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Cattlemen launch media campaign for comprehensive tax reform

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association kicked off a media and advertising campaign that will shine a spotlight on how various federal tax provisions impact America’s cattle and beef producers. The campaign, which will focus heavily on the death tax, aims to build support in Washington for comprehensive tax reform that makes our tax code fair for agricultural producers. The campaign will be centered around a new website, CattlemenForTaxReform.com, and will run through September.

“We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to enact truly comprehensive tax reform, and we can’t afford to let this opportunity pass or to get it wrong,” said Craig Uden, NCBA President and Nebraska cattleman. “Family ranchers and farmers deserve a full and permanent repeal of the onerous death tax, which charges them in cash on the often-inflated appraised value of their property and equipment. This campaign will shine a spotlight on the stories of real ranchers who have had to deal with this issue, and it will also highlight current tax provisions that we need to maintain, such as stepped-up basis, cash accounting, and deducibility of interest payments.”

In addition to the launch of the new website, the campaign kicked off with a two-minute video that will be heavily promoted on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms.

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Grazing to be showcased at Farm Science Review

A new demonstration area has been created at the Gwynne Conservation Area for Farm Science Review that exhibits forage species adapted for grazing all year long.

This summer a 1.1-acre plot that had been planted previously in warm season bunch grasses was converted into a series of different forage varieties designed to help teach management intensive grazing principles so that producers can get closer to a year round grazing program. The acreage was divided into four roughly quarter acre plots and planted with four different forage types including warm season annuals, warm season perennials, cool season perennials, and overwintered stockpiled forage.Throughout the Review, speakers from OSU Extension and NRCS will present on different forage topics while at the demonstration plots. A pasture walk component is included so that producers can get a closer view of the rotations as well as have a chance to ask questions about how they can incorporate these forages and techniques into their grazing and hay making systems.

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Cattlemen’s Gala, Celebration and Fundraiser, raises $27,000 for youth scholarships

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Foundation (OCF) held the first-ever Cattlemen’s Gala Celebration and Fundraiser Saturday, Aug. 26 in the Marysville and Delaware, Ohio areas. The Ohio Cattlemen’s Foundation and Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) coordinated the inaugural events.

The day-long celebration supported the Ohio Cattlemen’s Foundation youth scholarship fund benefiting the next generation of beef industry leaders. The day began with a sporting clays shoot, at Black Wing Shooting Center, featuring individual and team competitions to support the cause, followed by an OCA summer business meeting.

Later that evening, attendees gathered in their boots and hats for dinner, drinks, and dancing in the barn at Leeds Farm in Ostrander, Ohio. Live music from the John D. Hale Band, a nationally known Red Dirt music group from Missouri wrapped up the evening.

Silent and live auctions were also held to support youth scholarships. Thanks to several generous donors, buyers and sponsors, in total the event raised $27,000.

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USDA allows producers to opt out of MPP

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced that starting Sept. 1, 2017, dairy producers can enroll for 2018 coverage in the Margin Protection Program (MPP-Dairy).  Secretary Sonny Perdue has utilized additional flexibility this year by providing dairy producers the option of opting out of the program for 2018.

“Secretary Perdue is using his authority to allow producers to withdraw from the MPP Dairy Program and not pay the annual administrative fee for 2018,” said Rob Johansson, Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation. “The decision is in response to requests by the dairy industry and a number of MPP-Dairy program participants.”

To opt out, a producer should not sign up during the annual registration period. By opting out, a producer would not receive any MPP-Dairy benefits if payments are triggered for 2018. Full details will be included in a subsequent Federal Register Notice. The decision would be for 2018 only and is not retroactive.

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The benefits of pregnancy diagnosis

We are entering an exciting time of the year for cow-calf producers. They have started or soon will be weaning their spring-born calves. Weaning is an excellent time to prepare the calf crop to become herd replacements or for future marketing opportunities by implementing health programs and transitioning to feed rations. It is also a great time to determine the pregnancy status of the breeding herd. Management practices for both these groups can go a long way to determine the ultimate profitability of herd.

The factor that should ultimately sort a female to the keep or cull pen is pregnancy status. The three primary methods used in pregnancy diagnosis are rectal palpation, ultrasound evaluation, or blood testing. Each these methods can effectively diagnose the female’s pregnancy status when properly implemented. Obviously the preferred result is for the female to be pregnant. Pregnancy diagnosis is relatively inexpensive, especially when you consider the potential savings of expenses it facilitates.

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Vegan petition to alter dairy food labeling rules would cause further confusion in marketplace

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should reject a petition filed by the Good Food Institute (GFI) that would undermine federal standards of identity for food and sanction existing misleading marketing tactics of imitation dairy products, the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) said in comments filed this week.

In the latest salvo over the proper use of long-standing dairy food terms, the vegan advocacy organization GFI submitted a petition earlier this spring requesting that FDA permit manufacturers of plant-based products to use labels that employ standardized dairy terms such as “milk.” In response, NMPF said the petition is at odds with established laws and inconsistent with FDA regulations, which state that foods labeled “milk” must come from an animal.

“GFI’s petition flies in the face of established law and common sense,” said Jim Mulhern, NMPF President and CEO. “Nothing has happened in the last 20 years that makes it OK to combine plant or nut powders with water, sugar, emulsifiers, stabilizers, and other chemicals, and call it ‘milk.’ This request is wrong on its merits and is designed to further mislead consumers.”

In its comments, NMPF argued that when plant-based beverages use standardized dairy terms, “they typically do so to imitate milk and other real dairy products, and to benefit unfairly from the reputation that real dairy foods have for nutritional content and quality.” The organization argues that imitation dairy products seek to “bask in the halo” of milk’s healthy reputation in order to attract consumers seeking the attributes offered by real dairy.

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EEE virus confirmed in Ohio horse

A horse from Ashtabula County was recently confirmed to have eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) by the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s (ODA) Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory.

The animal was euthanized in late July after showing neurological symptoms. The animal was not vaccinated against the disease and lived near a low-lying area that is typically prone to harboring mosquitoes. EEE is often transmitted by mosquitoes and can be transmitted to humans, however only a few cases are reported each year and most infected persons report no apparent illness.

“The confirmation of EEE in Ohio serves as a reminder to horse owners on the importance of vaccinating their animals,” said Dr. Tony Forshey, State Veterinarian and chief of the ODA Division of Animal Health. “EEE is one of a handful of illnesses that horses can be protected from through vaccination and I encourage owners to talk to their veterinarian and get horses vaccinated soon.”

EEE attacks the central nervous system of a horse.

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Terrible loss leads to celebration of a legacy in Athens County

What started as a heartbreaking story of loss and devastation in a small farm community was transformed into lasting legacy honoring the memory of a promising young man.

With a bright future ahead, 18-year-old Noah Cox was tragically killed in late May in a tractor rollover accident while baling hay. Cox was a noted cattle showman who had multiple grand champion steer banners from the Athens County Fair. This was his last year of junior show eligibility.

After the terrible loss of Cox this spring, his good friend Austin Pullins (also an accomplished steer showman) decided to finish out his market beef projects at the Ohio State Fair and the Athens County Fair. This set the stage for the early-August Athens County Junior Market Beef Show and the incredible livestock sale that followed.

“When I walked into the fairgrounds I could feel it,” said Jason Langley, the Washington CH-based auctioneer from the Athens County Junior Fair Livestock Sale.

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New Animal Sciences chair named

The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) announced the appointment of John Foltz as chair of the Department of Animal Sciences. He will join CFAES for a four-year appointment on Oct. 9, 2017.

“I am extremely excited to return to my alma mater to head an important department in CFAES,” Foltz said. “Livestock and companion animals play an extremely important role in both Ohio and American agriculture. I look forward to working closely with the faculty, staff, students and stakeholders to bring their vision to fruition.”

Foltz comes to CFAES from the University of Idaho where he serves as special assistant to the President for Agricultural Initiatives, leading two livestock-focused projects. Prior to that, he served as dean of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences where he had oversight for the college’s teaching, research and extension missions across the state of Idaho. That included 360 faculty and staff statewide, 1,200 students, 10 research and extension centers, 42 county extension offices and a budget of nearly $80 million.

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EHD virus confirmed in Ohio deer and cattle

The first confirmed case of epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) was recently announced in both white-tailed deer and cattle in Ohio. The virus was diagnosed by the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s (ODA) Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (ADDL).

The positive diagnoses were from a cow from Jefferson County and a wild white-tailed deer buck from Lorain County. The discovery is not unusual, as cases of this infection have been detected in both wild and captive white-tailed deer in Ohio in the summer and fall of each of the last several years. In fact, significant disease outbreaks in Ohio have occurred every five years, the last in 2012. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife (DOW) reports numerous dead deer from Columbiana and Jefferson counties. EHD virus has also been confirmed in neighboring counties of both Pennsylvania and Kentucky.

The EHD virus is not infectious to people and is not spread from animal to animal.

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Livestock manure is an option for replenishing soil nutrients in hay fields

When hay is harvested nutrients are removed from the field. A ton of alfalfa removes approximately 13 pounds of phosphorus (as P2O5) and 50 pounds of potash (as K2O). According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, Ohio harvested 2.6 tons per acre of alfalfa in 2016.

Many hay fields are not pure alfalfa. The acidic soils of the southern and eastern parts of the state make it difficult to maintain an alfalfa or clover stand so a mixed stand of grass and alfalfa/clover is common. Stands in older fields are often just mostly grass. A grass hay crop will remove just as many nutrients per ton as an alfalfa crop. The big difference is that the annual yields from grass hay fields are usually about 1.3 tons per acre lower than alfalfa fields.

Livestock manure can be used as a fertilizer source to replace nutrients removed through hay harvest. Pen pack beef manure will contain approximately 7.9 pounds of nitrogen (mostly in the organic form), 4.4 pounds of phosphorus (P2O5) and 6.6 pounds of potash (K20) per ton according to OSU Extension bulletin 604.

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Best of the Buckeye Program highlighted local excellence at the Ohio State Fair

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) hosted the Best of the Buckeye show at the Ohio State Fair on July 26 through August 6 during the junior shows. The Best of the Buckeye program is coordinated by OCA and held in conjunction with the Ohio Beef Expo and Ohio State Fair. The Best of the Buckeye program had a strong year with more than 260 head of cattle nominated by youth and breeders, adding more registered animals to the show and doubling the number of classes for several breeds.

The program recognizes top Ohio bred, born and registered calves, along with the breeder and exhibitor, in each breed division at the two shows. Best of the Buckeye provides Ohio seedstock breeders with an enhanced marketing opportunity for Ohio bred, born and registered steers and heifers, creates a source of more moderately priced show steers and heifers by providing a program with awards and prestige, and attracts new participants interested in showing at the Ohio Beef Expo and/or the Ohio State Fair.

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U.S. pork gains access to Argentina

The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) applauds the Trump administration for negotiating U.S. pork access to the Argentine market. Argentina was among several countries with non-science based barriers to U.S. pork imports. With today’s White House announcement, trade-dependent U.S. pork producers now have unfettered access to this large pork-consuming nation.

“U.S. pork producers are the most competitive in the world and we have long sought the opportunity to provide affordable, high-quality pork in Argentina,” said Ken Maschhoff, NPPC president. “We thank Secretaries Perdue and Ross, and their teams at the USDA and the Department of Commerce, as well as U.S. Trade Representative Lighthizer and his team, for their diligent work to win Argentine market access.

“We also thank Vice President Pence for his efforts, including a recent visit to Argentina, to move a trade agreement that promises significant U.S. economic benefits over the finish line.”

The U.S. pork industry, which has been the world’s largest exporter of pork over the last 10 years, depends on exports for growth.

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Henry County finds H1N2

Monday, August 14, four hogs at the Henry County Fair were diagnosed with H1N2 influenza. No human illness has been reported in conjunction with this finding. The health department and area doctors have been notified.

“On Sunday four hogs began showing symptoms compatible with influenza. On Sunday night, I called the Ohio Department of Agriculture in to test them. Positive results for H1N2 flu were reported at 12:30 Monday,” said Dr. Kate Colliflower. “The barn has been closed and will be fully disinfected following the fair.”

Nine hogs remain at the fair for veterinary observation. The remaining 112 hogs were sent for processing, just a few days earlier than originally planned.

“Meat from all of these hogs is safe for consumption,” said Colliflower “You cannot get the flu from eating or handling pork products.”

If you have any questions or concerns about your personal health please contact your doctor or the health department.

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AgriClear and United Producers Inc. announce strategic alliance

AgriClear, North America’s premier online cattle transaction and payment platform, together with United Producers Inc. (UPI), one of North America’s largest farmer owned and operated livestock marketing cooperatives, today announced a collaborative agreement to benefit livestock farmers across the Midwest. UPI will now utilize AgriClear as its digital marketing solution for online cattle transactions, which will bring innovative livestock marketing technology to current and future UPI members.

“We’re very excited to partner with UPI to power a unique, modern solution for the cattle industry. The combination of UPI’s marketing expertise, vast network and commitment to evolving technology to meet member needs, along with AgriClear’s leading-edge cattle trading platform, is an offering unlike any other in North America,” said Nevil Speer, Vice President of U.S. Operations, AgriClear. “This alliance provides cattle buyers and sellers with full transparency throughout the payment process along with a mechanism to trade cattle based on their true value.”

“UPI prides itself on providing leading-edge marketing solutions that provide real value to producers.

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Sheep shearing school

The Statewide Sheep Shearing School will be held Friday and Saturday, Sept. 15 and 16, 2017 from 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. at the Dave Cable Farm, 10491 Canal Rd., Hebron, OH 43025. The class limit is 15 and the cost is $50 per student, which must be returned with registration form by Friday, Sept. 1, 2017. As part of the registration fee, a box lunch and drinks will be provided each day of the school.

Applications are available at www.ohiosheep.org. Payment is non-refundable after Sept. 1, 2017.If you decide to register after that date or have further questions, please call Roger A. High at (614)246-8299. Make checks payable to: Ohio Sheep Improvement Association. Send application with payment by Friday, Sept. 1, 2017 to Ohio Sheep Improvement Association – Sheep Shearing School, c/o Roger A. High, 280 N. High St. P.O. Box 182383, Columbus, OH 43218.

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Beef and Forage Field Night Aug. 24

Beef and forage enthusiasts alike are invited to attend the upcoming 2017 Beef and Forage Field Night scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 24, from 5-8:30 P.M. This event will be held at the Jackson Agricultural Research Station of the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC), 019 Standpipe Rd. Jackson, OH 45640.

The agenda for the program is as follows:

Tour Stop #1: Adding Value to Calves to Enhance Marketing Opportunities
* This stop will discuss management practices covering health, nutrition, animal identification and documentation, and other topics that can add value to calves on sale day.
* Featured speakers will include representatives from some of the leading feeder calf markets in Ohio.

Tour Stop #2: Managing the Reproductive Calendar
* Reproductive performance of the breeding herd has the single largest impact over any other production trait on the potential profitability of any cow-calf operation.
* Featured speakers and topics:
– Dr.

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OCA Young Cattlemen’s Conference provides industry learning experience

The 2017 Ohio Cattlemen’s Foundation Young Cattlemen’s Conference (YCC) hosted 25 cattlemen and women for a 3-day leadership development program in Columbus and the central Ohio areas, Aug. 10-12. The conference was made possible by Farm Credit Mid-America and the Ohio Soybean Council.

YCC kicked off Thursday evening at the Legends Lane Reproductive Services in Alexandria with a beef dinner and participants were present for the 2017 Ohio State Fair Commercial Cattle Show carcass contest awards presentation. Guest speaker, Colin Woodall, Senior Vice President, Government Affairs, National Cattlemen’s Association (NCBA), gave attendees a Washington, D.C. policy update on the issues that the industry is facing.

Conference attendees also participated in a spokesperson training program by Ryan Goodman, Director of Grassroots Advocacy and Spokesperson Development, NCBA. Goodman lead participants through a media training session that strengthened their communication skills, taught attendees how to tell their beef production story, and become a more effective cattle industry leader.

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Mid-Ohio Valley Grazing Conference

If you pasture livestock or want to know more about pasture management, then please do not miss this upcoming opportunity on Sept. 16  to learn from the region’s “Who’s Who” among forages and pasture management.  Ohio State University Extension, West Virginia University Extension, Washington County Farm Bureau, Washington Soil and Water Conservation District, and The Career Center, Adult Technical Training is pleased to offer our region the Mid-Ohio Valley Grazing Conference at Lazy H Farms in Fleming whereindividuals can interact with specialists who are at the top of their profession. Vendors and information booths will be on site for participants to visit.

At only $20 per individual, this is a great value compared to the cost of similar conferences.  To keep the cost low, the event is funded through Ohio Farm Bureau and the OSU Barrett Family Endowment Fund.  Registration is required.  Go to this link for a registration flyer or call the Washington County OSU Extension office at 740-376-7431.  

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