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Top stories of 2018

Our web site keeps track of the stories that generate the most interest and at the end of the year we like to review the top stories to gain insight into how to better serve readers of our web and print content and our radio listeners. Plus, it is always fun to see which story comes out on top. To revisit all of these favorite web stories and videos in the last year, look for “2018 top stories of the year” on the right side of this web page. In addition to these top posts, other noteworthy drivers of web traffic in 2018 included the Ohio and Pro Farmer crop tours, the Ohio State Fair livestock show results, and Between the Rows. Weather challenges, the tough farm economy, and all things draft horse also garnered major web traffic in the last 12 months. Here are the 10 most popular stories of 2018.

 

  1. Update on Miami Valley Feed and Grain spill cleanup efforts

Late one Sunday night Sam Sutherly got a catastrophic phone call he never wanted.

“When I got the phone call I just said, ‘Oh that’s nice.’ I turned to my wife and said, ‘I really don’t want to go.’”

The Sutherly family owns Miami Valley Feed and Grain in New Carlisle where a grain tank collapsed late on Jan. 21, spilling around 365,000 bushels of corn worth over $1.25 million. The wave of corn washed over the grounds, leveled multiple buildings and buried Route 571. The road had to be closed. Power was lost but restored fairly quickly by Dayton Power and Light. After much hard work, things were up and running again for harvest this fall at Miami Feed and Grain.

 

  1. Wayne County Fair evacuates: Livestock heads to Richland County

The deluge of water for much of Ohio in 2018 showed up in full force for the Wayne County Fair that had to be evacuated due to rising flood concerns. Fortunately the surrounding community stepped up to help and the exhibitors still got to show their livestock despite the challenges from Mother Nature.

 

  1. Rut of a different nature

Few harvests around Ohio were mud-free in 2018. In what was a very wet year in general for the state, the harvest season continued the trend. This left no shortage of ruts, stuck equipment and frustrated farmers and the wet weather pushed harvest very late into the year. Ty Higgins gathered up some of the muddy photos to share online because harvest misery loves company.

 

  1. A farmer’s promise and farm wife’s revenge

This clever poem points out the ills of expanding the farm inventory prior to renovating the wife’s dream kitchen.

 

  1. Logan County family finds hole in farm field 40 feet deep

A Logan County family made an interesting discovery in one of their farm fields this spring in preparation for planting. Lucas Yoesting, 15, was riding his dirt bike on his family’s rural-Zanesfield property when he noticed a large hole in one of the fields

“It goes straight down,” said Sunny Yoesting. “You can see and hear the water below running.

 

  1. Two fires, a Fayette County hog farm and the beloved Darke County Fair hog barn were lost this year.

Two of the year’s top stories involve unfortunate hog barn fires — a commercial facility in Fayette County and a revered old building at the Darke County Fair. Approximately 5,000 hogs wer killed in the Fayette County fire and the memories, architecture and history of the grand, old building at the Darke County fair is not replaceable.

 

  1. Mystery of the Ohio FFA jacket in Italy

Just how does an Ohio FFA jacket end up being worn by a local on the streets of Florence, Italy? The answer is worth a read.

 

  1. Director Daniels reflects on service to Ohio agriculture after his last day on the job

It is no secret that Ohio agriculture and the Kasich Administration were at odds leading up to the governor signing an executive order to implement increased farm regulations in targeted watersheds by declaring them distressed. This tension led to extensive #WaterDrama18. Caught in the middle of all of the drama was the Ohio Department of Agriculture. This eventually led to the dismissal of Director David Daniels just weeks before the November elections. Daniels shared his thoughts.

 

  1. Pleasant Valley Poultry: An Amish processor to crow about

OCJ field reporter Mike Ryan visited the hills of Amish country outside of Baltic to write a story about Pleasant Valley Poultry. The business meets a huge statewide demand for both poultry producers and meat shop patrons. The custom processing facility and retail store have flourished from the onset of the business.

 

  1. Kasich announces executive order directed at agriculture and water quality

This is the story that kicked off #WaterDrama18 after Governor John Kasich signed an executive order to take action on water quality in Lake Erie with Ohio’s agriculture in the crosshairs. After staunch agricultural opposition and some political wrangling on both sides of the issue, the debate has been tabled until the start of the DeWine Administration.

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