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Sept. 27 “Here’s to the Farmer Day” in Ohio

To salute Ohio’s largest industry, food and agriculture, Governor John R. Kasich has declared September 27, 2018 “Here’s to the Farmer Day” in the State of Ohio. The proclamation honors Ohio’s farmers for the work they do to feed, clothe and energize Ohioans and people across the country and world.

The Proclamation from the Governor coincides with country music superstar Luke Bryan’s Bayer Presents Luke Bryan Farm Tour, which makes a stop at the Ayars Family Farm in Irwin Sept. 27.

“Ohio’s 74,000 family farms and the men and women who operate them deserve our gratitude every day of the year, and the Governor and I hope all Ohioans will take a moment to thank Ohio’s farmers and producers,” said David T. Daniels, Ohio Department of Agriculture Director. “Ohio’s food and agriculture industry is the lifeblood of our state — employing one out of every eight Ohioans — and providing the food and fiber for all of us to live out our daily lives.”

Here’s To The Farmer is also the title of tour sponsor Bayer’s campaign aimed at recognizing farmers across Ohio and America while helping families in need.

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Public input wanted on plan to improve Ohio agriculture and food security

In Ohio, nearly 1 in 7 households experiences food insecurity to the extent that it cannot afford balanced meals on a regular basis, a rate higher than the national average, according to the U.S Department of Agriculture.

At the same time, many Ohio farmers face low commodity prices, decreased foreign markets for their crops and severe weather that has triggered crop losses.

With those challenges in mind, Ohio Smart Agriculture: Solutions from the Land, a statewide farmer-led initiative that includes representatives from the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) at The Ohio State University, has drafted a plan for Ohio agriculture to become more sustainable.

To accomplish that, the group has come up with recommendations including expanding the available agricultural workforce, funding research on urban farming and safe ways to apply fertilizers that don’t jeopardize water quality, and streamlining the process for farmers to gain contracts to sell their crops to local school systems.

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Earlier vaccination encouraged as flu season approaches

With the approach of flu season, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) is recommending all Ohioans 6 months and older get a flu shot as soon as possible. The Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) is urging vaccination by the end of October.

Flu activity traditionally begins to increase in October and can last as late as May, with cases typically peaking between December and February. CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the best protection against seasonal flu viruses. Flu vaccines have been updated this year to better match circulating flu viruses.

“Flu vaccination can help keep you from getting sick, missing work or school, and prevent flu-related hospitalization and death,” said Sietske de Fijter, State Epidemiologist and Chief, Bureau of Infectious Diseases. “Getting your flu shot helps protect all, including older adults, very young children, pregnant women, and people with certain long-term health conditions who are more vulnerable to serious flu complications.” Symptoms of influenza can include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue.

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Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Episode 74 | Tough markets, great harvest

The 74th episode of the Ohio Ag Net Podcast brings the whole crew together after another exciting Farm Science Review.

Several conversations are had in today’s podcast, brought to you by AgriGold.

Ty Higgins talks with Bennett and Lisa Musselman about Ohio Farm Bureau’s Young Ag Professionals program.

Joel Penhorwood hears from grain merchandiser Jon Scheve, talking in-depth about current and future market conditions and how farmers are positioned going into harvest.

Matt Reese converses with Eric Leindecker, chairman of Fueling the Cure about a major fundraising milestone.

Dale Minyo discusses the beef industry with Clint Walenciak with Certified Angus Beef.

All that and more from the crew in this podcast.

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Farm Science Review 2018 offers plenty of sunshine

Under sunny skies for three days, visitors to the 56th annual Farm Science Review took a break from harvest to learn about the latest innovations in agriculture.

Farm Science Review, held Sept. 18-20, drew 108,074 visitors, who came to admire new machinery and learn about techniques and trends, test-drive all-terrain vehicles, and talk about soybean tariffs and taxes. Though it didn’t rain this year as it did during much of last year’s show, clear skies kept some farmers in the field harvesting.

Water coolers drained as the mercury rose each day of the farm show sponsored by the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

While farm income nationwide is projected to dip, plunging 50% in 2018 compared to the 2013 level, and soybean tariffs are squeezing out markets, there are always new tractors, combines and equipment to see that might offset any pessimism. The Review offered that plus a range of educational presentations to help growers weather tough financial times.

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Water quality funding available to western Lake Erie basin farmers

The next round of funding is now available through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), as part of a tri-state, five year, $17.5 million program funded by the USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS). The goal of the program is to reduce nutrients entering Ohio waterways to lessen harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie. Funding is available to farmers installing conservation practices that benefit water quality in the Western Lake Erie Basin.

This year, Ohio livestock producers will receive priority funding. Nutrient management practices that allow for proper storage, timing, and placement of nutrients, will help livestock producers comply with Ohio’s nutrient management laws. Ohio livestock producers located in the Western Lake Erie Basin interested in applying for technical and financial assistance to implement these practices should contact their local USDA Service Center. The application deadline is October 19, 2018.

The Tri‐State Western Lake Erie Basin Phosphorus Reduction Initiative is a partnership effort that includes public, private and non‐profit organizations and is led in Ohio by the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

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USDA partners to improve electric infrastructure for more than 347,000 aural Americans across 13 States

Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $398.5 million (PDF, 105 KB) to improve rural electric service in 13 states, including Ohio.

“Reliable and affordable electricity is undeniably a necessity in today’s world,” Hazlett said. “Under the leadership of Secretary Sonny Perdue, USDA is committed to being a strong partner in keeping our rural communities connected to this essential infrastructure.”

USDA is making the investments through the Electric Infrastructure Loan Program. These projects will help improve the quality of life in rural communities in Arkansas, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.

The investments USDA is making today include nearly $43.7 million for smart grid technology to increase system efficiencies. Smart grid includes computer applications, two-way machine-to-machine communications, geospatial information systems and other tools to increase the reliability and efficiency of electric power systems.

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White House continues trade war with China

In a move that will further escalate trade tensions, the Trump administration announced its intention to place a 10 percent tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods and threatened to levy tariffs on an additional $267 billion worth of imports.

The Chinese government has already responded in kind with tariffs on $60 billion worth of American imports.

“China has unquestionably engaged in unfair and manipulative trade behavior for many years. Though we agree with President Trump’s effort to address these actions, we strongly disagree with his go-it-alone approach. We believe he would be more successful in achieving fundamental reforms in China’s trading tactics by leading the rest of the world in a united front,” said Rob Larew, National Farmers Union vice president Public Policy and Communications. “The administration’s current strategy has created serious and potentially irrevocable problems for American farmers and ranchers. The loss of export markets and severely depressed commodity prices cost wheat, soy, and corn growers to the tune of $13 billion dollars in the month of June alone; yesterday’s announcement to escalate tensions further will undoubtedly cost them billions more in the years to come.

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A backwards house did not keep a farm family from moving forward

By Matt Reese

Calvin Peterson — the sixth generation on the Ohio Historic Family Farm in Ross County — can still remember when the back of his beautiful brick house became the front.

“The house was built facing Rt. 11 down a long lane. U.S. 35 came through in 1935 near the back of the house, so now the back of the house faces the road,” Calvin said.

Incidentally, U.S. 35 has since been moved and turned into a four-lane highway and now the Peterson house sits on Old U.S. 35. The house was built more than 100 years before Old U.S. 35 — making the house really old, but meticulously cared for and well preserved.

The Peterson family was among the very first to put down deep agricultural roots in northern Ross County. John Martin Peterson was born in Hardy County, Va. He was the son of Jacob and Sarah Peterson who sailed from Switzerland to America in 1736.

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Ohio State students to lead educational demonstrations for youth at Farm Science Review

Ohio State’s fourth-year agriscience education students will lead interactive demonstrations each day from 10am-2:30pm to Farm Science Review visitors, including high school students, at the Gwynne Conservation Area. These demonstrations, created by agriscience education students in the teaching methods course, are designed to engage students in agricultural and environmental sciences.

Each day from 9am-3pm, agriscience education students will also lead wagon tours of the Gwynne Conservation Area, which includes a butterfly garden, natural streams, wetlands, ponds, windbreak plantings, wildlife food plots, a soil pit, and more.

Demonstration topics are:

Wednesday: Soy Ink

To make soy ink, soybean oil is slightly refined and the blended with pigment, resins and waxes. Soybean oil is naturally clearer than petroleum oils, making it easier to obtain brightly colored ink. Since the oil is clearer, less pigment is necessary to produce the same effect. In addition to a brighter ink, printers report that they need less ink to print the same out of paper when compared to petroleum inks.

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Making time for history on an Ohio Century Farm

By Matt Reese

Grandkids interested in a treasure hunt, a grim prostate cancer diagnosis and a farmer with a long family history on the land — in 2016 it was time.

Though he had been putting it off for years because there was always something more pressing, Rick Crawford finally decided that it was time to plod up the steps of the deteriorating old house on his family’s Adams County farm to investigate the old trunks filled with unknown farm history from generations gone by. They discovered the old house was full of critters and family memories.

“To the best of my knowledge when Robert Richard — my great-great grandfather — moved here in 1875, that old log cabin was already here. When I was 7, my great grandfather died in 1960 and he was the last family member to live there. After that we rented it out. I was in and out of it after that when we were renting it, but I don’t think the tenants ever went upstairs.

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Farm Science Review expands exhibit area substantially, other improvements

By Joel Penhorwood

Some may recall the soggy situation at the 2017 Farm Science Review when heavy rains plagued the event and led to swamped areas on the grounds. To address that issue, new water control structures are being installed for an improved visitor experience in case Mother Nature does not cooperate in the future.

“We are in the process of a multi-year drainage project we have going on here at the Farm Science Review,” said Garrett Nowak, FSR site manager. “Last year, you may remember we had a little bit of wet weather. Some years, we’re really dry — other years we’re a little damp — it’s just part of being an outdoor farm show. As much as we can address those issues, we try to.

“We’re doing over 1,500 feet of drainage this year. Most of that is going to be a new sub-main we’re running almost from the total south end of the exhibit area, all the way to the north and little over 1,500 feet of 12-inch tile under our Hay Street.

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Farm Science Review inducting Ardrey and Rose into Hall of Fame

The Farm Science Review will induct Clayton W. Rose III and Jerry Ardrey into the 29th class of honorees for the Review’s Hall of Fame, an honor held by 76 others for their contribution to the event.

 

Jerry Ardrey

Ardrey is a native of London who has been in the automotive sales industry his entire life. He worked for his family business as a vehicle dealer and continued with the industry for his career selling truck bodies and other accessories. Ardrey also served in the Air National Guard. His generosity toward Farm Science Review is evident as he continues to offer wisdom and business knowledge as well as donations, said Nick Zachrich, manager of Farm Science Review.

Ardrey initially connected with Farm Science Review some 50 years ago by providing trucks for exhibitors that were selling dump beds for grain trucks. After just a few years, Ardrey began working for one of the exhibiting companies and continued selling various dump beds for the next 46 years, attending the Review as an exhibitor.

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Neighborly fence care

By Christine Gelley, Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator, OSU Extension Noble County

Fence care can make tempers flare between neighbors. Typically, when neighbors have similar goals, an agreeable strategy for fence maintenance can be worked out easily. When land use pursuits differ, there is a higher likelihood for conflict.

One of Ohio’s oldest rural laws is built around the care of partition fence. Ohio R.C. Chapter 971 defines a partition fence or “line fence” as a fence placed on the division line between two adjacent properties. In 2008, the law was updated to state “Partition fence includes a fence that has been considered a division line between two such properties even though a subsequent land survey indicates that the fence is not located directly on the division line.”

If both neighbors utilize the fence for similar purposes then the responsibilities are typically split evenly, which includes keeping the fence line clear of brush, briers, thistle and weeds within four feet of the fence.

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National Farm Safety Week resources can minimize problems year round

By Matt Reese

There is no doubt: it is not always convenient, or easy, or enjoyable to focus on farm safety issues. But the time and effort involved with a focus on farm safety is always worth the investment compared to the heartbreak resulting from tragedies that take place on farms every year. National Farm Safety Week is Sept. 16 to 22 this year and it is an important opportunity for farmers to re-focus on farm safety heading into the busy harvest months, not only for themselves and their families, but also their farm employees.

“Agriculture is still one of the most hazardous industries not only in Ohio but in the U.S. Safety in agriculture is a key component to preventing severe injuries and fatalities,” said Kent McGuire, Ohio State University’s Health and Safety Coordinator in the College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences. “As an agricultural employer it is important to make safety a priority and take the time to train your employees on safe work practices and recognizing hazards.

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Use caution when canning this fall

While it’s a wonderful, cherished tradition in many families to preserve food based on recipes that were developed and honed over the years in grandma’s, great-grandma’s and great-great-grandma’s kitchens, recipes should be reviewed, and if they don’t match recipes that have been tested and researched by food safety experts, they shouldn’t be used.

The National Center for Home Food Preservation is a valuable source for current research-based recommendations for most methods of home food preservation, says Kate Shumaker, an Ohio State University Extension educator and registered dietitian.

The center was established with funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (now called the National Institute of Food and Agriculture) to address food safety concerns for those who practice and teach home food preservation and processing methods, she said.

Precisely following the proper steps and recipes when home canning is important to help prevent botulism, a rare but potentially deadly illness produced by bacteria called Clostridium botulinum, she said.

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Monroe Township in Clermont County is free from Asian longhorned beetle

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) announced that Monroe Township in Clermont County is free from the invasive Asian longhorned beetle (ALB). This follows the eradication of ALB from Stonelick and Batavia townships in March.

“We are excited to see continued success due to the dedication of our state, federal and local partners in the fight against the Asian longhorned beetle,” said Tim Derickson, assistant director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture. “This is one more important step to rid this pest from Ohio and we will continue to work together to achieve this common goal.”

Derickson was joined by USDA APHIS representatives, as well as community leaders at an announcement ceremony and tree planting in Fair Oak Park, near the quarantined area in Monroe Township.

ODA and USDA APHIS will move to lift the quarantine of Monroe Township.

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West Nile Virus confirmed in Ohio horses

In late August, the Ohio Department of Agriculture confirmed the first positive cases of West Nile Virus (WNV) in Ohio horses for 2018. Two cases in Northeast Ohio have been confirmed and the animals had not been vaccinated. The spread of WNV in horses is preventable with proper vaccination and horse owners are urged to ensure their animal’s vaccine and boosters are up to date.

West Nile Virus is transmitted to horses via bites from infected mosquitoes. Clinical signs for WNV include flu-like symptoms, where the horse seems mildly anorexic and depressed. Changes in mentality, drowsiness, driving or pushing forward (often without control) and asymmetrical weakness may be observed. Mortality rate from WNV can be as high as 30 to 40% in horses. Infection with WNV does not always lead to signs of illness in people or animals. WNV is endemic in the United States and Ohio has reported positive cases in horses each of the last few years.

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