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(A Dairy Parody) “Show Kids Got Their White Pants On”

The team at Ohio’s Country Journal and the Ohio Ag Net have a bit of fun in this video with attire required by kids that show dairy animals. Ty Higgins, Matt Reese and Joel Penhorwood decided to join in the fun and get some white pants of their own and found some great show kids to help out with this Mel McDaniel (Baby’s Got Her Blue Jeans On) inspired parody tune to kick off coverage of this year’s Ohio State Fair!

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The Dairy Margin Protection Program: Information and opportunities

The 2014 Farm Bill initiated a new dairy risk management program that is expected to assist with price risk management when the MILC and price support programs expire this fall.

All dairy farmers will need to make a decision whether to participate or not. If a farm chooses to participate, they will also have to indicate a level of participation.

Join Ohio State University Extension experts at one of three regional meetings to learn more about the Dairy Margin Protection Program. Topics covered will include:

• What is the DMPP and how will it work?

• Dairy Decision Tool Software Demo

• Dairy Cost of Production and tools for calculating

your costs and margin.

• Should our farm participate in this program?

• Potential impacts on profitability

The meetings are:

• Sept. 3 at Romer’s in St Henry (call 419-739-6580).

• Sept. 11 at Mahoning County Experimental Farm (call 330-533-5538)

• OARDC Shisler Center (call 330-264-8722)

Follow-up meetings will be held to review risk-management alternatives and provide training in the use of the Dairy Decision Software Tools.

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TPP makes incremental progress

In early July chief negotiators from the 12-member countries of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) met in Ottawa, Ontario, to continue working through technical issues of the various chapters. While the prevailing view is that continuous progress is being made on resolving texts in a number of areas, decisions on several unresolved issues will have to be made at the ministerial levels of the member countries.

In addition, many of the unresolved issues in non-agricultural areas continue to be dependent on the outcome of the ongoing bilateral discussions between the United States and Japan on market access issues regarding agricultural products, particularly the sensitive products (rice, dairy, beef, pork, wheat, barley and sugar) and automobiles. Another round of bilateral meetings between the two countries were held in Washington, D.C. later this month. The TPP negotiations have high stakes for agriculture.

“We see other TPP countries now realizing that Japan is a real problem here, so I think there is going to be added pressure on Japan to add more market access,” said Howard Hill, National Pork Producers Council president.

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2014 Ohio Lamb Jam educated consumers

The 2014 Ohio Lamb Jam was held in Columbus at the North Market in conjunction with the Food and Ohio Wine Festival on July 12. Four of the top chefs in central Ohio competed for a $500 first place prize.

“This is a great opportunity for consumers to try and learn about the versatility, taste and quality of lamb,” said Roger High, executive director of the Ohio Sheep and Wool Program. “We have a chef’s cooking competition using American lamb and we have a number of activities going on here. Lamb is a product that pairs very well with lots of wines and it is a natural fit with this event at the North Market in Columbus.”

The winner of the chef competition was Chef Janel Hedgepeth, from Latitude 41, with Spiced Lamb Carpaccio Rosette with bacon jam in a Kennnbee Birds Nest. The runner-up was Chef Jacob Inscore with braised lamb neck garnished with pickled vegetables, mushrooms and a refreshing squash sorbet.

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Butter cow naming contest for Ohio State Fair

For the first time in over 15 years, Ohio State Fair fans will have the chance to choose names for the 2014 iconic butter cow and calf at the Ohio State Fair. Back by popular demand, and moo-ving from tear pads to Twitter, the participant who crafts the most creative name for this year’s butter bovines will get to milk this opportunity for all its worth, sharing the spotlight with the coveted cow and calf during the sculpture unveiling.

The naming contest dates back to the early 1980s, during which fairgoers would drop hand-written names into a large wooden milk carton. Now, the challenge will take to Twitter. For a week starting Monday, July 14, names for the butter cow and calf can be submitted by using the hashtag, #ButterCowNameGame.

The American Dairy Association Mideast will invite the person with the most inventive name to the butter cow and secret sculpture unveiling on July 22 to celebrate their creation.

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Meat export update

U.S. pork and beef exports maintained their strong momentum in May, with export volumes for both products exceeding last year’s totals and value increasing by double digits, according to statistics released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

May pork exports totaled 188,030 metric tons (mt), up 4% from a year ago. Export value remained in the $600 million range for the third consecutive month, increasing 19% to $599.6 million. For January through May, pork export volume (964,631 mt) was 9% ahead of last year’s pace, while export value was up 15% to $2.84 billion.

Beef exports in May were up 5% in volume (102,967 mt) and 15% in value ($589 million). For the first five months of 2014, export volume was up 9% to 479,344 mt and value increased 17% to $2.64 billion.

Pork results led by record-high value to Mexico

Mexico continued its outstanding performance for U.S.

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NCBA and the NRCS “water police”

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Public Lands Council filed comments on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ “interpretive” rule. The rule will make the Natural Resource Conservation Service a regulatory compliance agency, resulting in cattle producers putting less conservation on the ground.

The interpretive rule was published in the Federal Register the same day as the agencies’ proposed rule to redefine “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act. The rule’s intent is to interpret what Congress meant when it included a statutory exemption for “normal farming, silviculture and ranching activities” under the 404 Dredge and Fill Program.

“The EPA claims they have made right with the agricultural community by interpreting their exemption to only include the ‘normal’ 56 NRCS practice standards, excluding all other NRCS practice standards and all voluntary conservation activities,” said Ashley McDonald, NCBA environmental council.  “By defining these very specific 56 practices, the interpretive rule only narrows the scope of what is considered normal farming and ranching practices.

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Aquaculture offers significant potential for growth in Ohio

Current and future fish farmers who’ve attended aquaculture programing taught by researchers from Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences say the techniques they learned not only increased their overall knowledge of the industry but also increased their confidence to work in this industry, according to a recent survey.

In fact, some participants said the training taught them important concepts such as how to operate a successful fish farm and helped them clarify potential obstacles to running a successful aquaponics business, said Estefania James, program coordinator for the Aquaculture Boot Camp. The program is offered by the Ohio Center for Aquaculture Research and Development at the Ohio State University South Centers. The OSU South Centers are part of the college.

The survey is based on a two-day aquaponics program offered jointly last April by OSU South Centers and the College of Agriculture, Food Science and Sustainable Systems Aquaculture Research Center at Kentucky State University.

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Heat stress and beef cattle

High temperatures raise the concern of heat stress on cattle. Hot weather and high humidity can reduce breeding efficiency, milk production, feed intake, weight gains, and sometime cause death. Management can be used to reduce the problem when hot and humid weather is forecast.


Providing an adequate source of cool, clean drinking water is essential to help keep animals’ internal body temperature within normal limits. It is thought that water temperature affects rumen temperature and thus blood temperature which affects brain centers that control feed consumption. Above-ground water lines should be provided shade by having taller grass cover them. Run lines in fields or under fences that are not being currently grazed. You should at least check the water temperature in water troughs throughout the summer. Environmental temperature increases from 70 degrees F to 95 degrees F can increase total water requirements by about 2.5 times.

Grazing strategies

Producers using management intensive grazing might consider several options.

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Ohio cow’s breed record success comes from consistency

A mid-sized dairy in the hills of the southeast corner of Logan County is home to a cow that most producers only dream of having the privilege of owning. However, the renowned bovine that resides at the primarily Holstein operation of Henry farms is not black and white, but is instead a Brown Swiss.

Officially titled Glad Ray EJ Paris, but known as just “Paris,” the over 16-year-old cow is the current Lifetime Production Leader in milk, fat, and protein for the entire Brown Swiss breed, according to the Brown Swiss Association.

Mark Henry is the leader of the family dairy operation and is the cow’s primary owner.

“Paris is our oldest cow on the farm currently and has produced the most milk in her lifetime of any cow we’ve ever had,” he said. “She’s been here for over 12 years, she’s had eight lactations, and currently, her lifetime production numbers are 429,000 pounds of milk, 18,400 pounds of butterfat, and 14,300 pounds of protein.

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Beef and pork prices sky-high this summer

Retail pork prices will keep rising to record highs this summer as the number of hogs going to market over the next several months will be lower than expected because of the PED virus, smaller spring farrowings and growing foreign purchases of U.S. pork, Purdue University agricultural economist Chris Hurt said.

But he also expects the price increases to level off in the fall and move somewhat lower into the winter as producers benefiting from higher profits increase production. Although producer profits were at a record high near $70 per head in the second quarter this year, he says the record will be surpassed this summer, with third-quarter profits expected to exceed $90 per head.

“These extremely high profits are clear signals for producers to increase pork production,” said Hurt, who analyzed the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Hogs and Pigs report, released June 27. “The report did reveal that producers have received this signal, and they intend to increase farrows by 4% this fall.”

If producers start the expansion and the porcine epidemic virus that has been killing piglets is better controlled, pork supplies can begin to grow by next spring to 4% to 6% in the last three quarters of 2015, Hurt said.

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FSMA should not include milk

The National Milk Producers Federation has expressed concern with efforts to impose added regulations on dairy farms under the new Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The measures are not warranted because milk leaving farms for further processing is not a significant public health risk from intentional adulteration, the organization wrote in comments to the Food and Drug Administration.

The FDA is reviewing comments about the FSMA law, which is the most significant change to food safety legislation in many years. Part of the scope of FSMA is to enhance the safety protocols around foods that may be subject to intentional adulteration, by terrorists looking to threaten or injure people, or cause economic harm to certain companies or industries.

“We disagree with the premise that on-farm milk destined for pasteurization is a high-risk food,” said Beth Briczinski, NMPF’s Vice President of Dairy Foods and Nutrition.

Raw fluid milk for pasteurization moves among various regions of the country and is in constant flux to meet specific processing demands.

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Coalition sends letter on WTO COOL case

In a letter sent to leaders of the House and Senate agriculture committees, the COOL Reform Coalition, a group of 61 food and agricultural organizations, including the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), expressed its concern over the pending outcome of a World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling on the U.S. Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) in a case brought to the WTO court by Canada and Mexico. The decision by the WTO dispute settlement panel is expected to be delivered to the parties soon. The coalition fears that a final WTO determination that the COOL regulation violates U.S. international trade obligations likely will have a negative effect on the U.S. economy.

The letter explains that such a decision by the WTO would authorize Canada and Mexico to impose retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods, including agriculture products, restricting exports and ultimately killing U.S. jobs. Canada, the second largest export market for U.S.

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Burlington develops “Just US” worsted wool fabrics

Burlington, a division of International Textile Group, has developed a line of worsted wool fabrics woven and finished in the United States.

The “Just US” fabric collection, Burlington said, is intended for men’s trousers, suits, suit separates, blazers and sports coats. The fabric is designed to be used for made-to-measure, custom tailors and branded and better department stores and specialty shop brands.

“Burlington’s new collection of fine worsted fabrics opens up exciting opportunities for Made in America better apparel,” said Peter Baumann, senior vice president of merchandising for Burlington men’s wear. “Fine worsted fabrics are a pillar to creating contemporary classic styling, but more recently, these fabrics have not been produced in the United States. With our new ‘Just US’ worsteds, made in Cordova and Raeford, N.C., designers and brands can now reconnect the heritage of classic men’s dress with modern constructions and color ways for performance and year-round comfort.”

The “Just US” fabric collection is launching for autumn 2015, with samples currently available for viewing.

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2014 Ohio State Fair Ag Events List

The 2014 Ohio State Fair runs from July 23rd to August 3rd at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus. As always, there is plenty to see and do for the entire family.

This is also a great time to check out great activities that involve Ohio’s #1 industry…Agriculture. Here is a complete list of Ag-based events and their locations at this year’s Ohio State Fair.

Wednesday, July 23rd

NATIONWIDE DONAHEY AG & HORT BUILDING pres. by Ohio Farm Bureau, garden displays and agriculture education, 9 am – 9 pm

9 am – 9 pm – Land & Living Exhibit

10 am – 6 pm – Farm Bureau Ag is Cool education station

10 am – 6 pm – Corn Ag is Cool education station

10 am – 6 pm – Soy Ag is Cool education station

1:15 pm – Container Grown Plants, Specimen Flowers / Foliage Judging

2 pm – The Nutty Professor’s Sustainable World, Land & Living Stage

5 pm – What is Gluten / Why be Gluten-free?, Land & Living Stage


8 am – Jr.

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Policy update: Dairy producer margin protection program (DPMPP)

By now you are quite familiar with the broad outlines of the Dairy Producer Margin Protection Program (DPMPP). Participating producers will establish a base production history (bph) based on the highest annual production from the 2011, 2012 or 2013 calendar year. Once established a farm’s production base will be allowed to increase by the U.S. average production growth. There is no penalty for increasing production over this level other than the stipulation that extra production will not be eligible for the coverage under the DPMPP. Coverage rates will be 25% to 90% of the established production base.

The premiums will follow a two-tier schedule. For a production base at four million pounds or less there is one schedule and for those farms with a production base over four million pounds another, more expensive schedule. Those producers whose annual production is at or below four million pounds the cost of coverage all the way up to $6.50 remains very reasonable, only become more expensive at the $7 to $8 levels.

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Fly control in cattle

Fly control in cattle is about reducing fly populations, not elimination. The goal is to limit the negative economic impact that flies can cause. There are three main fly species that can economically impact pastured cattle and those are the horn fly, the face fly and the stable fly. Horn flies are responsible for significant economic losses. According to Dave Boxler of the University of Nebraska, economic losses associated with the horn fly are estimated at more than 800 million per year in the U.S. Those losses are due to decreased grazing efficiency, blood loss, reduced weight gains, and declines in milk production. University of Nebraska studies have shown calf weaning weights to be 10 to 20 pounds heavier when horn flies were controlled on the mother cows. Horn flies are small, about half the size of a housefly and they are blood feeders. Each fly will bite the animal and feed on blood 20 to 30 times per day.

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4-H Dairy Quiz Bowl results

What is the major buffer for maintaining optimum rumen pH? A clever dairy quiz bowl participant presses the buzzer, is recognized by the moderator, and provides the answer: saliva. That is just how a small portion of the Ohio 4-H Dairy Quiz Bowl event was played this year.

Coaches and team members traveled from all over the state to the Ohio and Nationwide 4-H Center to participate in this event earlier this month. It includes both a senior and a junior division. Some are new at the competition and others have been coming for many years. However, everyone is willing to share camaraderie and a competitive spirit with each other. After a light breakfast with milk, participants complete a test to determine brackets. It is double elimination so everyone has an opportunity to play the game and be matched up with their rivals in a dual that includes wisdom, quick recall, strategy, and some fun.

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June pasture management

June is often a transition time for pasture management. Generally in early June moisture and temperature are still favorable for good cool season grass growth. If seed heads have not been clipped off then grasses are in reproductive growth and rapidly maturing. As seed heads mature, forage quality declines. Clipping is used to set the plant back to vegetative growth and provide higher quality forage for livestock. If seed heads were clipped off earlier there can still be more seed head formation through the later part of June. The emphasis in pasture management systems at this time should be on quick rotations through pasture paddocks to try to keep up with grass growth and to try to keep seed heads grazed and/or clipped off. Another strategy may be to drop some paddocks out of the grazing rotation and use them for hay production.

As we get past mid-June and into later June our weather pattern often changes.

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Spaulding to serve as Sheep, Goat and Cattle Sales Representative for United Producers, Inc.

United Producers Inc. (UPI) announced effective June 1, Curtis Spaulding will assume the role as Sheep, Goat and Cattle Sales Representative at the United Producers facility in Mt. Vernon.

In his new role, Spaulding will assist Facility Manager Rick Reynolds in growing the sheep, goat and cattle business in this region. Spaulding will continue to be actively involved in the Monday auction at the UPI facility in Manchester, Mich.

“In his new responsibility, Curtis’ knowledge of the livestock industry and his work ethic will be great assets to producers in the region,” said Dennis Bolling, President and CEO, United Producers, Inc.

Spaulding started full-time employment with UPI in 2011 at the Manchester, Mich., facility as a Sheep and Goat Sales Representative and soon became an important part of the Manchester, Mich., sheep and goat operations.

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