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Ohio Cattlemen’s Association Annual Meeting and banquet

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) will celebrate Ohio’s cattlemen, hear from industry leaders and set new policy for 2019 at the OCA Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet on Saturday, Jan. 12, at the Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center in Lewis Center, Ohio.

The day’s events will kick off at 9:00 a.m. with the Cattlemen’s Quiz bowl written test. This youth event, sponsored by Farm Credit Mid-America, is for youth ages 8-21 to showcase their beef industry knowledge. It is a two-part contest, consisting of written and verbal rounds. Shortly after, a Youth Beef Quality Assurance Session will start at 10:00 a.m. There will be three age divisions offered and the top three winners will be recognized as well as the top team in each group. During the Ohio Cattlemen’s Foundation (OCF) luncheon, sponsored by Murphy Tractor, at 11:30 a.m., the 2019 scholarship recipients will be recognized and the OCF business meeting will be conducted.

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U.S. beef gains new market access in Morocco

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced that the government of Morocco has agreed to allow imports of U.S. beef and beef products into Morocco. 2018 is the first year that U.S. beef and poultry exporters have access to Morocco’s market under the terms of the U.S.-Morocco Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Morocco opened its market to U.S. poultry in August, 2018.

“President Trump continues to prioritize the opening of new markets for U.S. agricultural products. New access to the Moroccan market for beef and beef products is an important step in ensuring that American farmers and ranchers can continue to expand their exports of U.S. agricultural products,” Lighthizer said. “I welcome Morocco’s agreement to allow imports of U.S. beef and look forward to growing our shipments to Morocco.”

In 2017, the United States was the world’s third largest beef exporter, with global sales of beef and beef products valued at $7.3 billion.

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Ohio Pork Council launches bacon vending machine

The Ohio Pork Council is pleased to announce the launch of their Bacon Vending Machine, located in Ohio State University’s Animal Science Building. In honor of finals season, the machine will supply students with ready-to-eat bacon until Dec. 13.

“The Bacon Vending Machine is a unique and fun way for the Ohio Pork Council to support Ohio State students and promote the pork industry at the same time,” said Dave Shoup, Ohio Pork Council president-elect.

With proceeds from the machine benefitting the meat science program, Hormel, Sugardale and Smithfield donated shelf-stable bacon strips and bits to fill the machine. For just $1, students can “fuel up” with bacon to power through their last two weeks on campus before Christmas break. Members of the meat science program are responsible for stocking and maintaining the machine during its time on campus.

“The meat science program is excited to partner with the Ohio Pork Council through the Bacon Vending Machine project,” said Lyda G.

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Ohio winters offer challenges to pork producers

By Ty Higgins, Ohio Ag Net

Just as the change of the season brings about slippery roads and windshields that need scraped before you venture out, the winter months can be the cause of many concerns on Ohio’ hog farms as well. From moisture, to rodents, to bio-security, there is plenty to keep in mind as pig farmers prep barns for livestock.

“Because of the wet and damp conditions that Mother Nature gives us this time of year, moisture is more difficult to control,” said Dr. Terri Specht, a veterinarian at Heimerl Farms in Johnstown. “We recommend using a couple days to get the barns warmed up before new pigs come in. Most barns are temperature regulated to keep the pigs comfortable all year round, but it takes a while to get a barn to that 65 degree level in the winter.”

As harvest progresses, albeit slowly across the state, those finished corn and soybean fields force some unwelcome guests to look for shelter in those warmed barns.

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North Carolina’s Smithfield lawsuits: Could Ohio’s farmers face similar results?

By Ellen Essman, Sr. Research Associate Ohio State University Agricultural and Resource Law Program

Over the last several months, three nuisance cases have been decided against Smithfield Foods in federal court in North Carolina. The juries in the cases have found Smithfield’s large farms, with thousands of hogs, and the odor, traffic, and flies that come along with them, to be a nuisance to neighboring landowners. Smithfield has been ordered to pay hefty damages to the neighbors, and more cases against the company remain to be decided. Given the outcomes of the cases that have been decided thus far, farmers and landowners in Ohio might be wondering how Ohio law compares to North Carolina law as pertains to agricultural nuisances.


Ohio’s right-to-farm law

Many states, including both Ohio and North Carolina, have “right-to-farm” legislation, which in part is meant to protect agriculture from nuisance lawsuits such as those filed against Smithfield.

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A global education used for local service by Master Shepherd

By Ty Higgins, Ohio Ag Net

For the 2018 Charles Boyles Master Shepherd of the Year, Dave Burkhart of Hardin County, sheep have been a part of the family, in one way or another, for as long as he can remember.

“Grandpa always had sheep, along with hogs, cattle and chickens,” Burkhart said. “When my dad left the farm he didn’t have any sheep of his own but he was still in the industry with a shearing business, so I was around sheep almost every day growing up.”

As it turned out, Dave’s father was pretty good at his craft as he was named the International Sheep Shearing Champion in 1939, 1947 and 1948. But Burkhart knew he wanted to be more involved with livestock than his father.

“I bought this farm in 1987 and within a month I had my own sheep,” Burkhart said. “We started out with nine and built the flock up to around 300.”

That number has been pared down in recent years and now Burkhart’s farm consists of a small group of Dorset white face cross ewes, along with some Suffolk-Hampshire cross ewes.

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Cooper Farms set to release hog grower video series

Cooper Farms is set to release a video series on hog farming and environmental care on their social media platforms and YouTube.

As Cooper Farms continues to grow and builds relationships in new areas, the videos will serve as a way for the company to introduce themselves, explain what they do and the opportunities they offer to be contract growers.
“We’re growing. We’re always getting new neighbors and we want to be clear to those people, and with those who already know us, about what it is we do,” said  Terry Wehrkamp, Director of Live Production.

Cooper Farms partners with local family farms to raise animals. These videos will show the procedures the company follows to have the least possible impact on the environment, and especially, the neighboring communities.

“We have a reputation of being good neighbors,” Wehrkamp said. “It’s not just something we say, it’s something we do. We want to be transparent with our neighbors and show them that we want to do things the right way.”

Cooper Farms uses a very intricate process when it comes to choosing not only their sites for new barns, but the type of quality leaders necessary to run them.

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Trade progress for U.S. meats

At the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) was signed and the White House announced that the U.S. and China will enter negotiations on several key trade issues, including agricultural trade.

“USMEF supports the Trump administration’s efforts to finalize the USMCA and to continue seeking resolution of the metal tariffs dispute with Mexico and Canada, which resulted in retaliatory duties on U.S. pork and beef,” said Dan Halstrom, U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) President and CEO. “U.S. meat exports have also become entangled in trade disputes with China, so it is encouraging to see the U.S. and China return to the negotiating table. Global demand for U.S. red meat is very strong, but exports cannot reach their full potential until the retaliatory duties imposed by Mexico, China and Canada are removed.”

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Awards, industry updates highlight 2018 Buckeye Shepherd’s Symposium

By Joel Penhorwood

Sheep nutrition, research updates, and even pasture fencing with satellites were among the highlights that greeted sheep producers and supporters at the 2018 Buckeye Shepherd’s Symposium in Wooster on Saturday.

“We had another dynamic program. We brought Woody Lane in from Oregon. He’s a world-renowned speaker and expert in sheep production and management,” said Roger High, executive director of the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association and the Ohio Sheep and Wool Program. “We had some of the researchers from OARDC and OSU that came in and updated us on some of the sheep research that’s going on out there in the research units.”

Programming designed specifically for youth was also presented for the first time at the Symposium. In addition to educational talks, the event serves as a time each year to recognize Ohio sheep leaders with various awards.

Scholarship winners included:

  • Ben Gastier of Erie County with the Gralph Grimshaw Memorial Scholarship
  • Katie Frost of Fayette County with the Dr.
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2018 OCA Replacement Female Sale results

By John F. Grimes, Ohio State University Extension Beef Coordinator

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) held their sixth annual Replacement Female Sale on Nov. 23 at the Muskingum Livestock Auction Company in Zanesville. A large crowd was on hand to bid on 107 high quality females in the sale. The sale represented an excellent opportunity for cow-calf producers to add quality females with documented breeding and health records to their herds.

Buyers evaluated 107 lots of bred heifers, bred cows, and cow-calf pairs at the auction. The sale included 80 lots of bred heifers that averaged $1,437, 25 lots of bred cows that averaged $1,377, and two cow-calf pairs that averaged $1,450. The 107 total lots grossed $152,275 for an overall average of $1,423. The females sold to buyers from Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Col. Ron Kreis served as the auctioneer.

Erv-N-Del Farm of Louisville, Ohio consigned the top selling lot at $2,200.

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Outside threats

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

With our son off to college, wife Maria has been my deer hunting buddy this season. She is a somewhat reluctant hunter who I tempt into the blind with all manner of hunting baubles like portable ozone dispensers, heated booties, laser range-finders, Red Dot scopes, trail cameras, lighted arrow nocks and camo touch screen gloves so that she can while away the hours between deer sightings playing Candy Crush. Let’s just say she responds to technology and I’m playing every card in the deck to maintain her interest.

Maria shares word of her weekend adventures in the wilds with her urban co-workers at the metropolitan library, who find it odd that their fashion-conscious co-worker is spending so much time camo’d-up in the deep woods.

“Heck,” commented one. “I don’t even like being outside.”



New Public Land Deer Regulations Take Effect

Speaking of whitetail hunting, from Dec.

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An idea turned into Hinkle Farms

By Kayla Hawthorne, OCJ field reporter

Seven years ago, P.J. Hinkle was a union crane operator. In his time spent travelling for work and running a crane, he had plenty of opportunities to think. One day when he came home from work he told his wife, “I have an idea.”

Now, he’s a full time beef and vegetable producer in Morgan County.

“I was a union crane operator for 15 or 17 years and I left all that to do all this,” Hinkle said. “When I was working construction, I might be in Cleveland tomorrow. Especially being a crane operator, I was all over the place. [I was] gone all the time. The money was good, don’t get me wrong on that, but you reach a stage in life when you think ‘Well, my little girl’s growing up.’ That’s a lot of what I do this for.”

When he was growing up, Hinkle’s parents owned a grocery store, so he has always worked with food and he wanted to make sure his family also learned those lessons.

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BEEF 509 set for Feb. 16 and 22, 2019

Dates have been set for the 2019 edition of BEEF 509.

The BEEF 509 program is held to raise the awareness level about the beef that is produced and what goes into producing a high-quality and consistent product. The program will take place on two consecutive Saturdays, February 16 and 23, 2019.

The part of the program held on February 16 will include a live animal evaluation session and grid pricing discussion. Carcass grading and fabrication are among the activities that will take place February 23. The program will take place at The Ohio State University Animal Sciences building in Columbus. It will be critical to attend both sessions as participants will be assigned to teams that will work together throughout the program.

A maximum of 32 spaces will be available on a first come, first served basis. If interest in BEEF 509 exceeds the 32 spaces provided, names will be held and applicants notified of upcoming sessions.

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African Swine Fever brings destruction, possible market opportunity

By Joel Penhorwood, Ohio Ag Net

African Swine Fever is in the midst of causing global trouble and all signs point to it likely heading to the United States soon. The hog industry is keeping a close eye on the disease’s next move.

What exactly is African Swine Fever (AFS)? As defined in Hungerford’s ­Diseases of Livestock it is: “A highly contagious fatal disease of pigs with a great propensity for international spread (Geering and Forman, 1987). It is caused by a DNA virus which is very resistant, can survive in blood at 4 degrees C for 18 months, in frozen carcasses for several years, and in uncanned hams for up to six months. It affects all classes of pigs and warthogs.”

Though AFS does not affect humans, it poses considerable risk to the wellbeing of the swine industry with all hogs contracting the disease requiring termination.

“When it comes to global issues right now, that is something that could be very devastating in the pork industry in the United States.

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New owners for Hills Supply

Hills Supply, the well-known dairy supply company founded in 1979 has new owners. Partners Frank Burkett and Mick Heiby completed their purchase of the company on Nov. 1, 2018 and immediately announced the purchase to the Hills employees and more than 850 customers.

Frank Burkett is a fourth-generation dairyman and the managing partner of Clardale Farms in Stark County, Ohio where they currently milk 695 head of Holstein cattle, raise replacements, and manage 900 acres of land for crop production. He has served as chairman of the Hills Supply transition team since the tragic death of David Hill, and his wife, Shin in December of 2016. Burkett is also the current president of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation.

“We see ourselves and our company as partners in production with our customers. Our experience in the industry gives us the unique understanding of the dairy business necessary to best serve dairy producers,” Burkett said.

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Farm worker drowns in manure pit

Late last week, the Ashland Source reported a tragedy north of Loudonville when a 22-year-old farm worker drowned after the skid steer he was driving went into a manure holding pit on a dairy farm.

The unfortunate incident in northeast Ohio serves as another grim reminder of the safety challenges in agriculture.

“Working around manure storage areas has so many potential hazards. There is a lot of emphasis on being aware of hazards involving manure gases, but you still have to be aware of equipment hazards and the dangers of operating equipment close to manure pits and lagoons,” said Kent McGuire, Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences Safety and Health Coordinator. “Because of limited visibility and the density of manure in pits or lagoons, the chances of a rescue are usually very small. Unfortunately, it almost always ends up being a recovery of the victim.

“Tragedies like this show that we have more work to do to help farmers work safely with manure storage areas and train workers of the potential hazards.”

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Ohio Cattlemen’s Association’s BEST Program set to begin 20th Year

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) is pleased to announce the 2018-19 BEST (Beef Exhibitor Show Total) program sponsoring partners that include Bob Evans Farms; Farm Credit Mid-America; Frazier Farms; Garwood Cattle Company, LLC; Kalmbach Feeds – Formula of Champions; M.H. Eby, Inc.; John Deere, JD Equipment and Weaver Leather Livestock. BEST is a youth program of OCA that recognizes Ohio’s junior beef exhibitors for participation and placings through a series of sanctioned cattle shows that include showmanship competitions. Juniors who participate in these sanctioned shows earn points for their placings. Points are tabulated for cattle, showmanship, registered Bred & Owned animals and first or second year BEST participants in a separate Novice division for market animals, heifers and showmanship. The program promotes consistency for exhibitors at sanctioned shows hosted by county associations or agricultural groups and clubs. These points are tabulated and posted at www.ohiocattle.org.

ALL cattle entering Ohio to show in a BEST sanctioned show MUST be tagged with an electronic identification (EID) ear tag prior to arriving at their first BEST show.

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Livestock legalities around the nation affecting producers

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

Every year, we hear fascinating legal updates at the American Agricultural Law Association’s annual conference. Thanks to presentations by Todd Janzen and Brianna Schroeder of Janzen Ag Law in Indianapolis, we were inspired to learn a little more about trends in meat law. For readers with a livestock operation, these legal issues can present great challenges, and keeping up to date on legal trends helps farmers stay prepared.


Veal, pork, and eggs: States battle each other on minimum confinement space regulations

California voters passed Proposition 12 in the November 2018 election, which will require producers to comply with minimum confinement space regulations in order to sell certain products in California. The Prevent Cruelty California Coalition placed the proposition on the ballot, expanding a previous regulation on in-state suppliers, but the new law would apply to any producer trying to sell veal, pork, or eggs in California.

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National Pork Board and U.S. Meat Export Federation to partner on Pork 2040

The National Pork Board, the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that they will engage in a foresight-based marketing study called Pork 2040. The study will investigate changing consumer attitudes and trends in developed and emerging U.S. pork export markets in 17 defined countries.

“Previous international marketing studies centered only on quantitative statistics to define demand, production and market access,” said Bill Luckey, chair of the Checkoff’s International Marketing committee and a pork producer from Columbus, Nebraska. “This unique effort will be more comprehensive, investigating the relevant qualitative factors that shape consumer opinion and hence markets. The study will focus on forecasting the pork and pork-product demand landscape over the next several decades to help determine where best to invest our limited Checkoff resources.”

In addition to analyzing linear consumer trends, the Pork 2040 research will assess trends in the development of new production and marketing technologies, as well as in growing environmental concerns and in emerging legal, trade and regulatory regimes around the globe.

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26th Cattlemen’s College set to enhance management

Staying a step ahead in the cattle industry is no small challenge. Cattlemen and women looking to find that extra step will be attending the 2019 Cattlemen’s College in New Orleans, La., Jan. 29-30.

More than a thousand producers are expected to attend the event, sponsored by Zoetis and produced by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. It is being presented in conjunction with the 2019 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show.

A highlight of the event will be a Jan. 29 afternoon session that features Dr. Temple Grandin conducting a cattle handling and facility design presentation. A reception will follow that afternoon, with a full slate of concurrent educational sessions to follow the morning of Jan. 30.

Keynote speaker at the Cattlemen’s College Opening General Session Jan. 30 will be Bill Cordingley, managing director and head of the Chicago office of RaboBank Wholesale Banking North America. He will speak on “Greater Expectations, Bigger Opportunities,” touching on the different forces that work together to yield a complex demand story for beef.

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