gentile (D-Steubenville) today for providing sponsor testimony in the Ohio House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee for House Bill 276 (H.B. 276). H.B. 276 will eliminate confusion in the interpretation of zoning laws with regards to agriculture and create more value-added opportunities for Ohio’s farm families.

“OSA strongly supports H.B. 276 and thanks Representatives Buchy and Gentile for their support in creating economic development in rural Ohio,” said Jeff Wuebker, OSA chairman. Wuebker operates a diversified grain and livestock farm in Versailles, OH.

H.B. 276 clarifies agricultural zoning laws with regards to operations secondary to production agriculture. For example, the recent Ohio Supreme Court case, Terry v. Sperry highlights how different jurisdictions’ interpretation of Ohio’s zoning and taxation laws could cripple rural economic growth. In this case, grape farmers installed a winery that was considered secondary to the production of grapes.… Continue reading

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Survey to audit Ohioans’ 2012 Farm Bill perceptions at FSR

To better understand Ohioans’ attitudes and beliefs about the pending 2012 Farm Bill, the Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association (OCWGA) is hosting a survey and awarding two random participants with iPads at the annual Farm Science Review (FSR) September 20, 21 and 22 in London, Ohio.

“FSR will help us gauge what our farmers and consumers understand and don’t understand about current agriculture policies,” said Dwayne Siekman, OCWGA CEO. “We’ll assess the results to address the issues of the pending 2012 Farm Bill.”

The Farm Bill, initiated in the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933, was passed during the Great Depression and undergoes review and reauthorization about every five years. Its policies support commodity crops, horticulture and livestock, conservation, nutrition, trade and food aid, agricultural research, farm-credit, rural development, energy, forestry and other related programs. It guides most federal farm and food policies.

OCWGA is active at the state and federal level to advocate for globally competitive, market-responsive and environmentally responsible policies that protect food security, sustainable farming and the financial wellness of farmers simultaneously.… Continue reading

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Study finds more effective way to dry ethanol, reduce costs

Purdue University researchers have found an alternative environmentally friendly and energy-efficient way to dry corn ethanol, and their proof is in the pudding.

Michael Ladisch, a distinguished professor of agricultural and biological engineering; Youngmi Kim, a Purdue research scientist; and Ahmad Hilaly, director of process research at Archer Daniels Midland, found that the shape and structure of tapioca pearls are ideal for removing water from ethanol. Their findings were reported in the July issue of the journal Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research.

After fermentation, ethanol contains between 6% and 12% water, which must be removed to make it fuel-grade. Many ethanol plants use corn grits, which absorb water, or molecular sieves, silica-based particles with tiny pores that only retain water molecules. Ladisch and Kim found that tapioca pearls work better than the conventional corn grit adsorbents.

“Any starch will absorb water. That’s how you cook rice or pasta,” Kim said.… Continue reading

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Small farm college in Northeast Ohio

There is a growing trend in Ohio Agriculture toward the direct marketing of agricultural products featuring locally grown food products. Consumers are becoming more and more aware of the benefits of buying local and buying fresh. As the demand for local food products increases so does the interest in growing and producing a variety of agricultural products for these markets. Perhaps this is something that you have considered for your small acreage but do not know where to begin.

To help land owners decide what to grow or raise on their excess acreage, the Ohio State University Extension offices in the Western Reserve Extension Education and Research Area are pleased to announce the Northeast Ohio New & Small Farm College titled “Too Much to Mow-What Do I Grow?” will be held on Monday evenings September 26 and October 3, 10, & 17, 2011 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. in Madison (Lake County) Ohio.… Continue reading

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USDA steps up food safety efforts

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that it is taking new steps to fight E. coli and protect the safety of the American food supply. Six additional serogroups of pathogenic E. coli will be declared adulterants in non-intact raw beef. Raw ground beef, its components, and tenderized steaks found to contain these bacteria will be prohibited from sale to consumers. USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) will launch a testing program to detect these dangerous pathogens and prevent them from reaching consumers.

As a result of this action, if the E. coli serogroups O26, O103, O45, O111, O121 and O145 are found in raw ground beef or its precursors, those products will be prohibited from entering commerce. Like E.coli O157:H7, these serogroups can cause severe illness and even death, and young children and the elderly are at highest risk. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identifies these particular serogroups of non-O157:H7 Shiga-toxin producing E.coli,… Continue reading

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