Featured News



Ohio Beef Expo Kicks Off March 18

March 18 marks the first day of the 24th Ohio Beef Expo. The three day event takes place March 18 – 20 at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus, and is the premier event of Ohio’s Beef Industry. This year’s schedule includes breed sales, shows, educational seminars, trade show and a highly competitive junior show. Attendees will also be able to take part in new features including a silent auction and social hour on Friday and Saturday.

The trade show, kicking off the Expo at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, will run throughout the event and features more than 103 exhibitors from 16 states. An array of educational seminars will also begin on Friday morning. The seminars will be offered throughout the day on Friday and Sunday and aim to give producers an opportunity to gain useful knowledge from industry experts about advancements and current trends. Information provided will allow producers to better their own operations in areas such as marketing and herd management.… Continue reading

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House votes to block E15

Growth Energy leaders say they continue to oppose provisions – approved by the House of Representatives – that would block the Administration from implementing policies that would reduce our dependence on foreign oil, create jobs and strengthen our national security.

Two amendments offered by Reps. John Sullivan, R-Okla. and Jeff Flake R-Ariz. would block the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from implementing its approved waiver for E15 ethanol blends in America’s fuel supply and prohibit construction of blender pumps and ethanol storage facilities.

In a landmark regulatory decision, the EPA had approved E15 for all vehicles built in the last decade – about 151 million cars, or 67% of the country’s vehicles, which together consume 75% of the country’s fuel. The decision, in response to Growth Energy’s Green Jobs Waiver, was based solely on data collected from a rigorous, lengthy and extreme standard of testing on performance of engines, emissions systems and automobile drivability; E15 was found to work fine in all automobiles tested, from model year 2001 and newer.… Continue reading

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OEFFA announces 2011 Stewardship Award Recipients

The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) has bestowed its highest honor, the Stewardship Award, on Ed Snavely of Knox County and Deborah Stinner of Wayne County. The announcement was made on February 19 as part of OEFFA’s 32nd Annual Conference, Inspiring Farms, Sustaining Communities. The award recognizes “outstanding contributions to the sustainable agriculture community.”

Deborah Stinner is a Research Scientist and Administrative Coordinator for the Organic Food and Farming Education and Research Program (OFFER) at The Ohio State University’s Ohio Agriculture Research and Development Center (OARDC) in Wooster, Ohio.

Stinner’s research specialty is organic farming systems, with a focus on specialty small grains, including hard wheat and spelt, for artisan bread and pasta products. She helped found the OFFER program in 1998 in response to requests by organic producers and supporters to provide science-based information to Ohio’s organic farmers. OFFER is internationally recognized as a leader in organic farming research.… Continue reading

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Johnson Named new Farm Credit Services CEO

Bill Johnson

The Board of Directors of Farm Credit Services of Mid-America announced that they have selected Bill Johnson as the company’s new President and Chief Executive Officer-elect. Johnson will replace Donnie Winters, the current President and CEO, who has announced he will retire later in 2011.  Farm Credit is a $17 billion lender to rural America, serving almost 93,000 farmers, agribusinesses and rural residents throughout the four-state area of Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and Tennessee.

“I’m joining an organization that is known as the market leader in agricultural finance with employees who are passionate about serving the needs of rural America,” said Johnson. “There are several key initiatives underway that will help continue to improve service quality and enhance operational effectiveness.  We have the unique opportunity to continue to deliver highly competitive loan products and look for additional ways to enhance our market capabilities,” he said.

“Bill is ideally qualified to lead the association,” explained Ed Yanos, chair of the FCS Board and a farmer from Cambridge City, Indiana.
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Insulting Ohio’s small waters

By Mark Wilson

We’ve entered the age of civility. Politicians started off 2011 by tempering their choice of words when criticizing an opponent. House Speaker John Boehner stopped calling the Democrats’ healthcare bill “job killing” and began calling it “job crushing.”

Recently, a senior water quality manager at Ohio EPA tried his hand at civility by saying farmers are “insulting” small waters instead of “polluting” them. Feel better now, farmers? I wouldn’t.

“Small waters” generally refer to watercourses not typically thought of as natural streams. They tend to convey runoff or tile drainage from upland areas of less than 1 square mile. Most people call them ditches, grass waterways or ephemeral streams (streams that carry water only when it rains).

It’s been Ohio EPA’s goal to expand their authority to “small waters” for a long time — essentially since the mid ‘90s when pollution resulting from stacks and pipes (i.e. point sources) became secondary and pollution resulting from man’s use of the land (nonpoint sources) emerged as primary.… Continue reading

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Insulting Ohio's small waters

By Mark Wilson

We’ve entered the age of civility. Politicians started off 2011 by tempering their choice of words when criticizing an opponent. House Speaker John Boehner stopped calling the Democrats’ healthcare bill “job killing” and began calling it “job crushing.”

Recently, a senior water quality manager at Ohio EPA tried his hand at civility by saying farmers are “insulting” small waters instead of “polluting” them. Feel better now, farmers? I wouldn’t.

“Small waters” generally refer to watercourses not typically thought of as natural streams. They tend to convey runoff or tile drainage from upland areas of less than 1 square mile. Most people call them ditches, grass waterways or ephemeral streams (streams that carry water only when it rains).

It’s been Ohio EPA’s goal to expand their authority to “small waters” for a long time — essentially since the mid ‘90s when pollution resulting from stacks and pipes (i.e. point sources) became secondary and pollution resulting from man’s use of the land (nonpoint sources) emerged as primary.… Continue reading

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Ohio State shares in $20 million USDA grant for sustainability of corn production in the Midwest

Ohio Sate University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) is one of 11 institutions awarded a $20 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA), which aims to keep Midwest corn-based cropping systems resilient in the face of future climate uncertainties.



Ohio State’s share in the grant is $3 million. The Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC), OSU Extension, and the School of Environment and Natural Resources (SENR) — all part of CFAES — will be involved in various research and outreach components of the project. The grant was announced today (2/18) in Washington D.C.

The comprehensive, five-year initiative brings together 42 scientists from nine land-grant universities and two USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) institutions in eight states in the country’s north-central region –which produces 8 billion bushels of corn, or 64 percent of the annual harvest in the United States.

… Continue reading

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Extension to apply for 2010 purchased feed benefits

Ohio Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director, Steve Maurer announced that an extension has been granted to apply for eligible purchased feed benefits due to certain adverse weather conditions that occurred during 2010.

Producers now have until March 1, 2011 to complete a payment application and/or file a notice of loss due to eligible adverse weather conditions that occurred in 2010 and resulted in additional purchases of feed stuffs for livestock. These benefits will be limited to the amount of additional feed needed to sustain livestock as a result of documented adverse weather conditions.

“Due to the short extension, producers that purchased feed at levels above normal are encouraged to contact their local FSA service center for more details,” Maurer said.… Continue reading

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Meeting New Fruit, veggie safety standards: OSU workshops set

Ohio State University’s Fruit and Vegetable Safety Team will offer its first-ever Produce Safety Education Program four times in three places over the next two months.

The first will take place on March 1 in Clayton, about 20 miles northwest of Dayton, with the sign-up deadline on Feb. 22.

Also set are two offerings on March 21 in Ottawa west of Findlay (March 14 deadline) and one on April 7 in Piketon south of Chillicothe (March 28 deadline).

Organizers say the program is timed to the approaching growing season and to the recent passage of the U.S. Food Safety Modernization Act, which emphasizes prevention and science-based standards.

“It’s for any fruit and vegetable grower who grows from one acre and sells at a farm stand all the way up to a large-scale grower shipping out of state,” said Ashley Kulhanek, the team’s education associate and one of the program’s planners. “It’s also aimed at any farmer who may be interested in participating in the Ohio Produce Marketing Agreement, which is currently being drafted.… Continue reading

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Educational meetings for Beef producers set for February and March

As a service to its membership, the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) in part with the OCA Allied Industry Council is holding a series of district meetings located across Ohio during the months of February and March. Anyone with an interest in the cattle industry is invited and encouraged to attend. The meetings will begin between 6:30 and 7 p.m. with a complimentary dinner followed by educational speakers.

According to OCA President David Felumlee of Licking County, “OCA’s district meetings are designed to take OCA to the cattlemen, making it even easier for OCA members to have a voice in directing their organization and to encourage members to recruit other members and to give them some valuable management information in the process.”

Meeting locations and topics for 2011 include:

February 24, 2011 – OCA District 7 Meeting (Counties: Belmont, Carroll, Guernsey, Harrison, Jefferson, Monroe, Noble and Tuscarawas), 7 p.m., Jefferson County Joint Vocational School, 1509 County Rd.… Continue reading

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ASA concerned about ag cuts

The American Soybean Association is concerned with the disproportionate cuts in agriculture spending in H.R. 1, the Continuing Resolution for Fiscal Year 2011. ASA believes the proposed cuts to agriculture are more than double the amount proposed to be cut in overall non-defense discretionary spending. H.R. 1 would cut 5.21-billion dollars, or 22.4 percent, from agriculture-related programs and operating budgets during the remaining seven months of FY-2011. This is more than double the 10.3 percent cut proposed in overall non-defense discretionary spending.

ASA President Alan Kemper, a soybean farmer from Lafayette, Indiana, says – while we understand the bill’s efforts to decrease discretionary spending, we are concerned that agriculture is being required to absorb a disproportionate amount of the cuts.  Given the importance that agriculture plays in America’s food security and economic recovery, it is unclear how such disproportionate cuts are warranted or wise.  ASA is strongly encouraging Congress to reconsider the balance of funding cuts for the remainder of FY-2011.… Continue reading

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The battle for acres in 2011

By Matt Reese

As spring planting draws near, the demand-driven market has put crop producers amid as hotly a contested acreage battle as there has ever been. The stakes and the risks are high for the 2011 growing season.

“When you’re talking to the banker, the volatility we’re seeing in the markets is a challenging thing,” said Mitch Welty, grain manager for the Blanchard Valley Farmers Coop. “There are a lot of unknowns still out there, and I think volatility is going to be here to stay. I think this is something we’re going to have to deal with from here on out and it will be a challenge for everybody. I think guys are getting very nervous about if they sell today what they are giving up tomorrow. It makes people want to start micro-managing things instead of looking at the big picture and locking in a profit.”

Welty said the weather, the conditions in South America, cotton acres, the quality of wheat stands, and the growing appetite of China are all important factors to consider as the acreage battle plays out this spring.… Continue reading

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Farm Bureau support of Feeding America breaks record

The farm and ranch families of Farm Bureau last year raised more than $273,000 and donated more than 18 million pounds of food to hungry Americans as part of Farm Bureau’s “Harvest for All” program through Feeding America. Combined, the monetary and food donations provided the equivalent of more than 16 million meals.

The money raised, food donated and meal equivalents in 2010 all shattered program records. The Harvest for All Program was established in 2003.

In fact, the 18 million pounds of food donated by Farm Bureau families in 2010 was nearly three times as great as the 6.7 million pounds donated in 2008, the previous record. The $273,000 in funds donated in 2010 surpassed the 2009 level of $213,000, which was also a record. And the number of meal equivalents served at 16 million exceeded the previous high of 6.4 million, also set in 2008, by nearly 10 million meal equivalents.… Continue reading

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The Ohio-Israel Agricultural Initiative leads Ohio delegation to Israel

The Ohio-Israel Agricultural Initiative (OIAI) of the Negev Foundation is taking a wide representation of Ohio’s agricultural and agri-business experts to the prestigious AgroMashov tradeshow in Israel this March, where they will speak on their areas of expertise. The Initiative also will present a booth at the tradeshow featuring Ohio companies.

AgroMashov— www.mashov.net— is one of the largest international agriculture tradeshows in the Middle East, with 20,000 visitors expected from around the world. One focus of the tradeshow will be enhanced, sustainable production in the face of population increases and climate change.

The Ohio booth is sponsored by OIAI, with the support of the Ohio Department of Agriculture, the Ohio Department of Development’s Global Markets Division, and its Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office.

OIAI fosters agricultural trade opportunities and collaboration between Ohio and Israel,” said Sarah Horowitz, OIAI’s program director, who will accompany the delegation. “Our presence at AgroMashov will help Ohio agribusinesses both with the exposure needed to attract international buyers and the opportunity to explore international markets.”… Continue reading

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Syngenta Seeds submits EPA applications for two refuge-in-a-bag products

Syngenta Seeds, Inc., announced it has submitted to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) an application for the registration of its Agrisure Viptera 3220 E-Z refuge trait stack and its Agrisure 3122 E-Z refuge trait stack, both featuring a blended 5% refuge or “refuge-in-a-bag” component.

Once approved, the Agrisure Viptera 3220 E-Z refuge trait stack will offer growers dual modes of action on above-ground lepidopteran corn pests. This revolutionary stack includes the breakthrough Agrisure Viptera trait, featuring a completely new mode of action in corn with the first Vip3A insect control protein.  The Agrisure Viptera trait is the industry’s first “non-Cry” (non-crystalline) insect control protein. In addition, the stack contains the trusted and tested Agrisure CB/LL trait, the Bt11 event, which has been protecting corn from European corn borer for more than 10 years. The Agrisure GT trait for glyphosate tolerance and the Herculex I trait for corn borer round out this stack, which is designed specifically for areas where corn rootworm is either negligible or can be managed through crop rotation.… Continue reading

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Watch that water flow and keep nutrients in the fields

By Justin Petrosino, Darke Ag and Natural Resources Extension educator

The other day I noticed here in the office a little drip of water coming from the ceiling. The cause was ice thawing on the flat roof. Water melting from underneath that frozen layer of snow and ice was percolating its way into my office.

The water from above that snow and ice layer is running off to the gutter and out into the parking lot.

Out in our fields much of the ground underneath that layer of snow and ice is thawed. It is taking up a portion of that snowmelt just like our porous roof here in the office. However some snowmelt on top of that frozen snow pack is running off. With the heavy infiltration of water some of those fields have become saturated and we are seeing runoff. We are no more than a few days into the thaw and reports of manure moving off the field and into the creek are already coming in.… Continue reading

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OFBF legislative priorities discussed at Ag Day at the Capital

By Matt Reese

Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s director of state policy Beth Vanderkooi covered some of the important state agriculture-related issues that need to be discussed with legislators during Ag Day at the Capital.

“There are some really exciting things going on at the Ohio statehouse,” she said. “We have a very aggressive state priorities list this year, but we cannot do it without you. There are big issues being discussed.”

Elimination of the estate tax is among the top issues being debated.

“It will be a few weeks before the House sends this bill over to the Senate. That is a few more weeks for us to get out there and send our message loud and clear,” Vanderkooi said. “We have a rare opportunity to get this done in Ohio, but it will not happen if we sit back and let someone else speak.”

Other important issues include the business climate and taxes in Ohio.… Continue reading

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OPPC Names Overholt as Director of Communications

Margo Overholt was named the Ohio Pork Producers Council (OPPC) Director of Communications. She will be responsible for managing producer communication initiatives to increase awareness and understanding of pork-related programs throughout Ohio.

“I look forward to Margo joining the OPPC team to tell about all the great contributions the pork producers of Ohio are making,” said Dick Isler, Ohio Pork Producers Council (OPPC) executive vice president. “She will be responsible for the Ohio Porkline, social media, OPPC’s web page and provide a positive image of pork producers.”

Overholt is completing a bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications at The Ohio State University with emphasis in meat science. She was recently the Risk Management and Communications Intern for United Producers Inc., a farmer-owned and operated livestock cooperative providing agricultural services throughout the Midwest.

She was actively involved in 4-H and on her family’s farming operation outside Glenmont, Ohio. Currently, she serves as the Treasurer of the Ohio State University Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow Chapter.… Continue reading

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