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Pork Checkoff commits $500,000 to develop highly trained industry professionals

The National Pork Board has opened the application period for a new series of swine research fellowships to provide a pipeline of highly skilled employees for the pork industry. The Pork Checkoff has committed a total of $500,000 for the fellowships, which will fund professional student education and training in critical areas of impact, including animal science, feed science and management, engineering and human resources, among many others.

“Labor supply is a critical issue across the entire pork industry,” said David Newman, president of the National Pork Board and a pig farmer representing Arkansas. “This fellowship program will develop highly trained professionals who possess skills and abilities with direct application to pork production now and in the future.”

According to Chris Hostetler, director of animal science for the National Pork Board, past Checkoff research funding supported graduate students based on specific research priorities.

“While results of swine-related research is not the desired outcome of these fellowships, the Pork Checkoff recognizes that research is a critical component of professional student training,” Hostetler said.… Continue reading

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Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation offering over $70,000 in scholarships

The Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation has more than $70,000 in scholarships available to Ohio students from rural, suburban and urban communities who are pursuing degrees connected in some way to agriculture.

Through 10 programs, approximately 50 scholarships will be awarded. The deadline to apply online at ofbf.org/foundation is Feb. 28 and all applications require letters of recommendation, an essay, school transcripts and photos.

The Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation Scholar award recognizes students for academic effort, community service and career interests that use agriculture to enhance the partnership between producers and consumers in rural, suburban and/or urban settings.

The foundation’s Women’s Leadership in Agriculture Scholarship Program is awarded to applicants who may not be majoring in agriculture directly, but whose chosen career field will benefit a field related to agriculture or community development such as food production, scientific research, education/outreach, marketing, policymaking, advocacy or leadership development. The program was established by an endowment from the Charlotte R.… Continue reading

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Mensing wins Farm Bureau Discussion Meet

Micah Mensing of Millersburg is the winner of Ohio Farm Bureau’s Young Agricultural Professionals 2020 Discussion Meet competition. He won the contest’s final round Jan. 31 during the YAP Winter Leadership Experience in Columbus.

The Discussion Meet tests participants’ subject knowledge, problem solving abilities and personal and small group communications skills. It is designed for young agricultural professionals to work together to find solutions around issues facing agriculture today.

Mensing is a Wayne County Farm Bureau member. He is an Ohio State University graduate, where he studied production agriculture at OSU-ATI and agriscience education at the Columbus campus. He was named an Ohio State Department of Agricultural Communication, Education and Leadership (ACEL) Distinguished Senior in 2019. Mensing is a Growing Forward Specialist with Farm Credit Mid-America and is an active member of Ohio Farm Bureau’s Young Agricultural Professionals program.

He receives a $1,000 cash award from Nationwide, an expense-paid trip to the Ohio Farm Bureau Annual Meeting in December 2020 and an expense-paid trip to represent Ohio at the national competition during the American Farm Bureau Annual Convention in San Diego in January 2021.… Continue reading

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Ohio State Fair announces ractopamine-free swine show for 2020

It has been announced that swine exhibited at the 2020 Ohio State Fair — and a growing number of county fairs — are required to be ractopamine-free.

Recently, ractopamine-free swine production became a market specification through much of the U.S. pork packing industry. Although ractopamine (sold under the trade names Paylean or Engain for swine) is an approved product used to increase lean growth rate, it has been banned in many international pork markets. In short, ractopamine-free means that a pig has never been fed or exposed to ractopamine from the time of birth to the time of market.

In response, the Ohio Pork Council, Ohio State University Extension, Ohio Department of Agriculture, and Ohio State Fair have collaborated to put a comprehensive plan in place for a ractopamine-free swine project.

  1. Understand the ractopamine-free status of any pigs purchased or raised and comply by not feeding or exposing the pigs to ractopamine.
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Ractopamine bans at fairs mean changes for many hog exhibitors

By Madi Kregel, OCJ field reporter

As more fairs ban ractopamine — the active ingredient in products like Paylean or Optaflexx — some people in the show pig and 4-H community have questions about changes they will need to make in 2020.

Monty Alexander is not one of them. She is entering her last year as a Wood County 4-H exhibitor and has been no stranger to success with her livestock. She has only shown 4-H pigs for a few years, but she knows the stock show world well. She has won multiple market hog classes and the lightweight market gilt division in past county fairs. She has also done well in showmanship. Alexander credits her success with multiple factors, but she has never fed ractopamine to her pigs. Alexander instead relies on good feeding, good genetics and a unique

advantage over most of her competitors in the flatlands of Wood County — a hill in her backyard — for her success.… Continue reading

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Hoping for a rally while managing risk

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

For the first time in 7 weeks, March corn finished the week outside of the $3.85 to $3.90 range with a close at $3.81.

The market is being cautious with the coronavirus. After 2 weeks, the mortality rate is still around 2%, compared to the 2003 SARS outbreak which was near 10%. There is concern all over the world as many countries continue to report the spread of the virus. Some reports indicate that doctors and scientists need at least 45 days from the start of a new disease to truly understand the outbreak potential. This likely means another month of market uncertainty.

U.S. corn is competitive globally right now, which should support the current price level and could mean better prices down the road. Beans have had a difficult month, dropping nearly 90 cents. First, China hasn’t announced any major purchases since signing the Phase One trade deal.… Continue reading

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What does sustainable mean?

By Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension agronomist

This is the legal definition: “Sustainable agriculture” was addressed by Congress in the 1990 Farm Bill. Under that law, “the term sustainable agriculture means an integrated system of plant and animal production practices having a site-specific application that will, over the long term:

  • satisfy human food and fiber needs;
  • enhance environmental quality and the natural resource base upon which the agricultural economy depends;
  • make the most efficient use of non-renewable resources and on-farm resources and integrate, where appropriate, natural biological cycles and controls;
  • sustain the economic viability of farm operations; and
  • enhance the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole.”

Above from the National Agriculture Library: https://www.nal.usda.gov/afsic/sustainable-agriculture-definitions-and-terms#toc2 and: https://www.nal.usda.gov/afsic/sustainable-agriculture-definitions-and-terms.

Is your operation sustainable based upon the points above:

  • Yes, we produce food and fiber to satisfy human needs
  • Enhance environmental quality — we are headed that direction, some are there already.
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National Pesticide Safety Education Month – Learn and practice principles of safe pesticide handling and use

February is National Pesticide Safety Education Month, a reminder for everyone to review their pesticide safety practices. The Weed Science Society of America (WSSA), American Phytopathological Society (APS) and Entomological Society of America (ESA) are among the many organizations in the public and private sector that promote pesticide safety during February and throughout the year.

Everyone must focus on safety to protect themselves, others, and the environment, during pesticide transport, storage, application, and disposal.

“There is no ‘downtime’ in the safe handling and use of pesticides,” said Lee Van Wychen, Ph.D., Executive Director of Science Policy for the Weed Science Society of America.

The National Pesticide Safety Education Month webpage contains a quiz to check your knowledge of some basic pesticide safety principles and a self-assessment to review some of your own pesticide safety practices at home and at work. You can also view a sample of educational resources produced by land-grant university Pesticide Safety Education Programs and learn the importance of these programs.… Continue reading

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2020 Conservation Tillage Conference coming March 3

By Randall Reeder, P.E., Extension Agricultural Engineer (retired)

The main program for the Conservation Tillage Conference starts with the General Session, March 3, at 8:50 a.m. (10 minutes earlier than usual). At the start of the session, the Ohio Certified Crop Adviser of the Year will be announced.

Lee Briese, an award-winning Crop Consultant from North Dakota will be our General Session speaker. Topic: Details Matter. He will present two additional talks in the Chapel: Herbicide/Cover Crop Interactions and Transitioning to a No-Till System.

For early arrivals, two full-day concurrent sessions will begin at 8:00 a.m. Cover Crops, No-till and Soil Health will be in the Chapel, and Nutrient Management in Room B.

New for 2020, Crop Management and Precision Technology sessions both days replace our previous Corn University and Soybean School. Also new on the first day is a session on Hemp, plus Forage Cover Crops. Sessions will end about 5:30.… Continue reading

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Ohio Machinery Co. marks 75th anniversary in 2020

Ohio Machinery Co. celebrates 75 years of equipment sales and service to customers throughout its business territory beginning February 2020. As a privately held, locally owned and operated company, Ohio Machinery Co. gained strength and size over time through its representation of premium products, ongoing dedicated leadership, and a strong commitment to customer service and product support excellence. Ohio Machinery Co. serves its product territories under several brand names, including Ohio CAT, The Cat Rental Store, Ohio Peterbilt, Ohio Ag Equipment, SITECH, Complete Hydraulic Service, International Fuel Systems, and Thomas Built Bus by Ohio CAT.

Founded in February 1945, Ohio Machinery Co. initially operated out of one location in Columbus with 39 employees. The following year, with 109 employees, the headquarters moved to Independence, Ohio in the Cleveland area. In 1971, due to continued growth and the need for more space, the headquarters moved to its current location in Broadview Heights.… Continue reading

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Ohio Ag Net & Ohio’s Country Journal Podcast | Ep. 139 | Bonus: YAP

In this special edition of the Ohio Ag Net Podcast brought to you by AgriGold, Matt and Kolt are joined by Intern Madi Kregel at the 2020 Ohio Farm Bureau Young Ag Professionals Winter Leadership Experience. They visit with the chairs of the committee, keynote speaker Jay Hill, workshop presenter Gracie Workman, and a panel on succession planning.… Continue reading

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High oleic soybean opportunity for Ohio in 2020

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader

Ohio farmers now have increased availability of high oleic soybean contract opportunities and more delivery locations and options to grow high oleic soybeans for the 2020 season. High oleic soybeans earn an average premium of 50 cents per bushel. High oleic varieties also offer a sustainable, highly stable, U.S.-grown oil product for the food industry and other customers, expanding the market for U.S. soy.

For farmers, high oleic soybeans are backed with over a decade of research to ensure they meet expectations in the fields. Farmers growing high oleic soybeans report that high oleic yields on par with their other varieties. For end-use customers, high oleic soybeans offer higher-functioning soybean oil that meets the needs of a growing number of food and industrial customers. This added functionality allows farmers to add market potential.

“On my farm, high oleic soybeans have proven to be hearty.… Continue reading

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OABA conference focuses on opportunities of 2020 and beyond

More than 400 Ohio AgriBusiness Association (OABA) members and industry professionals were on hand to engage in collaborative learning and networking at the organization’s annual Industry Conference, January 29-31 at the Renaissance Columbus Westerville.

Through a variety of sessions presented by well-respected speakers from across the country, the conference allowed attendees to focus on the opportunities available in 2020 and beyond.

“After a challenging 2019, industry professionals came together to focus on the issues impacting Ohio agriculture and discover innovative solutions,” said Christopher Henney, OABA president and CEO. “It was energizing to be surrounded by our members and other industry professionals who have such great vision and passion for investing in a successful agricultural industry.”

The conference addressed key topics in today’s agriculture industry, such as crop and pest management, economic and trade outlook, workforce challenges, changing industry trends, crisis management and more. Attendees were also able to take advantage of two conference enhancements the Safety & Risk Management Pre-event Day on Jan.… Continue reading

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2020 Ohio agricultural fair dates

Ohioans can start planning visits to all of their favorite fairs across the state. The Ohio Department of Agriculture released the official dates for the 2020 fair season, which includes Ohio’s 94 county and independent fairs and the Ohio State Fair.

The Paulding County Fair will kick off the 2020 fair season on June 13, and the season will wrap up on Oct. 17 with the Fairfield County Fair.

 … Continue reading

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Winter is a great time to complete the farm balance sheet

By Eric Richer, Ohio State University Extension Fulton County

The balance sheet is a “snap shot” in time of your farm’s financial position, including what assets you own and how they are financed. The balance sheet is also known as the net worth statement. When completed precisely and timely, the balance sheet and corresponding ratios can be a very valuable tool to determine farm financial health. The balance sheet objectively measures farm business growth, liquidity, solvency, and risk capacity.

 

Categorizing balance sheet items

The assets and liabilities on the balance sheet (including the financing of the assets) are used to determine the equity, or net worth, of the farm owner. The owner’s equity is used by lenders and insurers to determine a farm business’ value.  There are two ways to calculate the owner’s equity, or net worth. The first simply subtracts the liabilities from the assets:

Assets – Liabilities = Owner’s Equity

The second calculation adds the owner’s equity with liabilities to determine the assets:

Liabilities + Owner’s Equity = Assets

 

Terms of assets and liabilities

Beyond the broad categories of either an asset or liability, a balance sheet categorizes items into “time compartments” or terms of useful life.… Continue reading

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USDA issues third tranche of 2019 MFP payments

At the direction of President Donald J. Trump, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced the third and final tranche of 2019 Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments aimed at assisting farmers suffering from damage due to unjustified trade retaliation by foreign nations. The payments will begin to show up in farmers’ bank accounts by the end of this week.

“It’s been a great start to 2020 for American Agriculture with the signing of the historic Phase One Deal with China and the signing of USMCA,” said Secretary Perdue. “While these agreements are welcome news, we must not forget that 2019 was a tough year for farmers as they were the tip of the spear when it came to unfair trade retaliation. President Trump has shown time and again that he is fighting for America’s farmers and ranchers and this third tranche of 2019 MFP payments is proof. President Trump is following through on his promise to help and support farmers as he continues to fight for fair market access just like he did with China.”

President Trump directed Secretary Perdue to craft a second support package for farmers while the Administration continues to work on free, fair, and reciprocal trade deals to open more markets to help American farmers compete globally.… Continue reading

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500th farm signed into Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Farmland Preservation Program

Farm number 500 will be preserved through the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s (ODA) Farmland Preservation Program on Monday, Feb. 3, 2020. The Anderson-Douglas farm, located in Big Prairie, received the distinction of the 500th farm to be signed into the Clean Ohio Local Agricultural Easement Purchase Program (LAEPP).

“Ohio’s farmland is a resource we must protect,” said ODA Director Dorothy Pelanda. “By putting properties like the Anderson-Douglas farm into Farmland Preservation, farmers are guaranteeing that future generations will have access to productive farmland where they can continue feeding people around the world.”

The Clean Ohio Local Agricultural Easement Purchase Program (LAEPP) provides funding to farmland owners for placing an agricultural easement on their property. Monies are issued for up to 75% of the appraised value of a farm’s development rights. All easement transactions are recorded on the property deed and transfer with the land to successive owners.

“Agriculture is vital to Ohio, the state’s largest economic engine generating billions of dollars annually and employing one in eight workers statewide,” said Rich Cochran, president and CEO of Western Reserve Land Conservancy.… Continue reading

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Ohio Farm Bureau names Young Ag Professionals leaders

Charlie and Casey Ellington have been named the 2020 chaircouple of the Ohio Farm Bureau Young Ag Professionals Committee. Serving as committee co-chair is Aaron Harter and serving as secretary is Megan Brannon.

The Ellingtons own and operate Ellington Farms in Stark County, where they raise beef, pork, chicken and hay alongside their families. They also are involved at Southern Star Farms, a small dairy. Charlie serves on the Stark County Farm Bureau board of trustees. Casey was a 2018 Discussion Meet finalist and works full-time on the farm selling and marketing their products directly to consumers. Both are graduates of Ohio Farm Bureau’s intensive leadership institute AgriPOWER. They have two children.

Harter, an environmental manager for Denali Water Solutions, is an active Farm Bureau member from Preble County. He attended the Young Ag Professionals’ Washington, D.C. trip in 2017, has served as residuals committee chair of the Indiana Water Environment Association and as a volunteer of the Preble County Pork Festival.… Continue reading

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Got a hankering to grow hemp?

Consider the gamble: The crop could generate hundreds, even thousands, of dollars per acre. Or, quite possibly, nothing at all.

The market price for CBD oil, which is derived from hemp flowers, has declined recently because of an oversupply on the market. Farmers in some states are awaiting payment for hemp they grew but could not sell. Some other growers are finding it can be very easy for hemp to exceed the legal limit of 0.3% THC; when this happens, the plants must be destroyed.

“Don’t jump in,” said Peggy Hall, an agricultural and resource law field specialist for Ohio State University Extension, the outreach arm of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). “There are a lot of lawsuits already, and we can learn from those if we proceed with caution.”

Now that it’s legal to grow hemp in Ohio, a lot of people are interested in growing the crop, particularly to turn it into CBD oil, lured by high profit potential.… Continue reading

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Film showcases the need for farm safety

By Risë Labig, OCJ marketing specialist

Last weekend my husband and I, along with many others from the local agricultural community, were invited to a screening of the film SILO, a film inspired by true events. It focuses on grain entrapment — a serious safety risk on farms across the U.S.

I have to be honest, I wasn’t thrilled at the prospect of going to see this film. Yet, I knew we needed to. All of us in the ag community know that safety is a huge risk every single day on the farm. Yet, herein lies something we all know to be true: it’s very easy to get comfortable with the risks.

Please go see this film. Is it easy to watch? No. Yet, it was comforting to know that we were sitting amongst a very special group of people who would understand every conversation in this film. People need to understand the risks and need to be reminded that it is so easy for an accident to happen.… Continue reading

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