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Standard Wilmington News Journal Permit No. 10 Wilmington, Ohio Post Office

of Southwest Ohio Issue 11 FORD - LINCOLN - CHRYSLER - JEEP - DODGE

January 2013

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Farm land value never higher OHIO FARM ACREAGE VALUE JUMPS 13.6 PERCENT IN 2012 By GARY BROCK


he value of an acre of Ohio farm land is greater today than at any time in history. That is the conclusion of an Ohio State University Extension agriculture business expert who also points out that this record dollar value is both unadjusted and adjusted for inflation. And he believes that 2013 should be an even better year than 2012. Barry Ward, OSU production business management leader told

Acres of Southwest Ohio that his prediction for 2013 is based on the potential for crop profits, the low interest rates, the strong balance sheets for farmers in 2012 and the recent history for strong profits. “Price (of crops) has been the driving force in farm land value,” he says. In addition to Ward’s conclusions about 2013, he also points out that 2012 was a growth year for farm land value, as well. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “Land Values: 2012 Summary” reports that Ohio’s cropland value jumped 13.6 percent in 2012

compared to 2011. According to the report, the average price per acre of Ohio farmland was $5,000 in 2012. Nationwide, cropland value has increased every year since 2003 - except 2009, when it dipped just slightly, according to the USDA report. What is driving this increase in farm land value? He said there are four areas. “As we project farm land value for next year, everything is very positive. The profit potential is above average based on the strong balance sheets and there have been several

years of these strong profits.” Another factor is the belief that today’s low interest rates will remain low in 2013. He also pointed out that the debt to asset ratio for farmers continues to improve. Despite the 2012 drought, Ward says 2012 crop values were good overall. And that will translate again this year. He said that once again, corn crops will lead the way. “Corn will be king again,” he said. In addition to these measures of land value, a more basic guide of See VALUES/A2

“As we project farm land value for next year, everything is very positive.” Barry Ward, OSU production business management leader

Winter in the Barn By MARIBETH URALRITH


No winter rest for farmers


Grain Farmers Symposium


Master gardener classes offered


Winter livestock needs increase


Conservation funds available

12 14

Pest control


Farm Bill extended

17 1B

Amish Cook


Goat, sheep series planned


Upcoming events


rotecting livestock is a concern and a challenge even at the best of times for farm owners. Winter’s challenges for the livestock farmer include providing shelter from the elements, free access to fresh water, a balanced diet to maintain the increase of energy needed to combat the cold, and grooming for certain animals and hoof care. Keeping livestock in healthy, physically-fit shape means happy and productive animals even in the harshest of weather. Wilmington area DVM’s - Carrie Belles of Country View Mobile Veterinary Services and Robert Gano of Orchard Veterinary Care, Inc. take care of area large farm animals and have several useful suggestions for keeping livestock healthy during the winter months. One essential consideration livestock and large animals owners need to know is ensuring their animals have a fresh water source. “Freezing is a big issue, “states Dr. Belles. “Tank heaters can be used but with caution; manufactures recommendations need to be followed to prevent fires and electric shock – there are also certain types of water tanks designed to resist freezing also take help the work load of the farmer. For those livestock owners with just a few animals or pets, buckets – plastic, not metal should be used and fresh unfrozen water will need to be supplied several times each day.” Ensuring adequate water intake, Belles comments, will encourage optimal health

Photo by Elaine Wingo

Dr. Carrie Belles examines a goat, specifically looking at his mucous membrane color of his upper eyelid to ensure they are pink. If they appear white, it would be a sign of anemia.



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ACRES of Southwest Ohio

Rich Soil Reaps Rewards In Ohio of Southwest Ohio January 2013 Publisher — Pamela Stricker Editor — Gary Brock Layout — Jayla Wallingford



Adams County (937) 544-2391 Lee Huffman, Publisher Brown County (937) 378-6161 Steve Triplett, Publisher Clinton County (937) 382-2574 Sharon Kersey, Ad Director Fayette County (740) 335-3611 Sherri Sattler, Ad Director Highland County (937) 393-3456 Mickey Parrott, Ad Director Subscriptions Brenda Earley, Circulation Director (937) 393-3456, Contact ACRES of Southwest Ohio: 761 S. Nelson Ave. | Wilmington, OH 45177 | (937) 382-2574

ACRES of Southwest Ohio is published monthly by Ohio Community Media, LLC and is available through the Georgetown News-Democrat, Hillsboro Times-Gazette, Ripley Bee, Washington CH Record-Herald, West Union People’s Defender and Wilmington News Journal. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction of any material from this issue in whole or in part is prohibited. ACRES of Southwest Ohio is available for purchase at each of the newspaper offices for $1/copy or contact us to subscribe. Subscriptions $19.95 per year.

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VALUES Continued from page 1A

this value happens every year. Each year land reappraisals are conducted in Ohio counties by the county auditor’s office. These reappraisals are done for counties every six years and are staggered, dividing out Ohio’s 88 counties. In 2012, 19 Ohio counties had land reappraisals, and all of those contacted reported to Acres that farm land value jumped this year from 2011. In Highland County, Auditor Bill Fawley says the value of the farm land is based on what

kind of land it is. It is all about the soil. Highland County has 275 different soil types, second highest only to Ross County, but the dominant soil type is called “Clermont” soil. And that soil is among the best soil for growing crops. As a result, Highland County CAUV (Current Agricultural Use Value) land values rose 44.2 percent compared to 2011. “That really isn’t a surprise,” said Foley. “They (the state CAUV board) warned us that it would be going up.” The “it” in this case is the complicated formula used by counties to determine this farm land value.

Gary Brock is Editor-InChief of Acres.

How much is your farm land worth? The answer to that question is usually pretty easy. A farmer can call his County Auditor’s Office and get the latest appraised value of his land, and he can also contact a local realtor to determine his land’s market value, or sale price. A farmer can also calculate his land value based on the state of Ohio’s “CAUV” formula. So an acre of farm land can have several “values” depending on what this value is needed for. In 2012, however, the easiest answer to the question, “How much is your farm land worth?” is this: “It’s worth a whole bushel of money more than it was a year ago!” If fact, it is very possible that Ohio’s agriculture land is worth more today than at any time in history. And that is in real dollars or adjusted for inflation dollars. To many people, that comes as a startling revelation. But to those in the agriculture business, or those who deal with appraising the value of land,

it is no surprise at all. From many angles, it has never been a better time to be a farmer. Now I will tell you that there are a lot of farmers who will scoff at that notion. At least they will scoff at it publicly. But I suspect that deep inside, they probably know that despite things like the 2012 drought, the rash of regulations and laws and government paperwork, the recession and competition overseas, what farmers are earning for what they produce could be at an all-time high. And that is part of what is driving these record agriculture land values. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “Land Values 2012 Summary” the value per acre of Ohio’s farm land rose 13.6 percent over 2013, with an average price per acre of about $5,000. That’s back up by

Foley said that the other measure of land value, agriculture market value, showed a jump of 19 percent compared to 2011. CAUV is a real estate tax assessment program which gives owners of farmland the chance to have their parcels taxed according to their value in agriculture, rather than full market value. It is the result of a referendum passed by Ohio voters in November, 1973. The Ohio General Assembly subsequently passed Senate Bill 423 in April, 1974, establishing CAUV Program by law. A state board regularly meets and sets the formula that county audi-

tors must use when they determine the value of farm land. Foley said that in 2008, land with this Clermont soil was CAUV valued at $120 an acre. In 2012, that jumped to more than $1,000 an acre. In Highland County, the CAUV formula is used for 270,000 out of its 351,000 acres of appraised land. In neighboring Fayette County, Auditor Mike Smith also reported an increase in farm land value during the 2012 reappraisal. He said market value of farm land jumped 17 percent over 2011. He added that the county’s CAUV value

county after county where property reappraisals are being done this year. A survey by ACRES of Southwest Ohio found that all the counties doing these reappraisals this year - required of each Ohio county every six years by the county Auditor - were showing significant increases in agricultural property values. That is even when the value of residential property in those same counties was going down. Of course, for property tax purposes, the appraised value of land and the market price of the land are two different things. But both numbers are trending upward here in Ohio. A third measure is also showing farm land value going up. The CAUV Current Agricultural Use Value - is also way up. In Highland County, for instance, this measure of farm land value jumped more than 40 percent in the last year. CAUV is a real estate tax assessment program which gives owners of farmland the chance to have their parcels taxed according to their value in agriculture, rather than

full market value. It is the result of a referendum passed by Ohio voters in November, . Most farmers take part in this program because it means a savings for them in real estate taxes. But that is the “other side” of all this good news. Ohio State Extension expert Barry Ward, predicted recently that while 2012 was great for Ohio farm land value, 2013 might just be even better. That’s great news … sort of. Because as the value of the land rises, so does the tax obligation, regardless of which measure is used to calculate what the land owner owes. As we start 2013 this month, predictions are very positive about land value, and that is based on what most people expect to be record prices for crops per acre this year. That predicted increase should offset easily any increase in taxes for farmers when they go to pay their tax bills next year. At least, if all goes according to plans…

had jumped 29 percent as well. About 95 percent of Fayette County farm land is eligible for the CAUV program. In Brown County, the Auditor’s Office reported that CAUV land value jumped from $611 an acre to $889 an acre. The county’s market value also jumped from $2,003 an acre to $2,437

an acre. In Crawford County, land values jumped, as well. The auditor’s office reported CAUV value jumped about 54 percent between 2011 and 2012, while market value increased 41 percent between 2011 and 2012. (Gary Brock is editor of Acres of Southwest Ohio.)



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ACRES of Southwest Ohio

January 2013

WINTER Continued from page 1A

and performance of live stock and help prevent serious conditions such as colic and impactation of horses. Another important tip includes feeding. Energy requirements for livestock increase when it is cold, especially when it is wet and cold and even increases more when it is wet, cold and windy. Extra needed energy can increase between 50 and 100 percent for animals in the cold, says Dr. Belles. That extra energy can be provided through good quality roughage such as hay and grains. “Due to high grain prices and limited amounts of quality hay - supplements with protein, energy, vitamins, and minerals may be necessary to be given to your livestock,” comments Dr. Gano. “Mineral blocks, Salt blocks, Molasses and non- protein nitrogen lick tubs, grain, or soybean meal are all things I would recommend to give to livestock. I would also suggest talking with your feed supplier and veterinarian about adequate rations. One thing to be cautious about is to be very careful of giving your animals molded hay or grain

which can make animals sick. When giving grains to livestock, always make changes in rations gradually. For bred livestock in the last 1-2 months of pregnancy I would recommend increased rations and your best hay.” Shelter is incredibly important for livestock especially in inclement weather. “Access to manmade or natural shelter,” comments Belles, “can significantly lower the effects of wind-chill. Acceptable shelter will decrease energy requirements and therefore feed costs as well as increasing animal comfort. Owners also must make sure there is a sufficient amount of space for all animals to benefit them. Overcrowding can lead to trampling and injury. For pet owners with access to or is housed in a stall or barn, clean, dry bedding should be provided to help insulate the animals from the cold ground and should be routinely changed when it becomes damp or soiled from waste. Horses should be provided with blankets. Good ventilation in barns with no drafts is important to prevent respiratory conditions and diseases.” “Most livestock needs a wind break or some form of shelter from wind,” adds Gano. “But don’t close

Photo by Elaine Wingo

A steer walks over mucky ground. Dr. Belles explains that “mud can affect the insulating properties of the animals’ coat.”

them in where excessive moisture makes for higher incident of pneumonia.” When it comes to winter weather, mud is often an imposing concern, especially for farmers who own cattle herds. “Mud can affect the insulating properties of the animals’ coat,” states Dr. Belles, “and that can have a negative effect on the animals heath and overall well being of adults but especially on calves. Cattle have to expend more energy to get to the feed, bedding, or water source. Spending more energy can leave the cattle with less energy for reproduction. Management becomes an essential factor here - soils types and slopes, feeding pads or ground coverings, minimizing vehicle traffic, and choosing waters sources that produce less water splash are all things that have to be considered when trying to decrease the ill effects of mud,” responds Belles. Ensuring that livestock Dr. Robert Gano DVM of Orchard Veterinary Care, Inc. is in good physical condiin Wilmington takes care of area large farm animals.

tion prior to the cold winter months is also important for owners to consider. “When evaluating the body condition of your livestock, “comments Dr. Gano, “don’t be fooled by heavy hair coats and distended abdomens. Feel over their ribs for adequate body cover. You should be able to detect ribs, but not fell indentations between them. Don’t let parasites and worms weaken your stock. Check for lice signs of excessive rubbing and licking off of hair. Consult with your veterinarian to have feces checked for worm eggs. Observe your stock regularly for signs of sickness-cough, rapid breathing, excessive nasal discharge, diarrhea, drooping head and ears, or lethargy. And also, make sure to consult with your veterinarian to create a vaccination program appropriate for your livestock,” recommends Gano. For livestock born during the winter months, it is best to monitor the young

as much as possible to ensure the mother is cleaning it off and it is receiving colostrums within six hours after its birth. “Consumption of good quality colostrums within the appropriate time is essential for the health of the neonate,” say Dr. Belles. “This will provide it with immunoglobulins from the mother to fight disease and prevent hypoglycemia and hypothermia. Hypothermia is a large area of concern with small ruminate neonates such as kids, crias (baby llama, and alpacas), and lambs. Shelter for these with clean, dry bedding, and a safe heat source should be provided as wind-chill significantly affects these neonates. Insulated and waterproofjackets are available for most species and can be a significant benefit,” states Belles. Good nutrition, shelter and fresh water access are all healthy management practices that are key to healthy, high performing

and long-living animals of any type. As we are fast approaching the winter months, it is wise to consult your veterinarian about any specific concerns you may have about livestock and pets. Being prepared for winter ensures that your animals are healthy and at their maximum in for production. Dr. Carrie Belles is a Wilmington native who grew up on a small beef cattle farm. She earned her Doctor of Medicine degree from The Ohio State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 2011. Dr. Robert Gano was born and raised on a farm in Clinton County with hogs, cattle, sheep, and pets. He is also a graduate of The Ohio State University as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) and has practiced in Clinton and surrounding counties for the past 34 years. (Maribeth Uralrich is a contributor to Acres of Southwest Ohio.)

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January 2013

ACRES of Southwest Ohio

No winter rest for Ohio farmers


There’s plenty to do on the farm during ‘off ’ season



Although you won’t see them toiling in the fields from daybreak to sunset, the winter months are hardly a time of rest for Ohio farmers. In fact, most farmers keep just as busy when the weather turns cold as they do during the hot summer months. “Winter time for farmers in Ohio is spent just like every other day,” said Adam Shepard, the Extension Educator Agriculture and Natural Resources at the Ohio State UniversityFayette County Extension. “For those producers who are raising livestock, they spend a great deal of time caring for their animals and assuring they remain healthy and safe throughout the winter.” While most of the field work has been completed for the year, growers are now tasked with looking back over the growing season and making decisions

on how to reduce the risk for next year. “Winter is also a popular time to service equipment in heated shops and do some maintenance that may get neglected during the busy fall,” said Shepard. “Marketing stored grain and filling contacts with local grain elevators is also a popular task for those growers with onfarm grain storage.” Producers are also given the difficult task of making purchases for next year’s growing season before this one officially ends. “Growers are given the opportunity to purchase a great deal of their crop inputs for next year while also receiving a nice discount for ordering early,” said Shepard. Most growers use the winter as a time to attend educational meetings, such as the ones offered by the OSU Extension to help them be more productive in their operations, Shepard said.

“Some growers carry certification to completed various farm-related tasks that require training and re-certification, which is normally completed during the winter,” he added. The business aspect of farming never stops, said Fred Hoppes, who has operated a farm since 1967, when he was only 19 years old. “Now more than ever, farming is a business,” said Hoppes. “And if you don’t run it like a business, you’re going to go broke. I worked seven days a week for 40 years. There is no break.” Hoppes, who retired from raising livestock in 2009 but still operates his grain farm, added that not only is there no break during the winter months, sometimes even more work may be required than when farmers are out in the fields. “First of all, your tax returns need to be done properly,” he said. “There’s machinery, main-


tenance, tax returns, the financial aspect, etc. There’s a whole lot involved. And when you’re dealing with crop inputs, it’s a competitive world. You have to have your ducks in a row. You have to pay attention of where to buy certain items and where not to buy them.” An increase in excavation in Fayette County has also added more work during the winter. “There is more excavating now than I’ve ever seen it because the profits are a little better and people can afford to do it,” Hoppes said. “I deal with the business side every day during the winter. You can’t just walk away when the winter months come.”

According to the National Weather Service climate records for Cincinnati area: • Every day in January has set a record high of 61ºF or above sometime between 1876 and 2008. • Record highs in February range from 66ºF to 76ºF. • Forty-eight percent of the days in March hold record highs above 80ºF. • For the past two years, the greatest snow and ice depth was 5 inches in January, 2011. • The average greatest depth of snow and ice for the past 15 Januaries is 3.6 inches. • The average greatest depth of snow and ice for the past 15 Februaries is 4.4 inches. • The average greatest depth of snow and ice for the past 15 Marches is 1.8 inches. • On the other hand - All 31 days of January have had record lows in the negative digits sometime between 1875 and 2004. • Mid-January temperatures dropped to 21ºF, -24ºF and -25ºF respectively on three nights in a row in 1977. • Only two days in February, Feb. 28 and 29, do not have record lows zero degrees or below. • Sub-zero temperatures came as late as March 5 in 1978. • Twice in the Januaries of the first decade of the 21st century more than half a foot of snow and ice covered the ground. • In February 2010, 15 inches of snow and ice covered the ground. • In March 2008, 11 inches of snow and ice covered the ground.

(Ryan Carter is managing editor of the Record-Herald in Washington Court House.)

From Clif Little and Stephen Boyles of OSU Extension: • A 1,000 pound cow nursing a calf and producing 20 pounds

of milk a day requires 20.6 pounds of dry matter, 2.5 pounds of crude protein and 13.8 pounds of total digestible nutrients per day. • Proper decision making for reducing winter feed cost includes: • Identifying the nutrient composition of available feeds; • Maintaining adequate body condition score (1 = thin, 9 = fat) and growth rate of reproductive females; • Supplementing according to the proper nutrient balance needed for groups of livestock; • Culling nonproductive animals prior to winter; • Strategically deworming and delousing cattle to avoid losing cheap gains on pasture. From Tracy Turner and Rory Lewandowski of OSU Extension: • Animals have a thermoneutral zone - a temperature range in which the animal is most comfortable, not under any temperature stress, and that is considered optimum for body maintenance, health and animal performance. • When livestock experience cold stress below the lower boundary of their thermoneutral zone, they reach lower critical temperature (LCT) and the animal’s metabolism must increase in order for it to keep warm. • LCT is influenced by an animal’s size, age, breed, nutrition, housing conditions and hair coat or wool thickness. • The LCT for beef cattle is 32 degrees in winter and 18 degrees in heavy winter. • For goats, LCT is generally considered 32 degrees, and for sheep, 50 degrees. • Generally, energy intake must increase by 1 percent for each degree of cold below the LCT.


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January 2013


Grain growers gather Ohio Grain Farmers Symposium held in Wilmington By ANDREA L. CHAFFIN

More than 100 farmers from across Ohio gathered in Wilmington in late December to learn about issues that impact the agriculture industry the most at the 2012 Ohio Grain Farmers Symposium (OGFS). This is the second consecutive year Clinton County has hosted the event, which is held in conjunction with the annual meetings of the Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association (OCWGA) and Ohio Soybean Association (OSA). “We were really excited because there were a lot of great speakers and we were really happy with the crowd,” said Adam Ward, executive director of the Ohio Soybean Association. “Having it in Wilmington, there are always a lot of folks from southwest Ohio that can make their way over.” Among the topics discussed during the general session were a legislative update, overview of the current Renewable Fuel

Standard and market values, and a presentation from a nationally known climatologist regarding past, present and future weather trends. Attendees also had the opportunity to choose from a variety of breakout sessions about weed resistance, water quality and the Farm Service Agency. “All of the topics were pretty interesting,” Ward said. “But, when you take a step back, there are a lot of farmers concerned about weed resistance issues springing up across the south. Probably what hit closest to home is what’s going on with Farm Service Agency and how different programs will be affected by a lack of a passage of a Farm Bill.” Jerry Bambauer, president of the Ohio Soybean Association, said Thursday’s event was one of the “neatest (he) had attended in a long time.” Bambauer, who currently farms 850 acres of corn, soybeans and wheat in Auglaize County, has been a farmer since the 1970s and an OSA board member for six years.

“We are trying to understand some of the things we are coming up against, and, as a farmer, I like the updates on how things are progressing,” he said. The discussion on water quality was the most helpful for his operation, as he has been dealing with the issue increasingly for the past two years. Two watersheds are located near his farm, Bambauer said. “It’s probably the main topic coming into the commodity groups,” he said. “We’ve all got to be conscious of it and we’re all affected by it.” Other topics he felt were especially important were weed resistance (in reference to the herbicide resistant weed species raging through the South) and the climatology presentation by Evelyn BrowningGarriss, a historical climatologist with Browning Consultants who has served clients across the world. “I’m not really a big global warming person, but the climatology (session) really gave a new perspec-

Photos by Andrea L. Chaffin

Evelyn Browning-Garriss, a world-renowned historical climatologist with Browning Consultants, was one of the speakers at the symposium.

tive on why things are happening,” he said. “She told us why it’s happening and was able to predict some things in the future — that was pretty neat.” When asked what next year’s weather will be like compared to the droughts of 2012, Bambauer reported that due to a “La Nina,” there will be better

temperatures and moisture for crops, repeating the prediction of BrowningGarriss. Learning from one another is what the symposium is all about, Ward said. “One of the big things we can do is share what different problems farmers are having and their solu-

tions,” he said. “As we continue to provide consumers with food products they want, we all have to make sure we’re learning from each other and providing the best information we can so that we’re doing our job in agriculture.” (Andrea Chaffin is a staff writer for The Wilmington News Journal.)

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January 2013

ACRES of Southwest Ohio

Master Gardeners grow strong with help of volunteers New classes to start in February By BRYAN PECK

Farming and agriculture has a long history in southern Ohio, from professional farming operations to recreational gardens run by residents. For those with little luck in producing home grown produce, there is plenty of help available, through the Ohio State University Extension Office Master Gardener Volunteer program. For those considering planting a garden of their own in 2013, asking a Master Gardener Volunteer for some pointers would be a good place to start. The Master Gardener program originated in Seattle, Wash. in 1972, when the Extension Agent for the King County office of the Washington State Extension Service began to train and utilize the expertise of volunteers in order to more effectively reach the gardening public with research-based educational information. The program gained popularity in the United States over the next 10 years, arriving in Ohio in the late 1970s. There are now Master Gardener programs across the United States, as well as Canada and other countries. While the program’s initial focus was in the more urban counties of Ohio, there are now more than 3,000 active Master Gardener volunteers in more than 62 Ohio counties, urban, suburban and rural. In addition to education, Master Gardener Volunteers typically meet periodically to participate in community service and beautification projects. According to Faye Mahaffey, an OSUE Master Gardener Volunteer for Brown County, Master Gardeners in Ohio have been very active. “Last year Master Gardeners spent over 150,000 hours leading projects, giving horticultural presentations and raising gardening

Brown County Master Gardeners include Linda Banyea, Jim Crocker, Kathy Reid and Colleen Hannah.


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The garden at the Ohio Veterans Home is maintained by residents with the help of the Brown County Master Gardeners.

GARDENERS Continued from page 6A

awareness,” Mahaffey said. “Their volunteer efforts resulted in $3.3 million worth of community service contributions throughout Ohio.” Brown County’s Master Gardener Volunteers have been engaged in community work at the Southern Ohio Veterans Home in Georgetown. “On the third Tuesday of each month, through the gardening season, we meet with the veteran gardeners at The Ohio Veterans Home located in Georgetown,” Mahaffey said. “Working side by side with these enthusiastic gardeners is a great privilege. What do we do? Anything they need help with. Tilling, mulching, and especially pulling those pesky weeds. We love swapping stories about the best tomato, the largest head of cabbage, and what will be in the garden next year.” One of the biggest benefits to a Master Gardener program is information. The OSUE Master Gardener program’s main goals are to spread awareness about integrated pest management, invasive species, backyard and local foods, and environmental horticulture. Volun-

“Working side by side with these enthusiastic gardeners is a great privilege.” — Faye Mahaffey

Ohio Veterans Home resident Bonnie Chasteen and Brown County Master Gardener Volunteer Colleen Hannah work on a garden at the home.

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teers also provide detailed information to the public through a series of seminars. According to Mahaffey, there will be several gardening seminars held at the Fincastle campus of the Southern State Community College in 2013. All seminars are open to the public and are held in the SHCTC library from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Seminars include Jan. 17, roses; Feb. 21, miniature gardens; March 21, native plants/ identification; April 18, vertical gardens; and May 16, water gardens. Those interested in becoming OSUE Master Gardener Volunteers should contact their local OSU Extension office for more information. A complete list of Master Gardener events and active programs is available at According to Mahaffey, those interested in becoming Master Gardener Volunteers simply need a passion for learning about gardening and sharing knowledge with others. Working with county OSUE personnel, Master Gardener Volunteers provide such educational services to their communities such as answering gardening questions from the public, conducting plant clinics, gardening activities with children, senior citizens,

or disabled persons, beautifying the community, developing community or demonstration gardens and more. “The benefits of becoming an OSUE Master Gardener Volunteer, for me, personally, would have to include meeting new gardening friends, access to research-based gardening information, and the opportunity to spread the joy of gardening in my community,” Mahaffey said. Mahaffey said there is still time to register for the upcoming training classes to become a Master Gardener Volunteer. The Adams, Brown, Clermont and Highland County Extension Offices have begun the process for the 2013 Master Gardener courses, which will begin on Feb. 20 and end May 22. The Adams County Extension Office is handling the registration for this class, and can be reached at (937) 544-2339. The OSU Extension Office Master Gardener Volunteer training course costs $150 for this session, and the deadline to register is Feb. 11. Other Master Gardener classes in other counties may have different fees for this course. (Bryan Peck is the editor of the News Democrat in Georgetown.)



January 2013

ACRES of Southwest Ohio

Winter weather increases livestock’s needs By TRACY TURNER OSU Extension

WOOSTER – While colder temperatures now experienced throughout the region mean livestock producers need to be aware of increased livestock energy requirements, those animals that may be thinner because of the drought could need extra energy supplements sooner, an Ohio State University Extension educator said. Cold temperatures, cold rains and muddy conditions can significantly increase the energy required by livestock metabolism to provide enough heat for the animal to maintain its body temperature, said Rory Lewandowski, an

agricultural and natural resources educator for OSU Extension. But those animals that have less body condition and less body fat as a result of grazing on drought-impacted pastures may need to have that additional supplement sooner to be able to produce the energy needed to weather the cold period, he said. Animals in good body condition can call on fat reserves, but if they are in colder temperatures for longer periods, they need the increased energy content in rations to help them alleviate cold stress, Lewandowski said. “Every year, going into the winter means that producers have

to take into account weather conditions,” he said. “But in a drought year like this, we have to look at what kind of body conditions livestock has coming into the weather. “If the herd is pasture-based, those animals may be coming in to winter in thinner body condition because our earlier drought conditions caused pastures to dry up and didn’t offer as much forage for livestock. Producers have to evaluate their herds’ body conditions and whether those animals can go through adverse weather.” Animals have a thermoneutral zone – a temperature range in which the animal is most comfortable and not under any temperature stress and that is considered optimum for body maintenance, health and animal

performance. But when livestock experience cold stress below the lower boundary of that zone, they reach lower critical temperature (LCT) and the animal’s metabolism must increase in order for it to keep warm, Lewandowski said. “That means the animal must increase its energy intake to maintain body temperature and basic body maintenance functions,” he said. “Generally, energy intake must increase by 1 percent for each degree of cold below the LCT.” Animals that are fed averageto good-quality hay are more likely to be able to increase intake enough to meet the additional energy demands. But those being fed low-quality forage are unlikely to be able to increase their intake enough to meet increased energy demands, Lewandowski said. “If poor-quality forage is the only forage option or if there is an extended period of extreme cold weather, then some additional energy supplementation is necessary for the animals,” he said. Producers should keep in mind that LCT is influenced by an animal’s size, age, breed, nutrition, housing conditions, and hair coat or wool thickness. The thicker the hair coat or

wool , the more the LCT decreases, he said. “But with a wet hair coat, regardless of how heavy it is, the lower critical temperature increases to 59 degrees, as hair coats lose their insulation ability when wet,” Lewandowski said, referring to cattle, horses and goats. Sheep wool is able to shed water. The lower critical temperature for beef cattle is: Summer or wet: 59 degrees Fall: 45 degrees Winter: 32 degrees Heavy winter: 18 degrees The lower critical temperature for goats is generally considered 32 degrees and for sheep, 50 degrees, he said. “For most livestock, it really is a matter of adapting to the weather,” he said. “Cattle will adapt to cold with a thicker coat if they have the feed source. “And ensuring livestock is blocked from the direct force of the wind will help protect them from wind chill.” Breeding livestock that are subjected to prolonged periods below their lower critical temperature may experience reproductive issues, while other livestock classes will have reduced gains or even lose weight, Lewandowski said.

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Look for ulture more Agric in snapshots ns future editio! of Acres

AGRICULTURE County Profile

% 2007 2002 change Number of Farms ..............................................755......................709 ............+6 Land in Farms...................................102,025 acres .......96,449 acres ............+6 Average Size of Farm ..............................135 acres ............136 acres.............-1 Market Value of Products Sold ...........$19,938,000 .......$14,867,000 .........+ 34 Crop Sales $95,916,000 (79 percent) Livestock Sales $26,124,000 (21 percent) Average Per Farm....................................$26,407 ..............$20,968 ........+ 26 Government Payments..........................$1,067,000 ............$684,000 ........+ 56 Average Per Farm Receiving Payments..........$5,080.................$4,147 .........+ 22

Economic Characteristics


Farms by value of sales: Less than $1,000 .....................................................................267 $1,000 to $2,499 .....................................................................139 $2,500 to $4,999 .......................................................................95 $5,000 to $9,999 .......................................................................86 $10,000 to $19,999 ...................................................................79 $20,000 to $24,999 ...................................................................19 $25,000 to $39,999 ...................................................................17 $40,000 to $49,999 .....................................................................6 $50,000 to $99,999 ...................................................................17 $100,000 to $249,999 ...............................................................16 $250,000 to $499,999 ...............................................................11 $500,000 or more........................................................................3 Total farm production expenses ($1,000) .............................16,539 Average per farm ($)............................................................21,906 Net cash farm income of operation ($1,000) ..........................5,814 Average per farm ($)..............................................................7,700

Operator Characteristics

Scioto County – Ohio Ranked items among the 88 state counties and 3,079 U.S. counties, 2007 State Quantity Rank



U.S. Rank


MARKET VALUE OF AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS SOLD ($1,000) Total value of agricultural products sold Value of crops including nursery and greenhouse Value of livestock, poultry, and their products

19,938 10,040 9,897

70 73 58

88 88 88

2,252 1,867 2,052

3,076 3,072 3,069

VALUE OF SALES BY COMMODITY GROUP ($1,000) Grains, oilseeds, dry beans, and dry peas Tobacco Cotton and cottonseed Vegetables, melons, potatoes, and sweet potatoes Fruits, tree nuts, and berries Nursery, greenhouse, floriculture, and sod Cut Christmas trees and short rotation woody crops Other crops and hay Poultry and eggs Cattle and calves Milk and other dairy products from cows Hogs and pigs Sheep, goats, and their products Horses, ponies, mules, burros, and donkeys Aquaculture Other animals and other animal products

7,573 (D) 971 (D) 216 1 (D) (D) (D) 161 42 27 253 26

66 9 30 (D) 76 78 (D) 14 (D) 83 77 79 37 64

88 12 88 88 87 84 88 88 88 86 88 88 88 53 88

1,341 (D) 821 (D) 1,770 1,506 (D) (D) (D) 1,914 1,656 2,111 920 1,664

2,933 437 626 2,796 2,659 2,703 1,710 3,054 3,020 3,054 2,493 2,922 2,998 3,024 1,498 2,875

17,162 14,102 7,371

58 33 68

87 88 88

884 1,375 1,284

2,039 3,060 2,634

688 509

69 68

87 86

1,749 1,321

2,481 2,263

(D) (D) 9,490 1,510 624

8 8 54 28 41

88 86 88 88 88

(D) (D) 2,045 854 1,235

3,024 2,627 3,060 3,066 3,023

TOP CROP ITEMS (acres) Soybeans for beans Corn for grain Wheat for grain, all Forage - land used for all hay and haylage, grass silage, and greenchop Corn for silage TOP LIVESTOCK INVENTORY ITEMS (number) Cattle and calves Hogs and pigs Sheep and lambs Quail Horses and ponies


Principal operators by primary occupation: Farming................................................................................................289 Other ....................................................................................................466


Principal operators by sex: Male .....................................................................................................673 Female....................................................................................................82 Average age of principal operator (years)............................................55.4 All operators by race: American Indian or Alaska Native ..........................................................13 Asian ........................................................................................................3 Black or African American.........................................................................Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander .................................................White.................................................................................................1,071 More than one race ..................................................................................3 All operators of Spanish, Hispanic, or Latino Origin.................................3

Fullly Fully lyy Loa ad ded Loaded

Land in Farms by Type of Land

Cropland 51.3%

Other uses 5.0% Woodland 29.8%

Pasture 14.0%

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$125K in youth farm scholarships announced

Wilmington College students chauffeured to Indiana for job interviews are, from the left, seniors Kara Pontones, LeAnn Topp and Kelsey Berger, and juniors Jenny Shaw and Katie Shaw.

Ag students get royal treatment Seed company flies job prospects to headquarters for inter views By ANDREA CHAFFIN

WILMINGTON — Rock stars? A congressional entourage? Moguls of industry? No, the persons leaving Clinton County Airport Nov. 9 by helicopter were five Wilmington College students. Beck’s Hybrids flew the agriculture students to its headquarters in Atlanta, Ind., for interviews with the company. They included seniors Kara Pontones, LeAnn Topp and Kelsey Berger, and juniors Jenny Shaw and Katie Shaw. This marks the second batch of students they’ve transported to Indiana for interviews. The company already hired one of the students. Beck’s is the largest privately held seed company

in the United States and employs a number of WC agriculture alumni. Wilmington College’s agriculture students are finding employment at extraordinarily high percentages within several months after graduation. Berger, one of the students selected for the exclusive interview, is a 21-year-old senior from Milford. She is majoring in agronomy (the science of crops), and graduated in December. The ride was “a little scary at first,” she said. “But once we got in, it was great — just a little cozy in there.” After the group landed, they took a tour of Beck’s facilities, including grain houses and a new research building. Each senior student spoke with three peo-

ple during three separate interviews, and each junior student spoke to individuals hiring for internships. After the company provided lunch, the group also had the opportunity to pose questions to Vice President Scott Beck. For Berger, the trip was somewhat of a reunion. She worked with the company her freshman year and credits Wilmington College’s well-known agriculture program for the opportunities. “I’m familiar with it and I love it,” she said. “I was low on the totem poll, but was taken in with equality and had a great experience. When many other 17-yearolds in different majors and at different schools were going home or working at Kroger, I was given the opportunity to work somewhere in my industry with

valuable experience.” Berger has made it through the first round of interviews, and is waiting to hear when the final round will take place for the fulltime position. “In ag, companies are just as excited to have you as you are to be at the interview,” she said. “Ag is one of few industries not hit by the recession as dramatically — people are still hiring.” “And they’re not just jobs, it’s jobs that I am actually interested in,” Berger continued. “I’m not one of those grads that will have to settle. The experience you get at Wilmington College makes you ready for experiences in the job field.” (Andrea Chaffin is a staff writer for the Staff Writer Wilmington News Journal.) Farm Bureau Discounts

Farm Credit MidAmerica is announcing that it will provide more than $125,000 in scholarship funding for youth pursuing a higher education in the association’s four-state territory throughout 2013., The $19 billion financial services cooperative serves farmers, agribusinesses and rural residents in Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. “The farming population is aging,” said Bob Foster regional vice president, Farm Credit. “Fifty percent of farmers are less than 10 years away from retirement. Providing the financial means for youth interested in furthering their agricultural knowledge is a solid way to protect the future of farming. As agriculture continues to grow and evolve we will do our part to help students continue to grow with the industry.” “Often, a Farm Credit Mid-America scholarship is not just a scholarship,” said Sarah Ayer, a Western Kentucky University student and Farm Credit Scholarship recipient. “Although extra money to put toward my education was fantastic, I also quickly learned of the Farm Credit Internship Program. I applied for an intern position and the rest was history. The

12 weeks I spent with Farm Credit provided me with exposure to farming operations that were much different than what I was familiar with. The Farm Credit Scholarship partnered with my internship cultivated my interest in diverse farming operations – I no longer have a single definition for what farming is.” The cooperative also provides scholarships to 4-H, FFA and universities across the association’s four-state territory. Farm Credit is now taking applications for the Farm Credit Scholarship. This scholarship is available to Farm Credit MidAmerica customers, children of customers, grandchildren of customers and spouses of customers. More information about the Farm Credit Scholarship and other scholarships sponsored by Farm Credit can be found at Applications for the Farm Credit Scholarship can be submitted by clicking on “Community” then “Scholarships” then “Farm Credit Scholarship Program.” You can also contact your local Farm Credit Mid-America office to obtain an application at 1-800-321-3013. Applications must be received by March 1.

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USDA offers conservation funds to farmers The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting applications to help producers improve water and air quality, build healthier soil, improve grazing and forest lands, conserve energy, enhance organic operations, and achieve other environmental benefits. NRCS has directed over $13 million in financial assistance for fiscal 2013 to help Ohio producers implement conservation practices through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), the agency’s largest

Farm Bill conservation program. Interested producers should visit their local NRCS service center for information on EQIP sign-up periods. “The Environmental Quality Incentives Program offers farmers and forestland managers a variety of options to conserve natural resources while boosting production on their lands,” State Conservationist Terry Cosby said. “This $13 million conservation investment helps improve environmental health and the economy of Ohio’s rural communities.”

EQIP provides financial assistance for a variety of conservation activities, such as nutrient management, reduced tillage, field buffers, rotational grazing systems and much more. The deadline for the next signup period in Ohio is Jan. 18. A second sign-up deadline will occur on Feb. 15, if funding is available. Additionally, NRCS offers special initiatives through EQIP, including: On-Farm Energy Initiative: helps producers conserve energy on their operations. Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative: helps pro-

ducers install high tunnels designed to extend the growing season into the cold months, increase productivity, keep plants at a steady temperature and conserve water and energy. Organic Initiative: helps producers to install conservation practices on certified organic operations or those working toward organic certification. Air Quality Initiative: helps producers address air quality concerns through establishing conservation practices such as cover crops, windbreaks, nutrient management and other conservation

measures that mitigate and prevent air quality problems. To participate in EQIP, an applicant must be an individual, entity or joint operation that meets EQIP eligibility criteria. Applicants can sign up at their local NRCS service center. For more information about EQIP or other technical or financial assistance programs offered by NRCS, please contact your local service center: NRCS Adams County Service Center at (937) 544-2033 or cator/app?agency=nrcs.

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Weather conditions such as droughts or early season frosts are not the only factor farmers need to be concerned with when it comes to their crops, food storage, and livestock. Nuisance animals are quickly becoming a large, and at times, difficult to fix problem; they are such an increasing problem, in fact, that Jacob and Melissa Barnes will be celebrating their one year anniversary this January of their southwest Ohio company Barnes Wildlife Control. Recently Melissa broke down the three largest nuisance animal threats. “The three largest nuisance animals that we get calls about are rats, coyotes, and raccoons,” said Melissa, “and there are different options for thwart-

ing these particular animals.” According to Melissa rats, or mice, are a big threat to crops as they stand in the field as well as once they are cut down at harvest. “Rats and mice will eat on the crops as they stand in the field and then after harvest time, they will seek other food sources in indoor storage which leads to contamination of food and loss of food in general.” Melissa and Jacob inform their customers calling about rats or mice that they can take the first step in alleviating some of the problems; “We encourage customers to look around the area before we do anything – if you allow access to crops, feed, or barn and never close off entrances, you will never rid yourself of the problem.” Along with feed and barn issues, rats See PESTS/13A


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plained Melissa. “And the Continued from page 12A best place to put these traps is along a wooded and mice are heavily atarea or tree lines where tracted to electrical wiring. coyotes would pass According to Melissa the through to get to the liverats will “chew through the stock.” insulation of the wiring The third nuisance aniand they also build nests mal that the Barnes’ get by the fuse boxes which is complaints about is the a potential fire hazard.” raccoon; “These creatures Once you check the en- are extremely destructive trance areas there are a to crops in the field, stored couple options for ridding barn crops, and personal your farm area of mice and gardens. They are also rats. Putting out poison quite smart animals so you bait is often effective behave to be crafty to trap cause mice and rats are them,” said Melissa. The one of the only animals most popular way to catch you can poison, but the a raccoon is a life trap, but problem with that is they the catch is that, in Ohio, it don’t always die on site is illegal to relocate which leads to carcass istrapped raccoons because sues. Melissa also sugthey will come right back gested live traps and the to your farm. “Because of regular mice traps most this,” explained Melissa, people use in their homes; “there are two options; you she encourages customers can release the raccoon on to make sure the trap is de- site, which doesn’t fix the signed for the specific aniproblem, or unfortunately, mal you are trying to you have to euthanize catch. them.” The second nuisance Although these three animal the Barnes’ usually nuisance animals are the get calls about are coyotes, most common, there are “with coyotes you are not other animals that cause islooking at crop damage, sues to farmers, their liveper se, but you will have stock, and their crops – loss of livestock, most gen- foxes, groundhogs, skunks, erally younger livestock,” and possums are known to explained Melissa, “Anicause issues on farms, as mals that are stalled do not well. typically face the danger of Barnes Wildlife Control a coyote like animals out works closely with the in pastures do.” Coyotes Miami County Game Warare a strong threat to farm- den and the Miami County ers and their livestock beSheriff’s Office. The cause there are Barnes’ have been successapproximately 2,000 coyfully running their business otes per ten square miles in for a year come January of this area. 2013 and Melissa exMelissa explained the plained that, in order to rid process of catching coyareas of nuisance animals, otes recently, “Coyotes are a Nuisance Wildlife Permit more difficult to catch and is required. get rid of especially since If nuisance animals are there is no natural predator causing a problem for your to hunt coyotes – they are farm or farms near you at the top of the food Melissa and Jacob can be chain.” Melissa suggested reached at live traps, foothold traps, www.barneswildlifeconor snares to keep livestock or at (937) 340 safe. 1867. “Snares are the most ef(Stephani Duff is a fective way to deal with a writer for the Troy Daily coyote problem,” exNews.)


Tillage radishes long on soil penetration By DEAN SHIPLEY

Whoa! Those are some radishes. White, thick, with tall leafy green tops, these are radishes which look to be on steroids. But they’re not. They’re called tillage radishes and can grow up (make that down) to 20 inches in length. While some of that length protrudes above ground, the rest of it thrusts its way into the earth. That’s what they’re supposed to do: push, plunge, propel their way down into terra firma. That growingto-new-depths action is a natural, eco-friendly way for farmers to till their soil without using a mega-ton tractor and tiller to accomplish the same task. That’s just what Madison County farmer Audie Howard wanted to avoid when in 2011 he sowed the radishes and Australia peas into 200 acres in Union Township. That tractor and implement compact the soil as they course over it. When it comes to soil prep, compaction is not the farmer’s best friend. So when the county soil and water conservation office put forth a program to promote cover crops, Howard thought he’d give it a try. He said he had also read about it in a farm publication. The radishes were sown along with Australian peas—sown to benefit the radishes—on 200 acres in Union Township. Julia Cumming, director, said the district encourages farmers to use environmentally friendly means of accomplishing a task and reduce any amount of carbon footprint trod by a diesel-fuel burning tractor. “We have programs that promote cover crops,” Cumming said. We have in-

Rodger Baker of Madison County displays tillage radishes used to break up soil in a more eco-friendly way than machinery. They were grown by farmer Audie Howard as an alternative to using machinery. Photo by Dean Shipley

centives, the environmental quality incentive program. If farmer want to try cover crop, he would apply to and we give them an incentive payment to try it,” Cumming said. “They have to try it.” Howard was not part of the incentive program, but tried it “on my own.” The radishes performed as expected. “It breaks up the ground without machinery doing it,” Howard said. “As big as

they are, they heave the ground.” While the radish is heaving the ground, the pea plants, which are legumes, are infusing the soil with nitrogen Howard said. Howard harvested neither crop, but left them in the ground to decay, giving the earth additional organic matter. To plant growth, that matters. Following the tilling radishes decay, Howard

planted corn on the field. Despite the drought, the corn, while diminished by the lack of rain, grew well. He said the tillage radish “experiment” was worthwhile. In other fields at the end of the growing season Howard revived a method of replenishing the fields from long ago: he sowed rye as a cover crop. (Dean Shipley is a staff writer for the Madison Press.)

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ENERGETIC, ACROBATIC, ATHLETIC Border collies born and breed for herding livestock BY SHARON SEMANIE


hey are considered by some as the “most intelligent” of all dogs. They are characterized as “extremely energetic, acrobatic and athletic” and frequently compete in dog sports as well as head to greener pastures to round up herds of sheep. Bred in the Anglo-Scottish border region for herding livestock, the border collie has an extensive vocabulary and, when trained properly, obeys vocal commands such as “come by” and “away to me” or shrill whistles. Such is the life for three border collies who live in a lush farm setting off Versailles Road between Piqua and Versailles, the home of Randy and Beth Sears. As one enters the tree-lined gravel driveway dotted with blue wildflowers, it doesn’t become immediately apparent that the dogs exist. Visitors are not greeted by barks or wagging tails. The trio is in-

doors and, one by one, introduced as they exit the screen door of the farmhouse and scamper feverishly around the yard. Beth, a 1986 graduate of Troy High School, earned a degree in political science from Wittenberg University. She briefly wrote newspaper articles in Xenia and Middletown before she and her husband moved to the 35-acre farm some 15 years ago. Corn, soybean and hay fields were converted into a pasture and, in 2006, the couple purchased six Katahdin sheep, a breed of hair sheep developed in the United States near Mount Katahdin in Maine. The Katahdin are considered “hardy, adaptable low maintenance sheep that produce superior lamb crops and lean, meaty carcasses” and, best yet, do not require shearing. The farm, explains Beth, has enabled the couple to be “closer to parents” and offer adequate space for their two Haflinger horses originally bred in Austria along with a menagerie of

Photos by Sharon Semanie

Caelie, a Border Collie, herds Katahdin sheep on the Sears’ farm near Covington.

cats, chickens and a guard llama to protect sheep from coyotes and other predators. They breed the sheep — they now have several dozen — and have them butchered as lambs or for

Are you still clutching, jerking and wasting fuel with that copycat CVT?

dog (border collie) training. Beth acquired the border collies — two of which are adopted from a shelter — and works daily to teach obedience and agility to Caelie (who works the

sheep), Mickie (a retired trial dog who competed at national level) and Tag (who is described as “charming” but lacks the power to herd and is now considered as a companion

ice Center, 1415 U.S. 22 in Fayette County. Conducted each year by The Ohio State University

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dog). “I knew Caelie had the instinct (to be a sheepherder),” says Beth, “so in a controlled situation I put


Extension, the day-long series of agriculture sessions and speakers costs $25 per person and includes lunch and materials. Registration is by phone and ends Friday, Jan. 18. To register, call Adam Shepard, OSU Extension Fayette County, at 740335-1150. Topics and speakers include: • Variable rate seeding for corn and growing good corn: Rocket Science or Common Sense?: Dr. Robert Nielsen, Purdue University; • Soybean Genetics and Agronomics: Dr. Laura Lindsey, Ohio State University; • Nutrient Management: Steve Prochaska, OSU Extension; • Weed Resistance and Cover Crop Update: Harold Watters, OSU Extension; and • Tillage and Compaction: Dr. Tony Vyn, Purdue University. For more information, contact Shepard at 740335-1150 or


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Katahdin sheep, a breed of sheep developed in the United States near Mount Katahdin in Maine, run on the Sears’ farm near Covington.

HERDING Continued from page 14A

her out with the sheep and evaluated how she circled around them. It was determined she could be developed.” Collie dog breeds, she explained, are not evaluated so much by appearance but rather their ability. Most range in size from 25 to 50 pounds and different variations of colors and hair which is generally smooth and long. While they are considered smart dogs, Beth says their behavior can be detrimental. They demonstrate a high energy level and have an instinctive “herding” urge to chase down cats or cars. They are described as “very sensitive” breed capable of reading one’s body language and can be trained. “It requires working them and taking them for long walks several hours a day. Although she

considers herself a “novice” handler, Beth quickly shows how adept a border collie can be as she opens the door to a pasture and yells commands or blows a whistle for distance purposes as the dog herds up the sheep during a morning exercise and directs them back to the barn. As a dog sport, Beth admits it requires lots of investment and time and is ”not learned overnight.” “It requires a lot of structure”, she explained, noting that Caelie continues to go for training at the home of Bruce and Linda Fogt in Sidney several months at a time. The Fogts publish a magazine called The Working Border Collie, Since 1981, Fogt has turned a hobby of training stock dogs into a full time occupation and reportedly has “trained hundreds of dogs for farm use and trial competition”

Fogt has reportedly trialed extensively throughout the country and has competed and judged in trials as far away as South Africa. He’s a repeat winner of the United States Border Collie Handlers Association National Finals. The Fogs now live on a sheep farm near Sidney where they raise and train border collies. Beth suggests that individuals interested n training border collies also check out the website for Hado-Bar Farm in Elyria where they can see what’s involved in training and determine a dog’s qualifications. Tom and Judi Bigham invite interested persons to contact them at An instinctive evaluation for a border collie is $50 per dog or $40 for lessons. When not pursuing her “hobby” of training border

collies and herding up sheep, Beth has a green thumb as evidenced by her healthy garden and is also a freelance writer for an area newspaper. In addition, she serves as executive director of Bridges to College based out of Greenville. The nonprofit organization, she explained, is aimed at increasing the number of students from both Greeenville and Ansonia to attend college. Besides field trips to colleges such as Edison State at the sixth grade level, the organization works to generate money for scholarships for high school graduates and advise parents about financial aid opportunities for their children. To date, Bridges to College has awarded more than $43,000 to 28 students. (Sharon Semanie is a writer for the Piqua Daily Call.)

Photos by Sharon Semanie

Beth Sears of Covington raises both Border Collies and Katahdin Sheep with her husband Randy on their farm near Covington.

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PORTIONS OF EXPIRING FARM BILL EXTENDED Deal will prevent spike in milk prices MARY CLARE JALONICK The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — A potential doubling of milk prices will be averted as part of the compromise that White House and congressional bargainers reached on wideranging legislation to avert the “fiscal cliff,” a leading senator said

late Dec. 31. Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., told reporters that negotiators had agreed to extend portions of the expired 2008 farm bill through September. She said that includes language keeping milk prices from rising, but excludes other provisions like energy and disaster aid for farmers. Stabenow said she considers the slimmed-down extension to be “Mitch McConnell’s version of a farm bill.” She was referring to the Senate Republican leader from Kentucky, who she said forced bargainers to accept the version of the farm bill that appeared in the

deal. McConnell spokesman Michael Brumas responded: “Sen. McConnell put forward a bipartisan, responsible solution that averted the dairy cliff and provided certainty to farmers for the next year without costing taxpayers a dime.” Just a day earlier, Stabenow said leaders from both parties on the House and Senate agriculture committees had agreed to extend the entire farm bill. Stabenow and House Agriculture Chairman Frank Lucas, ROkla., announced Dec. 30 that they had agreed on a last-minute move that would extend the entire farm bill and replace dairy programs that expire at midnight Jan. 1. Expiration of those dairy programs could mean higher milk prices at the grocery store within

just a few weeks. But the House GOP had not endorsed the committees’ extension agreement. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated Dec. 30 that extending the entire bill through September, including disaster assistance for farmers affected by drought, could cost more than $1 billion this budget year. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has pushed back on passage of a new five-year farm bill for months, saying there were not enough votes to bring it to the House floor after the House Agriculture Committee approved it in July. The Senate passed its version of a farm bill in June. The bill, generally passed every five years, includes food stamps, farm subsidies and other help for rural areas. But the prospect of higher milk

A meric an s fac e th e pro spec t of pa yin g $ 7 for a g all on o f milk if t he c ur r e nt d air y p rogra m la psed. – Ag r icu l tu r e S ecr eta r y To m Vi l sa ck


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prices prompted some action. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has said Americans face the prospect of paying $7 for a gallon of milk if the current dairy program lapsed and the government returned to a 1948 formula for calculating milk price supports. Extending the entire agriculture bill would have included an overhaul of dairy programs that was included in both the Senate and House committee bills. The new dairy programs include a voluntary insurance program for dairy producers, and those who choose that new program also would have to participate in a market stabilization program that could dictate production cuts when oversupply drives down prices - an idea that hasn’t gone over well with Boehner. In July, he called the current dairy program “Soviet-style” and said the new program would make it even worse. Large food companies that process and use dairy products have backed Boehner, saying the program could limit milk supplies and increase their costs. One of the reasons Boehner has balked at bringing up a farm bill is disagreement among House Republicans over how much money should be cut from food stamps, which make up roughly 80 percent of the half-trillion-dollar bill’s cost over five years. Lucas has unsuccessfully pushed his leadership for months to move on the legislation despite the disagreement over food aid.


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January 2013

The Amish Cook Amish Beef Stew


I hope everyone had a blessed and healthy Christmas Day. I’ve been struck with the same flu that has been going around this household. Hopefully I’ll be on the mend soon. With Joe off this week and the kids home from school, the house has been full. We’ve had snow and cold the past few days, perfect weather for some soups or stews. Thought I’d share recipes for a couple of our favorites this month!

3 cups cubed beef 1 onion 8 large cut potatoes 2 cups cut carrots 2 cups cut celery 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 1/4 cup margarine Salt to taste Brown beef and onion in flour. Put into pot. Heat on low for two hours. Add vegetables and 1 cup tomato juice. Continue cooking for one or two more hours.

Winter’s Day Soup 1 T. vegetable oil 2 medium yellow onions (chopped) 3 cloves garlic 5 c. homemade chicken broth 2 t. Worcestershire sauce 4 T. flour

1 medium head cauliflower (chopped) 1 medium bunch broccoli (chopped) 3 medium potatoes (diced) 2 c. heavy cream 2 c. grated extra sharp cheese Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, heat the oil and add the onions and cook for five minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one minute. Add the chicken stock, Worcestershire sauce and vegetables and simmer gently for approximately 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir flour with a little soup broth and add mixture along with the cream to the broth, stirring through. Add cheese a little at a time, stirring until completely melted. Enjoy with thick sliced bread.

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January 2013

ACRES of Southwest Ohio

KEEPING DISABLED FARMERS ON THE JOB Services, ‘assistive technology’ offered at no cost BY MIKE SEFFRIN

Despite modern advances in agriculture, farming can still be a physically demanding occupation. But for farmers with disabilities or health problems, a free program can help. Ohio AgrAbility, which operates through Ohio State University, is part of a national program that promotes independence for people in agriculture who want to continue farming after experiencing a disabling condition. The program’s goal is to provide education, resources and technical assistance.

OSU has partnered with Easter Seals to offer the program in Ohio. Kent McGuire, education program coordinator with Ohio AgrAbility, said the program is in its fourth year at OSU and has been in existence nationwide about 20 years. Services are offered at no cost to farmers, McGuire said. The program is funded by a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant. In 2012 the state program had about 35 clients “we work with on regular basis providing site assessments,” McGuire said. In addition, program personnel worked with about 180

Photo courtesy of OSU

Ohio AgrAbility connects disabled farmers with other people, who have had similar experiences for sharing ideas and support.

people who contacted Ohio AgrAbility about solving specific problems. For many clients, multiple

■ Offers “assistive technology” to help a person complete a job that otherwise might be difficult. Examples: • Modified steps or handles. • Hand controls. • Lever extensions. • Outdoor mobility aids. • Motorized lifts. ■ Promotes “universal design”— solutions that produce buildings, products and environments that make tasks easier for everyone, not just people with disabilities. Examples: • Smooth ground surfaces of entryways — without stairs. • Large handles on buckets, utensils and tools. • Lever handles for doors rather than knobs that twist. • Light switches with large, flat panels rather than toggle switches. • Accessible cabinets, storage spaces and work stations.


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assessments are conducted because of the wide variety of situations involved. “There are environmental changes,” McGuire said. For example, he said, how a farmer would perform a task “when it’s sunny and 70” is different than how he would do the same job in January. The program offers “assistive technology” to help a person complete a job that otherwise might be difficult. Examples of this include: • Modified steps or handles. • Hand controls. • Lever extensions. • Outdoor mobility aids. • Motorized lifts. The program also promotes “universal design”— solutions that produce buildings, products and environments that make tasks easier for everyone, not just people with disabilities. Examples of this include: • Smooth ground surfaces of entryways — without stairs. • Large handles on

buckets, utensils and tools. • Lever handles for doors rather than knobs that twist. • Light switches with large, flat panels rather than toggle switches. • Accessible cabinets, storage spaces and work stations. Farmers who have used the program appreciate it, McGuire said. “The response has been very positive because we’re assisting them with increasing their productivity and reducing barriers and limitations they face because of a disability,” he said. “In the overall scheme of things, we’re helping them to be productive in doing something they love, which is farming.” Disabilities that AgrAbility deals with may be because of injury (farm and non-farm), health issues or age issues. “We have an individual who is in a wheelchair and has been for quite some time. He still actively farms,” McGuire said. But he is starting to develop

arthritis in his upper body. The program is flexible in the kinds of services it provides, McGuire said, which helps if a client is reluctant to accept assistance. “It all comes down to each individual. … To overcome that (reluctance), we provide them with resources they can use immediately,” he said. “The other key is we will do as little or as much as the individual wants. We really kind of keep it open to meet the needs and comfort level of the individual.” To make the public aware of the program, program representatives attend ag-related events such as the Farm Science Review and ag- safety days, McGuire said. They also work with other community organizations such as the Arthritis Foundation and Centers for Independent Living. “It really helps to surround the individual with all the resources available to them,” he said. McGuire grew up on a farm and still lives in a rural community in Wyandot County. “I’ve seen over the years the impact an injury or illness can have on a family farm in a small, rural community,” he said. More information about the Ohio AgrAbility program is available on the website, McGuire may be contacted by phone at (614) 2920588 and by email at (Mike Seffrin writes for the Sidney Daily News.)

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B Section

of Southwest Ohio Issue 11

January 2013




Photos by Pat Lawrence

Joanie Grimes of Maplecrest Farms in Hillsboro is right at home with cattle.

Joanie Grimes’ family farm uses specialized breeding to beef up industry By PAT LAWRENCE

For Joanie Grimes, the question isn’t ‘Where’s the Beef?’ It’s ‘What’s the Beef?’ Her answer is “a genetically superior animal that performs well and looks good!” Joanie and her husband John operate Maplecrest Farms, a specialized cattle breeding enterprise known in the beef industry as seedstock production. The goal of seedstock production is to make genetic improvements in purebred and registered cattle that benefit not just the ultimate consumers, but every stage of the beef industry. It’s a remarkably complex, highly technical, extensively documented process and a complicated,

demanding business. It’s one of Joanie’s two full time jobs. She also helps farmers implement risk management programs through her crop insurance agency, ICAP. Licensed in seven states, Joanie became an agent in 2000 after the terrible year her co-op group experienced from a major drought. “We found out that farmers didn’t have the right information or the right insurance and were often underserved. The co-op members urged me to get into the business. Now I help clients in Ohio and other states, too.” Raised on a farm in Clark County, Joanie says her parents concentrated on pigs, but, “I always had a thing for cattle.” She was an Ohio State freshman

majoring in Agricultural Economics when she met John, a graduating senior from Brown County. They married in 1986. He went home to the family farm for a few years, also accepting a position as a county extension agent. Joanie got her degree and started working in the feed division of a local agricultural co-op. “We both worked, but we always farmed on the side. We bought the Hillsboro home and surrounding acreage in 1990 and have been renting and purchasing since then to expand the operation. We hired a herdsman in 2005. Now we run things out of two sites with two full time employees and one part time one.” See GRIMES/2B Joanie poses by the Maplecrest Farms sign with the family’s pet Corgis, Lexie and Sully.

Goat and sheep series returns in February By OSU Extension

COLUMBUS — Animal-breeding efficiency and drought’s effect on pastures will be two of the topics at hand when Ohio State University Extension co-sponsors the 2013 Sheep and Goat WebEx Program Series in February. The online series will be hosted at various Ohio locations, Feb. 4, 11, 18 and 25. Other sponsors are the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association (OSIA) and the OSU Sheep Team. The program is part of an ongoing effort to equip sheep and goat producers with information to improve their operations, said Roger High, OSIA executive director and OSU Extension state sheep program specialist. “The topics we are covering this year come from surveys that we have done with sheep and goat farmers to find out their interest areas,” he said. “The speakers are

experts in their topic areas, and with two of the speakers being out of state, the WebEx online format allows them to provide educational programming without actually coming to Ohio.” All sessions will be available at 17 locations across Ohio, most of them OSU Extension offices. A complete list of host sites is available at or by calling 614-246-8298. There is no cost to take part in the series, but some hosting sites may charge a program or refreshment fee. Please check with your site for fee or pre-registration details. For more information, contact High at 614-292-0589 or (OSU Extension is the outreach arm of Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.)

TOPICS AND EXPERTS: • Feb. 4: “Vaccination Programs for Sheep and Goat Operations,” Eric Gordon, Ohio State large-animal veterinarian. • Feb. 11: “Artificial Insemination Techniques of Sheep and Goats,” Meghan WulsterRadcliffe, CEO, American Society of Animal Sciences. • Feb. 18: “Managing Pastures and Hay Fields after a Drought,” Jeff McCutcheon and Rory Lewandowski, OSU Extension. • Feb. 25: “Use of EAZI-BREED CIDR for Sheep and Goat Operations,” Keith Inskeep, West Virginia University.

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January 2013

ACRES of Southwest Ohio

GRIMES Continued from page 1B

Joanie says they dedicate about 200 of their 700 acres to forage production. “We keep around 200 mature cows at all times black Angus and the blackand-white-faced SimAngus, a composite of Angus and Simmental breeds - but we also work with commercial producers to raise some of our calves. We do a lot of embryo transfer work, putting embryos in other herds, then bringing the calves back at weaning time. They get a premium for their animals and it helps us, so we produce about 325 head per year. Animals aren’t bred until they’re 14 months, then they have 9 months gestation. We turn the entire herd over every four years.” Genetic improvement is the Maplecrest focus. As Joanie says, “Our stock goes for breeding, not for steak!” Their cattle are marketed as bulls and replacement females to other seedstock producers and to cow-calf producers. “We’ve teamed up with some very progressive seed stock operations. We ship them bulls, they send us cows. We have a production sale each year and sell about 100 girls, and a bull sale in the spring but we also sell a lot of our calves to buyers in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas.” Improvements in purebred cattle are documented through extensive records maintained by individual

ranchers and the breed organizations. Joanie says, “We have an embryologist who removes the embryos, but we do the insemination, the daily shots and set up the protocols ourselves. We do a LOT of DNA testing and have DNA profiles on all our donor cows so we can project their performance.” Mating decisions involve data like weights, pedigrees and inbreeding coefficients, as well as traits like marbling, milk production, ease of calving and heat tolerance. Angusare rated high in ease of calving and the capacity to retain fat, while Simmental are rated high in body size and muscling. According to Joanie, genomics – using DNA technology to identify and select cattle that have specific genes for specific traits, not just size and weight but genetic disease resistance or more feed efficiency – is an amazingly promising possibility for breeders. “There isn’t a ‘best’ breed for beef production since climate, production conditions and market requirements are constantly changing. Matching genetic capability with those variables is a challenge but staying on top of everything, from performance to new technology, is the bigger challenge. Successful marketing is critical. Our products include purebred or registered bulls, cows, heifers, semen, and embryos, so we have a lot of See GRIMES/3B

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ACRES of Southwest Ohio

January 2013

GRIMES Continued from page 2B

different kinds of customers. We’ve exported embryos to Canada, England, even South America” Joanie says, “It was an economic decision to focus on breeding - we get more for our product-and you have to get big to survive. John does a lot of the genetics and marketing, I’m in production, registration, testing, putting together feed rations, setting up donors and all advertising. It’s teamwork, though we each have our own specialties. With over 100 head, we meet the definition of ‘factory farm’, but Maplecrest is a family farm. Our daughters, Lindsey and Lauren were proud to show cattle while they were growing up. Both our families farmed and my brother farms. The best part is always being able to see what you’ve produced.” The experiences and commitment of a lifetime in agriculture contribute to Joanie’s success as a crop insurance agent as well.

She says, “Basically, it’s insuring growing crops like wheat, corn and soybeans, against nature! But farmers also get protection for production costs, market changes and other things beyond their control.” Since Joanie and John both work outside the farm, Joanie says, “We get up, take care of the livestock, go to work, come home, take care of the livestock! Mostly, we do the chores, then make a to-do list for the employees before we go to work.” Two Corgi’s, Lexie and Sully, handle security and morale on the farm. Joanie also loves to cook. “When we remodeled the kitchen a few years ago, I splurged on a commercial stove, which has been great. We keep two freezers full - and there’s plenty of beef.” Most Maplecrest cattle are numbered, but Joanie says there have been plenty over the years that had names. “She’s retired now, but we still have Connie, the SimAngus who was the Female National Champion in 2007. We

still show cattle at livestock shows, for publicity and because we get to see all our friends, and our daughters really enjoyed showing, so they made sure they had contractual arrangements with Dad about the future of their cows!” Through her work as a cattle breeder and with farmers across the country, Joanie has built a reputation for integrity, honesty and careful stewardship of land and livestock. For their contributions to the beef industry, Maplecrest Farms received the 2009 Ohio Cattlemen’s Association’s Seedstock Producer of the Year award. Joanie says, “We’re avid supporters of agriculture. We think it’s the basis of the American economy. Farming is a business, but more importantly, it’s a way of life. We do it because we love it. We’re committed to the best care possible for our livestock and the highest quality products for our customers in the beef industry.” (Pat Lawrence is a contributor to Acres of Southwest Ohio.)

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Brother Brags Up Cherry Juice Of the three brothers that own and operate The Old Home Place, Andy slices the most meat and cheese. This summer his shoulder really bothered him, it ached most of the time and bothered his sleep at night. So, based on a customer’s advice, he tried tart cherry juice. Within 3 weeks, his ache was gone! This concentrate is made by King Orchards from Montmorency tart cherries, which they grow in northern Michigan. The Old Home Place stocks it in 16 and 32 ounce sizes. While it won’t help all your ailments, it may be worth a try. They also offer delicious pies and turnovers made with tart cherries, but you’d need to eat an awful lot to get any benefits. On second thought, the sugar and white flour would probably prevent any help at all. Better stick with the juice!

Most of the Schwartz family was together at Mom and Dad’s house in Somerset on Christmas Day. Dad was good enough to read Luke 2 for us all. It made for a full house, but it was enjoyed by all. On New Year’s Day, they plan to be together with their in-laws. The store will be closed Monday and Tuesday and reopen Wednesday the 2nd. Only 15 minutes east of Washington C.H. At Frankfort (CR87) exit and St. Route 35 Hours: Monday thru Friday 8:30-5:30 Sat. 8:30-4:00• Closed Sunday Exit CR 87 Washington CH





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January 2013

ACRES of Southwest Ohio


ST. PARIS – Operation Rebirth, a boarding school and working farm for troubled teen boys, has been helping families through farming since 1980. Its motto reads, “It’s better to build boys than to mend men.” The school opened its doors in downtown Dayton in 1976 and later moved to a 17-acre field north of St. Paris. “We quickly found that the (city) environment wasn’t conducive to helping boys change. It just didn’t work,” said current Director Sam Ronicker. “We bought this property (near St. Paris) around 1980 and it has had an agricultural theme ever since.” Building character in troubled boys has been the mission of the school since its beginning, starting with the efforts of founder and Director Emeritus James Brian of Shelby County. After more than 30 years under Brian’s leadership, Ronicker and his wife, Teresa, accepted the roles of executive directors in 2009. “Most of the boys here have only played video games and watched TV … We have one boy who’s watched every gory movie ever made, but when he cuts a chicken’s head off he throws up,” said Ronicker. “There’s a reality to it. “But this is a lot more fun. It’s real. It’s not a video game. It’s not television. There is no instant gratification. You have to wait, so it really creates patience,” he said.

The majority of each student’s diet is planted, harvested, processed or prepared in some way by his own hands. The boys also earn a profit from tending to chickens and selling their eggs. The garden is full of corn, peas, green beans, tomatoes and peppers, any vegetable that can be stored easily. The boys also take care of and sell pigs, however, livestock profits have been hard to come by lately. “We really are poor farmers,” Ronicker said laughing. “The price of feed is so high, we don’t make any money on the livestock. But, what we don’t eat, we will sell.” The boys help butcher livestock and process all meat products consumed on the farm. Ronicker said there’s value in knowing where the cows and chickens have been and what exactly they’ve eaten and breathed. In addition, the garden is void of potentially harmful chemicals. The boys are required to take equestrian class, starting with shoveling horse manure, grooming the horses, saddling them, cleaning their stalls and finally learning to ride them. All five full-time staff members are experienced in horseback riding and the farm currently has two horses. Bailing hay for local farmers and cutting wood for the dorm furnace are other tasks students undertake. They learn skilled trades such as welding, woodworking, pottery, stained-glass crafting and blacksmith shop. These trades are taught by both full- and part-time

instructors. Some youngsters discover talents and passions they never knew they had. “I realized I was good at it and that it came easier,” said a 14-year-old student about his woodworking class. The boy proudly displayed a recent woodcarving project, an illustration of a galloping horse. He is finishing a gift for his mother, a coat rack made of walnut that received rave reviews from his instructors. He spoke of returning home, earning a diploma, a collegiate scholarship and starting his own woodshop. What’s changed most, he said, is his “anger, respect, maturity and cooperation.” “When I was back in public schools, I was getting Cs, Ds and Fs,” he said. “Here I’m getting As, Bs, and Cs. I haven’t had an F in over a year.” Each day starts at 6 a.m. with cleaning dorm rooms, devotions and breakfast. Classes are from 8 a.m. to about 2 p.m. The remainder of the day consists of farm chores and ends with bedtime at 8 p.m. Meals are served with all students around the table. “We focus on three things here: respect, relationship and responsibility, and the agricultural aspect is all about responsibility,” said Ronicker. The school currently is operating at a capacity eight students, including boys ranging in age from 13 to 17. The program has welcomed boys from Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan and Illinois, but most originate from southwest

The livestock barns are where students care for a small herd of holstein cattle, horses and chickens. The facilities also include meat processing, blacksmith, welding and woodworking shops where instructors teach students the trades.

Ohio. “Usually a boy comes to us around the junior high age … and he usually stays with us about two years,” Ronicker said. “The goal is to get him back to his family and back to mainstream education.” The school receives no public funding. Instead, it is supported by dozens of regular donors and more than 100 occasional donors including churches, friends and family. The school also is supported through the Community Foundation of Shelby County, which manages the school’s endowment fund. Ronicker and his staff are proud of their growing network of Facebook followers. The school’s Facebook page has amassed 201 friends and many are alumni. “It’s an amazing network that God has created,” said Ronicker. “There are 1,400 or 1,500 people around the state, around the country really, who pray for us and care for us.” Ronicker touts the school’s success rate as 100 percent for those who

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complete the program. The director says it’s a challenge to bring back alumni for honorary visits because of their new-found work ethic and devotion to their jobs. “Sorry, I have to work,’” Ronicker said he often hears. OR’s annual operating budget is approximately $220,000, but rising costs will require additional income of about $5,000 to $10,000. Currently, the school is long over-due for hay to feed its livestock. What few may know, said Ronicker, is that the program is year-round and requires its students to return home for roughly one-third of the year during breaks. Parents are required to play an active role in their children’s success and must pick them up during those breaks. A common misconception is that the school receives court-ordered juveniles, which is not the case, said Ronicker. A handful of medical professionals and several churches can make referrals to OR. Dr. Kevin Horvath, a pediatrician practicing in Tipp City, makes a significant num-


ber of them. OR is a non-denominational school, though students attend services at the Urbana First United Methodist Church and participate in youth events there. Roger Phipps, who has been with the school for 35 years, is a full-time instructor and assistant director who handles the bulk of the academic tutoring. Meanwhile, residential instructors Emilio and Shelley live in the dormitory with their three children. The students are supervised by at least two staff members at all times. Besides the five full-time workers, the school gets help from 10 weekly volunteers and tutors as well as dozens of guest speakers and occasional volunteers. Ronicker said the school’s strict regimen has become a way of life for the staff. “We tell ourselves, ‘We’re just living our lives and the boys are here for the ride.’” (Craig Shirk is a writer for the Urbana Daily Citizen.)

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BUCYRUS — Farmers and producers interested in learning more about beef feedlot nutrition and maximizing profits can participate in a discussion of the issues by experts from Ohio State University Extension during a Beef Feedlot School Jan. 30 and Feb. 13, 20 and 27 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Crawford County Fairgrounds youth building, 610 Whetstone St. in Bucyrus. The school will focus on beef feedlot nutrition, maximizing profits by increasing feed efficiency and using byproducts to reduce feed costs, said Jason Hartschuh, OSU Extension coordinator in agriculture and natural resources, and organizer of the event. “With the rising costs of inputs and grain prices being at record levels it will be important for feedlot producers to reduce expenses to increase profits to be competitive in the year to come,” he said. The beef feedlot school will feature a presentation by Francis Fluharty, a professor of ruminant nutrition at Ohio State. Fluharty specializes in feedlot nutrition and animal growth. The sponsor is OSU Extension, which is the statewide outreach arm of Ohio State University’s College of Food,

Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. Topics to be covered include: • Jan. 30: Ruminant Digestive Physiology, Rumen Function, Carbohydrates. Note: This program will start at 6:30 with light sandwiches and time to meet the event sponsors. • Feb. 13: Protein Digestion and Metabolism, Protein Sources, DDGS. • Feb. 20: Receiving and Growing Strategies. • Feb. 27: Methodologies to Enhance Marbling and Feed Efficiency. Registration is $40 by Jan. 23 or $50 after that date. Participants can register online at or by contacting the Crawford County OSU Extension office at 419-562-8731. “The registration fee includes access to all four classes,” Hartschuh said. “To get the most of the school, producers need to come to all four nights to get information that builds each night.” The sessions will also be recorded and broadcast live at Extension offices statewide. Producers who want to attend the school but aren’t able to travel to Bucyrus can contact their local extension office to participate in the office’s web broadcast.

Looking back at a crazy year By DAVE DUGAN

The year 2012 has been a crazy year to say the least. We have seen weather that has taken a toll on our crops from one extreme to the next. Parts of the three counties that I serve saw tornado damage in March in which lives, livestock and buildings were lost, an extremely dry summer that caused some crops to suffer yield losses while some areas had enough rain for outstanding crops. New Rule for Livestock On Dec. 20 the USDA Issued the Final Rule for Animal Disease Traceability. This deals with livestock crossing state lines. The rule is designed to help trace animals should a disease breakout occur. There is a need to be able to trace where animals are and where they have been quickly. Beef cattle under 18 months of age, unless they are moved interstate for shows, exhibitions, rodeos, or recreational events, are exempt from the official identification requirement in this rule. These specific traceability requirements for this group will be addressed in separate rulemaking, allowing APHIS to work closely with industry to ensure the effective implementation of the identification requirements. For more specific details about the regulation and how it will affect producers, visit Calendar for Programs As you can see below, there are several programs scheduled for the upcoming months. There are others in the planning stages like a

Dates to Remember ■ Small Farm College: The program starts in January with two locations to choose from. The Wednesday night program will be held in Pickaway County at the Circleville Fire Department and the Thursday night program will be in the Clermont County Extension Office in Owensville. Classes begin on Jan. 9 and 10. Details about the class were in my article the last week of October/first week of November. Registration is available at or insert Brown or Highland. ■ SOACDF Scholarship Educational Excellence Competitive Grant: Application period is Jan. 1 through Jan. 31. Contact the Southern Ohio Agriculture and Community Development Foundation for more details at (937) 393-2700 or ■ The Corn College: Wednesday, Jan. 16, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Clinton County Extension Office Community room, 111 S. Nelson Ave., Wilmington. For more information about the Corn College, contact OSUExtension Clinton County Educator Tony Nye at (937) 382-0901 or email ■ Private Applicator Re-cert Pesticide re-certification will be offered at Southern State Community College’s South Campus in Fincastle on Monday Feb. 4 at 5:30 p.m., on Wednesday, Feb. 13, at noon, and again on Monday, Feb. 25, at noon. All three programs will offer a light meal and materials. Preregistration is required. Space is absolutely limited this year. Contact Cindy at the Brown County Extension Office at (937) 378-6716. These classes will fill-up and be closed when full.

grazing school, and training meetings for writing business plans among others. There is not enough space for all of the programs offered through OSU Extension, so you may want to check out the county web pages. Each county can be found by simply typing in the name of the

(937) 393-3416 AGENT NAME


KIM ABBOTT 937-403-2425 KIM BOYER 937-205-7230 RANDY A. BUTLER 937-780-9306 JENNY M. CAMERON 937-840-9699 C. DALE CAMPBELL 937-393-9715 ROBYN G. COOMER 937-763-9719 STEVEN C. COWDREY 937-403-2824 TOY G. FENDER 937-840-0822 WESLEY G. FENDER 937-840-0822 GREG MAGEE 937-763-4947 MELISSA J. RIFFEE 937-403-0104 R. RUTH ROBBINS 937-763-8013 CRAIG A. SANDERS 937-205-0171 ANDREA M. TIPTON 937-763-8095 BRIGETTE WAGGONER937-393-8150 RICK A. WILLIAMS 937-393-9447 CHAROLETTE WILLS 937-661-0168 1036 RANDALLS RUN, BLUE CREEK



















There is another link for those who might want to attend some agronomy meetings throughout the area or the state. This link can be found in the CORN newsletter at in the most recent edition. The OSU Beef Team also has a calendar that you can find each Wednesday in the Beef




Cattle Letter. Go to for this information. In many cases, this pattern will hold true for finding information on other subjects, like or (David Dugan in an OSU Extension Educator, ANR, Ohio Valley EERA.) 7217 STATE ROUTE 134, MARTINSVILLE NEW LISTING








■ Pesticide License Testing: Private and commercial testing for applicator license will be offered on Feb. 11, March 11 and April 8 at the Old Y Restaurant. You are required to pre-register by calling the Ohio Department of Agriculture at 800-282-1955 or online at Space is limited so register soon. Study materials are also available at the same address or phone number. ■ Ohio River Valley Agronomy Day: Mason County Extension Office in Maysville, Ky., on Feb. 6 at 9 a.m. Call to register at (606) 564-6808. ■ Annual Tobacco Grower Meeting: North Adams High School in Seaman on Wednesday, Feb. 6, in the evening. Details about registration for this free program will be available soon1 ■ Master Gardener Class: Class begins to train volunteers on Feb. 20 at the Brown County Extension Office. Contact the Adams County Extension Office to register at 544-2339 or my cell at (937) 515-2314. The cost is $150 for the 13 week class that will be from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Wednesdays. ■ Small Farm Conference: Wilmington College on March 8 and 9. Go to,http://brown.osu.e du or for the printable flyer or call for details. ■ Farm and Family Night: Maysville Community and Technical College on Tuesday, March 12.
















Beef Feedlot School to be held January, February



January 2013

ACRES of Southwest Ohio

Upcoming events foster agricultural education By ADAM SHEPARD

The end of the year has many producers reflecting on the challenges of this past growing season and making preparations for what will hopefully be another great year of agriculture in Fayette County. With harvest and most field work in the rearview mirror, our attention now turns to education and preparing you all for the upcoming year. There are some excellent opportunities for educational programming offered by Ohio State University Extension. Here in Fayette County we have a great lineup of speakers confirmed to attend the Southwest Ohio Agronomy Day being held on Jan. 23, from 9 a.m. to

4 p.m. I was fortunate enough to secure Dr. Bob Nielsen and Dr. Tony Vyn both from Purdue University to talk about corn production, tillage and compaction. From Ohio State University Dr. Laura Lindsey will talk about soybean production genetics vs. agronomics and from Ohio State University Extension Steve Prochaska and Harold Watters will talk about nutrient management and an update on weed resistance in southern Ohio. Harold will also present some data from a study he completed on the effectiveness of cover crops. Registration cost for the meeting is $25/person which will include lunch and any materials the speakers wish

register for a program please contact the Ohio State University Extension Office, Fayette County at 740-335-1150 or email Neighboring counties are also offering a great lineup of programming for this winter. If there is a specific topic you are interested in please check out for a state wide calendar of educational programming offered by Ohio State University Extension. One idea that has come quickly down the pipeline is the need for a young agronomy club in Fayette County. Some of the ideas that have come out are the use of some of the production area at the Fayette County Demonstration Farm for participants to com-

to distribute. This program has also received five Continued Education Credits for those of you that are Certified Crop Advisors. Registration for the program will close on Jan. 18. On Jan. 30, we will be offering Pesticide Applicator Training from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Fayette County Agricultural Service Center. More information and registration information can be found at Fayette County will also serve as a remote site for the Ohio Beef Cattle School offered by Ohio State University Extension which consists of a 3-night program held on Jan. 29, Feb. 26, and March 19. As always for more information about programming or to

plete plot projects to introduce them to small plot research methods along with educating them about a potential career in agriculture. Our goal is to compile a group of young individuals that are interested in learning about agronomy and agri-business in Fayette County. More information to come soon but in the meantime parties interested in learning more or potentially being involved in this group should contact OSU Extension, Fayette County at 740-335-1150 or email (Adam Shepard is the Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Fayette County.)

Upcoming Events

Comfort Foods for the Winter Blues: Feb. 11 Join Butler County Farm Bureau for its Grow and Know event featuring Italian Farmhouse Soup and easy homemade rolls. Crockpot techniques and tips, plus three types of easy 60-minute homemade rolls will be taught at this event. Attendees will be entered for door

prizes. Registration: Contact Butler County Farm Bureau at 513-844-8371 or by email at Register by Feb 7. Hours: 6 to 8 p.m. Location: Butler County Extension office, Hamilton Contact: (513) 844-8371 OEFFA’s 34th Annual Conference: Growing Opportunities, Culti: Feb. 15 - Feb. 17 OEFFA’s two-day conference is Ohio’s largest sustainable agriculture event, featuring more than 90 workshops on sustainable farming, gardening, homesteading, cooking, and livestock production; local and organic meals; a kids’ conference and childcare; a trade show; Saturday night entertainment, and more. George Siemon will be the keynote speaker. Nicolette Hahn Niman will be the keynote speaker on



Huron County Home and Business Show: Feb. 23 Huron County Farm Bureau and the Huron County Chamber of Commerce invite you to the Home and Business Show. This event showcases more than 70 area businesses. Huron County Farm Bureau will have demonstrations and displays. Registration: Contact Huron County Farm Bureau at 888-292-6442 or by email at There is no cost to attend. Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Location: Norwalk Middle School, Norwalk

Contact: (888) 292-6442 Five Nights On Campus - Lone Raven: March 14 An eclectic blend of traditional music from various areas of the world, as well as their own original compositions. Over 20 instruments on stage. Hours: 7:30 p.m. Location: OSU Marion, 1465 Mt. Vernon Ave., Marion Contact: (740) 725-6341 http://www.osumarion.osu. edu/5-nights Ross County Farmers Care Breakfast: March 15 Ross County Farm Bureau invites you to its annual Farmers Care Breakfast. Breakfast selections include ham, sausage, pancakes, fresh fruit, coffee, orange juice and milk. Food is prepared and supplied by Ross County Farm Bureau. The event includes an optional Workers’ Compensation safety meeting from 8 to 10 a.m. No registration. Cost: $1 per person. Hours: 7 to 10 a.m. Location: Ross County

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Service Center, Chillicothe Contact: (740) 474-6284 Animals for Life Summit: March 20 World-renowned animal handling pioneer Dr. Temple Grandin will headline the first ever Animals for Life Summit. Grandin is a specialist in livestock handling and animal facility design. Born a severely autistic child, Grandin conquered her disability and has since published numerous books and articles on animal research and her triumphant life story. Speakers include Dr. Candace Croney, animal behaviorist, Purdue University; Dr. Tod Beckett, DVM; Jeanette O’Quin, public health veterinarian, Ohio State University; Lesli Waller and Vinny the Therapy Dog; Raemleton Equestrian Therapy Center and Assistance Dogs of America. Following the event, there will be an autograph/photograph session with Dr. Grandin. The Animals for Life Foundation is a nonprofit organization that celebrates the

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human-animal bond and the many ways animals bring quality to human life. Registration: Contact the foundation office, 614246-8271. Register by March 16. Cost: Early registration – $69, Student – $25 (before March 6); late registration – $89 (after March 6) Hours: 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Location: NorthPointe Conference Center, Lewis Center Contact: (614) 246-8271 http://www.aflfoundation. org Night at Heritage Hall Gala Opening & Progressive Dinner: March 21 Step back in time and dine while on this historic tour and dinner package. Enjoy this culinary and visual feast with periodthemed entertainment and costumed interpreters. Ticket $25 per person. Hours: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Location: Heritage Hall, 169 E. Church St., Marion Contact: (740) 387-4255

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DEADLINES/CORRECTIONS: Liner deadline 3rd Thurdsay of each month: Display Deadlines: Mar. Edition: March 6 Aug. Edition: July 31 Sept. Edition: Sept.5 Apr. Edition: April 3 Oct. Edition: Oct 2 May Edition: May 1 Nov. Edition: Oct. 23 Jun. Edition: June 5 Dec. Edition: Dec. 4 Jul. Edition: July 3

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Southwest Acres January 2013  

Southwest Acres January 2013

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