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Educational meetings for Beef producers set for February and March

As a service to its membership, the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) in part with the OCA Allied Industry Council is holding a series of district meetings located across Ohio during the months of February and March. Anyone with an interest in the cattle industry is invited and encouraged to attend. The meetings will begin between 6:30 and 7 p.m. with a complimentary dinner followed by educational speakers.

According to OCA President David Felumlee of Licking County, “OCA’s district meetings are designed to take OCA to the cattlemen, making it even easier for OCA members to have a voice in directing their organization and to encourage members to recruit other members and to give them some valuable management information in the process.”

Meeting locations and topics for 2011 include:

February 24, 2011 – OCA District 7 Meeting (Counties: Belmont, Carroll, Guernsey, Harrison, Jefferson, Monroe, Noble and Tuscarawas), 7 p.m., Jefferson County Joint Vocational School, 1509 County Rd.… Continue reading

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Watch that water flow and keep nutrients in the fields

By Justin Petrosino, Darke Ag and Natural Resources Extension educator

The other day I noticed here in the office a little drip of water coming from the ceiling. The cause was ice thawing on the flat roof. Water melting from underneath that frozen layer of snow and ice was percolating its way into my office.

The water from above that snow and ice layer is running off to the gutter and out into the parking lot.

Out in our fields much of the ground underneath that layer of snow and ice is thawed. It is taking up a portion of that snowmelt just like our porous roof here in the office. However some snowmelt on top of that frozen snow pack is running off. With the heavy infiltration of water some of those fields have become saturated and we are seeing runoff. We are no more than a few days into the thaw and reports of manure moving off the field and into the creek are already coming in.… Continue reading

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OPPC Names Overholt as Director of Communications

Margo Overholt was named the Ohio Pork Producers Council (OPPC) Director of Communications. She will be responsible for managing producer communication initiatives to increase awareness and understanding of pork-related programs throughout Ohio.

“I look forward to Margo joining the OPPC team to tell about all the great contributions the pork producers of Ohio are making,” said Dick Isler, Ohio Pork Producers Council (OPPC) executive vice president. “She will be responsible for the Ohio Porkline, social media, OPPC’s web page and provide a positive image of pork producers.”

Overholt is completing a bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications at The Ohio State University with emphasis in meat science. She was recently the Risk Management and Communications Intern for United Producers Inc., a farmer-owned and operated livestock cooperative providing agricultural services throughout the Midwest.

She was actively involved in 4-H and on her family’s farming operation outside Glenmont, Ohio. Currently, she serves as the Treasurer of the Ohio State University Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow Chapter.… Continue reading

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Managing manure for profit

A workshop next month in western Ohio aims to clean up Grand Lake St. Marys — and in doing it, give farmers a new source of income.

“Turning Manure into Ca$h” features new technologies for turning livestock waste into sellable fuel, fertilizers and bioresins. It’s on March 8 in Maria Stein, about 10 miles south of the lake. Five state organizations that work in agriculture and natural resources are behind it.

“We have new manure rules in place for Grand Lake, but we still have the same amount of manure, so we need to look at ways of reducing our nutrient loads,” said Jim Hoorman, one of the speakers and an Ohio State University Extension educator in Mercer County.

“Farmers can adopt these technologies, sell their manure for a profit, and reduce their nutrients,” Hoorman said.

Grand Lake St. Marys has been hit hard the past two summers by toxic algae blooms, which caused boating, fishing and swimming closures and threaten the lake’s tourism industry.… Continue reading

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Composting livestock the topic of a workshop

What do you do with a dead cow the size of a Smart Car? A dead pig as big as a washing machine? More and more, the answer is composting — it saves farmers money, protects the environment and returns animals slowly to the earth — and two programs next month will feature it.

Livestock Mortality Composting Workshops are being offered March 7 in Carey, about 60 miles south of Toledo, and March 8 in Newark, about 40 miles east of Columbus. Registration costs $10 and can be done at the door. A composting manual is included.

Proper composting — done without odors, vermin or objectionable gases — is the focus. The program will be the same at both places.

“The livestock industry is faced with discovering innovative and economical ways to dispose of mortality losses,” says the flier for both events. “This need has been brought on by the disappearance of rendering plants, concerns over groundwater pollution from burial, and the economic and environmental issues of incineration.… Continue reading

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Former ag secretaries urge approval of trade deal

The Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA), which is strongly supported by an ad hoc coalition of U.S. companies and agricultural and food organizations, received a bipartisan endorsement from eight former secretaries of Agriculture.

In a letter to members of Congress, Bob Bergland, John Block, Mike Espy, Dan Glickman, Mike Johanns, John Knebel, Ed Schafer and Clayton Yeutter urged lawmakers to vote to approve the trade pact’s enabling legislation, saying, “it is imperative that the KORUS FTA be implemented as soon as possible.

“The KORUS FTA will offer enormous new opportunities for our products in a market that is large and growing,” added the secretaries, who pointed out that the deal will boost U.S. agricultural goods entering South Korea duty-free to $3 billion from about $14 million now.

“The KORUS FTA is a tremendous deal for the U.S. pork industry and many other industries, and we’re very grateful that eight former Agriculture secretaries support the agreement,” said Sam Carney, a pork producer from Adair, Iowa, and president of the National Pork Producers Council, which is one of the 61 coalition members.… Continue reading

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Todd McDunn wins Taste of Elegance competition

Chef Todd McDunn of Lakeview Café at the Scotts Co. in Marysville recently took first place honors in the Ohio Pork Producers Council’s Taste of Elegance competition. The contest was held February 8th at The Capital Club, in Columbus. The contest honors chefs with the best original pork.

The event also provides an opportunity for pork producers to mingle with Ohio’s lawmakers that drop by from the nearby Ohio Statehouse. This year’s event was packed with legislators and provided a great showcase for the bounty of Ohio agriculture. Ohio wines were also featured at the event.

Chef McDunn was presented the title of “Chef Par Excellence,” $1,000 and a trophy. He prepared Pork and Apples. “Superior Chef” honors went to Chef Dave MacLennan of Latitude 41 in Columbus. Scott prepared Miso Glazed Pork Belly. “Premier Chef” went to Chef Michael Delligatta of Michael Anthony’s at the Inn in Versailles. He prepared Double Cut Brined Pork Chop and an apricot and onion chutney with Braised Red Cabbage and Bleu Cheese Polenta.… Continue reading

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Black, Regula & Zientek Honored at Ohio Pork Congress

Bryan Black was recognized with the Ohio Pork Industry Excellence Award at the 2011 Ohio Pork Congress held in Columbus on Feb. 9. Black was selected for his tremendous contributions representing Ohio’s pork industry on the local, state and national level.

“We are pleased to recognize Bryan with this year’s Pork Industry Excellence Award for his involvement and leadership in not only Ohio’s pork industry, but also on a national level as well,” said Dick Isler, Ohio Pork Producers Council (OPPC) executive vice president. “He’s been instrumental to OPPC and his leadership remains of great value to our organization.”

Black has served as president of both the National Pork Producers Council and the Ohio Pork Producers Council. He has also been actively involved in numerous state and national committees, and currently serving as Chairman of the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board Swine Subcommittee.

He resides on the family swine operation outside Canal Winchester with his wife.… Continue reading

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Black, Regula & Zientek Honored at Ohio Pork Congress

Bryan Black was recognized with the Ohio Pork Industry Excellence Award at the 2011 Ohio Pork Congress held in Columbus on Feb. 9. Black was selected for his tremendous contributions representing Ohio’s pork industry on the local, state and national level.

“We are pleased to recognize Bryan with this year’s Pork Industry Excellence Award for his involvement and leadership in not only Ohio’s pork industry, but also on a national level as well,” said Dick Isler, Ohio Pork Producers Council (OPPC) executive vice president. “He’s been instrumental to OPPC and his leadership remains of great value to our organization.”

Black has served as president of both the National Pork Producers Council and the Ohio Pork Producers Council. He has also been actively involved in numerous state and national committees, and currently serving as Chairman of the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board Swine Subcommittee.

He resides on the family swine operation outside Canal Winchester with his wife.… Continue reading

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Ohio Cattlemen's King Recongized for Excellence in Communications

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) recognized three communications professionals for their work in 2010 advocating for the U.S. beef industry. Specifically, NCBA awarded Jamie King, Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) communications director, and Eric Grant, manager of Angus Publications, Inc., with the Excellence in Communications and Public Relations award and Ron Hays with the Radio Oklahoma Network with the Excellence in Agricultural Journalism award.

“Day in and day out, communicators like Jamie, Eric and Ron go to work to tell the story of the U.S. beef industry. Whether they are keeping producers informed about market shifts or policy changes, or educating consumers about the realities of modern beef production, our industry relies on timely and accurate delivery of information,” NCBA Vice President of Government Affairs Colin Woodall said. “While there are many folks deserving of recognition for their hard work, these three communicators have gone above and beyond in their efforts telling the true story about the U.S.… Continue reading

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Ohio Cattlemen’s King Recongized for Excellence in Communications

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) recognized three communications professionals for their work in 2010 advocating for the U.S. beef industry. Specifically, NCBA awarded Jamie King, Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) communications director, and Eric Grant, manager of Angus Publications, Inc., with the Excellence in Communications and Public Relations award and Ron Hays with the Radio Oklahoma Network with the Excellence in Agricultural Journalism award.

“Day in and day out, communicators like Jamie, Eric and Ron go to work to tell the story of the U.S. beef industry. Whether they are keeping producers informed about market shifts or policy changes, or educating consumers about the realities of modern beef production, our industry relies on timely and accurate delivery of information,” NCBA Vice President of Government Affairs Colin Woodall said. “While there are many folks deserving of recognition for their hard work, these three communicators have gone above and beyond in their efforts telling the true story about the U.S.… Continue reading

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Don't put daddy's toothbrush in the toilet!

By Matt Reese

My wife and I try not to have a long list of silly rules for our children to follow, but sometimes, their actions warrant rules.

Here are a few of the strange rules in Reese family law.

  1. Do not stand on the table. There are clear safety issues when an 18-month old is standing on pretty much anything. Plus, no one wants the feet of anyone (even a cute kid) in, on, or around the food.
  2. Do not unroll toilet paper for any reason. There are, of course, very important reasons why toilet paper needs to be unrolled. But, due to our children’s seemingly insatiable desire to unroll the entire roll onto the floor and around our home on a regular basis, we had to enforce very strict guidelines. For now, mom and dad do the necessary unrolling to prevent an in-house TP party.
  3. Do not pet the dog.
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Don’t put daddy’s toothbrush in the toilet!

By Matt Reese

My wife and I try not to have a long list of silly rules for our children to follow, but sometimes, their actions warrant rules.

Here are a few of the strange rules in Reese family law.

  1. Do not stand on the table. There are clear safety issues when an 18-month old is standing on pretty much anything. Plus, no one wants the feet of anyone (even a cute kid) in, on, or around the food.
  2. Do not unroll toilet paper for any reason. There are, of course, very important reasons why toilet paper needs to be unrolled. But, due to our children’s seemingly insatiable desire to unroll the entire roll onto the floor and around our home on a regular basis, we had to enforce very strict guidelines. For now, mom and dad do the necessary unrolling to prevent an in-house TP party.
  3. Do not pet the dog.
Continue reading

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Phosphorus in Lake Erie will likely mean changes for ag

By Matt Reese

Ohio is unbelievably fortunate to have Lake Erie, the richest, most productive and most biologically diverse of the Great Lakes.

“Lake Erie is one of the most important lakes in the world,” said Jeff Reutter, director of Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Laboratory on Lake Erie. “Lake Erie produces more fish for human consumption than the other four Great Lakes combined.”

Lake Superior has around 50% of the water and 2% of the fish of all the Great Lakes, while Lake Erie has 2% of the water and 50% of the fish. Reutter also pointed out that Lake Erie supplies drinking water for 11 million people, has more than 20 power plants, and a $1 billion sport fishery. In addition, Lake Erie is the shallowest and warmest of the Great Lakes, and the watershed is dominated by cities and agriculture, so it gets more sediment, more fertilizer and sewage and more pesticides.… Continue reading

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Improper cow nutrition proves costly for beef producers

Thin cows can be economically devastating as beef producers head into spring calving season, said Purdue Extension beef specialist Ron Lemenager.

“Spring calving cows need to be in moderate body condition at the time of calving because it has a pretty significant effect on how quickly these cows will return to estrus after calving, and subsequently, when or if they conceive,” he said. “If cows are thin at calving, producers can expect long postpartum intervals, which means they will calve later the following season.”

That means instead of having a 365-day calving interval, producers may face 13-14 month intervals and, ultimately, a loss of productivity.

Thin cows also tend to have lower colostrum quality, which means calves aren’t able to develop the passive immunity they need to protect them against disease, cold stress and other stress factors.

“In addition, these thin cows are going to have lower milk production, resulting in lighter weaning weights of their offspring,” Lemenager said.… Continue reading

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Ohio Cattlemen’s Association Awards Banquet highlights

More than 300 beef producers gathered at the Columbus Marriott Northwest in Dublin, Ohio, on January 22, 2011, for the annual meeting and awards banquet of the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA). The annual event featured policy development sessions, OCA’s annual meeting and the OCA’s awards banquet.
Ohio Department of Agriculture Director Jim Zehringer opened the meeting and shared his plans for the future of the department. He is looking forward to chairing the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board and hopes to have a lot of the committee work completed by March 1. He also shared that although Ohio agriculture is facing challenges of weather, land prices, animal rights and environmental issues; the future still looks bright for the industry.
Kristina Harris Butts, NCBA Executive Director of Legislative Affairs, gave an update on NCBA activities as well as discussed many of the issues NCBA is working on for the beef industry. Butts’ top policy areas included: GIPSA, food safety, antibiotic legislation, estate taxes, nutrition, trade, the upcoming 2012 farm bill and animal welfare.… Continue reading

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NCBA encouraged by Administration’s newfound commitment to eliminating regulations

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association welcomed news that President Obama, on Jan. 18, 2011, signed an Executive Order titled “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review” that seeks to review all federal regulations and eliminate job and growth-killing regulations.

“If there were one word to describe the first two years of President Obama’s Administration, it would be regulation,” NCBA President Steve Foglesong said. “From the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration’s (GIPSA) proposed livestock and poultry marketing rule to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) regulatory rampage – this Administration’s regulatory agenda to-date won’t just stymie growth in the U.S. beef cattle industry, it could kill the industry as we know it.”

According to a Jan. 18, 2011, article appearing in The Wall Street Journal, President Obama said the Executive Order calls for “a government-wide review” of federal regulations and “to remove outdated regulations that stifle job creation and make our economy less competitive.” Additionally, the President said this Executive Order will help ensure the federal government avoids “excessive, inconsistent and redundant regulation” and directs “federal agencies to do more to account for — and reduce — the burdens regulations may place on small businesses.”

Foglesong said this action from the President is reassuring but needs to happen immediately.… Continue reading

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9th Annual Youth Pork Leadership Institute and Scholarship Program announced

Pork enthusiasts from around Ohio will have a chance to learn about all aspects of the pork industry at the Youth Pork Leadership Institute, a three-day seminar to be held in Columbus in June.  Again in 2011 all current and past participants, age 21 or under, will have the opportunity to compete for a $500 scholarship.

Young men and women will be selected to participate in the event, which is sponsored by the Ohio Pork Producers Council, the Pork Check-off, and the Ohio Soybean Council. Last year eight individuals participated in the event. As an alumnus of the institute, participants will have the opportunity to be youth ambassadors for Ohio’s pork industry.

One goal of the institute is to make young people realize the pork industry has many facets, including packing, retail, food service, research and communications. In addition, the institute will teach leadership and communication skills that will assist participants in their future careers.… Continue reading

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Goat cheese processor seeks good sheep dairy producers

By Kyle Sharp

Abbe Turner is by nature an optimist. She was optimistic when she and her husband bought and moved to a Portage County farm in 2002, despite neither of them having a farm background. She was optimistic when she started producing cheese from the milk of her dairy goats at her startup business, Lucky Penny Creamery in Kent, early last year. And she is optimistic that an Ohio sheep dairy industry will develop through an initiative she helped create, so she can begin processing sheep cheeses as well in the near future.

To help emphasize her sunny outlook, her business card for Lucky Penny Farm and Creamery even reads, “CEO, Cheesemaker, Entrepreneur, Optimist.”

When asked why she chose to include “optimist” on her business card, her personality comes out in her tongue-in-cheek response:

“Because ‘fool’ doesn’t look real good to a banker,” Turner said.

So far, her decisions appear to be anything but foolish, as in just 11 months, Lucky Penny Creamery has developed a list of about 55 businesses, including restaurants, grocery stores and other outlets across the nation, that buy her cheeses.… Continue reading

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“No on Snow” a good rule to live by

By Karen Chapman, Great Lakes Regional Director at Environmental Defense Fund

Farmers have to watch every penny in order to remain profitable – now more than ever. Even with rosy crop prices, producers cannot afford to waste fertilizer or fuel. The January 3rd on-line bulletin “Crop Input and Land Outlook 2011” from OSU Extension, points out that, “Fertilizer continues to be the most volatile of the crop input costs and cost management of this important input may be the difference in being a low cost or high cost producer in 2011.”

With nitrogen and phosphorus prices both up at least 50% from a year ago, it’s hard to imagine why any farmer would apply fertilizer only to see it flow off the field. However, many farmers — some probably unknowingly — do just that.

It’s time to stop this practice, to protect both the pocketbook and soil and water health.… Continue reading

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