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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Making safe farms a reality in northeast Ohio

First responders in rural communities across the state have an acute need for grain bin rescue training, but a finite amount of availability to take such training. That’s about to change.

From that knowledge came a vision that is taking shape at the Wayne County Regional Training Facility in Apple Creek, a nonprofit group formed to train first responders in a six-state area. The facility provides educational programs on firefighting, fire prevention, emergency squad and rescue work. In 2017, volunteers from Ashland, Holmes, Medina and Wayne County Farm Bureaus “started dreaming,” said Bob Hange, who was president of the Wayne County Farm Bureau at the time. The four counties had just donated grain bin rescue tubes to local fire departments, which was appreciated. Although, there was one challenge: First responders lacked the training to use the new piece of equipment.

Wayne County grain bin rescue project
Key partners on the Safe Farms project met last year to discuss its progress.
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Ohio’s top conservation farmers honored

The Ohio Department of Agriculture today recognized five families as winners of the 2019 Conservation Farm Family Awards at the Farm Science Review in London. Ohio Farm Bureau is a sponsor of the awards.

“It is one thing to talk about the importance of conservation on the farm, but it is quite another to practice it every day like these award-winning families,” said Ohio Department of Agriculture Director Dorothy Pelanda. “I am proud of each of them for being good neighbors, handling the land with care, and helping to responsibly keep food and agriculture a top-ranking industry in Ohio.”

The five families honored were: Kurt Farms of Hardin County; Rick and Janice Brill of Lorain County; Doug and Beth McConnell of Muskingum County; Timothy and Lynn Miller of Logan County; and Fred and Kristy Walters of Hocking County.

“Each of the five farm families we recognized operates in a different area of Ohio, with differing acreages, soils, and topography,” said Kirk Hines, chief of the department’s Division of Soil and Water Conservation.

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Weather has been wild card for farmers

Each spring farmers get geared up to go out in the fields and plant their corn and soybeans. They hope for good weather to allow them to get their seeds in the ground. Then they hope for a decent growing season that allows the crops to grow and reach maturity. At harvest time, they hope for dry weather that allows them to get their crops harvested without working in muddy conditions.

Unfortunately, few of these things happened this past spring and summer. Farmers were ready to plant, but the weather didn’t cooperate. They would be ready to get out in the field and go to work. But then another rain would come along and they would be delayed another week or more, depending on the amount of rain — and some dropped a lot of water.

Several farmers and some agriculture industry people say this has been the worst planting season they can remember…just too much rain at the wrong time.

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Growing our Generation: Our jump into the sheep industry

Levi and Krysti Morrow from Morgan County are the editors of the Sept. 23, 2019 Growing our Generation enewsletter, featuring insights and ideas directly from Ohio’s young farmers and food and agricultural professionals.

Levi and Krysti Morrow's sonHi! We’re Levi and Krysti Morrow, your guest editors for the Growing Our Generation e-Newsletter this week! With the “help” of our 15-month-old son, Charlie, we own and operate Rocky Knob Farms in McConnelsville.  We are the u-pick strawberry and pumpkin source in Morgan County and now are dipping our feet into the commercial hair sheep business. Krysti spends her time split between mom life and farm life managing the day to day chores, marketing and planning for our u-pick operations and farmers markets. Levi is an agriculture education teacher at Morgan Local Schools in our county and does all the cropping and haying for the farm.

In our 2017 edition, we discussed the importance of business planning, knowing your resources as a beginning farmer and what exactly we do with our leftover pumpkins.

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Fun at the Farm Science Review

Wow! What a fun Farm Science Review! The weather was the best we have had in recent years and we really enjoyed the chance to talk with so many of you who dropped in to see us. We got to lament the challenges of a difficult 2019 but celebrate the bright future of agriculture in Ohio too. We also had the chance to talk with many great guests who will be featured in upcoming broadcasts, podcasts, videos, and OCJ stories.

This year’s late harvest boosted attendance at the farm show, which attracted 114,590 people over three days. Typically at this time of the year, many farmers are driving combines. Instead, some were eyeing brand-new combines and tractors displayed at the show, taking pictures of their children and grandchildren behind the wheel at the Farm Science Review.

Under sunny skies and welcoming mild temperatures, visitors learned about the economics of producing malting barley, legal issues associated with growing hemp, the most common mistakes made by family-run farms, and tactics to reduce the risks of producing corn and soybeans, among other topics.

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