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of West Central Ohio


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■ Planting time for soybeans page 4

■ Time now for asparagus page 6

■ Keeping horses on their feet page 9

■ Couple raise fancy birds page 10

■ Wonders of Cedar Bog page 15

Editor Jeff Billiel welcomes suggestions from readers of ACRES of West Central Ohio. Forward your comments and/or story ideas to him online at Letters to the editor will also be considered for publication in ACRES and may be emailed to the same address. Letters and comments may also be sent via USPS to Editor, ACRES of West Central Ohio, c/o Sidney Daily News, 1451 N. Vandemark Road, Sidney, OH 45365.

New Ohio Ag Council seeks to promote humane treatment of farm livestock BY MARK FAHEY AND RACHEL LLOYD Not everyone goes into grocery stores in West Central Ohio looking for meat from farms with humane animal treatment. The shrink-wrapped stacks of beef, chicken and pork come from the major sellers, Cargill and National Beef Packing Co., and there hasn’t been much demand voiced for anything else, said Washington Court House Kroger Assistant Head Meat Cutter Randy Monroe, who has worked at the location for 24 years. But at smaller markets, the customer base can be much different, where people frequently are seeking locally and humanely sourced meats. “We get a lot of questions for that,” said Connor Haren, owner of the Troy Meat Shop in Troy since August 2011. Haren said so many customers are interested in the source of their meat that the shop, which gets the majority of its meat locally, tries to “specialize” in humane sourced meats. “People are most definitely interested in where their meat comes from, and it’s becoming more and more.” A new group of Ohio farmers assembled by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is hoping to bring consumers closer to the people that raise their cattle, pigs, chickens and sheep, and to promote farming practices that lead to better treatment of livestock. The new Ohio Agricultural Council of the HSUS, announced at the HSUS Humane Lobby Day on April 24, is one of only three such groups in the nation, following successful efforts in Nebraska and Colorado. The councils are charged with highlighting farmers who use humane animal management, helping consumers connect with those farmers and encouraging other operations to transition to more humane practices. “It’s a good opportunity for all of us in agriculture to have a dialogue with our consumers,” said Joe Maxwell, vice president of outreach and engagement for the HSUS. “That’s what this program is all about.” Maxwell, a fourth generation hog farmer from Missouri, said that the three state agriculture councils, created in October 2011, April 2012, and April 2013, will use suggestions from local farmers to learn about how best to market humane products to consumers. Eventually the program is expected to expand into other agricultural states and across the country. “Each state is very, very different,” Maxwell said. “Ohio is a great place for us to look at and start a council - the agricultural base is very rich and full of great farmers, but it is very different from what we’d find in Nebraska or Colorado.”


TROY MEAT SHOP owner Connor Haren slices a bottom round for jerky. Haren said customers often express the desire for humane sourced meats. The council members, William Miller (Butler County), Mardy Townsend (Ashtabula County), Bruce Rickard (Knox County), Joe Logan (Trumbull County), and Warren Taylor (Meigs County), each work for farms that use sustainable and humane production methods. The five farmers will hold meetings on how to improve agriculture in the state and how to encourage farmers and consumers to invest in operations that chose humane treatment. Mike Bumgarner, vice president for the Ohio Farm Bureau’s Center for Food and Animal Issues, is concerned that the new council doesn’t accurately represent Ohio’s wider farming community. “Our disappointment with what we saw with the council is it doesn’t seem to be very inclusive,” said Bumgarner. “We commend them on the effort, but there is no broad-scale diversity within their production practices. If we’re going to address issues within our farming community we’ll need to have all groups represented.” See Humane/page 2

Farmers using social media to market crops and to promote agriculture as way of life BY MELANIE YINGST


JOE FULTON shows off freshly harvested romaine lettuce he grew using hydropontics on his family’s farm outside of Troy in Miami County. Fulton posted the picture on his Facebook page to help his business. are getting is from a big ice box truck losing all its nutrients along the way to the grocery store that could be 100 miles away.” Fulton said thanks to Smartphone technology, pictures from the field can hit the Internet quickly. Ful-


ton said posting pictures on either his personal Facebook page, or the official Fulton Farms Facebook page is a fun way to get a dialogue going with the public as they feature photos of fresh produce to life See Social/page 2



TROY–With the explosive Internet viral hit, “I’m Farming and I Grow It,” the Peterson Brothers lipsynced their way in to the hearts of Americans and have become national agricultural advocates for the new online generation of farming and its progressive practices. With its success of “I’m Farming and I Grow It” — a parody of pop sensation’s “I’m Sexy and I Know It” by LMFAO — the Peterson Brothers of Kansas harvested their love of farm life and used social media to show off what it means to those who live it, love it and grow it. The Peterson Brothers also have followed up their agri-parody success with “Life of a Farmer” series on YouTube to capture the blood, sweat and yields of the day in the life of a farmer from the feed lot to the fields. The Fulton brothers – Robert, Joseph and Josh — don’t really have the time to make music videos about their love of agriculture, but they do enjoy sharing their fruits of their labor on the social networking giant Facebook. Joe Fulton, 22, recently shared his success of the first time he grew romaine lettuce using hydroponics at a greenhouse located on Fulton Farms, located on State Route 41, outside of Troy in Miami County. “I think it’s neat way to share all the success and hard work that goes in to growing our food,” Joe Fulton said. “Most people don’t get a chance to see their food until they go to the grocery store. I enjoy sharing pictures with people how food just travels from our greenhouse to the market and what other consumers

Acres of West Central Ohio • May 2013 • Page 2

What effect will the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill have in Ohio? If the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill is approved by Congress, what effect will it have on Ohio farmers? Now first, let’s be clear about this. I have no idea if this legislation is ever going to be approved by the Senate and House and then signed by the president. So any impact it might or might not have on the farmers in the Buckeye State is pure speculation. However… there are a few things farmers and those whose business depends on farmers need to know. This new immigration reform bill has a host of supporters, and some of them are a surprise. According the Ohio Farm Bureau, one of the supporters of the new bill is the Agricultural Workforce Coalition, of which the OFB is a part. The new bill with all its parts was introduced in April, and the Agricultural Workforce Coalition announced that the bill “represents an improvement over the current system and deserves support.” According to the OFB, the agricultural portion of the legislation includes two critical principles. The first is the creation of a ‘Blue Card’ program for experienced farm workers. Under the ‘Blue Card’ program, experienced agricultural workers can obtain legal status by satisfying criteria such as passing a

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ates a new agricultural worker visa program that allows agricultural employers to hire guest workers either under contract or at-will. Visa holders will be able Outlook to work in the country under a three-year visa and work for any designated agricultural employer. The program will be administered by the USDA. I am not sure if most Ohio farmers are aware that these provisions are in the bill, and even once they know this, if they would support the creation of this “Blue Card” program for immigrant farm workers and the creation of a USDA-administered farm worker visa program. But, with the support of farm organizations behind it such as the OFB, that means that Ohio legislators will be more likely to vote in favor of the bill. In other words: If my constituents are in favor of it, I am in favor of it too, and will vote accordingly. We will see how Ohio’s lawmakers will vote on this background check, paying a fine and proving that appliimmigration reform bill. I would not be surprised if cable taxes have been paid. Blue Card workers would there are more “yes” votes than anyone would have exbe required to continue to work in agriculture before pected from southern Ohio House members. What do having the opportunity to qualify for a green card. The second title of the bill establishes an agricultural you think of the provisions? Gary Brock is editor-in-chief of ACRES. worker program for future guest workers. The bill cre-

Gary Brock


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Maxwell said that the founding members of the council were largely selected because they had been active in communicating with or working with the HSUS in the past. Additional farmers will be encouraged to join the council after approval from existing members. The HSUS has worked with the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board in recent years to implement a number of reforms, including phasing out veal crates, gestation crates and battery cages, three longtime targets of animal rights activists. Bumgarner said that the creation of the new council implies that the existing board, which has been open to input from all citizens in the state for several years, is not adequate. “It seems to be suggesting that their judgment is better, that they know better about what our standards ought to be,” said Bumgarner. Maxwell disagreed with that interpretation, saying that the board’s success had been one of the factors that had lead the HSUS to consider Ohio as the next state to establish a council in the first place. “We are actually very proud of the Care Standards Board and commend the Farm Bureau,” he said. “One reason we selected Ohio is that agriculture leaders have stepped up to the plate and are really taking on these tough inhumane activities.” Still, many Ohio farmers seem wary of the Humane Society. Bumgarner said that there are significant differences of opinion between the HSUS and many of the Farm Bureau’s members. Some of the organization’s suggestions, including the “Three R’s of eating with a conscience,” - refining dietary choices by switching to products with high welfare standards, reducing consumption of animal products, and replacing animal products with plant-base options seem directly at odds with the economic interests of continued from page 1 farmers in the meat industry, he said. Ellen Joslin, of Sidney, a member of the Ohio Farm behind the tractor’s steering wheel. Bureau board of trustees, said that farmers are al“Oh it’s great to show people what’s happening out ways working to ensure their animals are properly in our fields,” Fulton said. “I love all the questions cared for and that they are happy to work with the people ask and what people are excited to see return- Care Standards Board. ing to the market during the year. “We fought hard for the Care Standards Board,” Facebook helps show the public how we go about Joslin said. “It’s working well and that’s what we doing what we do,” Fulton said. “I can just snap a pic- want to continue to work for.” ture and load it to Facebook to share what’s going on Joslin and husband Rob no longer raise animals on in our greenhouse with friends and public who buy their farm, but they previously have raised beef catfrom the market and hope it encourages others to tle and hogs, and Rob grew up on a dairy farm. buy local grown produce.” “Dairy farmers will tell you, they spend more time The Ohio State University ATI graduate studied with ‘the girls’ than they do their friends and family,” with plant pathologist Mike Ellis to learn new agriJoslin said. “At no time does any farmer want to see culture practices at the university’s research center their animals mistreated or treated badly. you take and enjoys the finer points of growing produce with care of them because that’s an important part of your hydroponics as well as “traditional” growing methwork and your life.” ods. Mardy Townsend, a founding council member who “Ellis is a really good grower and got me interesting in hydroponics — it’s going to be huge — it’s defi- runs a 125-head grass-fed cattle farm in northeast Ohio, said that the idea that the HSUS is a vegetarnitely the way of the future,” Fulton said. Fulton, along with older brother Robert, plan on ian organization like some other groups is a misconexpanding the hydroponics system in the coming ception. months, including attending a two-week seminar in “The Humane Society of the United States is an Florida on how to effectively use hydroponics on an animal welfare group, not an animal rights group, even bigger scale and larger greenhouse. and that’s a very important distinction,” Townsend Fulton said using all the skills and agriculture said. “I can guarantee, knowing a lot of HSUS mempractices his first year at Fulton Farms has been ex- bers, that they’re not all vegetarians.” citing and something he has been looking forward to. Townsend said the HSUS encourages people to reFulton recently shared numerous pictures of the duce their meat consumption because the organizasuccess of his lettuce grown with hydroponics in the tion is concerned about living in a world with finite greenhouse on Fulton Farms on his personal Faceresources. book page. “Not everybody in the world can consume the “I was just so excited I had to share it on Faceamount of meat that we do in this country. There is book,” Fulton said. “I mean, the root system was huge no way to produce that amount of meat, and you can and the lettuce took two weeks less to grow comproduce more vegetables or more grain on the same pared to how it grows out in the fields and that is a piece of ground,” she said. “That’s what’s behind their really big deal.” thinking that we should not be consuming the Fulton, who was out in the field checking asparaamount that we do right now.” gus, said using social media tools like Facebook is a The main goal of the new council, Townsend said, great way to keep the general public aware of agriis not to criticize the Care Standards Board or Ohio’s culture practices and growing techniques. “It’s a cool way to get people to think about what it farmers, but to connect the state’s 480,000 HSUS all takes to get something as simple as lettuce to the members with producers employing a certain type of plate,” Fulton said. “We’re in the CSA program and agricultural practices. Despite his misgivings, Bumthe consumer can stay connected with that program garner said the Farm Bureau approves of the counthrough Facebook cil’s effort to make it easier for consumers to We are able to show our consumers what we have understand where their food originates. to offer that just came straight out of the fields in a “Any time there’s questions about food and where fun way, too,” Fulton said. it’s coming from, we’re open to dialogue,” he said. “I Fulton also said he enjoys sharing the joy of work- think consumers do want to know where their food ing with his grandparents, Bill and Joyce Fulton, his comes from and I think consumers should have brothers and his mother Beverly Fulton in both the greenhouses and around the family farm. “They just have helped me so much and I appreciate all the hard work they’ve done with me,” Fulton said. “I really enjoy spending time in the greenhouses nkamp’s Frenchtow e l l u n — I’m excited to see what we come up with next.” F Trailer Sales & Supply Co. 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ACRES Midwest is an agriculture-focused community publication owned by Civitas Media and distributed in 36 Ohio counties, as well as four counties in Indiana and Kentucky. “We have been developing the MyOwn® brand since 2007 with various community specific specialty and marketing products,” said Michael Bush, CEO & president of Civitas Media. “When we reviewed the ACRES Midwest product we were very excited by the possibilities this agriculture-focused product would bring to the table for its current and future readership and knew we would add ACRES Midwest to our MyOwn brand of products.” The MyOwn® brand was established in 2007 when the former Heartland Publications, LLC launched its MyOwn® Community Directories in rural communities across its markets. “The MyOwn® brand is just what it suggests.” stated Lynn McLamb, Civitas Media’s director of revenue enhancement services. “It’s a brand meant to fill a void and build partnership and togetherness in the communities Civitas Media serves; whether the community is based on specific locality or groups sharing common interests.” “After much discussion we reached a decision to re-brand the product as MyOwn® Rural Life, with plans to continue the quality local and regional editorial content our readership has come to rely on in print and online.” The ACRES Midwest product will begin publishing under its new brand beginning with the June 2013 edition.



choices. Any time you try to connect consumers with where their food comes from, that’s a good thing.” The council is planning on looking at existing systems for connecting consumers with farmers with good practices and will adopt a system that works well in Ohio. The system would help Ohio’s farmers take advantage of the state’s better animal welfare practices, said Maxwell. Dr. Paul J. Hunter, of Minster Veterinary Services, has been taking care of livestock for 30 years, and he has seen few signs of mistreatment of the animals. “I’m not saying it doesn’t occur,” he said, “But it’s not widespread and the rules we have in place are sufficient.” Hunter said Ohio has been a leader in proposing and implementing improved care standards for livestock, and over his years in the veterinary business, he said things have improved for the animals. “The humane situations have improved over the years,” Hunter said. “The people who weren’t doing thing properly are out of business, and the people who are taking care of their animals are doing well because their animals are doing well for them.” Hunter said people should not confuse the HSUS with their local humane society-type groups. “HSUS is an animal-rights group seeking to eliminate animals in agriculture,” Hunter said. “It’s a political action group that does not support local shelters or things that.” Right now, there is no good way for a consumer to go to the grocery store and know whether he or she is buying meat that has come from a humane source, said Daniel Hauff, an animal rights activist who has worked for Mercy for Animals and PETA. Maxwell agreed with Hauff that the majority of animals products currently come from factory farm models. The HSUS associates the rise of factory farming with increased abuse and the decline of the family farm. According to the organization, an increase in industrial animal production over recent decades corresponded with the loss of 95 percent of the nation’s egg farmers, 90 percent of its pig farmers, and 40 percent of its cattle farmers. “At some point operations get so large and they lose the simple focus on the animal,” said Maxwell. “I like to reinforce on my farm that I’m a pig producer, not a pork producer.” Maxwell said that although larger corporate-controlled farms may find it more difficult to make humane decisions, it is possible for all farming operations to transition to more humane methods. Townsend said she would certainly be open to bringing some larger producers onto the council and is especially seeking hog and poultry farmers to join. “There are good animal practices for all species, and for someone to be on the council they would need to be willing to abide by those standards,” Townsend said. “Size is not the issue as much as the actual practices.” For grass-fed beef producers like Townsend, she said the operation didn’t require very many changes to be in line with what the HSUS recommends, and the council’s efforts to connect producers with enthusiastic consumers may bring better prices for those products and help motivate other farmers to make the switch. “If other producers want to join with us, that’s great. If not, the free market rules,” she said. “All farmers need to make tough decisions about their production methods, no matter what animal you’re raising, and it’s always hard to change your production methods.” Mark Fahey writes for The Record-Herald in Washington Court House and Rachel Lloyd writes for the Sidney Daily News.



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Acres of West Central Ohio • May 2013 • Page 3

Logan County woman gives farm advice Alison Adams operates Countryside Consulting to benefit area farmers BY ELAINE SCHWELLER-SNYDER DEGRAFF - Alison Adams started life as a typical farm girl. Now she shows others how to make a living off the land. “I was the oldest of three girls so that made me ‘the boy’,” said Alison. “As soon as I could walk, I was following dad out to the barn; I was a real tomboy. I loved being outside, feeding the animals and riding on the tractor.” The former Alison Ward lived grew up just a few miles from where she and her husband Chris Adams now live on Route 202 in DeGraff, Logan County. The 150 acres on which they live is part of a total of 500 acres owned and farmed by her parents. Chris is a full-time music teacher with the Sidney City Schools. A 1999 graduate of Riverside High School, Alison went to Wilmington College for a double major in agriculture and education. Her intention was to teach vocational agriculture classes but she could not find a teaching position after graduation. Instead she spent five years in agriculture retail, selling fertilizer and other crop inputs. Along the way, she began dating Chris whom she had met when he was the band director at Riverside. Chris was teaching at Valley View High School when they married. When a position opened in the Sidney school system, the couple saw it as an opportunity to return to the family farm in DeGraff. While working in retail, Alison had friends who were starting their own agriculture businesses. Through them, she saw that farmers were willing to pay for crop advice from someone who was unbiased and not trying to sell products. As she continued to investigate the possibilities, she realized that there was a real need for crop management consulting in her home area. Once back in DeGraff, Alison began her own business, Countryside Consulting. “It was a chance to be my own boss, make my own schedule,” said Alison. “We were having a family and although we help dad with the farm especially during the busy spring planting and fall harvesting seasons, I wanted a job other than retail so I had the flexibility to spend time at home with our little ones.” Like her parents, Alison and Chris have three daughters, although it is too early to tell if they will inherit the desire to work the family farm. Kaitlyn is 5, Emily 2, and Lila, 9 months. Through her business, Alison works closely with other agronomic consulting firms, including CropStar Consulting in Arcanum and Performance Ag in Lake-

Women In Agriculture view. She has about 40 clients who depend on her expertise. “The majority of the work is scouting fields,” she said. “We make sure that the crops are bug-free and disease-free, that the ground is not too dry. If the crop is not coming up well or if something is hurting growth, we advise. We don’t sell anything but we recommend what products and amounts to use.” She also does soil sampling, some in the spring but mostly in the fall. She puts together figures for the amount of products needed to get the best yield. The idea is to make the ground better than it was the year before by balancing the ph levels, and adjusting the amount of fertilizer and herbicides. “Everything we do is about economics,” she continued. “Our recommendations are designed to get the farmer the best yield for the least cost.” Consultants look for published materials that forecast which bugs and diseases might be attacking crops so they know how to advise farmers. “This is an odd-numbered year so we will be looking for soybean aphids,” said Alison. “How the bugs know what year it is, I don’t know, but they are always more prevalent in the odd-numbered years so we will be scouting for these in August. Our job is to stay ahead of the game so that farmers are not caught off guard.” To that end, Adams and her fellow consultants meet with all the clients during the winter months to discuss seeds, fertilizers, and other trends in farming. They can then make plans for how to maximize yield in the coming year. Most of her clients raise corn and beans, as does her dad on the family farm. “Dad has 90 percent corn and beans, and a little hay and wheat.” said Alison. “We have some pigs and dad has bulls but we butcher just to feed our own family.” Chris, who was raised as a “city kid” in Kettering, learned the art of butchering from his cooperating teacher when he was student teaching. He was drawn to the family atmosphere of everyone working together. Without that experience, he probably would not have been so attracted to Alison and life on the family farm. “It is a team effort and he really enjoys


ALISON ADAMS checks out weed growth in the soil on the land of her family’s farm. that,” said Alison. “When we are planting or harvesting, we work with mom and dad, and my two sisters and their husbands come and help out too.” They have chickens and a large vegetable garden. “We have green beans, cucumbers, squash, lettuce, asparagus, strawberries,” said Chris. “We like to grow our own because we know what we are eating, without preservatives and additives like you may find in supermarket produce.” “Most people today don’t understand farming,” said Alison. “Years ago, there were so many more farms and so many people involved in farming. Today, only 2 percent of the workforce is involved in agriculture and those workers are growing the food for the other 98 percent of the population. We need smart people to care for the land so that the food supply stays strong for years to come.” This farm girl is making sure that happens, at least in southern Logan County. Elaine Schweller-Snyder writes for the Sidney Daily News.

Answering the call of the wild fugi could result in epicurean delight Like many other residents of west-central Ohio, I have spent my share of time recently in local woods searching for the delectable and often elusive spring Reflections mushrooms. The goal of most hunts is the choice morel, or as it is commonly called, the sponge mushroom. The late spring this year has delayed harvest, but a good rain followed by a warm, sunny day just about guarantees mushrooms will be popping out of the ground. Still, finding them can take a little knowhow, and often just as much luck. MOST DELICIOUS Considered one of the most delicious of all mushrooms, the morel resembles a cone-shaped sponge and is pitted like a honeycomb. It seems to grow best among leaves in open woods, but is often found in grassy areas as well. When dipped in milk or beaten egg and then rolled in flour or cornmeal, and fried to toxins, they should be eaten in moderation. Many a a golden brown, it is a treat beyond compare. successful hunt has ended in sickness when people Since all mushrooms contain varying amounts of consumed too much of a good thing. Plus, the fact that they are usually fried—often in butter—makes them especially rich, another reason to avoid a second helping. As satisfying as eating spring mushrooms can be, the real pleasure is in hunting them. And every veteran “mushroomer” has his secret spots and his own techniques for locating the prized fungi. PROCEED SLOWLY In my experience, one of the keys to successful hunting is to proceed slowly. When I first began looking for mushrooms I had little luck, cruising the woods too fast for careful inspection of the ground. When I finally learned to slow down and scrutinize my surroundings, I started to find what I was looking for. Sometimes the mushrooms pop up in clearings and are impossible to overlook. But in most cases they are tucked in among clumps of dead leaves, in stands


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of grass and among debris surrounding the base of dead elm trees. Most of the mushrooms I have ever found have been near dead or dying elms, with many being on hillsides facing east. While occasionally I have found only a single mushroom, such as one discovered on my lawn while mowing grass recently, they are usually found in groups. Upon locating one, I circle the area and often find others growing nearby. Recently an initial discovery led to more than 90 gray and yellow morels found in a small area. Just a short distance away a bonanza of more than 30 was discovered. Two days later I revisited these sites and found even more. Mushrooms are nature’s masters of camouflage. I have often combed every inch of a particular area until I was satisfied there were no more morels left, and in a final pass found several previously missed including some I had actually stepped on. OTHER MUSHROOMS While there are other types of edible mushrooms to be found in local woods and fields, I feel confident in gathering only three species: the morel, found in spring; and the puffball and sulfur shelf (commonly called chicken-of-the-woods), found in late summer and fall. Since some forms of fungi are poisonous, it is vital to consume only those of which you are absolutely confident. Searching for mushrooms can be addictive. Not only is it a treasure hunt that can produce mouthwatering results, but it gets you outdoors when the woods are bejeweled with spring flowers and new life. The exercise is also beneficial and a mushroom outing can be a rewarding family experience. A possible woodland bonanza awaits.




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Acres of West Central Ohio • May 2013 • Page 4

Acreage to beans decision based on particular rotation BY STEPHANI DUFF As corn planting season comes to an end for local farmers, soybean planting is quickly becoming the priority. Similar to factors that help determine how much acreage to corn will be planted, the decision on acreage to beans is decided largely on the farmers’ particular rotation. Tom Smith, a Logan County farmer explained that his rotation includes soybeans, wheat and hay. John Smith, Auglaize County Ohio State Extension officer explained the rotation as well. “A lot of times farmers will base their acreage to soybean decision on the amount of corn that was planted previously; they also often alternate the planting schedule every other year.” A lot of farmers use no-till when planting soybeans and Tom Smith exAcres planted plains what to soybeans in 2012 the preparations for ■ Auglaize: 89,000 soybean ■ Champaign: 81,800 planting look like for ■ Clark: 64,000 his farm. “Because ■ Logan: 85,100 we are no■ Miami: 78,300 till the only ■ Shelby: 89,200 preparation we really do is to spray burndown to take care of weeds; part of the spray is residual to take care of weeds until they reach canopy,” Tom Smith said. John Smith further explained what goes into the no-till planting process. “Farmers that are no till will often go back into the old corn crop and plant the soybeans,” he said. “Farmers typically plant 170 to 170,000 soybean seeds per acre, according to an Ohio State University study, and most will plant those in 7- to 8-inch rows,” John Smith said of the planting process. There aren’t as many risks with planting soybeans

Salute to youth


MIAMI COUNTY farmer Brian Swank, of Swank Farms, fills a John Deere planter with Pioneer soybean seed. too early as the Ohio weather is usually warmer perature for soybean planting is between 50 and 60 around soybean planting time, but Tom Smith exdegrees and it is helpful if we can receive several plained the few risks involved. sunny days with temperatures up into the seventies. “My brother sows the soybeans around the twenti- What you do want to stay away from, however, is eth of April; we usually wait until that date because damp ground.” if we plant too soon and the temperature of the Tom Smith explained that the range of yields for ground gets too cool or too wet, we will lose a percent- soybeans depends on the year, but are typically beage of our stand,” Smith said. “The ideal ground tem- tween 35-70 and the average is about 55. While most say that soy ranks behind corn as far as income, Tom Smith believes soybeans to be just as important as corn. “I find that soybeans and corn are equally important in West Central Ohio because due to the fact that it is part of a rotation and, for our planting cycle, is a part of the wheat cycles, it adds nitrogen to the soil for growing crop,” Tom Smith explained. John Smith seconds Tom’s statement. “Soybeans are the No. 1 money producer in completed an internship Auglaize County and corn is No. 2; this may not be with AgriGold Hybrids true in every county or in all of Ohio, but it would be and worked as a crop accurate for counties with heavy livestock,” he said. scout for Performance Ag, LLC. She plans to work for Stephani Duff writes for Beck’s Hybrids as a crop the Troy Daily News. scout in the summer of 2013. Shelby aspires to own a crop consulting business to benefit soybean producers. Seger is majoring in agricultural communications with a concentration in the area of broadcasting and journalism at OSU and MANN will be a junior in the fall of 2013. Stacie is a member of the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow, Saddle and Sirloin Club and also represents the OSU CFAES as a campus ambassador. She will intern with Ohio Ag Net this summer PHOTO PROVIDED and has studied abroad in Ecuador, Ireland and THIS PHOTO shows soybeans being planted at the Brazil. Stacie would like to work in a career educatBerg farm, south of Wapakoneta, using the ing the public and farmers about the soybean indusno-till process with a John Deere grain drill try and the great advances being made. on a Case-IH tractor. Established by the Ohio Soybean Council in 2007, the Ohio Soybean Council Foundation is a 501c(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the improveOHIO STONE WORKS ment of the soybean industry with the support of sci& Monument Company entific research and education. • Monument Sales Headquartered in Worthington, the Ohio Soybean • Cemetery Lettering Council is governed by a volunteer farmer board, • Stone Drilling & Coring • Custom Boulder Fountains which directs the Soybean Promotion and Research • Pet Memorials Program. The program’s primary goal is to improve • Headstone & Memorial Cleaning soybean profitability by targeting research and deProudly Serving Champaign velopment, education and promotion projects and Surrounding Counties! through the investment of farmer-contributed funds (checkoff). Call 937.543.8616

Two Shelby County youths receive Soybean Foundation scholarships WORTHINGTON – The Ohio Soybean Council Foundation (OSCF) has announced recipients of OSCF scholarships for the 2013-2014 academic year, including two from Shelby County. An undergraduate scholarship of $3,000 was awarded to Shelby Mann of Jackson Center and the third annual $3,000 Farmer, Lumpe + McClelland (FLM) Scholarship, awarded to a student in the SEGER field of agricultural communications or business, went to Stacie Seger of Fort Loramie. This is the sixth year for the OSCF Scholarship Program, which was created to encourage undergraduate students to pursue careers in agriculture, as well as to support ongoing graduate-level research. All OSCF scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis to full-time students enrolled at an Ohio college or university. “We received a record number of applications this year and every year the competition gets tougher,” said Tom Fontana, OSCF director of programs and development. “We believe the scholarships are an important part of strengthening the future of Ohio’s soybean industry and we are happy with the winners who represent a wide variety of academic disciplines.” Mann is majoring in agriculture with a concentration in the area of agronomy at Wilmington College and will be a junior in the fall of 2013. Shelby is currently a member of Aggies, Delta Theta Sigma Lil Sis sorority, Agronomy Club and Collegiate 4-H. Shelby


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Acres of West Central Ohio • May 2013 • Page 5

Advice offered to area pond owners on keeping them viable, productive BY CAROLINE MCCOLLOCH


EUGENE BRAIG, a fisheries biologist with the OSU extension service, takes questions from the audience. As ponds age they tend to accumulate sediment, which creates a high oxygen demand due to organic matter from plants and animals sinking to the bottom to decompose. Another important phenomenon is stratification, which means different layers of water at different temperatures. Mixing of water of different temperatures and oxygen levels can change with depth or seasonal conditions, making ponds at risk for fish kills. Nutrient management is the most common challenge. In shallow ponds with emergent vegetation such as filamentous algae (common moss that floats on top), physical removal with the right tools might be an option. Biological control with plant eating fish such as grass carp is another possibility. However, their effectiveness depends on the type of vegetation and the level of infestation. It may take 2-3 years to assess their effectiveness. Typical stocking rates are between 5 and 20 fish per acre depending on the above parameters. Chemical control of pond vegetation is by far the most common method. As with any technology, there are always “side effects” that should be considered and managed for minimal impact. First you must identify the type of vegetation and the volume of your pond. Then an appropriate product can be selected. But by far the most important aspect of using herbicides to manage vegetation is carefully following the

application instructions and proper timing of application. Generally, spring applications should be avoided to minimize the impact to spawning and young fish (fry). Shading chemicals work by preventing sunlight from reaching plants, so as to prevent photosynthesis (how all plants obtain energy). It is better to apply shading chemicals before the spring burst of vegetative growth. The other main concern for pond owners is fish kill, which can be from disease, toxins (least likely), or causes related to vertical temperature stratification (thermocline) and associated dissolved oxygen issues. Warmer water lies near the top, as does most oxygen producing vegetation. Colder, denser water lies near the bottom and is usually oxygen deficient because the decomposing muck on the bottom creates oxygen demand. And there are seasonal variations to this general phenomenon. If weather conditions such as a cold rain in late summer cause the top oxygen-rich layers to mix prematurely with bottom oxygen-depleted layers of water, a summer fish kill can result as fish literally suffocate. Commonly referred to as “turnover” this mixing of top and bottom layers occurs naturally each fall as air temperatures gradually drop. But shallow ponds with lots of vegetation are susceptible to a premature turnover if too much vegetation is decomposing and/or cold

Drive under way to create farm for autistic adults WEST CARROLLTON - Nancy Bernotatis of West Carrollton is heading up a fundraising effort to generate $3 million to $4 million to establish a working farm community for autistic adults in southwest Ohio. Bernotatis heads Good Works Farm, a new nonprofit group that seeks to establish the third farm community for adults with autism. She said the fundraising drive is planned for the next four years. She is the former president of the Dayton chapter of the Autism Society of America. Current adult residential programs at Safe Haven Farm near Middletown and Bittersweet Farms in the Toledo area have waiting lists. The Centers for Disease Control report

autism has increased by about 20 percent since 2000. It has been estimated 1.5 million Americans have been diagnosed with autism, including more than 5,500 children in Ohio. It is the fastest-growing development disability, experts report. Don Oda II, a Warren County Common Pleas Court judge and board member of Safe Haven Farm, said with the growing number of children with autism becoming teenager and

adults, new ways of providing services will be needed. Opened in 1983, Bittersweet Farms offers 20 residences with a wide range of programs, including jobs in the management of community gardens and the production of items like pesto sauce and cookies. Within five years, Good Works Farm hopes to offer 20 residences, as well as day programs for autistic adults and summer camps for autistic children.

Shelby Fish Farm

Pond Stocking Fish Ornamental Fish Windmills & Aerators Pond Supplies Steve Heitman 419-733-5090


PARTICIPANTS AT the annual pond clinic hear speakers indoors due to it being a cold and blustery day.

late summer rains change the thermocline profile so as to cause vertical mixing with oxygen depleted bottom layers of cold water. Mechanical aeration is the usual management strategy, but this must be applied before a strong temperature gradient sets up in early summer. The most common combinations of fish species in Ohio ponds are largemouth bass, bluegill, and channel catfish. Other species are less desirable because they tend to become dominant, out-competing the more desirable species. These include crappies, green sunfish and common carp. Stocking rates for new or renovated ponds typically average 100 to 500 fingerlings per acre depending on the combination of species chosen.

Attendees enjoyed the Batdorf’s large pond, with its picnic shelter, diving platform, and excellent water quality. The couple stock bass, bluegill, channel catfish and redear sunfish. A large part of their 140 acres cropped with corn, soybeans and wheat forms the watershed to the pond; they follow an annual vegetation management program. For advice and more detailed recommenda-

tions, contact your local Soil and Water Conservation District: Miami SWCD at 335-7645; Shelby SWCD at 4926520; or Darke SWCD at 548-1715. Your SWCD also can provide at no cost an excellent resource publication entitled Ohio Pond Management Handbook. Caroline McColloch writes for the Piqua Daily Call

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DAN AND Tawnie Batdorf of Covington, stand in front of their pond, which is used for many recreational purposes.


COVINGTON - Although April 16 was a cold and blustery day, about 20 devoted pond owners turned out at the farm of Dan and Tawni Batdorf in Covington to share experiences and ask questions of Fisheries Biologists and local technicians from the Miami, Darke and Shelby county Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs). Kip Brown of the Ohio Division of Wildlife and Eugene Braig of OSU Extension were on hand to assist local pond owners in making management decisions. Jennifer Korte, district technician from Miami SWCD and organizer of this year’s annual event, joined other technicians Dave Heilers (Shelby SWCD), and Doug Steinbrunner (Darke SWCD) to offer services in site evaluation and soil testing—important preliminaries. District technicians are frequently involved in the design and construction of ponds as well, among other natural resource management assistance services. Often landowners purchase a property that already has a pond, though many are building anew. Multiple design features, unique to each site, should be considered for maximum benefit not only to the owners’ goals for its use, but also for enhancing wildlife habitat and managing invasive plants. Owners of ponds built before their arrival still have many management options even without having had a hand in the design. Most people want to have a pond for fishing, beauty, or picnics and social venues. Additionally, attracting birds, amphibians, and other aquatic life are common reasons for having a pond. Understanding natural aquatic processes is an important aspect of being a good steward of your pond habitat. Whether natural or man-made, all inland lakes and ponds undergo a process called eutrophication. This means that nutrients (e.g. fertilizers, wildlife feces, possibly septic system drainage) from various sources gradually impact the water quality as surface water enters with each rain event. Thus there is often a need to manage nutrients.


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Acres of West Central Ohio • May 2013 • Page 6


Spring ushers in rhubard, asparagus season in Ohio BY LOLA E. BILLIEL

dening expert who explained how to harvest asparagus all summer long by Spring has finally decided to stay in staggering the harvest. Using this technique, and adding new recipes, the PutOhio and with its arrival come two of the more tasty delights in local gardens erbaugh family enjoys asparagus not - rhubarb and asparagus. Each lends it- only during spring, but right up until fall. self to scores of recipes, and several area cooks have agreed to share some of their favorites. Often called the “pie plant,” rhubarb contains a fair amount of potassium, vitamin C, vitamin A, dietary fiber and calcium. In China it is believed to have medicinal properties. Ohio is well suited for growing rhubarb, which likes a fertile, well-drained soil with lots of good organic matter. When properly cared for, rhubarb stays healthy and productive for many years. The leafstalks are edible, but the leaves contain oxalic acid and should not be eaten. Asparagus is a member of the lily family and a well cared for asparagus SDN Photo/MARY ELLEN EGBERT patch will produce for LORI PUTERBAUGH with her Asparagus Tomato Salad. 15 to 20 years. After planting, harvest should not take place Below, Puterbaugh provides a recipe during the first three years to allow the used by Mike Caulfield, award winning crowns to develop strong fibrous root executive chef at the Oak Tree Dining systems. When harvesting, the larger Room for Independent Living at the the diameter of the spears, the better Dorothy Love Retirement Community. the quality. “I liked this recipe so much that I Asparagus is a nutrient-dense food, asked Chef Mike to make samples for high in folic acid and a good source of potassium, fiber, vitamin B6, vitamins me to take to an asparagus class I was A and C, and thiamin. It has no fat and teaching at a local church,” she said. “It stole the show.” no cholesterol and is low in sodium. One can find an abundance of recipes for both these spring crops in cookAsparagus Tomato Salad books and on the Internet. The followServes 4.Prep/time: 30 minutes ing have been tested by local gourmets Dressing: and determined to be first rate. 2 tablespoons lemon juice ——— 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar Homegrown asparagus 1/2 garlic clove minced has devoted fan 1/2 teas dijon mustard 1/4 teaspoon dried basil Lori Puterbaugh of St. Paris, in 1/4 teaspoon salt Champaign County, planted an aspara1/8 teaspoon pepper gus bed in 2003 before ever trying the Salad: vegetable. Now she’s a devoted fan. 12 fresh asparagus spears, cut into 1 Puterbaugh, who is independent ac1/2 inch pieces tivity director for Dorothy Love Retire3 small tomatoes, seeded and diced ment Community in Sidney, noted she 1 small red onion, sliced or diced and her husband bought a house at In a medium bowl, whisk together Kiser Lake in 2002. dressing ingredients; set aside. The fact that asparagus is a perenPlace asparagus in a large saucepan nial crop that generally lasts for 20 years appealed to Puterbaugh’s desire with enough water to cover; cook until to have food storage for her family. “We crisp-tender. Drain and cool. Combine asparagus, tomatoes and have 3 children and 4 grandchildren onion in bowl. Pour dressing over salad; and like to practice a bit of self sufficiency. A crop that can be harvested for toss to coat. Serve immediately or refrigerate. so many years from one planting Optional: Substitute dressing with sounded intriguing to me,” she said. favorite commercial Italian dressing. Puterbaugh purchased 25 of an all——— male hybrid and her son, Robert, helped her prepare the 27-foot bed Strawberry-rhubarb pie along a fence row. He joked, saying he was pleased she wouldn’t be able to eat a sure-to-please dessert any of it until he returned from a 2year mission to the Islands of Tonga, Joyce Luthman of Minster, in for which he would be leaving that Auglaize County, has always liked to year. bake, especially pies. And this is the A lengthy waiting time is why Puter- time of year when her thoughts turn to baugh quoted this phrase in a teaching that wondrous combination of strawpamphlet she wrote about growing the berry and rhubarb. vegetable: “Asparagus: an abundance of While she likes to cook in general, harvest for the patient gardener. Days pies are by far her specialty - and what to harvest- radishes 25-40, lettuce 40she usually brings to family gatherings. 50, asparagus about 750 days!” Her forte is fruit pies, with apple being “It’s very tempting to snap off the her favorite, although her family spears those first 2 years when you see them emerging, but it’s best to give the crown 2 good growing seasons, allowing the spears to grow into fern to collect the nutritious sunlight it needs to P.O. Box 13, 9109 State Route 66 last so many years.” Fort Loramie, OH 45845-0013 Since the first 25 937-295-2801 crowns were planted in Toll Free 800-295-2801 Fax: 937-295-3768 2003, the Puterbaughs Since 1950 have added 25 more and We make service our business! Lori has conducted Farm • Home • Factory classes about planting Gasoline • Diesel Fuel • Heating Oil and growing asparagus. K-1 Kerosene • Motor Oil • Anti-Freeze Always one who likes to Serving Shelby, Auglaize, Miami, Darke & Mercer counties learn, she collects recipes Small deliveries to large transport loads, we can handle all to try different ways to your needs cook asparagus. In 2009 Automatic Delivery• Competitive prices she read a book by a gar2388417

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prefers cherry. When she’s not cooking or baking, Luthman enjoys perusing cookbooks – always looking for new recipes to try. She likes experimenting with different fruit combinations and admits toying with the idea of baking as a second career. Both she and husJOYCE LUTHMAN band Mark Luthman grew up in Wapakoneta. They have four grown children and Joyce is itching to get her hands on some grandchildren. She went to Miami University and then became a teacher. She said she loves working with children as they learn to read and write. She is retiring this spring after 30 years in the classroom, teaching mainly special education classes and first grade. Joyce was the middle of seven children, but the oldest daughter. Because of this, she learned to cook and sew at her mother’s side. The Luthmans like to spend time traveling, hiking and camping. Joyce also enjoys reading and is looking forward to gardening this year with her daughter, and to spending time with her mother and friends. Below, she shares one of her favorite recipes.

Hospice and Richard’s Chapel Soup kitchen. She enjoys working at Cove Springs Grange and cooking for them at the Miami County Fair. She is also on the Art Hall Committee for the fair. She enjoys judging bake goods at several area fairs. Every Wednesday Honeyman makes the desserts for the soup kitchen. She notes they plan meals that are cost efficient, with foods that are available, often using donated items. When not cooking, Honeyman enjoys spending time with her friends and family, reading and visiting Amish country. She and her husband spend time at Lake Michigan, near Shelby, which is the asKAREN HONEYMAN paragus capitol of the state. She also has a stand of rhubarb growing at her home. Below are two of Honeyman’s favorite spring recipes, featuring both asparagus and rhubarb.

Rhubarb Strawberry Crunch

Crust: Combine 2 cups flour, 2 cups brown sugar, 1 cup cold margarine, 2 cups quick oats. Press half of crumbs into greased 9 x 13 inch pan. Top with 6 Ann’s Favorite cups fresh or frozen (thawed) rhubarb that has been chopped. Rhubarb Strawberry Pie In saucepan, combine 1 cup sugar, 2 Pastry for 9-inch two-crust pie tablespoons cornstarch. Stir in 1 cup 1 1/3 cups sugar water. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 1/3 cup all-purpose flour 2 minutes or until thick. Remove from 1/2 teaspoon orange peel (optional) heat and add 1 teaspoon vanilla. Pour 2 cups cut up rhubarb over rhubarb. Sprinkle with 1 three2 cups sliced strawberries ounce package strawberry Jello (dry). 2 tablespoons margarine or butter Top with remaining crumbs. Bake in Mix ingredients and pour into pie 350 degree oven for 40 to 45 minutes or shell. Top with butter and pie crust. Cut slits into top of crust. Bake 40 to 50 until rhubarb is tender. minutes at 425 degrees. Cover edges— Asparagus Potato Soup remove last 15 minutes. ——— 1 1/4 cups chicken broth 3 potatoes, peeled and cubed Honeyman’s always 1/3 cup chopped onion whipping up something 1 teaspoon salt good to eat 1 1/2 cups milk 2 tablespoons flour Karen Honeyman of Troy, in Miami 1/2 pound asparagus chopped County, knows and appreciates good 1 cup Velveeta cheese (cubed) food. She serves as a culinary judge at Combine broth, potatoes, onions, and local fairs, cooks for a Grange booth, salt in a large saucepan and cook over and is a volunteer at a soup kitchen. See recipes/page 7 But she also enjoys cooking and baking for her family. Karen and husband Larry live on a 60-acre farm and have a daughter, son-in-law and three COMPLETE Home grandsons. Remodeling She has worked for the • Additions • Garages • Decks & Roofs Miami County Farm Bu• Drywall • Room Additions • Kitchens reau, Agriculture Co-ops • Baths • Siding • Texturing & Painting and the Miami County Small Jobs Welcome Agricultural Society. After Call Jim at retiring, she became a volJT’S PAINTING & DRYWALL unteer for Miami County

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Acres of West Central Ohio • April 2013 • Page 7


continued from page 6

Ohio outdoors The running of the salamanders

medium heat until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Add 1/2 pound trimmed and cut 1/2 inch pieces asparagus and cook for 10 minutes more. Whisk BY JIM MCCORMAC the milk and flour together well in a small bowl and then whisk into broth mixture. Stir in cheese until melted. Pour into warmed bowls and serve immediately. “Mole salamander” is the term for May add crumbled bacon on top. Serves 4 to 6. any of seven species of salamanders in ——— the genus Ambystoma in Ohio. For Never too much of a good thing nearly the entire year, mole salamanders are out of sight and out of mind, when it comes to asparagus burrowing through soil or lurking in Joanie Fischbach of Sidney, in Shelby County, will have no shortage of aspara- tunnels created by other animals. While under the ground, these salagus in the foreseeable future. manders hunt earthworms, slugs, and Fischbach is supervisor care manager for the PASSPORT program with other small prey. But for one brief gloriCatholic Social Services. She and her finance, Jon ous period in the spring, the mole salaEverett, live at his grandparents’ home, where manders put on quite a show. Herman and Esta Everett had planted an asparaThe running of the salamanders is gus patch. Fischbach said the original patch is still one of nature’s most amazing spectathere and they have added 200 additional plants cles. In late winter or early spring, over the years. when the first warm rains soak and When the couple first met, Fischbach was a “city thaw the ground, a primal urge is triggirl” and didn’t know much about farming or gargered in the mole salamanders. Like dening. They had ordered 100 more asparagus amphibious zombies, these otherwise plants and Jon kept saying he needed to till up the subterranean creatures rise from the patch to get ready to plant them. Jon’s son, Joey, earth under cover of darkness and march overland to favored breeding pitched in to help but instead of tilling just the pools. Shangri-la for the salamanders is perimeter, he tilled the entire patch. Assuming the wooded wetlands known as vernal established bed had been destroyed, the couple JOANIE FISHBACH pools. These ponds are flooded from ordered an additional 100 replacement plants. late winter through mid-summer, dryBut to everyone’s surprise, both the new and the ing out for the remainder of the year. old asparagus plants came up that spring. Joanie says she has learned a lot through the years! Every Good Friday some- This cycle of seasonal inundation is key to the breeding success of the salamanone in the family reminds her of tilling up Grandma Esta’s asparagus patch! ders and myriad other animals that reFischbach and Everett each have children they keep in touch with, as some produce in vernal pools. Wet and dry are in college and one in the Navy. cycles prevent the establishment of With their huge asparagus patch there is plenty for fresh eating and they also fish, which would prey upon the salagive some away. One recipe Fischbach makes involves steaming the spears ‘till manders’ eggs and larvae. they turn dark green, then adding a little butter, salt and parmesan cheese. She First on the vernal pool scene is the also marinates asparagus in olive oil and garlic for a couple of hours, then roasts Jefferson salamander, which is often in it under a broider, adding salt and parmesan cheese before serving. Below is one full courtship mode in late February. of her favorite asparagus recipes. They are the vanguard of waves of salamanders to come, including smallPROSCIUTTO ASPARAGUS SPIRALS spotted, and tiger salamanders. mouth, 1 package (17.3 ounces) Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets, thawed The latter is the largest of the mole 6 tablespoons garlic and herb spreadable cheese, softened salamanders, and impressive speci8 slices prosciutto (or thinly sliced deli ham) mens can tape out at a foot in length. 30 medium asparagus spears, trimmed Probably the most conspicuous and Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Unfold the pastry sheets on a lightly floured showy of the bunch is the spotted salasurface. mander. They are bluish-black above Spread 3 tablespoons cheese on each pastry sheet. Top each with 4 slices proand gunmetal gray below, and would be sciutto. Cut each into 15 strips crosswise, making 30 in all. Plain Janes were it not for their spots. Tightly wrap 1 pastry strip around each asparagus spear, prosciutto-side in. However, these aptly named amphibPlace the pastries seamside down on 2 baking sheets. ians are polka-dotted with lemon-yelBake for 15 minutes or until the pastries are golden brown. low spots, which greatly enliven their appearance. Once the salamanders are ensconced Lola E. Billiel writes for the in their vernal pool, a frenzy of Sidney Daily News.


A SPOTTED SALAMANDER, one of the more colorful varieties found in Ohio. courtship “dancing” erupts. For a few days, the tranquil wetlands seethe with the writing bodies of salamanders. The males pull out all the stops to lure females to their spermatophores, or sperm packets. If successfully wooed, the female will uptake the chosen male’s spermatophore and fertilize her eggs. Shortly thereafter, she’ll dump dozens of eggs, each of which contains an embryo packed in a gelatinous coating. Upon contact with water, the eggs’ gooey membranes greatly expand, and the resultant egg mass becomes fistsized. Several weeks later, tiny salamander larvae emerge and begin feeding voraciously on the vernal pool’s rich animal life. By the Dog Days of summer, when the pool has nearly dried to mud, the young salamanders migrate to the surrounding woods and into the earth. After three years or so, they’ll be sexually mature and ready to join their brethren on their annual breeding march to the vernal pools. For more information on Ohio’s mole salamanders and 31 other species of amphibians, get a copy of the Amphibians of Ohio field guide, produced by the Ohio Division of Wildlife. Copies can be had by visiting or calling 1-800WILDLIFE. Jim McCormac writes for the Ohio Division of Wildlife.

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Acres of West Central Ohio • April 2013 • Page 8



AN AERIAL view of the G.A. Wintzer rendering plane near Wapakoneta.

THE MODERN plant in Auglaize County serves customers in five states.



THE MASSIVE cooker renders animal parts and scraps into products used in various industries.

FINISHED PRODUCTS include poultry meal (left), meat and bone meal (center) and feather meal.

Rendering company well known in ag circles; G.A. Wintzer & Son now in fifth generation states: Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky and West Virginia. The company operates more than 100 vehicles on the road covering more than 2.6 million miles each year. The business services more than 7,560 accounts, including restaurants, large food manufactures, grocery stores, meat markets and slaughter facilities. Among these facilities G.A. Wintzer & Son Co. collects, used cooking oil and animal materials not used for human consumption. GAW produces six main products from four segregated production systems. Meat and bone meal and tallow are recycled from the collected mixed species including beef, pork, sheep, poultry and goat meat, fat and bone scraps, also grocery store

Agricultural A gricultural R Real eal Es Estate tate Sales

and food processing meat, fat and bone scraps. The material is cooked, pressed, filtered, ground, screened and stabilized. Poultry by-product meal and poultry fat are recycled from collected turkey and chicken meat, fat and bone scraps that are processed the same way as the mixed species on a separate production system. These products are then sold to animal feed, aquatic feed or pet food manufactures as an ingredient. The fats (liquid) can also be further processed into bio-fuels. Feather meal is recy-

cled from collected poultry feathers. The material is cooked, dried, screened and ground. Feather meal can be used in cattle feed or lawn care and fungus fertilizers. Used cooking oil is collected and recycled by a refining process that cleans and dries the oils that can then be reused as an animal feed or pet food ingredient. Used cooking oil can also be further refined into a biofuel. GAW also recycles water. Nearly 50 percent of the material that is collected is water. The cooking process removes

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WAPAKONETA — The G.A. Wintzer & Son Co. is well known to farmers, butchers and poultry operators all over the Miami Valley. Gus and Carl Wintzer are the fifth generation of G. A. Wintzer & Son Co. to have ownership in, and operate the rendering company, while the sixth generation is working in and learning the family business. G.A.Wintzer & Son Co. has grown to 108 fulltime employees and six part-time employees dedicated to the premise that no part of livestock should go to waste. The beginnings of this company can be traced back to the year 1848 when an early pioneer in the area, Charles Wintzer, established the Charles Wintzer Tanning Co.. This company engaged in the purchase and tanning of hides and skins for resale to manufacturers of leather products. In the year 1905 a decision was made to discontinue tanning operations, but the company continued to buy and cure hides and skins for resale to tanneries and commenced buying and selling other packing house by-products. In 1920, the G. A. Wintzer & Son Co. was formed to replace Charles Wintzer Tanning Co.. In 1922 rendering operations were started to compliment the hide and skin business. Beginnings in the rendering industry were quite

humble. Open kettles were used in a lean-to shack attached to Jacob Werner and Sons Slaughter House north of Wapakoneta where the former Bohrer & Moore Packing was located. From the beginning a policy of not handling dead stock was established. In the year 1946 a fire destroyed the original plant and the present plant today was constructed on County Road 25A, just south of Wapakoneta. Improvements have been made in the present plant to make it one of the most modern in the industry. In fact, many of the improvements were “firsts� in the industry and since been copied by many other companies. G.A. Wintzer & Son now spans into five



Acres of West Central Ohio • May 2013 • Page 9

Farriers serve both horses and people; old-time skill still in demand today BY TOM MILLHOUSE


CHRIS KLINE, of Wapakoneta, pulls a red hot horseshoe out of the oven on the back of his customized truck. during the day. keep up his education “I worked in a shop for while traveling to shows. two years and it was the Kline said he continues worst two years of my to show quarter horses. life,� he said. “I was down Once he made up his to 195 pounds - it was mind he wanted to shoe killing me,� Vondenhorses for a living, Kline huevel recalled. headed west to attend While working in the Mission Farrier College shop he didn’t have the in Monroe, Wash. “That freedom to travel the gave me a good foundahorse racing circuit or go tion for the basics,� Kline for long horse rides with said. friends. Vondenhuevel In addition to the forsaid he’s been much hap- mal training, Kline said pier since returning to he learned a great deal what he calls “a gypsy from Findley area farrier life.� Bobby Menker. “He Although he calls Sid- showed me a lot of the ney home, Vondenhuevel tricks of the trade,� said and his trusty dog, DexKline, noting Menker has ter, spend most of their 30 years experience in time on the road. The the business. Australian shepherd has Kline has earned been his constant comAmerican Farriers Assopanion since he bought ciation certification. “I him five years ago when don’t think it makes you he was 6 months old. any more money, but it “God’s been good to make you a better shoer,� me,� Vondenhuevel said, Kline said of the certificaadding that he has ention. joyed his freedom and the Among the keys to opportunity to work with working with horses is horses and meet interest- patience. “You’ve got to ing people. feel them out,� he said Being reared around making a horse comfortanimals and having faable before the shoeing ther who’s a veterinarian, begins. having a career like being Kline said he’s had a farrier is a natural fit some “bumps and for Kline. Now living in bruises� while shoeing Wapakoneta, Kline grew horses, but nothing seriup on the family’s farm ous. on Ailes Road in the Kline’s wife, Lexie, also Maplewood area. He opis a horse enthusiast, erates CK’s Farrier Serv- showing a reining horse. ice. “I’ve known her all my His father is Dr. life,� he said. Michael Kline. After six years in the The younger Kline, business, Kline said he who said he’s a sixth-gen- has enjoyed his career. eration horse person, “I’ve been blessed with tagged along with his fa- good people to worked ther when he made vetfor,� he said. erinary calls and became CK’s Farrier Service interested in shoeing has steadily built a good horses while watching a clientele. “It’s increased farrier, Dave Hall of about every year,� he Piqua, work with the said. family’s horses. “He Kline works in the showed me some stuff to Columbus, Dayton, Findget me interested,� Kline lay, Sidney and Lima said areas. One of the places “It’s more hands-on he works is at the Unithat being a veterinarian versity of Findlay where and you don’t get called he shoes horses in their out late at night,� he said. equine program. Kline spent a considerable amount of time Tom Millhouse showing horses and comwrites for the Sidney peting in rodeos as a Daily News. youth. He said he was home schooled in order to



DICK VONDENHUEVEL, of Sidney, files down the hoof around a freshly nailed horseshoe at the Shelby County Fairgrounds.


CHRIS KLINE, clips a horseshoe behind his truck near Maplewood.


DICK VODENHUEVEL files down a hoof after clipping it.

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It’s a vocation that unites Dick Vondenhuevel’s love of people and horses with a desire to be his own boss. For nearly 44 years, Vondenhuevel, 63, of Sidney, has been plying his trade as a farrier and he has no plans for retirement. At the other end of the spectrum, Chris Kline, 26, of Wapakoneta, whose telephone ring tone from the classic western TV show “Bonanza� attests to his love of horses, is one the new generation of farriers who make sure that area horses are properly shoed. After being encouraged to enter the field by a farrier who was shoeing his family’s horses near Pasco, Vondenhuevel set out on a trek out west to attend Golden Leaf Farriers College in Sturgis, S.D. Vondenhuevel recalled it was a trip that he almost didn’t complete. As he and a friend, fellow Fairlawn High School graduate Dave Kinninger, were driving west on I-80 they encountered many young people headed east for what would become the famous Woodstock rock concert in New York state. Vondenhuevel said he and Kinninger thought about turning around to follow the crowd to Woodstock, but instead pushed onward to Sturgis. “Experience is the best teacher, but it did give me a good foundation,� Vondenhuevel said of the farriers college. “If I hadn’t gone, I wouldn’t have done it (make a career as a farrier), or I wouldn’t have lasted.� Vondenhuevel said one of his mentors was the late Ed Richardson, of Anna, a longtime blacksmith and farrier. “I learned a lot from Eddie, he was from the school of hard knocks,� Vondenhuevel said. One of the first times Vondenhuevel made the trip to Anna to learn more about the trade Richardson sized up his young protege, who is 6foot-3. “He said ‘you’ll never make it as a horse shoer, you’re too tall,’� Vondenhuevel recalled. Another person who helped Vondenhuevel in becoming established in the business was Dick Smith, of Quincy. “I was just about ready to quit the business in 1974, I just couldn’t get the business.� Smith, who is a horse trainer, asked Vondenhuevel to follow him on the thoroughbred racing circuit. “When I see him now I tell him, ‘Dick, I don’t know whether to thank you or slap you,’� Vondenhuevel said with a laugh. Shoeing race horses continues to be about half of his business. Vondenhuevel travels frequently to Beulah Park, River Downs and other tracks. Besides thoroughbreds, Vondenhuevel has shoed about every other type of horse, from miniatures to draft horses, although he said he doesn’t shoe the “gentle giants� anymore. “My body won’t let me,� he said, explaining that the huge horses can be difficult to handle. While shoeing the horses of a regular customer one day he was asked to trim the hooves of their pot-bellied pig. “I’m shoeing $50,000 thoroughbreds one day and trimming a pot-bellied pig the next,� he said. After shoeing horses full time for many years, Vondenhuevel decided to work in a factory at night and shoe horses part time

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Acres of West Central Ohio • May 2013 • Page 10

Couple operate exotic bird sanctuary near Lakeview in Logan County BY JOSHUA KEERAN LAKEVIEW – There comes a point in life when one decision, no matter how big or small, changes one’s path forever. For Barb Berry, her passion and dedication to birds of all shapes and sizes started because of a need to eradicate ticks from her property. To solve her problem, she didn’t turn to a pesticide, but instead bought a few guineas. Fast forward over a decade later and Berry’s land is now free of ticks, but remains full of life – bird life that is. “I got the guineas about 12 years ago because of ticks. I had ticks bad out here and guineas eat ticks, so I got a couple baby guineas,” Berry said. “When they grew up, I turned them loose. Suddenly, I had no more ticks, and I haven’t had one in 10 years. “After I got the guineas, one just led to another. I went to a guinea convention in Nashville where I won some Araucana chickens, then a friend of mine who raised peacocks told me I needed a peacock. I decided I didn’t want any peacocks, but then my friend had a massive heart attack and died. Her son ended up bringing me three peacocks, and in about two years, the three peacocks quickly turned into about 50,” she added. Eventually, Berry got to the point where she became so overwhelmed with her new found passion that she considered getting rid of all her birds. That was until she met her husband, Bill. “Bill came along and he liked the birds as much as I did, so then we got into pheasants and quail,” she said. With countless birds either in pens or wandering freely over four acres of land, the Berrys decided three years ago to establish B & B Prairie Bird Sanctuary, located at 11562 Township Road 250. Since last year, about 100 people have visited, including the Women’s Club of Indian Lake, which held its annual meeting there, and a class of handicapped adults. Others planning visits are the Belle Center Amish School, the Lima Early Learning Center, the Red Hat Ladies and a Boy Scout troop. Along with the guineas, peacocks, chickens, pheasants and quails that all call the sanctuary home, the Berrys also raise chuckers. Recently, they branched out a bit and added rabbits. “I don’t know how many birds we have here, but we keep gaining every day,” Mr. Berry said. “For the past 10 years, people just keep coming to see the birds. In fact, we’ve

had people come from Pennsylvania and Indiana just to ask Barb questions about these birds because she’s dealt with them for so long.” Being located near Indian Lake, the sanctuary also tends to attract weekend campers who fear someone is in trouble and in need of assistance. “We often get people coming over from the campground thinking someone is calling for help, but it’s just the noise peacocks make during mating season,” Mr. Berry said.

Operating the sanctuary Tending to so many birds has its advantages and disadvantages. While the Berrys enjoy every minute they spend with their birds, keeping them healthy can be a financial burden, especially when it comes to feeding the entire flock. In hopes of offsetting the costs, the Berrys have decided to market their sanctuary and officially open it up to the public for tours. “Visitors can drive through the sanctuary, or they can choose to walk through,” Mrs. Berry said. “I hope the tour gives people a chance to appreciate the different breeds and colors of birds,” Mr. Berry added. “I think people will be surprised at the different noises birds make.” The Berrys are asking for a suggested donation of $5 per adult and $3 for children over the age of 5. There isn’t a suggested donation for children under the age of 5. “It takes a great deal of feed for all these birds, so we decided to ask for a donation to help pay for the feed,” Mr. Berry said. To help with the overall experience of the tour, the Berrys have added several accommodations. “Along with our guided tours, we also have an educational DVD we put in that people can watch,” Mr. Berry said. The DVD can be viewed in the sheltered rest area known simply as the “Eagles Nest.” “It’s a place to rest, and it’s a nice place to come sit and listen to the birds.” Mrs. Berry said. Visitors can also walk around the property and view another one of Mrs. Berry’s hobbies – flowers. “Most of my flowers are prairie flowers, and all the flowers are birdfriendly,” said Mrs. Berry, who spent 15 years working in a greenhouse prior to devoting her time to the bird sanctuary. B & B Bird Sanctuary is open Thursday through Monday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. “Everything up here shuts down on Monday, so we thought this would



BARB AND BILL Berry, of Lakevieew, stand by a row of bird cages at their B&B Prairie Bird Sanctuary in Lakeview.





A SIGN on the side of heir van at the Sanctuary. give people something to do on Monday,” Mr. Berry said. Group tours are available, and those with questions can contact the Berrys by calling 937935-7907 or 937-9350751. Mrs. Berry noted the sanctuary is a certified wildlife habitat, and the local game warden has approved of the layout. “The state also comes out four times a year, and blood tests are done once a year,” she said. To help offset other costs associated with a bird operation of this size, the Berrys sell not only farm-fresh eggs, but also many of their birds. “We sell as many birds as we can,” Mrs. Berry said. “If anyone wants to buy them, they are all for sale except for our breeders,” Mr. Berry added. “Also, when it comes to our peacocks, we usually only sell the young ones.”

sanctuary, but one group in particular seems to draw the most interest from visitors – the peacocks. “So many people have never seen a peacock before, and they are amazed that there are peacocks here,” Mrs. Berry said. According to her, there are 282 different colors of peacocks, and the Berrys have around 40 of them, including white ones. “Many people don’t realize there are white peacocks, which I didn’t either until I met Barb,” Mr. Berry said. When it comes to seeing a peacock in person, the Berrys noted nothing compares to watching the birds fan their colorful feathers, which is what most visitors hope to catch a glimpse of while at the sanctuary. Although the Berrys would love to make that happen for every guest, it’s not always an option. “You can’t tell them when to do it,” Mr. Berry said. “They are going to do it when they want to.” “What’s really neat is when they all get out in To the Berrys, every the pen and fan together, bird they own brings its own characteristics to the which is usually in the

Stars of the show


BARB BERRY holds four different eggs from four different breeds of pheasant. early morning or late evening,” Mrs. Berry added. According to Mr. Berry, when peacocks fan their feathers, their wingspan can reach about six feet. “Breeding season for peacocks is April to July,” he said. “After breeding season, their tails will eventually start falling off. In December, their tails start growing again.” In the past year, the Berrys have added more birds and more pens to their haven for winged creatures.

“We now have ringnecked and black mutant and silver pheasants,” Barb noted. They have extended their open hours and people can see the birds now from 10 a.m. to dusk. “Rainy days aren’t good,” Barb said. Joshua Keeran writes for the Logan County Weekly Currents. Patti Speelman of the Sidney Daily News also contributed to this story.

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Acres of West Central Ohio • May 2013 • Page 11

Troy area farm family opts to go organic with its dairy operation BY CAROLINE MCCOLLOCH TROY - David Bair knows firsthand about the maxim “you are what you eat,” and also its corollary, “you are whatever you eat, ate.” The fourth generation of a farming family, working with his parents Ray and Phyllis, the Troy native took on the considerable challenge of transitioning their 140 acres of land, east of Fulton Farms, from conventional to organic agriculture. After reading the book, “The Untold Story of Milk,” he had begun to wonder if pasteurized milk (heated to 160 degrees) might have something to do with some of the family’s health problems. In the late 1990s he began rethinking the costs and benefits of moving to a grass-based grazing system, obviating the need for grain production and excessive feeding chores. “I felt like we were working ourselves to death, going in circles,” he said of feeding and cleaning stalls. Although they still milk twice daily (5 a.m. and 5 p.m.), time is now freed up to maintain and improve their dairy business. Convincing his father to change his practices was the first challenge. Having used the standard model of pesticide application and planting geneticallyengineered corn and soybeans for 30 years, Ray was skeptical about the efficacy of a grazing system. How would their forage hold up in drought? Ironically, drought hit the very year of their transition, but it was the corn and soybean crops that failed – not the grass. Protein needs are an important part of diet for dairy cows. But Ray insisted, “If you have quality hay and pasture, you don’t need soy meal.” Their 55-cow herd composed of Holsteins, Jerseys, Swedish Reds and mixed breeds now grazes in a rotating pattern through many small paddocks. This prevents any one area from being over-grazed. They had to reduce herd size in the 2012 drought to save hay and pasture, but still had enough to get them through to this spring. Only by mid-April did David have to start looking for hay to buy, until pastures came into full growth by May. On a bright and cold day in early April, cows could be seen slowly migrating to far-flung paddocks, making their way along an old railroad bed, which serves as a convenient access road. Curious yet shy, they quickly gathered around the ATV to investigate. But when it comes to milking time, they know exactly what to do. Dutifully, the “girls” file into the meticulously clean parlor, eight on each side. “We put the new moms in the middle of the older ones,” Phyllis Bair explained; “that way they socialize and train better.” She added that when dairies get larger than 300, owners spend more time managing hired help and that sometimes cows aren’t as easily trained simply because one loses the personal touch, with so many to milk. “The average life span of one of those cows is about 3-5 years, compared to 10 for our cows. We think its because they’re standing on concrete all the time, and are fed high grain diets,” Phyllis said. A 50-year veteran of dairy farming, Phyllis, though very short in stature, is long on thoughtful observations. She cited the (in)famous mantra of farming since the 1970s, “Get big or get out,” but had a few things to say about the result. Instituted by then Secretary of

Agriculture Earl Butts, the policies adopted in the Nixon administration ushered in the era of cheap food, mainly through large subsidies for corn and soybean production. “I think that made it harder for small dairies like us, because regulations are made for the bigger operations,” she quipped. Every time David walks out to the barn to usher in the next group (with the help of Dottie, a lab/Aussie shepherd mix), he always hoses off his boots before entering the rubber matted lower level from which they clean teats and apply the milking “claw.” This vacuum device with four teat-shaped cups has a built in transparent chamber so that milk flow can be monitored. Each cow yields about two gallons in 10 minutes. Flexible tubing carries the milk together from all 16 cows into next room, across a cooling unit that drops the temperature 30 degrees in a short time. Then milk is collected in a 1,000-gallon stainless steel bulk tank. It is kept at a constant 60 degrees with the help of a mechanical agitator that mixes to achieve even temperature distribution. Every other day, the Horizon truck arrives to haul most of the milk off to New York to be pasteurized and distributed as organic milk. Another portion of their milk is distributed as herd shares, meaning local people have purchased an ownership interest in the herd. They can then obtain their milk fresh from the farm, before it is pasteurized. Many believe this socalled “raw milk” contains better nutritional qualities precisely because it isn’t subjected to high temperatures. Often the authorities question the health safety raw milk. “I think they use scare tactics,” David remarked, “Heck, more people get sick from turkey and chicken than raw milk.” The raw milk movement has been gaining momentum across the country. The Bairs have about 25 herd shareowners, and they conduct regular tours of their facilities, especially to home school groups. One such family from Piqua was visiting that day. Jamie and Brice Rhoades and their two sons, Josiah and Owen, were also in the milking parlor, asking lots of questions. Obviously the Bairs were proud to showcase their facility and methods, while also enjoying friendly banter with visitors. Jamie had heard about the dairy while at a Troy natural products store, Whole Health Whole Family. “I am concerned about being informed and making my own decisions,” she said. “I think the high heat


RAY AND PHYLLIS Bair (left) explain their milk parlor operation to the Rhoades family of Piqua during a recent visit. does destroy a lot of nutrients. And you know, I don’t want to be resigned to almond milk — I want food the way God made it.” David is confident their operation provides good sanitation and healthy cows, which are the best insurance for safety. He is careful to be a good steward of the soil, and pays attention to the mineral content, thus producing nutrient dense grass. Yet his biggest fear is not that anyone might get sick from the raw milk, but that an unsubstantiated allegation could put their farm at risk. “My grandparents drank raw milk all their lives, and my grandmother was never sick nor even had a family doctor until a fall at age 90.” Concerns notwithstanding, David acted on his newfound convictions more than 10 years ago and began providing raw milk for his own family. He says that literally the day they stopped pasteurizing their milk, their son no longer needed a doctor for chronic ear infections. David’s asthma has nearly disappeared; now no medications are needed for at least nine months of the year. Rather than “Getting big or getting out…the Bair family has decided that “small is beautiful.”

FARM CRYPTOGRAM Cryptogram puzzles are sentences or paragraphs that are encrypted with a letter substitution. This puzzle is related to farm cattle. The puzzle uses a letter substitution encryption. An example may be like this: The word ANIMAL could be encoded to XPQAXC if A=X, N=P, I=Q, etc. Find the right letter substitutions to solve the following puzzle. Clue: O=U PIGS AYVJ TNZ YLWZRRYVZLW TLYXTRJ TLP RZTNL KEYMSRU. YL OTMW, WQZU TNZ WQZ OBENWQ JXTNWZJW TLYXTRJ OBRRBHYLV QEXTLJ, ANYXTWZJ, TLP PBRAQYLJ / HQTRZJ.

The answer will appear in the June edition of ACRES. April’s puzzle answer Cows graze up to eight hours a day despite not having any upper front teeth. A cow can eat about as much as a full bathtub a day and give two hundred thousand glasses of milk in a lifetime.


Caroline McColloch writes for the Piqua Daily Call.

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Acres of West Central Ohio • May 2013 • Page 12

Flour power: women grind grains for healthful eating, peace of mind

Buckeye Farm Antique Club to have show


WAPAKONETA - The Buckeye Farm Antique Club of Wapakoneta will be hosting its 24th annual show May 24-26 at the Auglaize County Fairgrounds in Wapakoneta. This year’s show will feature Ohio-made tractors, equipment and gas engines. Organizers report a full schedule of events are planned for an enjoyable and educational weekend. There will be a parade through the streets of downtown Wapakoneta on Thursday evening, May 23, to open the show, weather permitting. On Friday, May 24, flea markets and crafts will be open. There will be a large garage sale on Friday and Saturday of the show, with proceeds to benefit the Auglaize County Junior Fair livestock sale. All food booths will be open, with one special feature being homemade ice cream produced using antique gas engines. The Fuedemacker Polka Band from Fort Wayne, Ind., will perform at 7 p.m. Friday at the 4-H building. On Saturday, a consignment auction will begin at 9 a.m. Truck, semis and dump truck pulls will take place Saturday afternoon. Broom making, wool spinning and rug making demonstrations are planned, along with displays of antique lamps, guns and quilts. Those attending will have an opportunity to try their hand at quilting. At 7 p.m. Saturday, Country Expressions will be performing. There will be round and square dancing for those in attendance. On Sunday, there will be a car, motorcycle and truck show starting at 11 a.m. There will be an antique tractor pull around noon. The Northwest Garden Tractor Pullers will follow the tractor pull. At noon, there will be a kiddie pedal tractor pull with clowns. Demonstrations planned throughout the weekend include grain threshing, baling, corn shredding, a late 1800s saw mill in operation and a shingle mill. A blacksmith sculpture also is planned, with the work of art being auctioned off at the close of Saturday night’s entertainment. Club officials report the 500-plus members put on the annual show to keep the heritage alive, as well as to educate and entertain the public. Proceeds from the show are used to assist the local YMCA, under-privileged children, junior fair, FFA, Boy Scouts and senior citizen groups. General admission is $2 and children 12 and under are free. Golf carts are welcome with a $5 fee and proof of insurance. For more information, call (937) 596-6812 or (937) 407—2947.


ANN SCHMIESING of Sidney pours grain “berries� into a grinder and then pours out the resulting four.


CLOSE-UP of gains to be made into flour in a home grinder.


THE FINISHED product - a loaf of homemade bread created from home-ground flour by Ann Schmiesing. stored correctly, the nutrition remains unaltered. Milling wheat at home allows for all the nutrition held within the wheat germ to remain in baked goods. They women also agree that bread and other baked goods made from home-ground flour taste better and are healthier for their families. But most importantly, they feel that when they grind their own flour, they know exactly what

is in it. Depending on a family’s needs, there are many flour milling machines available. They are designed to grind a variety of grains, including wheat, rye, corn, rice, barley, oats, buckwheat, millet and kamut. Schmiesing believes there is symbolism associated with baking your own bread with flour you have milled yourself. “You are ever

watchful with the bread: it rises, you tend it when it needs to be tended, you mold it and bake it. In life you create a family - you need to be present with your family: you tend them, interact with them, and lovingly prepare them for life. ‘The bread of life’ is appropriate in both cases.� Lola E.Billiel writes for the Sidney Daily News.




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SIDNEY - Taking food preparation back to the basics, three Shelby County wives and mothers have been grinding their own flour for several years, a process that allows them to know with certainty what their home-baked products contain - and don’t contain, such as preservatives. Molly LaForme, mother of four, has been grinding grains for four years, starting with wheat. She is passionate about serving her family whole foods and as a result began to pay attention to natural foods. She has experimented with different types of wheat, rye and oats. As part of a food co-op, she buys grains in bulk. LaForme said she grinds two cups of wheat “berries� to make three cups of flour. She finds home-milled flour to be is healthier for her family and she uses it to make their bread. Lisa Reese, who has six children ranging in age from 1 to 12, has been milling her own flour for 10 years. She began by making her own bread and then decided to take the process one step further and grind her own flour. She has started to get into grinding different types of grains and uses the flour in muffins, breads and other baked goods. She owns both electric and manual grinders and also purchases her grains in bulk - usually 50 pounds of wheat berries at a time. “I love bread� says Reese. “And it gives me a good feeling not to be dependent on others for flour.� The family also has a garden and freezes and cans their produce. Anne Schmiesing has seven children and is convinced that homeground flour is healthier for the family. She notes that research has shown the nutritional importance of fresh flour. She grinds wheat, preferring the hard wheat berries as they have more protein and higher gluten. She also uses kamut, spelt and oats and notes that buckwheat is very nutritious and she uses it in pancakes. She also uses ground oats in cakes, cookies and sometimes in bread. Among other things, Schmiesing makes her own pasta with freshlyground whole grains. She orders her grains monthly in 25 to 55 pound containers through United Natural Foods Inc. She said the company deals in good quality grains that are reasonably priced. There is a variety of home grinders available on the market, running from basic models to some that are more sophisticated. What prompt’s these women to take food preparation back to the ultimate basics? For one, they all agree that milling (grinding) their own flour and grains is cost effective—saving lots of money on bread for the family alone. Another plus is the nutritional value of home-ground flour. As long as the wheat berry stays intact and is

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Acres of West Central Ohio • May 2013 • Page 13

Asiatic beetle grub could threaten corn WOOSTER - Northern Ohio corn growers who’ve experienced unexplained stand loss for the past couple of years may have fields that are infested with Asiatic garden beetle grubs. The grubs are a relatively new pest to Ohio field crops and have the potential to cause significant economic losses for growers, an Ohio State University Extension entomologist said. Last year was the first known instance of Asiatic garden beetle grubs causing significant stand losses in corn in northern Ohio just below Lake Erie, said Ron Hammond, who also has an appointment with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. Growers who planted corn following soybeans in sandier soils reported last year finding Asiatic garden beetle grubs that caused some stand losses, he said. What’s surprising about this is that the grub, which is a species that is more associated with being a

minor pest in turf, now appears to be much more damaging to crops than most other grubs, Hammond said. “This is a new pest in the sense that this is the first year we’re going into the growing season knowing that the pests are in some soils,” Hammond said. “If you’re in northern Ohio and have had unexplained stand losses but aren’t sure why, this may be it. “Growers who have had unexplained strand losses in the northern part of Ohio may need to consider doing something about the pest this year, now that we know what the problem is.” The Asiatic garden beetle was introduced to the U.S. in the 1920s on the East Coast and has since made its way across the country, he said. The grubs were recently associated as a newer corn pest in northeast Indiana and southwest Michigan from 2006 to 2008, always in sandier soils following soybeans. Some fields in Ohio do

said. The main characteristics to identify Asiatic garden beetle grubs are the enlarged maxillary palps on the side of their mouthparts, he said. The problem with these particular grubs is that there really isn’t much that can be done to mitigate them once they’ve begun feeding in the soil and causing stand reductions, Hammond said. “Growers can scout their fields to see if they can find the pest and then PHOTO PROVIDED use a preventive treatment of liquid or granule THE ASIATIC garden soil insecticides labeled for beetle grub is reportedly grub control in their infesting some Ohio fields,” he said. “But the corn fields. bottom line is that because this pest is so new, meet those conditions, there isn’t much data as to Hammond said. “It’s a problem for farmers because the grubs feed on germinating corn seeds and roots in the spring, causing stand reductions,” he said. Asiatic garden beetle grubs are smaller than other grubs such as true white grubs and Japanese beetle grubs, Hammond

what insecticides are best to use. “While scouting can potentially find grubs, that won’t indicate if there is a problem, so growers who’ve had a history of unexplained stand loses should make sure they use a soil insecticide that has grubs on the label.” Hammond suggests that growers leave untreated strips to see what insecticide applications work best for their fields. “None of the infested fields over the years appear to have been protected by the various seed treatments,” he said. “Transgenic corn hybrids aren’t designed for grub issues; all of these corn hybrids that were damaged

last year had seed treatments on them that didn’t do any good.” Growers with a history of unexplained stand loss may have to go with their field’s previous history as the primary reasoning as to whether they decide to use a soil treatment with insecticides, Hammond said. “The grubs have to be managed prior to planting with a soil insecticide if growers already have them in the soils in their fields,” he said. “Any kind of stand loss in corn hurts the yield. “You can have a few bushel losses or up to a 30 to 40 percent yield loss, depending on how heavy or great the stand loss.”

Spring chicks

Reflections on a trip to the homestead: it’s the little things in life that count BY MATT CLAYTON Recently while driving down a rural township road in western Logan County, I was reminded of the old saying, “time waits for no man.” With an air of appreciation, I lifted my foot from the accelerator and coasted to a slower pace as I approached the place where I grew up. A familiar and welcome sight was coming into view. Looking like a tired old friend, the aged farmhouse reminded me that during my youth it provided us with a lot more than shelter. In many ways, to a small American family, it was heaven; it was home. Much has changed along that road that once was only wide enough to accommodate one vehicle. Sadly the physical changes pale in comparison to those found in the nature of the lifestyles held so dear by those who once lived, worked, and died in the peaceful quilted landscape of west-central Ohio. Yes, here too progress has left its mark, and only a remnant of the serene lifestyle of years gone by survives. It clings to life in the hearts and minds of those fortunate enough to have realized the extent of their blessings as they watch the sun set on paradise.

Crowded out truth In the years since my childhood, the world crowded out the truth, and soon I forgot most of the free things that brought true joy. I found myself on an enslaving treadmill while I endeavored to possess “more” and struggled to reach a goal that lived in a cloud of uncertainty. My situation is not unique; if they truly took the time to evaluate their lives, most would agree there’s a lot more to life than possessions and financial gain. Based on the current state of affairs in this nation and abroad, we may soon find out just how much we’ve taken for granted. “Progress” comes with a hefty price tag, and in exchange for convenience and luxury we have sacrificed much. So much that one must question the value of all we possess and if it was worth the cost. Ignorance and want have replaced wisdom and need. In today’s hurried living, few take time to notice the bounty that surrounds them, the good that comes free of charge. Television, the Internet and texting on cell phones have all but replaced quality conversation with a good neighbor or friend and, for most, it’s been far too long since the last time any of us have taken time to just sit and talk. In a culture where the grass always seems greener on the other side of the fence, I have observed much about priorities and one’s sense of values. I have also learned a great deal about the fleeting hours we call life, how we spend it, and what we expect to gain by doing so. Things are not always what they seem. Experience is what we get when we’re looking for something else, and while some have observed that it is the best teacher, experience can be a brutal coach - especially when looking back on what we did to fulfill a hunger or yearning for peace of mind.

The golden years Alas, most of us will spend a lifetime looking for ways to satisfy a niche we truly do not understand. For instance, while growing up I was often told to save my money for the golden years.


MARTHA ZUMBERGER, of Bellefontaine, inspects one of the chicks she came to pick up at Provico Farm and Show Supply in Botkins. Zumberger will raise the chicks for meat.

MATT CLAYTON Now as I approach that time in life, I realize that while it’s nice to have a nest egg it won’t do me much good if I’m bedfast with four walls for scenery and my only companion a droning television. Way too often we overlook the real treasure at hand while seeking more of something to come later. And all the while we miss the opportunity of a lifetime in a world of no second chances where hindsight is 20/20 and regret is common. I once knew a “self-made” man who was quick to point out his modest childhood and how he worked his way to financial independence. However, he always failed to mention that while doing so he sacrificed his family life and his character. And while some would assume he “had it made,” a more miserable fellow you would never meet. Now that spring is upon us, maybe it is time to do a little “housecleaning” of a different nature. Just maybe it’s time to re-evaluate some of the finer things in life and brush away the cobwebs of concern and get to things we’ve been meaning to do. On my recent visit to the home place I stepped outside for a look-see and was reminded of the treasure that is so often obscured by self-inflicted worry. It’s amazing how the smell of thawing earth, the call of a horned lark, or sight of a red-tailed hawk gliding on a stiff south wind can take the edge off the cares of the world. It’s the little things!

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The little things As my wife often reminds me, “it’s the little things that count.” In the weeks to come take a little time out from the daily routine to appreciate some of the simple things we tend to take for granted - such as our health, the gift of a smile, or the wonder in the eyes of a child. Find a quiet spot away from the noise and confusion of the city and relish the peace and simplicity found in all creation. Park the car, turn off the cell phone, and take a walk through a park. Regardless of one’s interests, the point is to recognize the countless gifts that surround us and to be thankful for all the good in our lives. As I drove away from the home place I recalled Daddy playing his five-string banjo and singing an old Flatt & Scruggs song, “The Good Things.” The lyrics noted “the good things outweigh the bad.” How true if we only know where to look for the “little things.” Matt Clayton lives in rural Shelby County with his family and is an observer of nature and the foibles of mankind.

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Acres of West Central Ohio • May 2013 • Page 14

Keep desirable wildlife in mind when planting gardens this year Plays

Whether you have a small patio with a few containers of flowers, a woodsy backyard, or a multi-acre, manicured landscape, you have enough room to create a garden that will attract desirable wildlife to your property…emphasis on “desirable.” I don’t know of anyone personally who wants to attract raccoons, groundhogs, or deer. But birds, frogs, toads, and beneficial insects are fun to watch as they enhance the visual appeal and health of any garden. You probably already have several flowers, shrubs, and trees that provide food and shelter for wildlife in your area. Knowing a little more about the preferred habitats of desirable wildlife can help make gardening more manageable and successful. To attract birds, all you’ll need are feeders and a water source. Having certain flowers, trees, and shrubs, however, will keep them coming year after year even without feeders. If you use feeders, select and hang them near windows so that you can watch cardinals, nuthatches, chickadees, goldfinches, woodpeckers, hummingbirds, and a variety of other native birds in the morning and early evening. Do NOT—repeat do NOT—offer breadcrumbs unless you prefer starlings, house sparrows, and grackles. These nonnative birds reproduce prolifically, are aggressive, and frequently kill native birds by poking holes in eggs and taking over nests. House sparrows and starlings represent the greatest threats to Eastern Bluebirds in Ohio and elsewhere. Laws protecting most wild birds do not pertain to house sparrows, starlings, or

grackles. House sparrows sometimes eat Japanese beetles. That’s their only redeeming virtue. Include shrubs, evergreens, birdhouses, tall grasses, or even thorny brambles to provide shelter and food. Many birds are attracted to seeds, berries, and nectar from plants grown in the garden as well as insect pests. Hummingbirds, for example, are attracted to red or purple flowers that are rich in nectar, but they get their protein from gnats, aphids, mosquitoes, and insect eggs. Goldfinches enjoy snacking on thistle, coneflower, and black-eyed Susan while feeding regurgitated insect larvae to their young. Robins can be seen devouring crabapples, wild grapes, grubs, and worms in the spring. During dry summers, ground-dwelling insects become diet staples. Other plant considerations for birds: Serviceberry tree or shrub, upright Holly, Bottlebrush grass, New England Aster, Lowbush Blueberry, and Coralberry. Honeybees and other native bees top the list of beneficial insects for farmers and residential gardeners alike. The advent of “colony collapse” disorder in honeybee hives was first noted in 2005 and has since been a major factor in the loss of between 40 to 50% of these important pollinators. Researchers have been able to zero in on the main cause of this sudden death syndrome: a group of pesticides called Neonicotinoids. Chemically similar to nicotine and marketed in products produced mainly by Bayer and Sygenta, these neurotoxins are being blamed for interfering with

in the dirt

Ann Heeley worker bees’ capacities to learn scents and find food. These pesticides are also negatively affecting birds, fish, beneficial insects, and other wildlife. Check pesticide labels that list imidacloprid or clothianidin as active ingredients. Planting a variety of pollen-rich flowers, vegetables, and fruits without resorting to toxic pesticides is one way of reducing the dangers to wildlife and to humans. Plant in large clusters or groupings rather than in spotty places. Native plants that are attractive in color or fragrance attract the most attention. Plant considerations: Sunflowers, fruit trees (not Bradford Pear), Elderberry, Russian sage, perennial Hibiscus, Catmint, Cosmos, Butterfly Bush, Lavender. Frogs and toads should be welcomed inhabitants of any garden since they can eat their way through a host of invertebrate pests including flies, grasshoppers, slugs, snails, cutworms, and earwigs. In addition, they are the only beneficial animals that eat cucumber beetles. Create habitats for toads by providing cool, damp “caves” in the ground or by overturning broken terra cotta pots in shady areas. Toads are generally nocturnal, so

having them feast on slugs at night reduces the need for chemical methods or hand picking (ugh!). Frogs, on the other hand, live and feed near sources of water such as garden ponds. Plant water lilies and water hyacinths in a garden pond or grow plants that thrive in wet areas such as carex, monarda (bee balm), cardinal flower, Liatris, and tradescantia. Not all butterflies and moths are beneficial, but because many are so beautiful and desirable, and because some are even considered protected species, our gardens should be able to accommodate them. Monarchs, for example, feed and lay eggs almost exclusively on milkweed (Asclepia) plants. This doesn’t mean that your garden should include common milkweed (Asclepia Syriaca). This thug of a plant could take over a large area in one season with its invasive underground runners. Instead, select from among Butterfly Weed (A. Tuberosa), Swamp Milkweed (A. Incarnata), or Scarlet Milkweed (A. Curassavica). To encourage swallowtails, painted ladies, skippers, fritillaries, and other butterflies to visit your garden, try parsley, dill, Joe-Pye


A FROG balances on a flower bud.

weed, lupine, purple cone- perial among others, preA HUMMINGBIRD moth pollinates. flower, hyssop/agastache, coreopsis, verbena, yarrow, and tall sedums (such as Autumn Joy). Native plants like those listed above will attract Ohio butterflies better than non-native varieties. Most moths are nocturnal, the common exception being the Hummingbird Moth, so adding a few night bloomers will attract the beneficial pollinators. Angel’s Trumpet (Datura), Moonflower (Ipomoea Alba), Casablanca Lily, and Four O’Clocks will attract these pollinators because of their fragrance and white or light pink color. The “giant” moths, Regal, Luna, Cecropia, Polyphemus, Promethea, and Im-

fer trees as their habitats. Since they do very little damage and are considered rather rare, they should be protected from chemical sprays. Preferred host plants include oak, maple, pine, sycamore, sweet gum, cypress, juniper, cedar, hemlock, alder, birch, beech, elm, honey locust, linden, walnut and hickory. Ann Heeley, of Sidney, is a retiree who is a certified Master Gardener and is active in both the Rainbow Gardeners of Shelby County and the Ohio Association of Garden Clubs.

Soybean yield, quality contest set WORTHINGTON – The Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) has launched the state’s fourth Soybean Yield and Quality Contest for the 2013 growing season. Contestants must be current members of OSA and raise at least 10 acres of soybeans in Ohio. Those who are not currently OSA members may join when entering the contest. The entry fee is $100 and entrants may submit multiple entries in the contest. The following companies will pay the entry fee for contestants that enter their varieties: Asgrow, Beck’s Hybrids, CROPLAN, DKG Seeds, LG Seeds, Powell Seeds, R Farm Seeds, Rupp Seeds, Schlessman Seed Company, Seed Consultants, Stewart Seeds, Stine Seed Company and Wellman Seeds. Entrants can choose to enter one or more of four categories that include: · Conventional tillage · No-till · Non-GMO soybeans - conventional tillage · Non-GMO soybeans - no-till Developed to promote the importance of oil and protein, the quality contest is optional to enter. However, a farmer must enter the soybean yield contest in order to enter the soybean quality contest. This contest is based on the overall highest percentage of oil and protein content in the state. Entrants in the quality contest must submit a two-pound sample of soybeans for testing. Entrants will be eligible for several prizes. An overall state yield winner will be awarded along with category prizes for the top placing entrants. Awards will also be given to the top placing entrants in the quality contest based on the percentages of oil and protein. All prize packages will be announced in mid-July at All entry forms and entry fees must be received by Aug. 31. The entry form along with a complete listing of contest rules can be downloaded at

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Wild, educational Cedar Bog a great day-trip destination


BLUE FLAG Iris at Cedar Bog begin to bloom. day, June 22. Admission is $6 for adults and $5 for children over age 6. Ohio Historical Society and Cedar Bog Association members get a $1 discount on admission. Boo in the Bog will take place Oct. 18 and 19. It is a “non-scary” night walk in the bog with learning stations along the way. There are children’s activities, face painting, storytelling and food. Admission is $6 for adults and $5 for children over age 6. Historical Society and association members receive a $1 discount on admission. Admission to the preserve is $5 for adults, $4 for children or students, and no charge for children under age 6. Student groups are charged $3 per student, $4 for chaperons, and teachers get in for free. Student group tours must be scheduled in advance. The hours of operation for the education center are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. The boardwalk is open from dawn to dusk Sunday to Saturday. If the education center is closed, admission money can be left in the blue

CEDAR BOG site manager Tracy Bleim helps prepare the preserve for increased public presence as the weather warms. box at the start of the boardwalk. Cedar Bog is located at 980 Woodburn Road. To get there, take U.S. Route 68 south to Woodburn Road and turn right. It is just past the railroad tracks. For more information or to schedule a group visit, call the bog at (937) 484-3744, visit or contact staff at Casey S. Elliott writes for the Urbana Daily Citizen.

Berning new dairy princess FORT LORAMIE - The annual Shelby County Dairy Banquet was held recently at St. Michael’s Hall in Fort Loramie. Approximately 75 members and guests of the dairy industry gathered to recognize local farm families for outstanding production, crown a new dairy princess, and receive updates from county extension educators. Trio Farms of Botkins, operated by the brother and sister team of Rick Geyer and Anita Ambos, was recognized for managing Shelby County’s highest milk-producing herd. Pat and Bill Wehrman, of Anna, and Robert Kohler family, of Botkins, operate the second- and third-highest herds. Milk quality is another area of recognition within

the dairy industry. Mary Lou Topp and sons, of Botkins, received the top award for high quality, while Doug and Sandy Gehret, of Fort Loramie, and Steve and Marlene Steinke, of Anna, were second and third, respectively. Shelby County herds showing the largest improvement in terms of average production per cow since last year were Paul and Elaine DeLaet, of Houston; Steve and Kathy Frankenburg, of New Knoxville; and Trio

Farms, of Botkins. The new dairy princess for Shelby County is Lora Berning. She is a junior at Anna High School where she is involved in many school activities. 4H is also a priority and she is a nine-year member of the McCartyville Producers 4-H Club. Berning exhibits Holstein heifers from her family’s dairy farm at the Shelby County Fair and is also active in the Sacred Heart of Jesus youth group. Her parents are Pat and Alice Berning, of


Anna. Shelby County Extension educators Deb Brown and Laura Norris informed the group of current and upcoming programs available to producers and also spent some time sharing their own connections to the dairy industry while growing up on their family’s farm. The evening concluded with door prizes and Tshirt registration for 4-H members who exhibited dairy projects at the fair.



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BY CASEY S. ELLIOTT cially alongside the variety of orchids that thrive URBANA – Looking in the preserve. She said for a day to enjoy the she was drawn to the quiet flow of water preserve because it reamong orchids and white minded her of the plant cedar trees? Cedar Bog life in the Upper PeninNature Preserve may be sula of Michigan. “I just the place. think that’s a key draw.” Cedar Bog features a Cedar Bog is operated variety of animal and by the non-profit Cedar plant life, including an Bog Association for the assortment of orchids Ohio Historical Society, and a variety of rare according to its trail plants. It ranks the high- guide. The Bog is a naest of any site in Ohio on tional natural landmark, the Ohio Floristic Diver- one of 25 in the state. It sity Index for its diveris recognized by the Ohio sity of plants. More than Department of Natural 40 endangered, threatResources as a dedicated ened and rare plants and State Nature Preserve. animals can be found at Visitors to the preCedar Bog, according to serve can walk the the preserve’s trail boardwalk that wends guide. its way through the 427“It is one of the most acre site and learn more diverse places in Ohio for about the plant and nature,” said Tracy wildlife at the Cedar Bog Bleim, Cedar Bog Nature Education Center. The Preserve site manager. boardwalk was created Cedar Bog is techniin 1986 and the educacally a fen. Bogs tend to tion center opened in accumulate debris, as the 2009. water tends to stay in As with other areas of one place. Fens flush out the state, Cedar Bog is debris and minerals due not immune to invasive to a constant flow of emerald ash borer beewater. Bleim said Cedar tles, which are decimatBog originally was ing ash trees. Bleim said dubbed “Cedar Swamp” some beetles have been and later was termed a spotted in the preserve bog as it was studied by and its operators decided naturalists. Those stud- to try to deal with the inies led to the realization sect by introducing a that the “bog” was a fen, parasitic wasp species but the name has not that preys on them. As changed. administrators continue “They kept the name to monitor the beetles, and used it as a kind of they may decide to have educational tool,” she another wasp release to said. deal with the problem. Spring is a great time Bleim said there is a to experience Cedar Bog, section in Cedar Bog Bleim added. that is “probably 90 per“Every couple of weeks cent” made of ash trees, something is changing and if the borers thrive, with the plants and the it could nearly wipe out flowers,” she said. “It that section. While this seems like every week may help the white there’s something new cedars flourish, it would popping up somewhere.” not be ideal. Cedar Bog’s unique“It could change what ness — with the variety Cedar Bog looks like,” of plant and animal life she said. — includes white cedar Events held at the bog trees. include Summer Solstice “We’re very lucky to and Boo in the Bog. Sumhave that plant life mer Solstice will take here,” Bleim said, espeplace 5 to 7 p.m. Satur-

Acres of West Central Ohio • May 2013 • Page 16

Ag Calendar To add an event to this calendar, contact Rachel Lloyd at

versity South Centers, 1864 Shyville Road, Piketon. Registration is $5. Information and registration: or • May 7: Climate Tools (740) 289-2071, ext. 132. Cafe 2 Webinar, 1-3 p.m. • May 16: Sheep Overview of tools availSchool, 6:30-9 p.m., Ohio able to help communities Agricultural Research prepare for climate and Development Cenchange. Free. Sponsored ter’s Eastern Agricultural by Ohio State University’s Research Station, 16870 Climate Change Outreach Plant Discovery Day, 9 Bond Ridge Road, Caldto 3 p.m., Secrest Ara.m. Team. Register at http:// boretum, Seaman Orien- well. Information and regchangingcliistration cost: tation Plaza, Ohio or (740) Agricultural Research cation/. Information: 489-5300. or (614) and Development Center, • May 17: Ohio’s NonMadison Ave., 1680 292-8975. Native Invasives, 8:15 Wooster. Plant and art • May 9: Friends of a.m. to 4 p.m., Founder’s Chadwick Arboretum Pre- sale featuring hard-toAuditorium, Ovalwood find annuals, perennials, Sale, 5:30-8:30 p.m., aucHall, 1760 University woody plants and herbs, THE YOUNG of wildlife, such as this whitetail fawn, are rarely abandoned by tion at 6 p.m, northwest art for home and garden. Drive, Ohio State Univertheir mothers. If you see them, it’s best to leave them alone. corner of Lane Avenue Free admission. Informa- sity’s Mansfield campus. and Fred Taylor Drive, Workshop for natural-retion: Ohio State University, source professionals on or (330) 464-2148. Columbus. Information: non-native invasive May 14: Produce • COLUMBUS – As the spring brings the next generation of wildlife, the Ohio (614) 688-3479. Safety Training, 1-4 p.m., species in Ohio ecosysDepartment of Natural Resources (ODNR) advises residents to enjoy Ohio’s • May 9-11: Big Ohio tems. Early registration wildlife from a distance. Sale Weekend - National Summerton Fire Depart- $45 by May 3; later regisment Building, 55717 This advice extends to young or presumed abandoned wildlife. Young animals Sheep Sale, Preble Washington St. (SR 800), tration $55 by May 10. County Fairgrounds, are usually not abandoned, and the parents will retrieve them, especially when Register online at Eaton. For more informa- Summerton. Workshop on http://woodlandstewards.o left alone by humans. A wild animal, even when young, is capable of biting, preventing microbial contion about the sales conscratching and transmitting diseases and parasites to humans and pets. Information: tamination on fruit and Banner Sale tact Many wild animals are raised by only one adult and are not tended to during or vegetable farms, including Management Service, PO daylight hours. For example, a doe white-tailed deer will hide her fawn from (614) 688-3421. Box 500, Cuba, IL 61427, the use of Good Agriculpredators alone in a secluded spot, such as a meadow or flower bed. The doe • May 23: Secrest After Practices. The protural (309) 785-5058, or tends to the fawn several times each night. Hours, 5-7 p.m., Secrest gram will be presented Do not capture and attempt to care for animals. State and federal laws protect www.bannersheepArboretum, Seaman Oriwithout technology and and regulate wildlife and endangered species in Ohio. Only persons known as re- will be Amish-friendly. entation Plaza, Ohio Agri• May 10-11: Chadwick habilitators, under special permits issued by the ODNR Division of Wildlife, may Registration is $10. To cultural Research and Arboretum Spring Plant possess and care for native wild animals. Sale, Auction and Garden- register or for informaDevelopment Center, 1680 The ODNR Division of Wildlife and Ohio Wildlife Rehabilitators Association tion: (740) 472-0810 or ing Fair, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Madison Ave., Wooster. (OWRA) offers the following advice to reduce human interference with wildlife: http://producesafety.osu.e May 10, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Discussion of trees and Think before you act. Check for nests before mowing, cutting trees or clearing May 11, auction at noon du/events. shrubs followed by social brush. It is best to cut trees and clear brush in the autumn when nesting season both days. Northwest cor• May 14: Produce Safety Training, 6-9 p.m., time and hors d’oeuvres in is over. ner of Lane Avenue and OSU Extension Guernsey nearby Jack and Deb Leave the animal in the wild. If a person disturbs a nest, he or she should Fred Taylor Drive, Ohio wear gloves and replace the animal and the nest material to the original location State University, Colum- County, Guernsey County Miller Pavilion. Free. InFairgrounds, 335-B Old or as close as possible. It’s a myth that wildlife parents will not tend to their formation: cochran. bus. Information: (614) National Road, Old Wash- or (330) 464young because of human scent. Wildlife parents are devoted parents, and most 688-3479. • May 10: Registration ington. Workshop on pre- 2148. birds don’t even have a sense of smell. venting microbial deadline for Ohio’s NonKeep pets under control so they do not raid nests and injure wild animals. • May 25-26: Great on fruit contamination Native Invasives workKeep pets inoculated against parasites and diseases. Lakes Sale — National Educate children to respect wildlife and their habitat. Tell children not to han- shop May 17 in Mansfield. and vegetable farms, inSheep Sale, Wayne cluding the use of Good Early registration $45 by dle wild animals. Fairgrounds, County Agricultural Practices. Contact the local wildlife official or a licensed wildlife rehabilitator before tak- May 3; later registration Registration is $10. To Wooster. For more infor$55 by May 10. Register ing action. Trust and follow the advice of these trained professionals. Call 800mation about the sales online at http://woodland- register or for informaWILDLIFE (945-3543) with questions. tion: (740) 472-0810 or contact Banner Sale ManMore information about how animals care for their young and a list of licensed Inforhttp://producesafety.osu.e agement Service, PO Box mation: wildlife rehabilitators is available at Visit the OWRA website at du/events. or 500, Cuba, IL 61427, (309) to learn more. • May 16: Strawberry (614) 688-3421. 785-5058, or www.bannerODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural re• May 11: 20th Annual Plasticulture Field Night, sources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at 6-9 p.m., Ohio State Uni-


Watch for wildlife with spring’s arrival

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