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Keep the proper focus with H2Ohio

By Matt Reese

Last year I had the opportunity to serve as the head coach for my son’s third and fourth grade basketball team. As could be expected, wrangling a squirrelly group of elementary school boys did prove challenging, on occasion. This was on full display for the community to see on youth recognition night.

For the event, all of the elementary and junior high boys basketball players in the program gather at the school before a varsity game. The players get their names announced over the loudspeaker and then form two lines facing each other to make a “tunnel” where they slap hands with the varsity players as they run out before the game. It is a nice event to showcase the efforts of the youth.

My team was there, on time, with their jerseys on, which was a significant victory. They ran out as their names were announced as planned.… Continue reading

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Top stories of 2019

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, visit ocj.com search for “2019 top stories of the year.” In addition to these top posts, other noteworthy drivers of web traffic in 2019 included the Ohio and Pro Farmer crop tours, the Ohio State Fair livestock show results, FFA, 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 2019.

 

  1. $65 hay bales a sign of the times

It was tough for hay production in 2018-2019.… Continue reading

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Roselyn’s last wreath

By Matt Reese

Louise was in a snit. And, an ugly snit it was. Regarded as a living saint by all in the small town community, Louise had rarely been known to be in such a state.

Louise had dedicated her life to service to others, most notably her handicapped elder sister Roselyn. Louise was talented, beautiful and extremely intelligent in her youth. She’d had unlimited potential, and she’d lived up to much of it.

She’d had a successful career in business, from which she was now retired. She had tirelessly cared for and supported Roselyn beyond what could be reasonably expected of anyone. And it was said Louise shone the brightest every year in her service to the local church. This level of service reached its pinnacle at the start of Advent. Louise coordinated the magnificent Advent Service each year four weeks prior to Christmas in the beautiful, small town church her family had attended for generations.… Continue reading

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A lesson in service

By Matt Reese

Once again this year, the day after Veteran’s Day, 100 Christmas trees were packed up and shipped off to military units overseas through a partnership between the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) and the Ohio Christmas Tree Association for the Operation Evergreen Program. Christmas tree growers from around Ohio donate the trees and deliver them to the ODA where nursery inspectors certify they are free from pests and disease. Both groups come together at ODA to wrap, load up and send the trees to military members stationed overseas. This is the 24th year for the program that got its start in Ohio. The trees cost $150 a tree for shipping and the expenses are covered through donations.

“This year we are sending the trees overseas to Kuwait. They leave and get to Kuwait in two weeks and then they get dispersed to the bases in the area,” said Valarie Graham with the Ohio Christmas Tree Association.… Continue reading

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Plenty of steak at stake in alternative meat debate

By Matt Reese

I can very clearly remember the dietary craze of the days of my youth regarding low fat and fat free food products. It was an oft-touted “scientific fact” back then that the fats in meats and dairy were very detrimental to our existence. Products like whole milk, butter, bacon, and red meats were scorned while highly processed low fat and no fat products flooded the market.

As I grew older I realized the “science” behind the fat free hype was greatly skewed by marketing. As it turns out, I later discovered some of those low fat and no fat products were actually much worse nutritionally than the fatty products they were manufactured to replace. The stuff added to these foods was/is worse than the actual fat it is meant to taste like. Somewhere along the line, the fine farm folks woven throughout my upbringing convinced me of the folly of following food fats.… Continue reading

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Ohio Department of Agriculture partners with Ohio Christmas Tree Association to send Christmas trees to troops overseas

Yesterday, 100 Christmas trees were packed up and shipped off to military units overseas through a partnership between the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) and the Ohio Christmas Tree Association.

State Christmas tree growers donate the trees, ODA nursery inspectors certify they are free from pests and disease. Both groups come together at ODA to wrap, load up and send the trees to military members stationed overseas. Trees will also include decorations provided by school children, churches and veterans’ groups from around Ohio.

This is the 24th year for the program that got its start in Ohio.

“This year we are sending the trees overseas to Kuwait. They leave and get to Kuwait in two weeks and then they get dispersed to the bases in the area,” said Valerie Graham with the Ohio Christmas Tree Association. “It is always great to participate in this program. They appreciate what we are doing.… Continue reading

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Great staff is like a second family

By Matt Reese

I love our staff. I am so fortunate to have the chance to work with so many talented, kind caring folks. From the late Ed Johnson to the current Dale Minyo I have had the opportunity to work with (and learn from) some of the very best. What an honor and privilege!

With so many summer events to attend around the state, we are very rarely all in the same place at once. And, with some staff changes this year, I thought the recent Farm Science Review would be a great chance to highlight our current fantastic staff and what they do for the team to keep you up to date.

 

Bart and Sheryl Johnson

We are like a family and they are kind of like the parents (or in Bart’s case sometimes an ornery big brother). Bart is the son of Ed Johnson who started the company.… Continue reading

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Testing of faith produces perseverance: 2019 mud pies

By Matt Reese

I saw so many sad farm situations this spring in what was, in many cases, the worst planting season in history. But, as it always has, life went on, and I have seen so many farmers rise to the occasion and turn the challenges of 2019 into more positive situations. There was plenty of mud this spring, but also some silver linings, or for 2019 the term mud pie might be more appropriate.

 

2019 Mud

You had prevented planting acres this spring. This was a tough decision that, after being made, led to many more tough decisions.

 

2019 Mud pies

The unplanted acres opened up opportunities for tiling, cover cropping (with cost share opportunities), an insurance payment, a potential Market Facilitation Program payment, and a chance to hay or graze those cover crops this fall. There also are opportunities to soil test and set fields up for success in 2020.… Continue reading

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Crawford County Farm Bureau wraps up the year with honors

Crawford County Farm Bureau held its annual meeting Sept. 10, at the Trillium Event Center in Bucyrus. At the annual meeting trustee elections were held, delegates to represent the county at the state level were selected and public policies were voted on and approved. The approved policies will guide the Crawford County Farm Bureau for the coming year as well as provide direction for the Ohio Farm Bureau and the American Farm Bureau.

Crawford County Farm Bureau celebrated the Ohio Farm Bureau Centennial and highlighted the accomplishments of programs held during the past year and thanked the volunteers who made local activities successful. Dale Minyo, founder and farm broadcaster of the Ohio AgNet, was the guest speaker for the evening. Special awards were presented following the guest speakers address.

The Crawford County Farm Bureau honored a second inductee into the Crawford County Agricultural Hall of Fame: Milton Scheffler. Scheffler was nominated by the Crawford County Antique Farm Machinery Association where he served as a trustee.

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2019 Van Wert County Annual Meeting

2019 Van Wert County Farm Bureau Annual Meeting

Annual Meeting was held Aug. 6, 2019, at the Van Wert Center of Aging, in conjunction the Van Wert Soil and Water Conservation District. Dinner was catered by Gibson’s BBQ of Van Wert.

Celebrating 100 years of Ohio Farm Bureau

Voting of board members and delegates was held, and after dinner, Jessica Vandenbroek gave the organization director’s report. Scholarships were awarded and the 2019 year was recapped.

Special guest Matt Reese, from Ohio’s Country Journal, spoke about the challenges Ohio farmers face with the 2019 crop season.

We celebrated the 2019 year of Van Wert County Farm Bureau and welcome the year 2020.

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2019 Putnam County Annual Meeting

Putnam County Farm Bureau Annual Meeting 2019

The 2019 Putnam County Annual Meeting was held in conjunction with Putnam Soil and Water Conservation District meeting, at Whiskey Wine and Rose’s Winery in Fort Jennings, on Aug. 29, 2019.

Celebrating 100 years of Ohio Farm Bureau!

Dinner was catered by the delicious, Bavarian Catering, with dessert from Anna’s Cupcakes. Business meeting and voting was held following dinner. The exchange of office for president was passed from Curtis Tobe to Carl Liebrecht.

TRIVIA, TRIVIA, and TRIVIA! Groups participated in trivia questions on farming and Putnam County. Winners received prizes. There also were door prizes.

Rose Hartschuh gave the state trustee report and Jessica Vandenbroek, organization director, gave the County Report for 2019 and presented scholarships.

Putnam County Farm Bureau looks forward to the next 100 years of Farm Bureau.

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2019 Paulding County Annual Meeting

2019 Paulding County Annual Meeting

The 2019 Annual Meeting was held at the Paulding County Fairgrounds Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019. Dinner was catered by Puckerbrush Pizza, with delicious BBQ.

Celebrating 100 years of Ohio Farm Bureau!

After dinner, the business meeting was held, board members and delegates were elected, and prizes were won!

Jessica Vandenbroek gave the organization director’s report and presented scholarships, Rose Hartschuh gave the state trustee report, and board President Ryan McClure gave the county report and recapped the year.

Birthday cake was enjoyed and games were played, celebrating 100 years of Ohio Farm Bureau and the 2019 year in Paulding County.

 

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2019 Allen County Annual Meeting

2019 Annual Meeting 

The 2019 Allen County Annual Meeting was held on Sunday, September 15, 2019. Annual Meeting was held at Hart Hall with dinner catered by Stites Catering of Lima.

Celebrating 100 years of Ohio Farm Bureau

Special guest from Ohio Farm Bureau, Jordan Hoewischer spoke to guests about water quality in our state.

Rose Hartschuh, Farm Bureau, gave the State Trustee Report.

State Representitive, Bob Cupp, spoke on behalf of Allen County in the state agenda.

Jessica Vandenbroek gave the county organization report, awarded scholarships and recapped the year.

Our business meeting was held, dinner was served, door prizes were raffled, and the year was celebrated.

We welcome a new year at Ohio Farm Bureau in Allen County and can’t wait for what is in store.

 

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Local Food Systems on Town Hall Ohio

Ohio is a big food state, with a lot of farmers, processors and manufacturers and, lots and lots of hungry consumers. A sizable share of Ohio’s very diverse food chain is made up by what’s identified as local foods. What is local? How do folks all along the food chain benefit from it? What do the economics look like? Can it grow? Today, we talk with Ohio State economist Zoe Plakias, OSU and local foods advocate and entrepreneur Alice Chalmers to learn more, on Town Hall Ohio.

Subscribe to Town Hall Ohio‘s podcast on iTunes.

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#TakeOverTuesday: Jason’s Pumpkin Patch, Ottawa County

IssuesOhio’s top conservation farmers honored

2019 Conservation Farm Family Awards

IssuesLegal with Leah: The Michindoh Aquifer

News RoomCultivating a Cure sets attendance, fundraising records

Our OhioNine organizations receive Foundation grants

IssuesOhio manufacturers, ag producers need the USMCA

IssuesRural Legal Assistance on Town Hall Ohio

IssuesResources available to manage farm stress

StatewideOhio farmers rally to help Nebraska colleagues

StatewideWhere to Find Cover Crop Beer

Issues2019 State, National Priority Issues

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Walls named Ohio Farm Bureau Excellence in Agriculture winners

Kyle and Ashton Walls of Mt. Vernon have been named winners of Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s 2019 Excellence in Agriculture Award. The award recognizes successful young agricultural professionals who are actively contributing and growing through their involvement with Farm Bureau and agriculture.

The Walls will receive an expense-paid trip to Austin, Texas, to compete in the national Excellence in Agriculture contest during the American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention in January. They also receive a John Deere Gator courtesy of Farm Credit Mid-America and a $1,000 cash prize sponsored by Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau.

Kyle is a regional agricultural and commercial business manager for a mid-size community bank. Ashton is employed with one of the top global agricultural equipment manufacturers. The Walls have built and manage a herd of cow-calf Mexican Corriente cattle, which are primarily used for competitive rodeo events. They also raise laying hens for egg production.

They are both active in Farm Bureau at the county, state and national levels: Ashton served for many years as a Knox County Farm Bureau board member and was recently accepted by American Farm Bureau to attend the Women’s Communication Boot Camp in Washington, D.C.

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Need for outdoor appreciation

School is back in full swing and so is volleyball season. I will not lie, it has been busy.

When I received my schedule this year of teaching, I was incredibly worried. I did not have my preparation period until the last period of the school day. This had happened my first year of teaching and it had been a rough year. I had felt like I was constantly behind, constantly running late, constantly on the verge of a nervous breakdown not having a break, except a short lunch, during the day. My only bright spot was that occasionally I would get to cover our outdoor skills class.

I saw that my prep was seventh period, the last period of the day. It was not until the first week that I realized that my prep once again corresponded with the outdoor appreciation class.

Let me explain a bit about our outdoor appreciation class.

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Some trade wins for U.S. agriculture

Lately, American farmers have not been given much good news when it comes to trade. American Farm Bureau Chief Economist John Newton tells Ohio Farm Bureau Director of Media Relations Ty Higgins that big wins with the USMCA and Japan may get the ball rolling for more bilateral trade deals and could bring positive momentum to the upcoming trade talks with China.

Transcription

Ty Higgins: This is the Ohio Farm Bureau podcast. I’m Ty Higgins along with Dr. John Newton. He’s the chief economist with the American Farm Bureau Federation, and John on the economic side of agriculture so much to talk about. Let’s start with trade. We were hearing a lot about what might be happening with China in the near future but a big deal coming down the pike with one of our biggest trading partners in Japan.

Dr. John Newton: Well I think the administration sent the notice up to Congress that we’re going to see some details on the Japanese Trade Agreement very, very soon.

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Scheffler inducted into Crawford County Agricultural Hall of Fame

Milton Scheffler was inducted into the Crawford County Agricultural Hall of Fame Sept. 10 during the Crawford County Farm Bureau Annual Meeting held at the Trillium Event Center. Crawford County Farm Bureau partnered with other agriculture organizations to designate an inductee into the Crawford County Agricultural Hall of Fame, a recognition for outstanding contributions by an individual to agriculture. An honorary plaque was presented to honor Scheffler, and a permanent Hall of Fame plaque will be displayed in the Crawford County Agricultural Hall of Fame.

Crawford Antique Farm Machinery Association nominated Scheffler to receive this award for his service as a Crawford County farmer, his many other accomplishments in Crawford County and the state of Ohio, and his volunteer work with Crawford County youth.

Scheffler raised corn, soybeans, wheat, oats, hay, cattle and hogs in Crawford County. He served as a committee member of the Crawford County FSA, served on the Board of Directors for the former Zeigler Milling Company helping farmers to make decisions, and was a trustee for the Crawford Antique Farm Machinery Association.

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Legal with Leah: Motor Vehicle Sales Tax

There is nothing like the feeling of driving off the dealership lot in a brand new or new to you vehicle. Very few things can take that feeling away, but nothing could take that smile off your face like the tax bill on that car, truck or SUV.

On this Legal with Leah, Ty Higgins, Ohio Farm Bureau Director of Media Relations and Leah Curtis, Ohio Farm Bureau policy counsel discuss what the ag sales tax exemption covers and what it doesn’t.

Listen to Legal with Leah, a podcast featuring Ohio Farm Bureau’s Policy Counsel Leah Curtis discussing topics impacting farmers and landowners.

Transcript

Ty Higgins: Leah I know that you and Joe covered that ag does have an exemption on sales tax, but the question then becomes does the tax break apply for motor vehicles and trailer purchases as well. The answer?

Leah Curtis: Well generally it doesn’t apply to motor vehicles in particular.

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