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2019 Extension Outlook Meetings to be held across Ohio

Ohio State University Extension is pleased to announce the 2019 Agricultural Outlook Meetings. In 2019 there will be seven locations in Ohio. Each location will have a presentation on Commodity Prices- Today’s YoYo. Additional topics vary by location and include U.S. Trade Policy: Where is it Headed, Examining the 2019 Ohio Farm Economy, Weather Outlook, Dairy Production Economics Update, Beef and Dairy Outlook, Consumer Trends, and Farm Tax Update.

Join the faculty from Ohio State University Extension and Ohio State Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Developmental Economics as they discuss the issues and trends affecting agriculture in Ohio. Each meeting is being hosted by a county OSU Extension Educator to provide a local personal contact for this meeting. A meal is provided with each meeting and included in the registration price. Questions can be directed to the local host contact.

The outlook meeting are scheduled for the following dates and locations:

Date: Jan.… Continue reading

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Porkbelly BBQ wins CIFT Excellence Award

Porkbelly BBQ, manufacturer of four unique, handcrafted, Ohio-made barbecue sauces, was honored with the CIFT Excellence Award.

The award is in recognition of exceptional achievement in the development of the food company and the contribution to the industry and state of Ohio.

“This achievement comes at such an exciting time for Porkbelly BBQ,” said Rory P.J. Earl, co-founder/partners, Porkbelly BBQ. “Due to the assistance from CIFT, we have been able to focus on our business growth and expand our small business. Now, as we enter the final stages of opening our restaurant, we look forward to growing our business further and expanding the reach of our sauces.”

In 2011, Earl co-founded “RoarE Q” (doing business under the name of Porkbelly BBQ) with his wife, Heather, and parents Charles and Patricia Earl. They started producing barbecue sauce at the Northwest Ohio Cooperative Kitchen, managed by CIFT. Their sauces quickly became available in northwest Ohio grocery stores.… Continue reading

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USDA to reopen FSA offices while shutdown continues

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced Tuesday that all Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices nationwide will soon reopen to provide additional administrative services to farmers and ranchers during the lapse in federal funding.  Certain FSA offices have been providing limited services for existing loans and tax documents since January 17, and will continue to do so through January 23.  Beginning January 24, however, all FSA offices will open and offer a longer list of transactions they will accommodate.

Additionally, Secretary Perdue announced that the deadline to apply for the Market Facilitation Program, which aids farmers harmed by unjustified retaliatory tariffs, has been extended to February 14.  The original deadline had been January 15.  Other program deadlines may be modified and will be announced as they are addressed.

“At President Trump’s direction, we have been working to alleviate the effects of the lapse in federal funding as best we can, and we are happy to announce the reopening of FSA offices for certain services,” Perdue said. … Continue reading

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Weak farm economy not hampering efforts healthier soils

The Soil Health Summit 2019 with Soil Health Partnership was the largest ever—360 registered attendees made their way to St. Louis to learn and network. A diverse group including farmers, corporations, educators and environmental groups spent two days talking about soil health. The summit provided many takeaway messages and insights of interest. Here are just a few:


  • Enthusiasm for learning new sustainability practices and adopting new farm management tools to protect and improve soil is not being slowed by a prolonged downturn in the farm economy. Many farmers, landlords, and others are investing in the long game to assure more sustainable and profitable agriculture.


  • SHP outreach is building a diverse coalition of partners from farms all the way to consumers. The program and the network being created is growing rapidly.


  • The common interest of proving the latest farming techniques, building healthier soils, cleaner water while maintaining farmer profitability is getting positive attention outside of agriculture, including with elected officials.
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Ohio results from the 100th American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention

By Joel Penhorwood and Matt Reese

A number of Ohioans competed and found success at the 100th American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention held in New Orleans in January.

Annie Specht, a professor of agricultural communication at the Ohio State University, and a member of the Tuscarawas County Farm Bureau, competed at the national level of the American Farm Bureau Federation Discussion Meet.

“I was able to make it out of the first round, so we had two different rooms of discussion, and out of the 36 competitors, they ended up taking the top 16. I was lucky enough to make that sweet 16 round. Sadly, I did not move on to the final four,” she said.

She said though she was disappointed to not make it to the finals, she was happy to enjoy great discussion with ag professionals from across the country.

“The competition is structured the way that we would structure a committee meeting, so you’ve got in most of the rooms, four to five individuals, a moderator who introduces the topic, introduces the participants, and you give a 30-second opening statement.… Continue reading

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Gov. DeWine helps celebrate Young’s Jersey Dairy sesquicentennial

For 150 years, Young’s Jersey Dairy has been active in agriculture in southwest Ohio, near Yellow Springs. The family business continues today as a highlight of agri-tourism in the state. Newly elected Ohio Governor Mike DeWine was recently on hand alongside Ohio’s First Lady and their grandson to help celebrate the 150th anniversary of the farm. Also commenting are Ohio Director of Agriculture Dorothy Pelanda and Young’s CEO Dan Young.

Ohio Ag Net’s Joel Penhorwood reports.… Continue reading

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New ODA director changes course of watersheds in distress rulemaking

By Evin Bachelor, Law Fellow, Agricultural and Resource Law Program, Ohio State University

Less than a week into the administration of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, a new approach to watersheds in distress has emerged. Director Dorothy Pelanda assumed the helm of the Ohio Department of Agriculture in days ODA had changed the status of the proposed watersheds in distress rules in the Register of Ohio to “To Be Refiled.”

The change in status of the proposed rules signals that ODA plans to change its earlier proposal. The Register of Ohio, which is where state agencies post rules and proposed rules, defines a proposed rule with a “To Be Refiled” status as one “that has been temporarily removed from JCARR consideration by the rule-filing agency.” Until a sponsoring agency acts, the proposed rule remains in the “To Be Refiled” status and off of the agenda of the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review (JCARR).… Continue reading

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Precision Ag Workshop with Pheasants Forever

The Precision Ag Workshop is a unique crossover event for conservation and agriculture at the 2019 National Pheasant Fest and Quail Classic on Friday Feb. 22 in Schaumburg, Ill. The workshop agenda is specifically designed for farmers, precision specialists, agronomists, and ag lenders. The topics on the agenda will help attendees discover new approaches to put data to work to maximize return on investment for every acre and how to harvest more bucks and birds. Continuing Education Units (CEU) are available for certified crop advisors. The $35 workshop registration gets attendees a 1-year Pheasants Forever membership, lunch, entry for Henry Golden Boy Farmer Edition Rifle, and a daily pass to National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic show floor going on in conjunction with the event.

Here are some highlights of the schedule:

10:15 Partnerships for Precision Farming

  • Howard Vincent, PF/QF President & CEO & Leadership From John Deere (TBA)

10:45 John Deere Operations Center: Turning Data into Decisions and ROI

  • Eric Taipale, CEO Sentera
  • Ed Barnes, Ph.D., Sr.
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Global warming, climate change and hot air

By Don “Doc” Sanders

You likely are aware of former Vice President Al Gore’s book An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It, published in 2006. Whatever you want to call it — global warming, climate change, changing weather — there is no denying that the seasons are changing from what all of us oldsters, including Al Gore, knew growing up.

The term “global warming” morphed into “climate change” in the mid-2000s after the alleged warming seemed to stop and weather patterns became more extreme. And now climate change is the scapegoat for every unusual weather event. Gore’s “inconvenient” truths are not sound science-based conclusions. They come from a group of scientists who are imposing their opinions, which they base on severely flawed science.

Their foundational flaw comes from using California tree ring data to predict carbon dioxide (CO2) levels. Their hypothesis that wider tree rings means higher CO2 levels has ultimately been proven false.… Continue reading

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AFBF sets 2019 policy

Farmer and rancher delegates to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 100th Annual Convention adopted policies to guide the organization’s work during its centennial year on key topics such as farm bill implementation, cell-cultured food products, trade, rural broadband access and rural mental health programs.

“As our organization has done for the last 100 years, grassroots delegates from across the nation came together to express a unified voice on issues vital to the success of our farms, ranches and rural communities,” said Zippy Duvall, American Farm Bureau Federation president . “It was fitting to have President Trump and numerous members of Congress among our attendees as we kicked off our centennial celebration. We continue to face a challenging farm economy and we stand ready to work with Congress and the Trump administration to address the issues important to our farm and ranch families.”

Government shutdown
Delegates urged the administration and Congress to work together to end the government shutdown as soon as possible.… Continue reading

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Certain Farm Service Agency offices to reopen temporarily

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced Wednesday that many Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices will reopen temporarily in the coming days to perform certain limited services for farmers and ranchers. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has recalled about 2,500 FSA employees to open offices on Thursday, January 17 and Friday, January 18, in addition to Tuesday, January 22, during normal business hours. The offices will be closed for the federal Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday on Monday, January 21.

In almost half of FSA locations, FSA staff will be available to assist agricultural producers with existing farm loans and to ensure the agency provides 1099 tax documents to borrowers by the Internal Revenue Service’s deadline.

“Until Congress sends President Trump an appropriations bill in the form that he will sign, we are doing our best to minimize the impact of the partial federal funding lapse on America’s agricultural producers,” Perdue said. … Continue reading

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Ohio Farm Business Analysis Program can help set the stage for farm profitability

By Matt Reese

There is hope for better prices in 2019 for some agricultural sectors, but there is no doubt that there are still challenging times ahead for the farm economy. Understanding the details of farm profitability (or lack of) can make the difference between a vibrant future for individual farms and no future at all.

To help with this endeavor, Ohio State University Extension has created the Ohio Farm Business Analysis Program. The goal of the program is to help farms understand what all the numbers behind profits or losses mean, and learn how to improve farm businesses based on analysis of specifics. The program covers all aspects of the farming business, including crops, livestock and much more.

“This program is a way for farmers to take a very in depth look at where they are at business wise. We look at the whole farm and for the farms that want to put in the time, we can do enterprise analysis so they can drive it down to, ‘What is my cost of production for each of my enterprises,’” said Dianne Shoemaker, Ohio State University Extension field specialist who heads up the program.… Continue reading

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Farmers under fire from legal action

Agriculture is in the crosshairs as class-action lawsuits seek huge monetary awards against agricultural producers, said a panel of experts at a workshop at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 100th Annual Convention.

Panelists Andy Curliss, CEO of the North Carolina Pork Council; Harrison Pittman, director of the National Agriculture Law Center and Blake Hurst, president of the Missouri Farm Bureau Federation, discussed the recent lawsuits targeting production agriculture and suggested actions that state Farm Bureaus can take to fight these targeted attacks.

AFB Women’s Leadership Committee member Lorenda Overman, moderator of the panel, summarized the law firms’ strategy in North Carolina and the effect of the verdicts on farmers.

“On paper it looks like they’re suing Smithfield Foods, but the farmer is the one on trial,” Overman said. “Once the trial is over and the verdict is read, the farms are depopulated, leaving the farmer with no income. The juries have awarded huge damages, even though all of these farms were in compliance with the law.”

Curliss said that four recent trials in North Carolina have resulted in more than $550 million in damages for 26 plaintiffs, with hundreds of other plaintiffs currently awaiting trials.… Continue reading

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Busy sport show weekend on tap

By Dan Armitage, host of Buckeye Sportsman, Ohio’s longest running outdoor radio show

Ohio’s popular winter sports show season gets underway this month peaking with a busy four-event extended weekend Thursday through Monday, Jan. 17 to 21.

The annual outdoor expo action actually started Jan. 11 in Columbus, with the Ohio RV & Boat Show at the Ohio Expo center January 11 to13, an event that continues Jan. 16 through 20. Visit ohiorvandboatshow.com for details.

The five-day Cleveland Boat Show at the airport IX Center in Cleveland opens its doors at noon on Thursday, Jan. 17. Ohio’s largest and longest-running boat show, the Cleveland event has a huge selection of watercraft and related vendors and activities. The show’s popular fishing area offers angling seminars on the Hawg Trough, including my kids fishing program on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, as well as hands-on programs presented at the Ohio Sea Grant stage by area fishing experts and biologists.… Continue reading

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Trump returns to AFBF Annual Convention

Donald J. Trump, the 45th president of the United States, will address farm and ranch families from across the nation at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 100th Annual Convention. This address will mark the second time in as many years that the president has appeared at Farm Bureau’s Annual Convention. This year’s gathering takes place Jan. 11-16 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

“The American Farm Bureau Federation is honored once again to host our nation’s president,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall, a beef and poultry farmer from Georgia. “President Trump has made agriculture a clear priority, giving farmers and ranchers a seat at the table on the top issues affecting our farms, ranches and rural communities. What better way to celebrate 100 years of Farm Bureau than to welcome the president of the United States to our centennial celebration?”

Other national officials attending the AFBF Annual Convention include Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, USDA Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney and several members of Congress: Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Sen.… Continue reading

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Hunters harvest more than 14,000 deer during Ohio’s muzzleloader season

Hunters checked 14,182 white-tailed deer during Ohio’s muzzleloader season, Jan. 5-8, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). During last year’s muzzleloader season, 13,268 white-tailed deer were checked.

Hunters still have opportunities to pursue deer this winter, as archery season remains open through Sunday, Feb. 3.

The ODNR Division of Wildlife remains committed to properly managing Ohio’s deer populations. The goal of Ohio’s Deer Management Program is to provide a deer population that maximizes recreational opportunities, while minimizing conflicts with landowners and motorists.

Hunting Popularity

Ohio ranks fifth nationally in resident hunters and 11th in the number of jobs associated with hunting-related industries. Hunting has a more than $853 million economic impact in Ohio through the sale of equipment, fuel, food, lodging and more, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Hunting in America: An Economic Force for Conservation publication.

Find more information about deer hunting in the Ohio 2018-2019 Hunting and Trapping Regulations or at wildohio.gov.… Continue reading

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Rep. Dorothy Pelanda tapped to lead ODA

Rep. Dorothy Pelanda (R-Marysville) was nominated Thursday to serve as the next director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture by Gov.-elect Mike Dewine. In addition, Laurie Stevenson has been nominated to head the Ohio EPA.

Pelanda will be stepping into the ODA director role occupied by Tim Derickson since October and previously held by David Daniels. Derickson will stay at ODA and return to his position as assistant director.Pelanda served on the Ohio House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee during the 2013-2014 Legislative Session. Pelanda has been active on the state legislature, representing the 83rd House District, which includes Union and Logan counties, as well as most of Marion County.

Pelanda’s career in public service began in 2011 when she was appointed to the Ohio House of Representatives. She quickly distinguished herself as a leader in the General Assembly, eventually being selected by her collegues to serve as House Majority Whip and House Majority Floor Leader.… Continue reading

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Ohio township bill could impact ag zoning

By Evin Bachelor, Law Fellow, Agricultural and Resource Law Program, Ohio State University

In December, the Ohio House of Representatives and Senate agreed to modifications to House Bill 500, which would make a number of changes to Ohio’s township laws. Some of the highlights of the most recent version include:

  • A board of township trustees must select a chairperson annually.
  • Petitions to change the name of township roads will result in an automatic name change if the county commissioners do not adopt a resolution regarding the petition within 60 days.
  • County commissioners will not be able to vacate township roads unless the applicable board of township trustees have adopted a resolution approving the vacation.
  • A board of township trustees will have the authority to charge a fee against a person who appeals a zoning decision to the board of zoning appeals in order to defray costs associated with advertising, mailing, and the like.
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The Wendt Group wins Ohio’s Best Auction (again)

The Ohio Auctioneers Association (OAA) has recognized The Wendt Group by naming the company the winner of it’s prestigious Auction of the Year in both 2017 and now 2018 at the annual Auctioneers Association Conference.

The 2018 marketing contest included entries from across the state. The Wendt Group took home not only the top prize, but also best of show and 12 additional awards in Brochure Design, Newspaper Advertising, Public Relations, Auction Promotion, Photography and Digital & Social Media. The Wendt group was recognized at the recent competition reception in Columbus.

“To be recognized by your peers on the state level is the ultimate honor an auction company can receive,” said Kevin Wendt, The Wendt Group president. “We’ve also been blessed to be affiliated with Wes Sigler and Blue River Digital to bring award-winning and unique marketing design options to our sellers.”… Continue reading

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Ohio EPA offering nearly $3 million in grants for clean water projects

Ohio EPA is requesting proposals for implementation projects to reduce nonpoint source pollutants, such as nutrients, sediment and bacteria; improve stream and riparian habitat; or reverse the impacts of stream hydromodification. Nearly $3 million in grants is expected to be available.

“Ohio EPA is continuing its comprehensive science based and data driven strategy to reduce the total amount of nutrients entering Lake Erie,” said Craig W. Butler, Ohio EPA Director. “Through this funding we are prioritizing innovative projects in high priority areas within the Western Lake Erie Basin that will measurably reduce nutrient and sediment losses, or restore coastal wetlands.”

This an opportunity to fund effective action on important priorities such as nutrient reduction within the Western Lake Erie Basin. Proposals should be linked to critical areas identified in Ohio’s watersheds such as projects that improve water quality in Ohio streams from nonpoint sources of pollution. Projects that measurably reduce nutrients, eliminate impairments, or restore impaired stream segments are more of a priority than general nonpoint source pollution prevention projects.… Continue reading

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