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VOLUME 2, ISSUE 2

of West Central Ohio

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I-75 to Exit 83 • PIQUA, OHIO 937-778-0830 • Fax: 937-778-1490

1-800-678-4188

THIS EDITION 2360438

■ Virtual farmer’s Market page 4

Organic dairy farmer believes healthy crops and animals make for healthy people BY ELAINE SCHWELLERSNYDER

■ Country Cookin’ page 5

■ Farmers & heart health page 6

■ Training is a challenge page 7

■ Ohio Fair dates set page 15

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

FORT LORAMIE - Growing up on a dairy farm, Leroy Meyer of Fort Loramie learned about milking cows through hands-on experience at a young age. Classes at Fort Loramie High School and the Joint Vocational School helped him with record keeping and other aspects of the dairy business, but the primary teacher who prepared him for his future was his dad. Meyer and his wife Rose have their own farm now, just down the road from where he grew up with six brothers and four sisters. Three of his brothers have dairy farms too. “All my siblings live nearby,” said Meyer. “It is LEROY MEYER of the Fort Loramie area in Shelby County nice to be close to family and feeds his dairy cows hay raised without benefit of although we aren’t all in the pesticides or other chemicals. Meyer moved to organic dairy business, we all cerdairy farming due to health concerns associated with tainly understand what it is traditional commercial dairy methods. all about because we grew SDN Photo/ELAINE SCH WELLER-SNYDER up on the farm.” As Meyer began farming in the 1990’s, increasing health concerns about commercial dairy methods were pushing some Before a product can be certified as organic, it must farmers to explore organic. This enlightened conbe produced on land that is free of chemicals for a sumer awareness was driven by several factors, including the 1994 development of genetically modified minimum of three years, with paperwork to back up the claim. An organic farm faces an annual inspecbovine growth hormone; corn, soybean, and other tion by an independent third-party inspection team crops treated with synthetic pesticides being fed to that reports to a local agency that enforces the Nalivestock; and greater use of synthetic medications tional Organic Program of the United States Departfor animals including hormones, antibiotics, and ment of Agriculture (USDA). steroids. (www.extension.org) The USDA book of rules and regulations includes Today, organic dairy has joined organic fruits, vegthe following standards: cows and calves are fed etables, grains, and meat in a growing movement 100% organic feed; organic crops, hay, and pasture built on the fundamental belief that healthy soils are grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers and lead to healthy crops, healthy animals, healthy peopesticides that have not been carefully screened and ple, and a healthy planet. For Meyer, the decision to go organic was the right approved; non-natural feed additives and supplechoice. “I did the commercial dairy thing for 12 years ments such as vitamins and minerals must also be approved; genetically modified organisms are strictly but I didn’t feel the need for chemicals so I stopped using them,” said Meyer. “My farming philosophy was forbidden; calves must be fed organic milk; all animals must have access to outdoor grazing land, totally aligned with going organic, so in 2007, I beweather permitting; antibiotics are not allowed and came certified.” See Organic/page 2

Family works to save old tractors from scrap heap Interest being passed down to next generation farms. Yet there is still a place for the old-time equipment on many farms, and especially in the barns and SIDNEY - Today’s farm tractors are high-powered hearts of people who want to restore and preserve pieces of sophisticated machinery geared for the vintage tractors for future generations. farmer in the 21st century. As with tractors of yesterAmong them is Larry Helman of rural Sidney, in year, they have an important place in agriculture Shelby County, who has a lifelong passion for Massey throughout the world, and especially in the United Ferguson tractors, mainly due to the influence of his States. From the 1890s to now, farm equipment has father, Dave Helman. evolved to do more and meet the increased deThe elder Helman was mands of larger a Massey Ferguson dealer from 1964 to 1981. He presents MAN of the each of his greatLARRY HEL sits on a grandchildren with a Sidney area on TO2O us rg e F y e child’s model pedal s s a M , he restored tractor. Larry, having tractor that dson, Owen ran three grandchildren, a p while his g d ulates Gran then locates a fullHelman, em n the same o g n ti it size tractor that s y b iniature. matches the child’s model, in m model and restores it to eventually be given to the grandchild. The first such toy tractor was given to Larry’s grandson, Owen Helman, by Larry’s father. It was a pedal tractor TO20, which launched Larry on a hunt for the fullED ID PHOTO PROV size version of the same model. He found one at a

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farm auction in Covington. “It was in very rough condition; it ran, but not well,” Larry recalls. But he purchased it and began the long restoration process. He totally disassembled it, replacing all the bolts, installing a new clutch, overhauling the engine and installing a new radiator. All the sheet metal and the fuel tank was sandblasted and new steering bushings, steering shafts and brakes installed, among other things. The tractor has its four original tires, two front wheels and all original sheet metal. Larry did replace the two rear wheels and installed all new electrical wiring and a new battery. “I paid $900 for the tractor at auction and have put about $4,000 in it, but it would probably sell for $4,500,” he noted. He paid $700 for the TO20 paint alone. Larry worked on the project from the fall of 2011 to the spring of 2012. Close to a million of the model were manufactured. The one restored by Larry carries serial number 331188. Another grandson, Miles, was presented with an 1100 Massey Ferguson pedal tractor and Larry purchased a full-size 1100 in Tawawa, and is presently restoring it. While driving by one day he noticed it sitting in weeds by a barn, stopped and offered $1,000 for it. Once this tractor is restored it could likely sell for between $7,000 and $9,000, Larry noted. Owen and Miles are the sons of Eric and Danielle Helman of Sidney. A third grandson, Emory, son of Sarah and Jason Tuente, received a Massey Harris 30 from his greatgrandfather and Larry will be restoring the full-size model, with the help of the boy’s father. The tractor was purchased in Wapakoneta and was sitting in the barn of a divorced couple. He gave $450 and says “it See Tractors/page 2

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Acres of West Central Ohio • February 2013 • Page 2

Tractors

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runs, but is rough”. Not only does Larry restore various models of tractors, but has a passion for Massey Ferguson history as well. “Henry Ford and Harry Ferguson built the hydraulic system for tractors,” Larry noted. “When Ford died, his company stole the hydraulic system from Ferguson and Ferguson sued Ford’s company and won the lawsuit for over a million dollars. Massey Ferguson then gave Harry Ferguson a factory to build tractors in. Around 1957 Massey Ferguson took over the manufacturing process.” Helman explained the model letters as follows: “T” for tractor, “O” for Ontario, Canada, and “TE” for tractor and English built. Working at Maplewood Implement for the past 40 years, Larry has been around Massey Ferguson most of his life. He says he knows lots of people across the country with parts and that is definitely a plus when you’re into restoring. He has restored other tractors and farm implements, as well as a 1970 Mustang, which he sold to a Michigan resident. He has purchased tractors from Texas and Nebraska, as well states surrounding Ohio. Besides Massey Fergusons, he also has other models set aside for future restoration. He said when he retires he will have 14 tractors to restore. He also hopes to attend more tractor shows at that time. Helman and his wife, Bernice, have showed their tractors at the Lake Loramie Antique Threshing Swap Meet, have been invited to display at the Farm Science Review in London and showed at the National Show in Findlay, where more than 300 Massey Fergusons were on display. He also takes his tractors to the Shelby County Fair each year for their antique tractor show. Larry belongs to the Shelby County Antique Power Association and the Massey Harris Ferguson Club of Ohio. While he admires the sophisticated models currently being produced, making them better able to serve modern farm needs, he acknowledges an enduring affection and respect for the old workhorse models of days gone by. His goal is to help preserve them and educate people about their history. Lola Billiel writes for the Sidney Daily News.

Shared interest spawned Antique Power Association The desire to preserve oldtime farm and related equipment is not limited to Larry Helman, who has 14 tractors waiting for him to restore. There are a number of other people in west-central Ohio who also are fond of the old equipment and want to see it preserved. This shared interest has resulted in the creation of the Shelby County Antique Power Association, which brings together people with a common interest. Rick Ike of Jackson Center, treasurer of the group, explains that the purpose of the organization is to restore and preserve old tractors and farm machinery. The group sets up a large display at the Shelby County Fair each year so people can view and learn how farming was handled in decades past. There are 70 members in the association - some with a casual interest in the antique equipment and others who are into actually restoring pieces. The organization has been in existence for 25 years. Social aspects involve a monthly meeting, sometimes a meal, with the enSDN File Photo joyment of being together and sharing a common interest in old equipment. Speakers also present programs such as how to sandblast old pieces and how to paint restored machinery. Of the 70 members, about 50 have tractors either restored or in the process.

PAUL SOLIDAY of Sidney inspects a row of McCormick tractors on display at the Shelby County Fair. Shelby County Antique Power Association members exhibit their old-time equipment at the fair each year to try and keep interest alive and to educate the public on how things used to be.

New members are welcome, whether from Shelby County or another county. Anyone interested in joining, or desiring more information, should call Ike at 937-596-5414. The membership fee is $10 per year.

Farmers market conference March 11-12 COLUMBUS - Farmers, growers, farmers market managers, vendors and anyone else interested in farmers markets can learn tips for increasing a customer base, determine how to prepare for a disaster and get updates on key food safety regulations during a Farmers Market Conference March 11-12, organizers said. Ohio State University South Centers will host the statewide conference as part of an effort to continue to offer new ideas, best practices and information to and from Ohio's farmers markets and vendors, said Christie Welch, farmers market specialist at OSU South Centers at Piketon. The conference will be held at the Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center, 2201 Fred Taylor Drive, on Ohio State's main campus in Columbus. The theme for the conference, now in its fourth year, is "Keeping it Fresh: Celebrating Ohio's Diverse

of West Central Ohio August 2012 Publisher — Frank Beeson fbeeson@civitasmedia.com Editor-in-Chief — Gary Brock gbrock@civitasmedia.com Regional Editor — Jeff Billiel jbilliel@civitasmedia.com Layout & Design — Greta Silvers gsilvers@civitasmedia.com RETAIL/MAJOR ACCOUNT SALES Shelby/Auglaize Counties Becky Smith (937) 498-5980 bsmith@civitasmedia.com Miami County Leiann Stewart (937) 440-5252 lstewart@civitasmedia.com Champaign/Clark/Logan/Counties Lane Moon (937) 652-1331 lmoon@civitasmedia.com CLASSIFIED SALES Miami, Shelby/Auglaize Counties Classifieds That Work Mandy Yagle (937) 498-5915 mkaiser@civitasmedia.com Champaign, Clark/Logan Counties Classifieds That Work Carol Herring (937) 652-1331 cherring@civitasmedia.com Subscriptions All Counties Cheryl Hall (937) 440-5237 chall@civitasmedia.com Contact ACRES of West Central Ohio: 1451 N. Vandemark Rd., Sidney, Ohio 45365

937-498-5962 ACRES of West Central Ohio is published monthly by Civitas Media and is available at the Sidney Daily News, Troy Daily News, Piqua Daily Call, (Tipp City/West Milton) Weekly Record Herald and the Urbana Daily Citizen. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any material from this issue inwhole or in part is strictly prohibited. ACRES of West Central Ohio is availablefor purchase at each of the newspaper offices for $1 per copy or contact us to subscribe. Subscriptions are $19.95 per year.

Markets," and will feature several workshops and sessions designed to offer education relevant to advancing today's farmers market managers, vendors and producers statewide, Welch said. The conference will offer group sessions as well as breakout sessions focusing on managers, vendors or new markets, she said. The conference is sponsored by OSU South Centers, CFAES, Farmers Market Management Network (FMMN) and Easton Farmers Market.

Organic

Registration for the statewide conference is $70 per day or $95 for both days for FMMN members. The cost for non-members is $80 per day, or $120 for both days. Registration includes refreshments, lunch and handouts. The conference runs from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on March 11 and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on March 12. Registration can be done online at ohiofarmersmarkets.osu.edu. For more information, contact Melissa Carter at 740-289-2071, ext. 222.

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only approved health care products can be used; and animals may not be fed any slaughter by-products, urea, or manure. Meyer’s cows eat a variety of grasses and legumes, including alfalfa, orchard grasses, and sorghum, most of which Meyer grows on his 120-acre farm. For seven months of the year, the cows graze in the pasture, but in the colder months, they feed in the barn. Grasses make up three-fourths of their diet with the other fourth coming from grains like barley, ear corn, oats, and spelts, a species of wheat. Meyer grows about 30% of the grains and purchases the rest. Organic farmers control pests and rodents the old fashioned way, with cats and mousetraps. As for weed control, Meyer said that it can be accomplished with consistent mowing and tilling of the land, along with natural grazing by the cows. Good crop rotations are important too because weeds that thrive in one crop may not thrive in another, so if crops are rotated often, young weeds do not have time to get established. Meyer has 50 cows of assorted breeds that range in age from 2 to 11. He milks by machine twice a day, 12 cows at a time. Cows give milk ten months of the year, then spend two months “dry” while waiting to calf. Meyer calves in the spring and the fall, meaning that for six months of the year, only half of the herd is milking. Some of the calves will replace older cows in the herd, others are sold to neighboring farms, and still others are butchered. Meyer sells his raw milk to the Organic Valley Cooperative, a Wisconsin-based company that markets organic milk and milk products throughout the United States, especially in larger cities and along the East Coast. “A semi truck picks up my milk every other day and most of it is processed by Smith Dairy in Richmond, Indiana, and then marketed through Organic Valley,” said Meyer. Organic Valley handles a number of organics including meat, but milk is their main product. While commercial milk is often made into other products like cheese and cottage cheese, most organic milk stays fluid. “People who are into organic prefer to eat ‘raw’, that is they want products that have the least

amount of processing,” said Meyer. Not only are organic foods more healthy, but the idea of reducing the amount of chemicals that contaminate the soil and water supply is yet another effort to purify the environment or in popular lingo, “go green.” On its website (www.organicvalley.coop), Organic Valley lists six reasons why consumers should choose organic. Organic is higher in vital nutrients. Organic does not use pesticides or synthetic fertilizers which can contaminate food and contribute to soil degradation. Organic reduces human exposure to dangerous chemicals like growth hormones. Organic does not use antibiotics which when overused can lead to antibiotic resistant infections in animals and people. Organic does not use genetically engineered crops that impact ecosystems and human health. Organic promotes quality care that ensures that animals are healthy and productive, naturally. Despite the obvious health benefits, Meyer estimates that there are only a dozen organic dairy farms in Shelby, Mercer, and Darke Counties, a very small percentage of the total number of dairy farms. Most organic farms are smaller than commercial ones because as Meyer said, “You can’t cultivate as many acres as you can with chemical spray. The output per acre may be less, but the lifespan for organic cows to produce milk is usually longer, resulting in cost savings over time.” He also indicated that the price he gets for his product is higher than commercial because of its quality, and the time and effort required to meet the strict organic standards. This means that organic products may cost more at the supermarket, but Meyer says that is also because of supply and demand. Health conscious consumers and environmentalists are increasing the demand, but the supply has not caught up, so prices remain high. “The prices will drop at some point,” said Meyer. “I’m convinced that the organic market will continue to grow as more and more people see it as a healthier choice.” Elaine Schweller-Snyder writes for the Sidney Daily News.

Salute to youth Fairlawn FFA receives Food For Thought grant SIDNEY - The Fairlawn High School FFA Chapter has been awarded a $500 Food For Thought Grant from the Ohio Small Grains Marketing Program. The purpose of the grant is to incorporate healthy eating initiatives and programs in schools throughout Ohio. Only seven FFA chapters in Ohio were rewarded with this grant. In order to receive the grant, the chapter had to write a proposal for a healthy eating program to implement. The chapter plans on purchasing a hydroponics unit to grow crops using water media and implement a learning program for elementary students and students enrolled in the plant science course.


Acres of West Central Ohio • February 2013 • Page 3

New state, federal regulations bound to cost farmers more money, woes It may seem like a broken record, but once again Ohio farmers seem to be under the gun of state and federal regulators who see the “business of farming” as needing additional controls and mandates. First, I will not suggest that some, or even many, of these recommendations and changes are not warranted and necessary. Many are. But as 2013 gets under way and Ohio farmers are hoping to concentrate on the new growing season at hand, more and more of their time is being spent reviewing and acting on what new laws and regulations are “coming down the road.” Perhaps what will have the most impact going forward for our farmers are two words spoken last year by Ohio Gov. John Kasich. Those words? “Fix it.” Our governor was talking about the quality of Ohio’s water - which is none too good. The state’s EPA, Department of Natural Resources asmedia.com and Department of Agriculture said one of the gbrock@civit problems is the way water runoff from farm fields harm water quality. What gets into the the Farm Bureau Federation and every “producers” water from these streams is soluble phosphorous, group in the state. which leads to a number of problems with our water Here is how the letter begins: “As a farmer in Ohio quality. you have a significant challenge bearing down So these agencies have developed guidelines for quickly. Government, special interest groups, the farmers to follow to help reduce this runoff. media and the public all expect you to help clean up Last month, to pound home the need for farmers to the state’s water resources. start changing their fertilizing methods, a letter went If farmers don’t do this on their own, there will be out to each and every one of them. The letter was federal and state laws and regulations that will mansponsored by about 20 of Ohio’s major agricultural date how you farm. organizations and groups, including OSU Extension, That is why you’re receiving this letter signed by

nearly all of Ohio’s agricultural organizations – to make it clear that farmers must take seriously their responsibility to manage nutrients.” That is an attention-getting start. And true. If Ohio farmers don’t change how they fertilize their fields and work hard to stop the runoff into Ohio’s streams and lakes, someone soon will come along and make them. And speaking of that, farmers also are being asked to take a look at new proposed food safety standards and rules that were announced Jan. 4 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The newly proposed Produce Safety rule goes into effect this year, and farmers will have until May 16 to comment before the rule is finalized According to OSU, the rule will take effect for some operators within just 60 days. The proposed Produce Safety rule can be found in the Federal Register, and is one way the government is putting the Food Safety Modernization Act into practice. These changes just pile on for farmers more of the rules and regulations that may go into effect this year that will affect how they operate. What does that mean? Usually it can be explained like this - $$$$$$$ While I don’t disagree that many changes and regulations will be necessary, everyone has to understand the underlying result will be an increase in costs to the farmers, and that will mean an increase in cost to us consumers. Gary Brock is editor-in-chief of ACRES

Outlook

Gary Brock

Controlling undesirable plants in crop fields should be top priority Controlling undesirable plants in crop fields should be a top priority of all grain and forage farmers. Weeds steal sunlight, moisture and nutrients from planted crops. They may also delay planting and harvest operations and reduce the quality of harvested grain and forage. Some weed species release chemicals that injure crops and others host insects and diseases that may harm existing or future desirable plants. The 2013 Weed Control Guide for Ohio and Indiana provides the detailed information necessary to develop optimum weed management strategies. Available through county Extension offices in Ohio or by downloading from www.agcrops.osu.edu/publications, the booklet contains 181 pages of unbiased, research based information from Extension specialists from Ohio State University and Purdue. Dr. Mark Loux and Dr. Bill Johnson headed the development of the agronomic resource for their respective universities. Even those farmers who have already made most of their weed control decisions for the coming year could benefit from an intense review of the bulletin’s material. The first 17 pages cover basic weed control principles, always worthy of an annual review prior to field work. A strong emphasis is placed on following sound cultural practices in order to minimize weed infestations. Crop rotation is stressed as one of the top cultural practices to improve and maintain long term weed control. Different crops may better compete with certain species of weeds. Some weed control products utilized on alternating crops can provide more effective control in one crop more than in another. Optimum plant populations seeded early, in narrow rows may help crowd out undesirable plants. According to

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Roger Bender rbender@landstewards.com

the guide, any practice that promotes early and vigorous crop growth helps give crops a competitive advantage over weeds. Keep in mind that proper seed hybrid/variety selection, good drainage and fertility, as well as management of other crop pests such as insects and diseases, all contribute to a successful weed management strategy. Long term efforts to prevent weeds from becoming established and spreading include management of undesirable plants in areas that are not cropped, such as fence rows, drainage and road ditches and various rights-of-way areas. Also be aware of weed seed that might arrive on the farm from livestock manure, in uncleaned machinery, carried by wildlife or arrive via air or flooding waters. Prompt identification of unknown weeds is advantageous so that control strategies can be altered as needed to prevent new weed species from becoming established. The Weed Control Guide gives a brief overview of mechanical weed control tactics and details the use of chemical products that fit for conventional, conser-

vation/reduced, and no-tillage cropping systems. It also does a great job of breaking down the advantages and disadvantages for burndown, soil applied, and post emergence herbicides. Effectiveness ratings charts have been developed, utilizing plot and field research conducted in both Ohio and Indiana. As farmers are experiencing increasing challenges with herbicide resistance weeds, there is a brief section detailing the importance of following good crop and herbicide rotations, as well as utilizing soil applied products followed by timely post emergence practices. A thorough description of the various groups of herbicides, an essential source of information to know when rotating herbicide site of action to minimize resistance problems. The Weed Control Guide is a good source of winter reading that can supplemented by regular updates supplied on the C.O.R.N Newsletter, accessible at www.corn.osu.edu. In fact, the first edition for 2013 contained a couple of excellent reviews on timely weed management issues. Both written by Mark Loux, they are titled, “Soybean herbicides for residual control of marestail (horsetail)” and “Revisiting metribuzin – it’s back with more utility than ever.” Invest less money than the value of two bushels of corn or a bushel of soybeans to acquire a handy spiral bound copy of this information treasure chest. The Weed Control Guide: great resource to leaf through and mark up for your operation. Once again, you can also access it free from your smart phone. Good luck on weed free fields in 2013. Roger Bender is a retired Shelby County Agricultural Agent with the OSU Extension Service. He currently works as a consultant for Land Stewards, LLC, and works the family farm near Fort Loramie

Ohio Farm Bureau honoree draws from past, looks ahead VERSAILLES - For Ohio Farm Bureau Excellence in Agriculture winner Greg McGlinch, a passion for agriculture comes pretty naturally. “I’m the fifth generation of our family on the farm, so you might say it’s just tradition,” said McGlinch, of Versailles. “It’s something I’ve always enjoyed and something I want to share with our kids. I also want to do what I can to let everyone know what’s going on in agriculture.” The award, which McGlinch, 32, won at the recent Ohio Farm Bureau Convention, recognizes successful individuals, 35 or younger, who are involved in production agriculture, but for whom farming is not their primary occupation. The Excellence in Agriculture Program, which is sponsored by Farm Credit Mid-America, recognizes farm involvement as well as participation in Farm Bureau and other community organizations. McGlinch will compete with other state winners

for national honors at the American Farm Bureau Federation National Convention in Nashville, Tenn. that began Sunday. For winning the Ohio award, McGlinch received a John Deere Gator, compliments of Farm Credit.

GREG MCGLINCH McGlinch is a graduate of The Ohio State University with a degree in agricultural education. In his position as a manure and nutrient management/urban technician with the Darke County Soil and Water Conservation District, he works with livestock producers and crop farmers to develop best practices on their operations. Increasingly his role includes educating them

about emerging conservation practices, like cover crops. He also advises municipalities on storm water management and related practices. McGlinch is currently working on a master’s degree in agronomy from OSU. In addition to his SWCD responsibilities, McGlinch and his wife, Janet, farm with Greg’s parents, Gary and Sharon McGlinch. The farm produces corn, soybeans, wheat, rye and clover, but Greg also uses the farm as a laboratory of sorts to try different cover crops and conservation practices. This helps him in his SWCD responsibilities to be able to assist other farmers from his own firsthand experience. In addition, McGlinch raises hogs for freezer pork, as well as chickens and eggs for local customers, and uses the opportunity to teach non-farm customers who like to buy local about today’s agriculture. McGlinch has been active in a number of community activities, Farm Bureau being primary, where he has been a board member.

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Internet-based farmers market serves Champaign County customers Bellefontaine, Zanesfield and other areas in the tri-county area. The food is fresh, lacks preservatives and is inspected thoroughly by volunteers upon arrival. Volunteers include Pam Bowshier, an artisan bread baker who sells Cosmic Charlie Bread, frozen pizza dough and rolls at the market. Mark Runyan, owner of Oakview Farm Fresh Meats, south of Urbana, raises breeding animals to sell across the country and sells a variety of frozen meats at the market with the help of his son, Myer. Both Bowsher and Runyan, as well as volunteer Charlene Stapleton of Urbana, have helped Tiefenthaler set up tables at the Champaign Family Y and handle the operations. Tiefenthaler hopes to turn over the market to them in the near future. “Pam does a great job,” Tiefenthaler said. “She does all the sales reports and invoice operations.” “This is going to be something that’s invaluable,” Stapleton said of the marCITIZEN Photo/ALEX HOWELL ket. “I think it’s a great asset for people.” Site users must create a login account, but are not required to pay a registration fee. That may change, however, after the program’s $20,000 grant awarded by the YMCA of the USA runs its course. Even then, said Tiefenthaler, any fee would be minimal due to the program’s low costs. Sought competitively by local YMCAs nationwide, the grant was one of 23 awarded in the United States. It is expected to last another six months before the Urbana market will need to find another revenue source. Tiefenthaler is conducting a study to determine the best and cheapest way of assessA SCREEN SHOT of “T he Market” part of the ing membership fees. Champaign County Oh io Virtual The goal is to build a Farmers’ Market webs ite. self-sufficient market. tomers,” said Tiefenthaler, also a The big attractions, she member of the Community Improvement Corporasaid, are reduced work for vendors, convenience for tion (CIC) and the Champaign Family YMCA board. customers and no more guesswork for either side. “It’s a different niche. It’s not just a farmer’s market.” Vendors regularly update the quantities of each item Offered year-round, market goers can choose from available on the webpage, and buyers can leave rebaked goods including basil bread, angel food cake quests or concerns in a comments section. and brownies; spices such as Cajun seasoning and “The customers enjoy it this way and I think they pepper powder; dairy products such as Greek yogurt would be OK with a membership fee,” she said. and whole milk; and meats served in a variety of Organizers say the challenge will be growing the ways including beef sirloin steak and pork patties. vendor and customer bases hand-in-hand. A FaceThe list is ongoing. book page and weblog can be accessed on the website, Apple butter, blackberry jam and candy apple jelly as social media has played a key role in its publicity. top the list of jams and jellies. “Someone will like us on Garlic products are a category unto themselves, offering gourmet garlic flakes and Susanville softneck garlic. Look inside the “Farm Crafts” tab to find handmade wallets and cell phone sleeves delivered from Mechanicsburg. There are processed foods, prepared foods, flower bouquets, fruits, gourds, pies, eggs, honey, syrup, popcorn, grains and milled products, and the list continues. The summer months bring a variety of tomatoes, peppers, squash, radishes, onions, blackberries, raspberries and spinach, to name a few. “Right before Christmas, we were still having $700 weeks,” KAY SCHENKEL picks Tiefenthaler said, adding local resup her goods from the Cham idents still are learning about the paign County Virtual Farmers year-round options. The average ’ Market at the Champaign Fami order is about $20. ly YMCA. Strip away the catchy medium and the products stand by themCITIZEN Photo/ALEX HOWELL selves, says Tiefenthaler. Buyers can trace their produce to farmers, bakers and craftsmen from Urbana, Springfield, New Carlisle, Mechanicsburg, Rosewood, Cable, Facebook,” said Tiefenthaler, “and they’ll

MYER AND MARK Runyan bag cold products out of a cooler for a customer during pickup at the Champaign County Virtual Farmers’ Market at the Champaign Family YMCA.

have five friends that say, ‘Yes, I believe in buying locally.’” “We just network all over the place,” added Bowshier. The idea started with Tiefenthaler. With her pressing the issue and electing to lead the program, former YMCA director Kathy Finney worked toward obtaining the grant. Today, Tiefenthaler oversees the webpage, deliveries, collections and transactions, but has yet to take any of the grant money directed toward work compensations. On Thursdays, the consumer pick-up point is located in the lobby of the Champaign Y, 191 Community Drive. Before arriving, members can select from a drop-down menu of available items on the website accompanied by pictures, prices and vendor information. When an order is placed, transactions aren’t finalized until buyers collect their orders and make payments between 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. Thursdays on site. Vendors are expected to drop off their items within an hour of the market’s opening. If either a vendor or customer fails to appear on any given Thursday, deductions are made from the weekly order placements and earnings. Tiefenthaler is hopeful the future holds more products and capabilities. She also hopes the virtual market will complement traditional markets in St. Paris, Mechanicsburg, North Lewisburg and Urbana. The new program is a community service, not a competitor, and easily can be implemented at any market, she said. Craig Shirk writes for the Urbana Daily Citizen

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URBANA – Like any other consumer market, farmers’ markets require some degree of guesswork. Vendors assess which crops and how many will sell, hoping to avoid carrying extras or under supplying the market. Customers have a similar dilemma. A new medium is removing the guesswork for users of an Internet-based market in Champaign County. For any one person, the selling or buying experience takes five minutes, enough time to drop off a batch of baked breads or pick up a pre-ordered supply of bulk hamburger. The products are fresh and homemade. Most are competitively priced, while a few are pricier than products residents may find in stores. Milk, for example, may go for $6 a gallon. “But you can meet the man who milks the cow,” manager and volunteer Heather Tiefenthaler said of the program she helped launched in May 2012. “This food has a very short shelf life, only a three-day shelf life for the bread … but they’re just so good.” Urbana’s digital market is among hundreds across the country residing at LocallyGrown.Net, but was the first to appear in Ohio, say organizers. The Urbana page is at champaignoh.locallygrown.net. It now boasts 216 active customers and 30 vendors, who in the program’s first seven months racked up a combined $12,400 in sales. “Some of our vendors have grossed $2,000,” Tiefenthaler said in early January. “Our dairy guy receives a $100 check every week.” Three percent of the total sales are paid to the creator of LocallyGrown.Net, Eric Wagoner of Georgia. With more than 20 product categories displayed on an interactive webpage, Urbana’s site allows users to buy directly from producers in their area. “I think this is the future of how to reach more cus-


Acres of West Central Ohio • February 2013 • Page 5

COUNTRY COOKIN’

Quick and easy lasagna soup ideal for working mom A lasagna soup that is easy to make, hearty, and a cafeteria at Troy High School for seven years. favorite of her two-year-old twins is shared by Laura Jess enjoys attending family activities, including Deal of Houston, in Shelby County. their grandchildren’s soccer, volleyball, basketball, Deal got the baseball and softball games. She noted the grandchilrecipe from her dren atmother and her tend LAURA DEAL of Houston serves family loves it. Newton her twins, Blake and Ashlyn, bowls She says she School, of her hearty lasagna soup. The changed the but she family enjoys the dish and it is recipe a bit to and her quick an easy for Deal to make, their liking. husband since she is a working mom. The Since she usulive in children’s father is Josh Deal. ally doesn’t the have onion Miami and garlic on East Dishand, she trict - so leaves them they wear out of the red for recipe. One Newton reason Deal and royal loves the blue for recipe is beMiami cause it’s so East. easy to make Their “and really daughter does taste has taught like homein Newton SDN Photo/LUKE GRON made Schools for NEBERG lasagna.” more than She added 15 years. that whenever she and her husband have company The over, she makes the soup and it is always a crowd grandchildren also show pigs at the Miami County pleaser. It was a favorite at the twins’ second birthFair and her son is president of the Miami County day meal - stress free and easy to make. She often Agricultural Society (Fair Board). serves it as a quick meal during the week and it is The Jess’s are members of Cove Spring Church, something her husband can also easily prepare. Cove Spring Grange and the Elizabeth Township Deal said she usually browns hamburger meat up Historical Society. She is a former 4-H advisor, servwhen she buys it from the grocery and then she puts ing for more than 20 years, it in the freezer in smaller containers, ready to pull and is also a past member out and use as needed. She notes this saves a lot of of the Ohio Young Farm time. Wife Council She and her husband Josh have been married for Lou Ann enjoys cooking five years and their twins – a boy and a girl – are 2 and baking and shares the 1/2 years old. The couple work full-time and so following main dish recipe. recipes such as the soup are especially appreciated at It was one of the popular the end of the day. dishes served at events Deal said she just dumps all ingredients into a when she catered. pan, lets it simmer for a while, adds the pasta, and CHICKEN RICE MAIN it’s done. Served with garlic bread and a salad, it’s the perfect meal for their family. DISH Deal typically uses whole grain penne when she 1 can cream of mushprepares this meal. room soup LOU ANN JESS 1 can cream of chicken LASAGNA SOUP soup 1 pound hamburger 1 can (soup can) whole milk 1/4 cup chopped onion 1/2 envelope dried onion soup 3 cloves garlic, minced 1/2 stick butter brown above and drain 2 cups minute rice Then add to Dutch Oven along with: Mix ingredients together and pour into greased 13 1 tablespoon brown sugar x 9 baking dish. Put boneless chicken breast on top. 2 cans chicken broth Sprinkle remaining dry soup mix on top. Bake 45 to 2 cans petite diced tomatoes 60 minutes until chicken is done. Cover with foil for 1 large (29 ounce) and 1 small can (15 ounce) just the first 30 minutes. You can add more warm tomato sauce milk if rice gets too dry looking. 1 scant teaspoon Italian seasoning ——— Salt and pepper Simmer for 20-30 minutes Then add 2 cups broken lasagna noodles (or other pasta) and cook till done. Serve with parmesan and mozzarella cheeses. Virginia Harpst of Huntsville, in Logan County, ——— loves to cook and bake, learning at an early age from her mother, who she says was a real good cook. She and husband Jim have two daughters and three sons, along with six grandchildren and three Rural Troy resident Lou Ann Jess offers a quick great-grandchildren. and easy chicken dish that is guaranteed to warm a Virginia worked for 31 years at an area factory and family on cold winter days. is now retired. She is a nine-year cancer survivor and She and husband John have been married for 46 is also a diabetic. years and have farmed all their married lives. They A sign in her kitchen says ” Goodies Given Here.” have two children and two grandchildren. Her only granddaughter takes the sign seriously and For more than 30 years she catered weddings and sometimes gets hungry at college. That’s when other functions before changing directions in 2002 Grandma gets the message and gets busy making because of heart surgery. She then worked in the

Huntsville family enjoys savory sweet potato fries

Popular catering recipe remains family favorite

caramel apples, popcorn balls, or anything with pumpkin - all designed to satisfy her granddaughter’s urge for homemade goodies. Among the family’s favorite foods made by Harpst are sweet potato fries. The recipe follows. SWEET POTATO FRIES Put a little oil on a cooking pan. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Peel sweet potatoes and cut in uniform size. Put them in pan and turn so all fries are covered with oil Prepare spices as deVIRGINIA HARPST sired (Harpst uses saltfree seasoning, pepper and chili power) Mix spices together and sprinkle on fries. Place cooking pan in oven and turn fries after 10 minutes Cook then until done. ———

Unique hamburger dish tasty and easy to make Sandy Thieman of New Bremen is an Auglaize County native who grew up on a farm with an appreciation for hearty meals, especially during the long, cold winters. Thieman attended a two-room school (Dohse School) until the fifth grade and then she attended a “town school” before graduating from Memorial High School in St. Mary’s. She then attended nursing school and worked as a nurse prior to working in the family business. The Thiemans have three children and nine grandchildren. Now that she is retired, Thieman enjoys volunteering for a variety of organizations, especially with a kindergarten class in New Bremen. She also enjoys flower gardening, spending time outdoors and fishing at SANDY THIEMAN Lake Erie. But most of all she loves spending time with family and friends. Here, Thieman shares a favorite family recipe that she says is easy to make. It was given to her many years ago by a friend. HAMBURGERS ‘N SAUCE 1 pound ground beef 1 cup bread or cracker crumbs 1/2 cup milk Salt and pepper to taste Mix the above and make into patties and then brown lightly. Mix the following ingredients together in saucepan and heat through until sugar is dissolved. 2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce 1 tablespoon cider vinegar 2 tablespoons sugar 1/2 cup catsup 1 medium onion, diced Pour over browned patties and bake for 1 hour at 325 degrees. Thieman frequently doubles the sauce recipe as they like the additional sauce on the burgers. Recipes compiled by Lola E. Billiel, who writes for the Sidney Daily News

OSU Experts: Use Cover Crops to improve soil health and improve yields OTTAWA - Using cover crops such as oilseed radish, cereal rye, cowpea or Austrian winter pea can help growers improve soil health which leads to higher yields and lower input costs, an Ohio State University Extension expert said. Examples of how to do so will be discussed by Jim Hoorman, an OSU Extension educator and an assistant professor studying cover crops and water quality issues, during a series of workshops Feb. 11, 20 and 25. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. The workshops are designed to help growers learn how to create healthier soils by increasing the carbon content in the soil which leads to increased nutrient efficiency and increased yields, Hoorman said.

ECO Farming, which stands for “ecological farming” and includes using eternal no-till, continuous living cover and other best management practices, is not only economically viable, it is also ecologically sound and environmentally sustainable, he said. The method uses a combination of cover crops and no-till worked into a corn/soybean/wheat rotation to more efficiently use the inputs farmers add to their soil. WORKSHOP TOPICS INCLUDE: Feb. 11: ECO Farming: Ecological Farming Practices Soil Ecology and Nutrient Recycling Using Cover Crops to Adapt to Extreme Weather Feb. 20: Biology of Soil Compaction

Economics of Cover Crops Using the Cover Crop Selector Tool Feb. 25: Raising Homegrown Nitrogen Using Grasses and Brassica in Your Crop Rotation Open discussion: Using Cover Crops in a Crop Rotation Each workshop will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Putnam County office of OSU Extension, 1206 E. 2nd St. in Ottawa. Registration is $20 for all three workshops, or $10 per session. The deadline to register is Feb 6. For more information or to register, contact Hoorman at 419-523-6294 or by email at hoorman.1@osu.edu.


Acres of West Central Ohio • February 2013 • Page 6

Farmers need to be aware of heart health; two Shelby County men share their stories BY MARY ELLEN EGBERT February is National Heart Month, a time to be aware of heart health and warning signs that may indicate a problem. Farmers, who work hard, get up early and must always be prepared fro the unexpected, are not immune to heart problems. Two Shelby County farmers share their lifechanging experiences. “I was just out combining beans in September of 2010 when it started,” begins Stanley Thomas. “My chest hurt, but I kept on working. Then I woke up early in the morning on a Wednesday with such pain I had to get out of bed and went to sit in a chair.” “I took two aspirins and woke up my wife to tell her I thought she should take me to the hospital. By the time we were ready to leave, I was feeling much better and told Vivian I thought I’d be alright. All she said was, ‘We’re going’.” “We went to Wilson (Memorial Hospital in Sidney) where they did an EKG right away and then the ER doctor came in and discussed what had

cepting it. I am not one to sit around. I look STANLEY THOMAS back on how steps into one of frustrated my his favorite things, dad would get his John Deere, when he where he spends couldn’t do his time in the some of the doing what fields physical work he loves, farming. as he got older, and now I understand. Dad always told me that anything over four hours sleep a night is wasted time.” Pence finds that sleep is more important now, however, SDN Photo/STEVE EGB ERT because two years ago he was diagnosed noted doing with sleep apnea and Thomas. “She has been because my heart is especially the Veteran’s have been using a C-Pap right by my side through strong again. Day program at their elemachine ever since. “I got this whole thing. We have “So I may have to have mentary school. immediate relief from been married 57 years Mark pick up the fertil“This has just made me being tired all the time. and she has just been izer and lift anything look at everything differMy doctor tells me now wonderful.” over 50 pounds for me, ently,” Pence reiterated. that the apnea is related “A soon as I had my and I have to take more “When my doctor told me to the irregular heart heart attack, neighbors breaks than I used to, but there’s nothing like your beat I have today. Now I came to help my son finI feel good. Farming is a original parts and that sleep all night.” ish up the harvesting. I good life.” we need to take care of Each man farms 600 am so grateful to them trip to Washington The what we have, I guess I acres of corn, wheat and and to Mark. Today there that Thomas missed in understood that to mean soybeans. Thomas was are things I can’t do that working I could before, but at 80 I 2010 was only delayed, as ‘everything’ we have, inhe was able to go in 2011 cluding what’s important 850 acres think I’m doing pretty at the time good. And so does my doc- with another group. And in our lives.” Pence doesn’t miss anyMary Ellen Egbert of his heart tor. He told me to keep thing he needs to do with writes for the attack, but doing whatever I am his grandchildren, either, Sidney Daily News has cut back and sold some of his land. WILMINGTON -- Small farm ownVegetable Nutrient Management Pence ers who want to learn more about Christmas Tree Production raises steers how to make their farms work better Cover Crops and also opfor them by increasing profits, inGrafting of Trees erates a concreasing marketing efforts, expanding Lavender Production crete operations, or adding new educational Raised Bed Production business, in or agritainment amenities can attend Pasture Management addition to workshops and presentations on Fertigation of Tomatoes cropping his these and more issues during a small Greenhouse/Tunnel Production land. farm conference on March 8-9 in Food Safety Both men Wilmington, Ohio. Agricultural Law Considerations have farmed The "Opening Doors to Success" Growing Hops all their lives. conference and trade show is deMarketing Pence’s signed to help producers learn more Financial Management wife, Linda, tips, techniques and methods and to The conference is an outgrowth of and his chilincrease their awareness to make the Ohio New and Small Farm Coldren didn’t their small farm operations more suc- lege, an eight-week program created see much cessful, which can lead to increased by OSU Extension that offers an inchange in farm profits, said Tony Nye, an Ohio troduction to the business of small their duties CHARLES PENCE State University Extension educator. farming for those who are new to the because Pence feeds one of the The conference kicks off with a industry. The program offers informahas mainten-day-old calves panel discussion of Ohio producers tion on budgeting, business planning tained his he cares for on his who will talk about "Opportunities usual schedule, and how to develop a farm structure, farm, in addition to and Challenges to Running a Successalthough his raising crops and ful Small Farm Operation." The group among other issues. outlook on life operating a The conference is co-sponsored by will address issues surrounding labor, is different. concrete business. OSU Extension's Small Farm Profinancing, deciding on a farm spe“I am more gram; Wilmington College; Farm cialty, dealing with customers, and conscious about Credit Mid-America; USDA's Farm whether or not to add agritainment or taking a break Service Agency; Natural Resources education components to a farm. when I need to,” The conference, which will be held Conservation Service; and National he said. “I look at Wilmington College, Boyd Cultural Agriculture Statistic Service and to heart disease that at things differArts Center, 1870 Quaker Way in Rural Development. would require surgery. ent now. My priorities Wilmington, will feature 25 sessions The conference starts at 8:30 a.m. But I do have to go have changed. Before this from Ohio State and industry experts and runs until 4:15 p.m. Registration through a procedure in happened, I worked nonand a trade show for small farmers is $20 for the March 8 session and February to put my heart stop, but now I can shut that will offer information that can $50 for the March 9 session, or $60 back into rhythm.” the combine down and benefit a variety of growers, Nye said. for both days. The deadline to register Pence will have the play with my grand kids Some of the topics to be addressed is March 1. For more information or procedure done in Ketter- because they are what’s include: to register, go to clinton.osu.eduor ing. “The way it was eximportant. The combining Beekeeping contact Nye at 937-382-0901 or by plained to me is that the can wait.” Vermiculture email at nye.1@osu.edu. doctor will stop my heart Thomas, now 80, has while I am sedated and learned to slow his pace then start it back up down without giving up 2342077 again so it is in the corthe two things he loves rect rhythm pattern,” doing most on the farm Pence says. “I am taking planting corn and commedication now and just bining. His son, Mark, anxious to get this over also works the farm fullwith.” time. Pence says the most “I have to give so much Today’s volatile markets and risk for yield loss makes risk management of those components one of the most important parts of farming today. Diversified Services has difficult part “is just accredit to Vivian, my wife,” amazed at how fast they got him up and around. By Saturday morning he was walking from the CCU unit to his room. He was supposed to be making a bus trip to Washington, D.C. that morning to visit the war memorials but obviously that didn’t happen. Now, at age 78, Thomas found himself making some changes in his life. He said he had never been sick a day in his life that he could remember, but quickly learned how to slow down and listen to his body. At age 62, another farmer, who lives south of Sidney, was forced to learn the same lesson. “I went to the doctor on Dec. 12 of last year for a bad head cold,” said Charles Pence. “When they listened to my heart and took my blood pressure, the doctor told me I had atrial fibrillation, which basically means that my heart misses beats. I had just been checked by a nurse in July and nothing was found at that point. But it showed up last month.” “I was tested for blockages and nothing was found, so this is not related

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been going on. She told me very quickly that I had had a major heart attack and admitted me to the Cardiac Care Unit (CCU).” “A cardiologist from Lima signed me off to be taken to Lima Memorial as soon as I was stabilized. By Thursday afternoon I had a cario-cath and they found my three major vessels were 96, 86 and 66 percent blocked. They prepped me that night. I had triple by-pass surgery the next morning and was in CCU Friday night.” Thomas said he was

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Training Border Collies is challenging, but area couple enjoy the benefits BY SHARON SEMANIE United States near Mount Kathadin in COVINGTON — They Maine. The Kathadin are considered “hardy, adaptare considered by some able low maintenance as the “most intelligent” of all dogs. They are char- sheep that produce superior lamb crops and lean, acterized as “extremely meaty carcasses” and, energetic, acrobatic and best yet, do not require athletic” and frequently compete in dog sports as shearing. The farm, explains well as head to greener Beth, has enabled the pastures to round up couple to be “closer to herds of sheep. Bred in the Anglo-Scottish border parents” and offer adequate space for their two region for herding liveHaflinger horses origistock, the Border Collie has an extensive vocabu- nally bred in Austria along with a menagerie of lary and, when trained properly, obeys vocal com- cats, chickens and a mands such as “come by” guard llama to protect and “away to me” or shrill sheep from coyotes and other predators. They whistles. breed the sheep — they Such is the life for now have several dozen three border collies who — and have them live in a farm setting off Versailles Road between butchered as lambs or Piqua and Versailles, the use them for dog training. Beth acquired the Borhome of Randy and Beth der Collies, two of which Sears. As one enters the were adopted from a sheltree-lined gravel driveway, it doesn’t become im- ter. Beth works daily to mediately apparent that teach obedience and agility to Caelie (who the dogs exist. Visitors are not greeted by barks works the sheep), Mickie or wagging tails. The trio (a retired trial dog who competed at national is indoors and, one by level) and Tag (who is deone, introduced as they exit the screen door of the scribed as “charming” but lacks the power to herd farmhouse and scamper and is now considered a feverishly around the companion dog). yard. “I knew Caelie had the Beth, a 1986 graduate instinct (to be a sheepof Troy High School, earned a degree in politi- herder),” says Beth, “so in a controlled situation I cal science from Wittenput her out with the berg University. She briefly wrote newspaper sheep and evaluated how she circled around them. articles in Xenia and It was determined she

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 fulltime occupation and reportedly has “trained hundreds of dogs for farm use and

BORDER COLLIE Caelie herds Katahdin sheep on the Sears’ farm new Covington. PDC Photo/SHARON SEM ANIE

dlers 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 hadobar@gmail.com

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 sheep, Beth has a green thumb as evidenced by her healthy garden in summertime 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 non-profit 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 writes for the Piqua Daily Call.

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Acres of West Central Ohio • February 2013 • Page 8

Farmers asked to voluntarily act to cut back on nutrient runoff BY MARK FAHEY Ohio farmers received a letter from 20 of Ohio’s largest agricultural organizations in January urging them to take voluntary action to reduce nutrient runoff from their farms. “Agriculture must begin immediately to reduce nutrient runoff in a manner that can be documented,” read the letter. “If this can’t be accomplished voluntarily, it will be imposed mandatorily.” Nutrient runoff from farms can end up in local lakes and waterways, causing excessive algae growth. In 2011, high rain water levels and phosphate runoff caused algae blooms in the western basin of Lake Erie and Grand Lake St. Marys in Mercer County, producing toxins that can make visitors sick. A similar explosion of algae growth occurred in Deer Creek Lake in Pickaway County in 2010, as well as in other major lakes in the state. The problem was less noticeable last summer due to drought conditions. “That’s kind of just where it shows up, in the water bodies. It doesn’t mean there’s not things growing in the streams too,” said Chet Murphy, district administrator for the Fayette County Soil and Water Conservation District. Not only are local bodies of water affected, but nutrient pollution in southern Ohio eventually runs into the Mississippi River, contributing to a large “dead zone” each summer in the Gulf of Mexico. Excess nutrients in the Gulf lead to massive plant growth, and the decomposition of those plants re

PHOTO PROVIDED

moves oxygen from the water, killing fish and other marine animals. “It’s really an issue for the entire state of Ohio because the same kinds of things that happen in Grand Lake and Lake Erie are happening in the Gulf of Mexico,” said Joe Cornely, senior director of communications at the Ohio Farm Bureau.”It’s geographically further removed, but it’s the same concept.” In the letter, signed “Ohio’s agriculture community,” the Ohio Farm Bureau and other PHOTO PROVIDED agricultural organizations encouraged farmers to use the principles of “4R Nutrient Stewardship,” which include using the right fertilizer source, at the right rate, at the right time and with the right placement, to reduce nutrient pollution off their properties. “It’s everybody’s responsibility to protect the environment and farmers are included in the Ohio community that shares THE SIGN said it all at Grand in that reLake St. Marys - when algae sponsibility,” bloom killed fish and made the said Cornely. lake all but unusable. The cause “We’re not the was determined to be nutrient only ones, but runoff from nearby farms. since we man age so much of the land base,

a sizable chunk of the job is on our plate.” Murphy said that the Fayette County Soil and Water Conservation District is partnering with the Fayette County Health Department to test water flowing in and out of the county to determine how much the area is adding or subtracting from nutrient loads. “What we need to do from now on is to find a way to monitor results,” said Murphy. “I would not like to see it go to regulation. We’re a firm believer in voluntary efforts, but at some point that’s up to the public and legislative bodies and what they feel needs to happen.” Murphy said that he has seen more and more effort being put into learning good nutrient stewardship, and Cornely said that the Farm Bureau has received a generally positive reaction to the call to action. “I’ve been working with farmers for 30-some years and they’re aware that they have a job to do here,” said Cornely. “The purpose of the letter was just to remind folks of that, to drive home a recognition that this is not something that any of us can afford to ignore.” Mark Fahey is a staff writer for the Record-Herald in Washington Court House

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WORTHINGTON – The Ohio State Fair, in conjunction with the Ohio Soybean OHIO SOYBEAN Council ExecuCouncil, has received an award of distinctive Director Kirk Merritt (l-r), tion in the inaugural Soybean and EnviState Fair General Manager Ohio ronmental Sustainability Awards Virgil Strickler, Chairman of the competition from the International AssociOhio Soybean Council Board of ation of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE) for Trustees and Hancock County its soybean education program at the 2012 soybean farmer John Motter and Fair. Ohio Soybean Council CommuIn addition to receiving first place in its nications Director Jennifer Coleattendance division for the “educational man pose with the International event, exhibit or program for the fairgoing Association of Fairs and Exposipublic – soy use” category, the Ohio State tions Soybean and EnvironmenFair was presented with the coveted tal Sustainability Judges’ Choice Judge’s Choice Award for the entire SoyAward for the Ohio State Fair’s bean and Environmental Sustainability soy education program. Awards competition, which recognized fairs in four different categories, and in each of five divisions based upon attendance. The entries were evaluated and judged by a team of industry leaders selected from the membership of the IAFE. The multi-faceted program was developed in partnership with the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean checkoff to educate fairgoers, farmers and concession vendors about the state’s most abundant and versatile crop, the soybean: Many concessionaires made their fried foods healthier by adopting the use of trans fat-free high-oleic soybean PHOTO PROVIDED oil in their food booths, featuring educational signage alongside the delicious treats. Various additional soy-based products, such as hand sanitizer and paint, were used throughout the 360-acre Ohio Expo Center. A final educational element was the sponsorship of several buildings and the entire junior livestock show, capped with Ohio Soybean Day, Saturday, Aug. 4. On this day, Ohio soybean farmers greeted fairgoers and answered questions about the uses of soybeans and how farmers grow them. Additionally, potted soybean plants along with signage sharing interesting facts such as “one acre of soybeans can produce 82,368 crayons” were located throughout the grounds. The Soybean and Environmental Sustainability Awards were developed to encourage fairs to utilize soy products in their operations, educate the public about the soy products, to incorporate environmentally sustainable practices in fair operations as well as to educate the fairgoing public about environmentally sustainable practices. The Ohio Expo Center is proud to host the Ohio State Fair. With a spectacular midway, big-name en6 E. Main St., Wapakoneta, OH tertainment, hundreds of exhibits and one of the www.sorensenins.com largest junior fair shows in the nation, the 2013 Ohio (419) 738-8623 • (888) 417-8623 State Fair will run July 24 - August 4. In 2012, Serving Ohio & Indiana since 1962 840,306 people attended the Ohio State Fair.

ALGAE BLOOM at Grand Lake St. Marys pretty much shut down the popular body of water and wreaked havoc on the local economy in Mercer County.

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9Acres of West Central Ohio • February 2013 • Page 9

Farley joins Shelby FSA office as new executive director BY MELANIE SPEICHER SIDNEY - The road to Shelby County started deep in the South for Latham Farley. A native of Mississippi, Farley was named the executive director for the Shelby County FSA Office in October. He replaced Roger Lentz, who had worked for the department for 30 years. “I grew up in Mississippi on the family farm where we raised some cattle,” said Farley. Growing up, he never expected to work in the agriculture field. “I was thinking about majoring in physical therapy,” said Farley, “but that didn’t work out.” Instead, he received a degree in biology in 2007 from Mississippi State University and began his career in agriculture. His career path led him from Mississippi to an interview in Lexington, Ky. But when he arrived in the Bluegrass State, his anticipated interview had been canceled. While he was in Kentucky, he decided this was a place where he’d like to live. So he started calling horse farms to see if anyone had any openings. “One owner called me as I was leaving town,” recalled Farley. “I had an interview on Friday and I started my job on Monday.” He worked on the Hill ‘N’ Dale Farm in Lexington as an equine handler and caretaker. From there, Farley was hired as the program coordinator of agriculture and natural resources for the Ohio State University Extension in Clermont County. During his two years there, he was involved in a pasture-measurement research project where he measured and documented growth and density of active, rotationally grazed pastures. He was also involved with soybean rust spore detection and western corn rootworm detection research. In 2011, Farley joined the USDA Farm Service Agency in Clermont County as a county operating trainee. “I was in the FSA training for a year,” said Farley. “I was sent to different offices within the state. I spent five weeks in Lorraine/Medina and 11 months in southwestern Ohio being trained. “Agriculture is Ohio and they (FSA) knew that I understood the ag aspect of the office. I already had cattle and horse training from growing up.” After completing his FSA training, Farley was hired as the executive director for the FSA office in Scioto-Pike County. His on-the-job experiences found him well qualified for the executive director job in the Shelby County. Farley said he is looking forward to the challenges of his new job. “I want each producer to know they can count on us when they enter the office,” said Farley. “I want them to be able to come in quick and be out quick and to have a very personable office.” Farley and his wife, Katie, are currently residing in Englewood. She is a graphics designer and works in Cincinnati. “Katie grew up in Englewood, so we wanted to get back closer to home for her,” said Farley. “I’ve spent the past three years helping my father-in-law. He has a grain farm and raises pigs.”

Farley said their goal is to start farming in Shelby County. They’d like to either find a farm and house or rent some land to farm. The couple recently joined the Ohio Farm Bureau Young Agricultural Professionals and are members of the group’s advisory team. “I’d like to partner with young people interested in agriculture and get them involved in different organizations,” said Farley. “You do this job for your whole life. They need to get involved with groups so their job will be more enjoyable.” Farley said he is SDN Photo/MELANIE looking SPEICHER forward to this year’s Shelby County Fair. “I wasn’t in 4-H or FFA growing up,” he said. “We just had cows. But I did work at a rodeo growing up.” Some of his horse training came when he worked for a farmer, who also operated a rodeo. “I pulled the straps of the bulls and horses,” said Farley. “I worked on the man’s farm who did rodeos at fairs and at state rodeos.” Farley said he met Tuff Hedeman, who is a five-time rodeo champion. “I got to go to lunch with him,” said Farley. In addition to his love of the land, Farley also enjoys hiking and running. “I like to go backpacking and I’ve done a lot of

LATHAM FARLEY inspects the effects of hail damage to corn last season. Farley recently took over as executive director of the Shelby County Farm Service Agency, based in Sidney.

trips,”he said. Farley has also introduced his wife to the joy of hiking. “On our one-year anniversary we went backpacking on the Appalachian Trail. That was her first trip.” The couple has also hiked in Yosemite National Park in California. “My preacher got me started in the seventh grade,” said Farley of the first time he hiked. “After that, I was hooked.” His goal this year is to participate in all the 5Ks 12 in total - that are run in Shelby County. Melanie Speicher writes for the Sidney Daily News

Ag Calendar managers to get up to date information To add an event to this calendar, con- Meeting Series-Putnam County, OSU • March 13: Farm to School Confertact Rachel Lloyd at Extension, 1206 E. Second St., Ottawa, on natural resource issues. Contact ence, Nationwide & Ohio Farm Bureau rlloyd@sdnccg.com. 7 to 9 p.m. Preregistration required by your Farm Bureau for information. 4-H Center, Columbus, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 6. Cost $20 for series or $10 per meeting. Call James Hoorman at (419) 523-6294 for information. • Feb. 4, 11, 18 and 25: Sheep and Goat WebEx Series, online, 7 to 9 p.m. • Feb. 12-13: Ohio Pork Congress, COMBINES – Prices Reduced!! Feb. 4 – Dr. Eric Gordon, OSU Large Crowne Plaza North, 6500 Doubletree Animal Veterinarian, “Vaccination ProCOMBINES & ATTACHMENTS Ave., Columbus. 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• Feb. 7: Software for Developing Nutrient Management Plans Workshop, Ohio State University Extension Office, Putnam County, 1206 E. Second St., Ottawa, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Call Greg LaBarge at (419) 460-0600 for information.


Acres of West Central Ohio • February 2013 • Page 10

Company cleans out fencerows of problematic invasive species BY STEPHANI DUFF TROY - Dave Fisher grew up on a dairy farm. He walked rows of tobacco and sprayed individual plants with pesticide. Now he has a vision. Through his company, Vegetation Technology Services of Troy, he hopes to educate homeowners and farmers on how to deal with invasive species that take over the land. “Folks will buy land and build on it and want to walk through their woods only to find that they are unable to because invasive plant species, such as honeysuckle, have taken over,” Dave explains, “my goal is to educate homeowners on what to do about clearing out invasive species so that a walk through the woods is possible and so that new trees have the ability to grow and replace others that have died off.” Fisher’s company offers alternative fixes to pricier options. He explained recently that if home and landowners, as well as farmers, want woods to flourish, they need to get a handle on these invasive species as soon as possible. “A large problem for farmers is along fencerows,” explains Dave, “because honeysuckle is thick along fence and tree lines. The red berries that you see along fence rows are active honeysuckle seeds; they are problematic simply being there, but what causes the bigger issue is when they are picked up by birds, digested, and then dropped again and fertilized.” Although honeysuckle was the number one invasive species in Ohio there are other invasive species that cause problems, as well. Dave explained recently that autumn olive and multifloral rose are also problematic. “All three of these species are extremely acidic so what falls off of the plants ends up stopping other species from growing around it; it has become the plants’ natural process to protect itself,” said Dave.

The easiest way for Vegetation Technology Services to handle these species is to mow it down and then to put customers on a “long term management plan with low herbicide use.” Dave explained that once it is mowed down it is turned into chips which accomplishes a number of things. “Once the species is mowed down and turned into chips we have accomplished knocking it down to ground level, we have put nutrients back in the soil, we are helping with erosion, and we are coming back with a long-term management plan,” said Dave. Dave’s company Vegetation Technology Services has been in business in Ohio since 2002, but is licensed for commercial application of herbicides in Ohio, New York, Michigan, and Indiana. Their ultimate goal is to help people manage unwanted vegetation. If you or someone you know is having issues with unwanted invasive plant species he can be reached through his website at www.vegtechservices.com or PHOTO PROVIDED via phone at (937) 8750470. Stephani Duff writes for the Troy Daily News

HONEYSUCKLE is the No. 1 invasive plant in the state of Ohio. A Troy company eradicates this pest, along with other problematic plants such as multifloral rose and autumn olive.

Ohio Invasive Plants Council sets new evaluation protocol CINCINNATI – A first-time sciencebased effort is underway to identify invasive plants from other regions and reduce their impact on natural areas in Ohio, according to the Ohio Invasive Plants Council (OIPC). Common reed grass, garlic mustard, bush honeysuckle and other plants dominate thousands of acres in Ohio’s forests, grasslands and wetlands. These invaders crowd out native plants and reduce biodiversity. Utilizing a 22-question assessment protocol developed in 2012 by the OIPC and other stakeholder groups, a five-person assessment team of researchers and botanists will evaluate potential invasive plants and establish a new list of primary offenders. Concurrently, the assessment team will provide a list of alternative plants suitable for recommendation to nurseries, garden retailers and homeowners. “OIPC is not a regulating group,” said University of Cincinnati professor and OIPC Chairperson of the assessment team. . “Our mission is to develop a new list of invasive plants for Ohio. We also intend to play a primary role in education, research and early detec-

tion.” “The nursery industry has already been impacted by unofficial invasive plant lists in Ohio and elsewhere, said Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden Horticulture Director Stephen Foltz. “As soon as we put nursery plants on our official list, these plants will no longer be allowed for use in projects complying with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards. That’s why it’s so important for us to get this right.” “It’s exciting to see that Ohio has a protocol and is ready to begin assessments. PHOTO PROVIDED This will be a useful tool for addressing the problem of invasive plants,” said Katherine Howe, coordinator of the Midwest Inva- berry and burning bush. sive Plant Network. The OIPC worked with the Ohio Under the direction of Culley the as- Nursery and Landscape Association sessment team will initially evaluate (ONLA), Ohio Department of Resources 27 problematic invasive plants. The (ODNR), The Nature Conservancy and team will address a second group of other land-management agencies to deplants within a year, including those velop the assessment protocol. John produced and sold in Ohio nurseries, such as ornamental pear, Japanese bar Cardina, professor of horticulture at The Ohio State University, and Richard Munson, manager of the conservatory at Miami University-Hamilton, were selected by ONLA as representatives on the assessment team. ODNR botanist Rick Gardner and Dawes Arboretum botanist David Brandenburg were selected by OIPC on

GARLIC MUSTARD

behalf of conservation and land-management entities. Culley, a past president of OIPC, directed efforts to develop the assessment protocol during the past four years. The OPIC represents a coalition of organizations and individuals who have a mutual interest in Ohio’s natural ecosystems and the effects of invasive plants. OIPC is a nonprofit organization founded in 2005 working in concert with local, regional and nationwide groups. OIPC assessment documents and other information are available at oipc.info.

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Acres of West Central Ohio • February 2013 • Page 11

Algae farming technology yields renewable fuel and uses waste as fertilizer WOOSTER — Right next to a commercial nursery and greenhouse operation on the outskirts of Wooster, paddlewheels keep water constantly moving in four 30-by-200-foot ponds shaped like automotive raceway circuits. The water is deep green and murky. That’s just how Phil Lane likes it. Lane is a program manager for Touchstone Research Laboratory, a West Virginia-based company that operates this unusual facility on a stretch of farmland where the remnants of corn and soybean fields are now buried under snow. And the stuff making the ponds green is another type of crop that could one day grow alongside the more traditional fare occupying Ohio fields: algae. “Algae can be grown just about anywhere, so we are not competing with farmland for growing food crops,� said Lane, who manages the Wooster algae pilot facility. “Algae can add value to marginal lands, generating a crop that can be turned into biofuel and a variety of bioproducts.� Algae farming is expanding across the United States and around the world, showing great promise as a fast-growing and efficient source of natural oil for renewable transportation fuel, bio-plastics, food supplements and many other products. Growing algae in places like Ohio may sound like a strange proposition, especially in the middle of winter. After all, most large-scale algae operations are found in warmer climates with lots of sunshine, as these conditions allow for year-round production. However, the project in Wooster is seeking to change that. Built in late 2011 at Cedar Lane Farms, the two indoor and two outdoor raceway ponds host collaborative research between Touchstone and Ohio State University’s Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC), whose Wooster campus is located just a few miles from this site. OARDC is the research arm of Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. Funded by close to $7 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Energy and the Ohio Coal Devel-

opment Office, this research involves testing of three innovative technologies that seek to make algae farming viable, more cost-effective and sustainable in a wider variety of climates and locations. The first technology, previously developed by Touchstone exclusively for algae production, is a phase-changing material that covers a majority of the pond surface. This material regulates daily temperature, helping the algae grow during colder periods; controls the infiltration of invasive species; and reduces water evaporation, which is a big problem with open-pond algae systems. “We are testing this technology at both the indoor and outdoor ponds,� Lane explained. “For each pair, one pond will be covered by the phase-change material while the other pond will have no protection and serve as the control. “We are seeing up to 90 percent reduction in evaporation with this material. We are also looking at the impact of this material on other variables, for example, if algae growth increases, if lipid (oil) content goes up.� The second technology serves an environmental purpose. It involves pumping carbon dioxide from Cedar Lane Farms’ advanced coal-burning system into the ponds. Like all plants, algae needs CO2 to grow. And since algae grows very fast — doubling its mass in 24-48 hours depending on the type — it can use a lot of the greenhouse gas. How much? Lane said the goal for the four ponds at Cedar Lane Farms is to keep up to 60 percent flue gas CO2 generated by the facility’s coal-burning system from being released into the environment. The third technology involves research conducted by OARDC biosystems engineer Yebo Li. As an alternative to using commercial fertilizers to feed the algae, Li is testing a liquid waste (called “effluent�) that comes out of anaerobic digesters — systems that produce biogas from organic matter. “The effluent is rich in nitrogen and phosphorous, two nutrients that algae needs to grow,� said Li, who obtains this effluent from quasar energy group, an

OARDC research partner that operates an anaerobic digester on the Wooster campus. In an effort to make this algae-growing system as sustainable as possible, Li is using the biomass left over after extracting oil from algae as a feedstock for anaerobic digesters. Doing this takes care of the algae biomass and also helps produce more clean energy, which in turn leads to more effluent fertilizer available. In other words, it’s an integrated system in which nothing is wasted. “Algae biomass is rich in proteins and carbohydrates and works very well for anaerobic digestion,� Li said. “Algae contains about 40 percent lipids and 60 percent biomass, so future large-scale algae farming would generate a lot of biomass residues that can be used as a fertilizer or for making energy.� Li’s laboratory also tests and grows the seed algae that is later added to the ponds to multiply. With these three technologies combined, the four ponds at Cedar Lane Farms can produce some 2,000 gallons of oil per year — approximately 10 times more oil than what soybeans could yield on the same area of land. “Tests at his pilot plant will help us determine the operating costs and yields from this technology,� Lane said. “We hope the pilot plant will attract investors to license this technology to others in the algae industry and that the production process will be adopted to provide energy savings and to reduce water usage. “Ultimately, the aim is to reduce costs enough to make the algae industry competitive with petroleum fuels.� Brian Joseph, president of Touchstone, said Ohio is a good place for algae farming because it has a high water table that makes it easy to set up ponds, as well as a large supply of waste heat available. The opportunity to work with Ohio State is another important asset. “Having Ohio State as a partner is great,� Joseph said. “They have great depth of expertise in every part of the biological spectrum that you can think of.�

Decoding the mystery behind common food claims lated by the USDA. CageFree This label indicates that the flock was able to freely roam a building, room or enclosed area with unlimited access to food and fresh water during their production cycle. Natural - As required by USDA, meat, poultry and egg products labeled as “natural� must be minimally processed and contain no artificial ingredients. However, the natural label does not include any standards regarding farm practices and only applies to processing of meat and egg products. There are no standards or regulations for the labeling of

natural food products if they do not contain meat or eggs. Grass-fed - Grass-fed animals receive a majority of their nutrients from grass throughout their lives, while organic animals’ pasture diet may be supplemented with grain.

Also USDA-regulated, the grass-fed label does not limit the use of antibiotics, hormones or pesticides. Meat products may be labeled as “grassfed organic.� Pasture-raised - Due to the number of variables involved in pasture-

raised agricultural systems, the USDA has not developed a labeling policy for pasture-raised products. Humane - Multiple labeling programs make claims that animals were treated humanely during the production cycle, but

the verification of these claims varies widely. These labeling programs are not regulated under a single USDA definition. All of the food labels listed above refer to how food is raised, not to its nutritional value. Source: USDA

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ST. LOUIS - With the new year, millions of Americans get a new beginning by looking to live healthier lifestyles. In addition to extra hours at the gym, many grocery shoppers will also spend more time ensuring their carts are filled with healthier options to feed their families. Today’s plethora of labels and buzzwords that adorn food packaging only makes the trip to the market even more daunting. In fact, many of the labels, such as “grass-fed� and “organic,� that often suggest food is healthier refer only to how it was raised, not to the nutritional content. Confused? You aren’t alone. Volunteer farmers with the CommonGround program, a grassroots movement to start conversations about farming and food, want to help shoppers demystify several common food labels and make their trip to the market a little less stressful. “We are truly blessed to have so many food choices available to us at the grocery store,� said Missouri farmer and CommonGround volunteer Renee Fordyce. “With so many food options available, I want moms to feel good about their food choices and know that farmers share many of the same values and priorities when it comes to feeding our own families.� So what exactly do all of the labels mean? Organic - Organic meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones. To be labeled “organic,� a government-approved certifier must inspect the farm where the food is grown to make sure the farmer meets all the rules necessary to comply with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) organic standards. Free-range - This label indicates that the flock was provided shelter in a building, room or area with unlimited access to food, fresh water and continuous access to the outdoors during their production cycle. The outdoor area may or may not be fenced and/or covered with netting-like material. This label is regu-

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Acres of West Central Ohio • February 2013 • Page 12

Responding with bread and milk when winter winter threatens Rural

I’m sure psychologists have a name for it - the compulsive storing up of food supplies in the face of an impending storm or cold spell. During the several recent storms that hit west central Ohio, the phenomenon was apparent in local grocery stores. As severe weather was predicted, long lines of people could be seen with carts piled high with “survival goods.” A look at the carts revealed much about the people themselves and what they consider necessary in the face of adversity. In our house it’s bread and milk. For some unexplained reason, the wife is seized with an impulse to buy up vast quantities of these items whenever the forecast calls for severe weather. I don’t mean a loaf of bread and a gallon of milk, but rather loaves and gallons. Consider this typical scenario prior to an impending snowstorm. She stumbles into the kitchen, breathless, clutching several heavy grocery bags. “Well, I guess we’re all set for the storm,” she announces, removing three loaves of bread from a sack. “I hope it doesn’t last too long.” She takes two gallons of milk from another sack and puts it in the refrigerator. “We should be all set for the weekend, though,” she notes. “Two gallons of milk and three loaves of bread for two people for one weekend?” I inquire. “Isn’t that a bit much? And what about the milk already in the fridge and the bread already in the freezer?” “Well we wouldn’t want to run out during sub-zero weather,” she says firmly. “We might have a power outage. And then, pulling an ace from her sleeve, she

we would probably get to use up the rest of our “emergency supplies”. There is definitely something about a period of Reflections severe weather that calls on instincts that otherwise lay dormant. Despite the hazards and inconvenience that storms and cold spells create, there is a certain satisfaction in enduring the hardship. Perhaps it’s because there are so few physical challenges in our lives today. The frontiers have been conquered, the wild west tamed and disease and pestilence generally eradicated. So when nature throws us a challenge, we willingly respond. More serious events, such as floods, tornadoes and blizzards, bring out the good in people as they step outside their own little worlds to assist their fellow man. Who does not have a story editorwc@civitasmedia.com to tell about a blizzard or tornado or flood? Many people react to impending calamity in pronounces: “Don’t forget the Blizzard of ‘78!” strange ways. Like animals that live by their in“I don’t recall that we ran out of milk or bread at stincts, we store up reserves and burrow in for the that time,” I reply. duration. Then we spend the night listening to the “Don’t you remember how people were stripping house creak and groan in the bitter wind, while the the shelves bare in every store?” she demands. furnace plugs wearily along. “Yes, but we had two freezers full of food, just as Maybe we need a weather-related challenge once we do now,” I point out. “We could have gone for in a while to jar us from our complacency and to reweeks without starving.” mind us of our vulnerability. And besides, next July it “Well I say it’s better to be safe than sorry,” she asserts, closing the refrigerator door with satisfaction. will give us something great to talk about while we Then with a well-stocked larder, she settles down to suffer in the stifling heat and grill steaks in the backawait the Arctic blast. yard. By the end of the weekend, we had consumed a Jeff Billiel is editor of ACRES of total of one quart of milk and four slices of bread. west central Ohio and executive editor and And if the cold spell continued through April or so, publisher of the Sidney Daily News.

Jeff Billiel

Seed catalogs: a time for dreaming and planning Two topics this issue: Starting plants from seed The upside and feeding the birds. down suetEVEN A cheap plastic Actually, it’s still a little early to begin planting feeder poses no feeder will attract many most seeds for spring or summer transplant, but it’s problem for hungry birds in winter. not too early to begin planning. My mailbox has been downy woodfilling up with catalogs that advertise seeds, bulbs, peckers, hairy veggies, perennials, annuals and more. woodpeckers, As I try to narrow down my choices, it seems as red-bellied though there are so many new varieties of everywoodpeckers, thing, and it’s difficult to fit my selections within my chickadees, budget and my available planting areas. Last year, I and got carried away and wound up ordering more seeds nuthatches. than I could properly plant and grow. The Evil Trio, Here’s what I plan to do this year: on the other 1. If it’s a new hybrid plant, I won’t bother starting hand, cannot it from seed. Hybrids rarely come out looking like the hang upside A PILEATED woodpecker is parent plant. Sometimes they don’t even grow at all. down and eat attracted to suet in a I’ll either wait a few years or buy plants in the at the same paddle feeder. spring. time, so they 2. I’ll check the label on the seed packet to see how tend to go PHOTO PROVIDED PHOTO PROVIDED many weeks it takes until the seed sprouts, leafs out, elsewhere to and is ready to plant outdoors. Then I’ll count backlook for very wards from May 15. Starting seeds indoors too early food…hopefully finding none. The paddle-type will result in spindly, weak growth. suet feeder was purchased especially for our Pileated difficult to clean. It also spills out much too easily, leaving a gooey, moldy lump under the feeder. No 3. My old seeds may still be viable since I store woodpecker, the big boy who braces his tail against thanks. them in plastic bags in the refrigerator. I’ll check the elongated paddle while he eats. Birds that use them before planting: Wet a paper towel with a mix- the upside-down suet feeder also eat from the paddle Other types of seed we’ve rejected included black-oil ture of 9 parts water to 1 part hydrogen peroxide. suet feeder. sunflower seed in the shell (too messy; seeds sprout (Hydrogen peroxide kills We use cheap, plastic harmful fungal spores and feeders because we remem- in the lawn), bargain brand seed (contains seeds that birds don’t like; too much waste), and seed mixtures bacteria.) Fold the paper ber the days when we once containing cracked corn or millet (attracts house towel in half. Sprinkle seeds bought beautiful copper or on one side of the wet paper hand-painted glass feeders sparrows). Our favorite find has nothing to do with feeders or towel, fold the paper towel only to lose them to destrucin the dirt seed. It’s a hanger that we use to hoist the feeders on over the seeds, and slide the tive squirrels or thieving whole thing into a zip-lock raccoons. Although neither the pole’s extended arms. Called the “Easy Lift bag. Wait a day or two and of these two varmints have Hanger,” it makes hoisting even heavy feeders a breeze. All you do is hang a filled feeder on the botcheck the seeds to see if been a problem with our tom hook, insert a pole or broom stick into the spiral they’ve begun to sprout. pole system, we find the Using tweezers, plant the plastic feeders easier to fill coil in the middle of the hanger, and place the feeder seeds that have sprouted. and clean. We fill them with on a branch or, in our case, on the pole arm. No ladders. No pulley system. No problem. 4. To prevent damping off sunflower chips to attract Then you collect all of the seeds that you bought (fungal diseases that are the greatest variety of birds annheeley@gmail.com fatal to young plants), I’ll without leaving a mess. Saf- last year or three years ago, but lost interest and forgot to plant. Fill the feeder with your eclectic collecstart seeds in a fine, sterile flower seeds without the tion, watch the birds as they beat an eager path to potting mix, sprinkle the shell would be even more surface with milled sphagnum moss (fungus gnats desirable since only the “good” birds like these seeds, your yard, and start looking at some of those 2013 hate it), and water from the bottom in a tray. I might but we haven’t been able to find safflower chips, and seed catalogs. Ann Heeley, of Sidney, is a retiree who is a cereven water with that hydrogen peroxide mixture. safflower seeds in the shell leave a horrendous mess. Any plastic or non-porous container works fine as We’ve also experimented with nyjer thistle in a tube- tified Master Gardener and is active in both the long as it has drainage holes. Clay pots dry out too type thistle feeder. Goldfinches loved it. UnfortuRainbow Gardeners of Shelby County and the fast. nately, thistle globs up inside the feeder, making it Ohio Association of Garden Clubs 5. I’ll provide plenty of heat and light. Plants started indoors need temperatures between 65° and 75°. They also need 12 to 16 hours of sunlight or artificial light per day. I use portable fluorescent lights and heat mats since I don’t have south-facing windows. The top of the refrigerator also works well for bottom heat. 6. Most sources tell us to cover planting containers with clear plastic to trap moisture and warmth while admitting light. As the plants begin to grow, however, make sure that they don’t touch the plastic. : D01&H+3'?*."-&'D(*+ 7. After the young plants have at least 4 leaves, I’ll N ;0$1&3':O.*-$+&$."'P$,+*-(&*01 water with a weak, all-purpose liquid fertilizer. 8. When they’re ready to transplant outside, I C,'$>.#&67))))) gradually acclimate them to natural sunlight and outdoor temperatures by placing them outside for 2 D?>..,&$)!6);,5-))DE,6#%&'()C'.F,.-)D)<.%6.,--#/,)G&&%/'$#%&hours on the first day, 4 hours on day 2, and so on. @#F,)H%&%.,")@.'"#$#%&That’s the plan. Now for bird-feeding. My husband and I love to feed and watch the birds from our bedroom window in the winter. We’ve experimented with just about every kind of birdfeeder known to mankind, and G.'."#$"%&'(')(*+' we’ve narrowed down our current feeders to just 2 !""#$#%&'()*%+#,-)'.,)'/'#('0(,) types: suet feeders and cheap, plastic seed feeders. %$,%-.*/&*01'20.'01+3' We’ve also narrowed down our choice of bird food to 1%.)23),'*4)'$)$4,)1%((%5#&6) suet and sunflower chips. True animal lovers will 45676893"(.7' &,5-+'+,.)%11#*,)(%*'$#%&-7 probably be critical of our reasons for doing so, but we try to avoid feeding house sparrows, grackles, and :;!<=' 8#"&,9):'#(9);,5-) starlings (known as the Evil Trio). These aggressive, !"#$"%&'(')(*+'%$,%-.*/&*01'20.'01+3' -90'>.03'?(*+3'@"A% non-native birds are responsible for reducing popula<#=>'):'#(9)?'(( tions of desirable cardinals, bluebirds, woodpeckers, 45676893"(.'(& BBC'=7'D(.E"&'=&7F and other native species. They may also carry dis@.%9):'#(9);,5eases that threaten humans, pets, and wildlife. :;!<='-90'>.03'?(*+3'@"A% >.03F'GH*0'C8IJI Several years ago, we lost the tree near our bedA.0'&'):'#(9)?#$#B,& room window, and we had to come up with a replaceBBC'=7'D(.E"&'=&7 6IJKII6KJ85C ment to hang our feeders. Our solution was a long, adjustable pole that was once used to clean the swim>.03F'GH*0'C8IJI ming pool. Once we cemented it in the ground, braced it against a retaining wall, adorned it with hooks, 6IJKII6KJ85C and protected it with a squirrel baffle, we experi!"#$%&'())))))))))*+#%,)))))))))-.($/0)))))))))1.%23%&#,)))))))))1$%45)))))))))))6&%2&))))) mented with various feeders.

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Acres of West Central Ohio • February 2013 • Page 13

Outdoor wood boilers great boon for home and agricultural heating BY SHARON SEMANIE When David Kruckeberg began looking for alternatives to heat his spacious Victorian home east of Greenville in the early 1990s, a two-year search culminated in the purchase of an outdoor wood furnace and subsequent dealership which he and his son, Aaron, now describe as the “largest (Central Boiler) dealer in the Midwest.” Located on a picturesque 500-acre farm at 7584 State Route 121 North in Greenville, the Classic Comfort Heating & Supply business is thriving, according to the younger Kruckeberg who began working with his dad in July 2005. The Kruckebergs, whose showroom and office are located in a former milk house, are farmers by trade having been involved in dairy, corn, soybeans, hay and wheat throughout their lifetime. Today, however, there are no cattle or livestock. The elder Kruckeberg, who opened Classic Comfort back in December 1993, continues to operate the business with his son. “The 3,000-plus square foot house (now inhabited by a sixth-generation Kruckeberg) was originally heated by wood and a coal fire boiler until it was converted,” explained Aaron. “That was our sole means of heat. The conversion and purchase of an outdoor wood furnace gave us the opportunity to save money.” Today the outdoor wood stoves are gaining in popularity which can be traced back to renewable energy, the ability to save money and elimination of high heating bills., Wood, according to Aaron, is renewable, inexpensive, carbon neutral and safer. The addition of an outdoor wood furnace, he adds, provides the ability for owners to save thousands of dollars annually on heating bills”. The stoves are installed safely outside and reportedly eliminate smoke, ash, odors and soot that indoor burning creates. By keeping the fire outside the home, it eliminates the dangers associated with indoor wood stoves. The outdoor stoves are being treated as a great back-up or supplemental system to residential heating. Aaron notes that the Central Boiler stoves range in price from $5,490 to $14,900 depending upon a home’s total square footage. “If you currently pay $500 per month level billing in propane costs, that’s $6,000 a year,” he explained. “In two years an outdoor wood stove can pay for itself and become a physically tangible asset.” The only restrictions to purchasing such a stove are homes with electrical baseboards or electrical cable ceiling heat. The Kruckebergs offer three specific models of stoves including a Classic, E-classic and Maxim design. These models are located outside, typically 30 to 200 feet away from a home or business and works with any existing heating system. Water-to-air or water-to-water heat exchangers or direct circulation convey the heat into the structure’s forced-air furnace, boiler or radiant floor heating system. This reportedly allows for normal thermostatic control and provides greater efficiency.. All models qualify under the Environmental Protection Agency qualified and provide warranty and maintenance agreements. When asked how the price of wood fits into the equation, Aaron explained that many owners are rural customers who own lots of wood which oftentimes are wasted or tossed into a landfill. By using such wood to burn their outdoor stoves, rural owners can “clean up their land and allow new growth.” “The purchase of an outdoor stove is truly an investment,” reiterated Aaron. “Each stove is aesthetically good looking and manufactured from metal units and all units are sprayed with polyurethane foam. We’re all burning wood so efficiency and construction is important. If we don’t recapture energy,

2013 Wildlife Diversity Conference Celebrates Conservation in Ohio COLUMBUS – The 2013 Wildlife Diversity Conference explores Ohio’s backyards to find a great variety of animal life and conservation techniques, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). The conference entitled “A Conservation State of Mind” will be held on Wednesday, March 13, at the Aladdin Shrine Center, located at 3850 Stelzer Road, Columbus, Ohio 43219. The conference is sponsored by the ODNR Division of Wildlife and is open to the public. Doors open for registration at 8 a.m., and the conference runs from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. The keynote speaker is retired Toledo Blade Outdoors Editor Steve Pollick. After traveling extensively as a writer and reporter, Pollick will discuss how Ohio compares to other parts of the world in “Made in Ohio: A Conservation Choice.” Other topics discussed at the conference include the Ohio Breeding Bird Atlas, ticks expanding their range, certified volunteer naturalist programs, aquatic algae and its impact on wildlife, bats and white-nose syndrome, social media participation by public agencies and eastern box turtles. People may register online at wildohio.com or call 800-WILDLIFE (945-3543). Registration before Feb. 26 costs $25 and the cost will be $35 after that date. A reduced-price student registration is also available for $10. The fourth Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp, featuring a black-capped chickadee, is available for purchase to conference attendees. Proceeds from the sale of the stamp will be used to support endangered and threatened native species, habitat restoration, land purchases and conservation easements and educational products for students and wildlife enthusiasts.

we’re not being good stewards.” Aaron approximates 12 to 24 hours as the time required before reloading wood into the outdoor stove each day. Aaron is primarily involved in the sales and marketing component of the business and most recently gave Classic Comfort a website presence at www.ClassicComfortOhio.com Business has reportedly expanded and Aaron credits this to “word of mouth which is the best form of advertising.” Among those individuals who’ve purchased an outdoor wood stove is Ed Rinehart of Arcanum who purchased a wood pellet/corn burner in 2010. A farmer engaged in the crop business, Rinehart claims he “loves” the stove which heats both his home and 60x100 square foot farm shop. “”I love the fact that it provides renewable energy and I can burn my own corn by just filling up the hopper.” He estimates he’s saving approximately $1,200 to $1,500 annually with the stove which supplements the forced air heating oil system used in his 1,500 square foot home. Would he recommend such a purchase OUTDOOR WOOD or pellet for everyone? “Absolutely,” he replied. “The furnaces can work with almost only downside is that I have a radiant floor any existing heating system and in my shop which, when heated, hot water are gaining in popularity as runs through it, and my feet get hot in the utility costs rise. Shown here is winter,” laughed Rinehart. a pellet-burning boiler. David Stephenson, of Rockford, who [PHOTO PROVIDED owns a greenhouse which raises hydroponic bib lettuce, concurred that the purchase of his wood pellet/corn burner has also been “a house. godsend.” They burn their stove with soybeans keeping a 1,500 Stephenson, who has been in the lettuce business bushel bin next to the stove which they fill on a daily the past six years, noted “Before I bought this furbasis. nace three years ago, I had a boiler from Minnesota Stephenson has no regrets with the most recent and we had headaches from the day it was installed. purchase but wishes he had a larger stove adding It was a 500,000 btu boiler but never ran good “we’ve talked about installing another one like the enough to warm the greenhouse. Oftentimes we were one we have. Maintenance is really easy and this up at 1 a.m. so the lettuce wouldn’t freeze.” (stove) works like a dream.” Similar problems occurred the second-time around when they traded so David and Bryan Stephenson Sharon Semanie writes for the purchased the Central Boiler, which is a 250,000 btu Piqua Daily Call model to heat both their greenhouse and packing

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Acres of West Central Ohio • February 2013 • Page 14

Vitamin-rich eggs also enrich poultry farms in west central Ohio BY BETHANY J. ROYER

along with the amount of dedication, time, and energy that Whether it’s served sunny side up, hard boiled, or goes into making sure high scrambled, the egg is far more than a simple debate standards and thresholds are over which came first, be it or the hen. For both con- met. From the inspection sumer and producer, process that moves eggs are a nutrithe hen to the Ohio egg, poultry facts from tional, affordable washing, grading Ohio’s egg, chicken and turkey powerhouse and a and eventually packtrue heavy weight in farms create more than 16,850 jobs aging of an egg. the farming industry. generating $385 million in earnings In fact, just a few to the state’s economy. Especially in the short hours after Most Ohio egg, chicken and turkey being laid and state of Ohio, the secfarmers live near their farms, so it is ond largest egg proprocessed, an egg in their best interest to protect the ducer in the nation, can be found in rewith Darke and Mer- environment within their own comfrigeration. The utmunities. cer counties leading most care and All large egg and poultry operations safety of an egg the pack. In 2011 alone, Ohio in Ohio are regulated by the Ohio De- means it is kept repartment of Agriculture, which sets chickens, some 28 frigerated through- PHOTO PROVIDED strict guidelines for management of million hens and out the manure and other environmental im- transportation process and into nearly 9 million pulpacts and requires regular inspeclets, produced more your local grocery store before finding its tions. than 7.6 billion eggs way to your home after purchasing. Ohio’s egg, chicken and turkey at a value of $490 “That’s an important process, food safety million a year, accord- farmers purchase more than $5.4 mil- is very important, all my folks have training lion in utilities and more than $93.8 ing to information in terms of food safety and have to go million in agricultural- and business- through several different inspections and provided by Jim related services. Chakeres, Executive protocols every day to ensure egg safety is In 2008, Ohio’s egg, chicken and Vice President of the foremost in their mind,” said Chakeres as American Poultry As- turkey farmers used 33 million he explained an Egg Assurance Quality probushels of the state’s corn crop and sociation, who had gram, one of the first five programs created much to share on how 16.2 million bushels of Ohio’s soybean nationally, that focuses on the safety of the the egg is doing these crop. At an average price of egg to ensure it is free of salmonella and $4.21/bushel of corn and days and how it other bacteria to keep consumers safe. makes it from hen to $10.30/bushel for soybeans, this “That’s something we are very proud of as amounts to expenditures totaling the plate. well.” “Some of the num- $305.8 million. However, the egg in its entirety is not the More than 600 egg farmers and bers and demographonly method by which it reaches a conics can change at any farmers belong to the Ohio Poultry sumer’s plate, as some eggs are broken in Association, which takes an active given time, but it’s egg-breaking facilities before being transpretty dense in terms role in educating the public and shar- ported, in much the same process as whole ing industry information among its of egg production,” eggs in terms of refrigeration and with the members. said Chakeres in resame applicable health and safety food stangards to the enordards, but as egg yolks or egg whites. Which mous output by area is then used in the restaurant industry or counties from Cooper Farms in St. for food manHenry, to Weaver Brothers in VerSouthwest Breakfast Burritos ufacturing sailles, Cal-Maine Foods in Rossfor such prod8 oz. turkey breakfast sausages, casings removed burg, Ross Medford Farms in New ucts as cake 1/2 red OR green bell pepper, diced Weston, Hemmelgarn & Sons Inc. and cookie 4 eggs, beaten in Coldwater, and several independmixes. 4 whole wheat tortillas (8 to 10-inch), warmed ent producers. “Our farmers take The big 1 cup shredded pepper Jack cheese (4 oz.) egg production very seriously, we question for Preparation: are producing a safe, wholesome many conCoat large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. nutritious product.” sumers, of Cook sausage over medium heat, breaking into crum- course, is the A product that begins with the bles, until browned and cooked through. Pour off all welfare of the hen whose care falls nutrition facbut 1 Tbsp. drippings. Add bell pepper; sauté until under a set of standards, guidetor, as ongolines, and inspections. Whether it is softened, about 4 minutes. Pour eggs over mixture in ing research proper nutrition or a safe, clean en- skillet. As eggs begin to set, gently pull the eggs has created vironment, commercial egg farmers across the pan with an inverted turner, forming large much debate soft curds. Continue cooking – pulling, lifting and participate in the United Egg Proon whether folding eggs – until thickened and no visible liquid ducers Certified Animal Care proor not eggs egg remains. Do not stir constantly. Spoon egg mixgram that consists of standards are a healthy ture into center of tortillas, dividing evenly; sprinkle from cage space to molting, even lifestyle opwith cheese. Fold in sides of tortillas, then roll up trimming of beaks. tion, particuburrito-style. “The big thing, we go through so larly when it Servings: 4 many different inspections, and aucomes to chodits, on food safety, the care of the lesterol. hens, the environmental responsi“It origibility of the farmers and taking care of the land and nally came out that eggs had cholesterol in them and water, there is so much about quality control that what we have found out, in research since then, is goes on,” said Chakeres of third-party auditing inthat the cholesterol in the egg is much less than we spections that many consumers may not be aware of, thought it was,” said Chakeres, as eggs went from

Sustainable food, farming conference set GRANVILLE - Attorney, rancher, and writer Nicolette Hahn Niman will be the featured keynote speaker at the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s (OEFFA) 34th annual conference, Growing Opportunities, Cultivating Change, on Feb. 17 in Granville (Licking County). “Nicolette will explore the links between modern industrial agriculture and the public health and environmental problems we’re facing today,” said Renee Hunt, OEFFA’s program director and the event’s lead organizer. “She’ll offer fixes for our diet and our food system.” Hahn Niman will speak as part of the state’s largest sustainable food and farm conference, an event that draws more than 1,100 attendees from across Ohio and the Midwest, and has sold out in advance the past three years. In addition to Hahn Niman, this year’s conference will feature keynote speaker George Siemon on Saturday, February 16; more than 90 educational workshops; two featured pre-conference events on Friday, February 15; a trade show; a fun and educational kids’ conference and child care area; locally-sourced and organic homemade meals, and Saturday evening entertainment. Hahn Niman is an attorney, rancher, and author of Righteous Porkchop: Finding a Life and Good Food Beyond Factory Farms, which chronicles the problems with the concentration of livestock and poultry and her work to reform animal agriculture as the senior attorney at Waterkeeper Alliance. The book profiles successful farmers and ranchers using humane practices and gives consumers practical tips for choosing meat, while weaving in the story of her personal transition from being a big city lawyer to ranching in the west. As she worked to reform factory farming, she found examples of farmers and ranchers throughout the country raising animals humanely and sustainably, including the 700 farmers and ranchers of Niman Ranch, a natural meat cooperative started in Bolinas, Calif. The company was founded by Bill Niman, who she eventually married. Her keynote address, presented by Chipotle Mexican Grill, is titled, “Eating as We Farm (And Farming as We Eat” and takes place at 2:45 p.m. Hahn Niman will explore how a shift from grass-fed, diversified, and small-scale farming to concentrated, industrial

monoculture production methods have led to food overproduction, declining farm income, and fewer farms. While the industrialization of the food system, fueled by farm policy over the past half century, has resulted in cheap food, it has also caused an increase in diet-related diseases, overeating, and environmental pollution. She will offer a vision for a path forward that would improve both the American diet and our broken food system. For more information about the conference, or to register, go to www.oeffa.org/2013.

2359232

MILLIONS OF Ohio hens produce billions of eggs each year, with a value of $490 million.

215 mg of choles-

PHOTO PROVIDED

terol down to 184 after further study. “At the same time that research was done we found an egg has so much more vitamin D in it than we thought.” An analysis shows the egg provides a host of vitamins, from foliate, to iron and zinc, to a whopping 41 IU of vitamin D. It is also an excellent source of choline, a nutrient imperative to fetal brain development, and may even help to prevent age-related memory decline. Besides packing a vitamin punch, eggs are low in sodium and protein-rich, the latter at a value of 94 percent, which is used as a comparison to grade other foods such as milk with 85 percent protein, fish 76 percent, and beef 74 percent. “For normal, healthy people an egg a day, or a couple, is okay,” said Chakeres who emphasized how continuing research shows that eating eggs for breakfast, the high-quality protein that they offer, equates to fewer calories being consumed the rest of the day. “For people wanting to lose weight, including eggs and that protein as part of your diet, especially first thing in the morning, is a great weight loss tool.” Another benefit when looking at the nutrition eggs have to offer is the price. “It’s the affordable, wholesome, nutrition-packed little package,” said Chakeres. “Where else can you get that for 75 calories and 15 cents?” Bethany J. Royer writes for the Piqua Daily Call 2359750


Acres of West Central Ohio • February 2013 • Page 15

Dates established for 2013 Ohio fairs REYNOLDSBURG – Ohioans can start planning visits to all of their favorite fairs across the state. The Ohio Department of Agriculture today released the official dates for the 2013 fair season, which includes Ohio’s 94 county and independent fairs and the Ohio State Fair. The Paulding County Fair will kick off the 2013 fair season on June 10, and the season will wrap up on Oct. 12 with the Fairfield County Fair. In addition to setting and approving the dates for the independent and county fairs, the department is responsible for helping to assure the safety of fair amusement rides, monitoring livestock shows to help assure honest competition and coordinating animal health efforts with local veterinarians. The fair schedule follows:

• Ohio State Fair, Columbus, July 24-Aug. 4 • Paulding County Fair, Paulding, June 10-15 • Pickaway County Fair, Circleville, June 15-22 • Putnam County Fair, PHOTO PROVIDED Ottawa, June 24-29 • Marion County Fair, Marion, July 1-6 • Harrison County Fair, Cadiz, July 2-6 • Clinton County Fair, Wilmington, July 613 • Lawrence County Fair, Proctorville, July 6-13 • Madison County Fair, London, July 7-13 • Logan County Fair, Bellefontaine, July 813 • Trumbull County Fair, Cortland, July 9-14 • Lucas County Fair, Maumee, July 9-14 • Jackson County Fair, Wellston, July 12-20 • Franklin County Fair, Hilliard, July 13-20 • Adams County Fair, West Union, July 1420 • Crawford County Fair, Bucyrus, July 1420 • Fayette County Fair, Washington Court House, July 14-20 • Perry County Fair, New Lexington, July 15-20 • Ottawa County Fair, Oak Harbor, July 1521 • Warren County Fair, Lebanon, July 16-20 • Carroll County Fair, Carrollton, July 16-21 • Clark County Fair, Springfield, July 19-26 • Butler County Fair, Hamilton, July 21-27 • Clermont County Fair, Owensville, July 21-27 • Knox County Fair, Mount Vernon, July 2127 • Shelby County Fair, Sidney, July 21-27 • Union County Fair, Marysville, July 21-27 • Seneca County Fair, Tiffin, July 21-28 • Vinton County Fair, McArthur, July 22-27 • Summit County Fair, Tallmadge, July 2328 • Pike County Fair, Piketon, July 26-Aug. 3

• Preble County Fair, Eaton, July 27-Aug. 3 24 • Auglaize County Fair, Wapakoneta, July • Monroe County Fair, Woodsfield, Aug. 1928- Aug. 3 24 • Greene County Fair, Xenia, July 28- Aug. 3 • Lorain County Fair, Wellington, Aug. 19-25 • Gallia County Fair, Gallipolis, July 29• Portage County Fair, Randolph, Aug. 20-25 Aug. 3 • Sandusky County Fair, Fremont, Aug. 2025 • Noble County Fair, Caldwell, Aug. 26-31 • Morrow County Fair, Mount Gilead, Aug. 26Sept. 2 • Stark County Fair, Canton, Aug. 27-Sept. 2 • Hancock County Fair, Findlay, Aug. 28-Sept. 2 • Mahoning County Fair, Canfield, Aug. 28Sept. 2 • Montgomery County Fair, Dayton, Aug. 28Sept. 2 • Richwood Independent Fair, Union County, Aug. 28-Sept. 2 • Van Wert County Fair, Van Wert, Aug. 28Sept. 2 • Geauga County Fair, Burton, Aug. 29-Sept. 2 • Fulton County Fair, • Columbiana County Fair, Lisbon, July 29- Wauseon, Aug. 30-Sept. 5 Aug. 4 • Washington County Fair, Marietta, Aug. • Medina County Fair, Medina, July 29-Aug. 31-Sept. 3 4 • Highland County Fair, Hillsboro, Aug. 31• Wood County Fair, Bowling Green, July Sept. 7 29-Aug. 5 • Morgan County Fair, McConnelsville, • Champaign County Fair, Urbana, Aug. 2-9 Sept. 3-7 • Belmont County Fair, St. Clairsville, Sept. • Athens County Fair, Athens, Aug. 2-10 3-8 • Ross County Fair, Chillicothe, Aug. 3-10 • Hardin County Fair, Kenton, Sept. 3-8 • Hartford Independent Fair, Licking • Albany Independent Fair, Athens County, County, Aug. 3-10 • Richland County Fair, Mansfield, Aug. 4- Sept. 4-8 • Wayne County Fair, Wooster, Sept. 7-12 10 • Holmes County Fair, Millersburg, Aug. 5• Williams County Fair, Montpelier, Sept. 710 14 • Scioto County Fair, Lucasville, Aug. 5-10 • Hocking County Fair, Logan, Sept. 9-14 • Cuyahoga County Fair, Berea, Aug. 5-11 • Guernsey County Fair, Old Washington, • Attica Independent Fair, Seneca County, Sept. 9-14 Aug. 6-10 • Wyandot County Fair, Upper Sandusky, • Ashtabula County Fair, Jefferson, Aug. 6Sept. 10-15 11 • Bellville Independent Fair, Richland • Erie County Fair, Sandusky, Aug. 6-11 County, Sept. 11-14 • Hamilton County Fair, Carthage, Aug. 7• Delaware County Fair, Delaware, Sept. 1411 21 • Henry County Fair, Napoleon, Aug. 9-15 • Mercer County Fair, Celina, Aug. 9-15 • Ashland County Fair, Ashland, Sept. 15-21 • Miami County Fair, Troy, Aug. 9-15 • Tuscarawas County Fair, Dover, Sept. 16• Muskingum County Fair, Zanesville, Aug. 22 11-17 • Brown County Fair, Georgetown, Sept. 24• Huron County Fair, Norwalk, Aug. 12-17 28 • Meigs County Fair, Pomeroy, Aug. 12-17 • Barlow Independent Fair, Washington • Jefferson County Fair, Smithfield, Aug. 13- County, Sept. 26-29 18 • Coshocton County Fair, Coshocton, Sept. • Lake County Fair, Painesville, Aug. 13-18 27-Oct. 3 • Allen County Fair, Lima, Aug. 16-24 • Loudonville Independent Fair, Ashland • Darke County Fair, Greenville, Aug. 16-24 County, Oct. 1-5 • Defiance County Fair, Hicksville, Aug. 17• Fairfield County Fair, Lancaster, Oct. 6-12

Know the liability risks of farming Landowners essentially bet the farm every day. A liability lawsuit could arise at any time and for any number of reasons. Many lawsuits arise from claims of negligence that result in bodily injury or property damage to others. If a farmer’s cow escapes and eats the neighbor’s crop, the farmer may be liable for the damage to the crop. If the same cow is on the road way and gets hit by a vehicle, and the occupants of the vehicle are injured, once again the farmer could be liable. A farmer/landowner may hire the teenager who lives next door to mow the ditch along the farmer’s fence row. If that teenager gets hurt, injures someone else, or damages the property of a third party, the landowner could be found liable. If a landowner allows relatives, friends, neighbors, or even strangers to use their land for recreational purposes (such as hunting, fishing, ATV or snowmobile riding, hiking, etc.), the landowner could be liable for any injuries sustained by the other party. Being found liable for an incident is costly. Without insurance, that cost may have to be paid out of

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pocket, putting your assets at risk. Even if a landowner is not negligent in his actions, he or she may still be sued for bodily injury or property damage sustained by another. Most farm insurance policies will cover the cost of defending such a lawsuit. Each and every farm is unique. And each and every farmer has different exposures. In order to make ends meet, many farmers may have an incidental business on the side, such as custom farming or

feeding, or may be involved in other commercial activities. In order to protect themselves, their families, and their farms, landowners should talk to a licensed insurance agent. An agent can help the farmer/landowner to craft a policy that covers the individual needs of the farmer. This article is provided by the A. C. Agency in Bellefontaine and the Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company.


Acres of West Central Ohio • February 2013 • Page 16

CHAMPAIGN COUNTY AGRICULTURE SNAPSHOT 2007 CENSUS OF

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

Champaign County – Ohio Ranked items among the 88 state counties and 3,079 U.S. counties, 2007 Item

State Quantity Rank

AGRICULTURE

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

101,050 84,420 16,631

% 2007 2002 change Number of Farms ..............................................931......................937.............-1 Land in Farms...................................204,901 acres .....207,554 acres.............-1 Average Size of Farm ..............................220 acres ............222 acres.............-1

VALUE OF SALES BY COMMODITY GROUP ($1,000) Grains, oilseeds, dry beans, and dry peas 75,720 Tobacco Cotton and cottonseed Vegetables, melons, potatoes, and sweet potatoes (D) 299 Fruits, tree nuts, and berries Nursery, greenhouse, floriculture, and sod 303 Cut Christmas trees and short rotation woody crops 15 (D) Other crops and hay Poultry and eggs (D) Cattle and calves 3,298 Milk and other dairy products from cows 5,059 7,417 Hogs and pigs Sheep, goats, and their products 276 Horses, ponies, mules, burros, and donkeys 191 (D) Aquaculture 76 Other animals and other animal products

County Profile

Market Value of Products Sold .........$101,050,000........$50,447,000 ........+100 Crop Sales $84,420,000 (84percent) Livestock Sales $16,631,000 (16 percent) Average Per Farm..................................$108,540...............$53,839 ........+102 Government Payments..........................$5,082,000..........$3,686,000 ..........+38 Average Per Farm Receiving Payments..........$9,157.................$8,321 ..........+10

Economic Characteristics

Quantity

Farms by value of sales: Less than $1,000 ...............................................................243 $1,000 to $2,499 ................................................................103 $2,500 to $4,999 .................................................................77 $5,000 to $9,999 .................................................................77 $10,000 to $19,999 .............................................................69 $20,000 to $24,999 .............................................................29 $25,000 to $39,999 .............................................................41 $40,000 to $49,999 .............................................................22 $50,000 to $99,999 .............................................................86 $100,000 to $249,999 .........................................................72 $250,000 to $499,999 .........................................................52 $500,000 or more ................................................................60 Total farm production expenses ($1,000) ...........................74,511 Average per farm ($) .........................................................80,033 Net cash farm income of operation ($1,000) ......................35,981 Average per farm ($) .........................................................38,647

Universe

U.S. Rank

Universe

27 15 40

88 88 88

886 486 1,662

3,076 3,072 3,069

16 3 40 70 52 (D) (D) 52 41 22 13 47 9 40

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

361 (D) 900 1,646 968 (D) (D) 1,998 725 442 466 1,146 (D) 1,147

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

83,111 70,633

10 30

88 87

367 355

2,634 2,039

8,225 6,769 (D)

52 38 7

88 87 88

1,901 865 (D)

3,060 2,481 2,794

TOP LIVESTOCK INVENTORY ITEMS (number) Hogs and pigs 23,779 9,696 Cattle and calves Layers 2,256 Goats, all 1,601 Sheep and lambs 1,503 (D) Cannot be disclosed Universal is number of counties in state of U.S. with item

22 52 40 4 24

88 88 88 88 88

478 2,029 1,064 415 638

3,060 2,958 3,024 3,023 2,891

TOP CROP ITEMS (acres) Corn for grain Soybeans for beans Forage - land used for all hay and haylage, grass silage, and greenchop Wheat for grain, all Vwgetables harvested for sale

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Operator Characteristics

Quantity

Principal operators by primary occupation: Farming ..........................................................................................388 Other...............................................................................................543

$102,500

16-Row, 30” Spacing, Pro-Series XP Row Units, 50 Bushel Tanks, Independent TriFold Markers w.16” Notched Blades, Mech. Seed Drive, Vacuum Seed Metering, MiniHoppers, SeedStar Monitoring w/GX 1800 Display, Pneumatic Down Force System

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Principal operators by sex: Male................................................................................................819 Female ............................................................................................112 Average age of principal operator (years).......................................55.1 All operators by race: American Indian or Alaska Native ....................................................1 Asian .................................................................................................Black or African American.................................................................4 Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander..........................................White.............................................................................................1,319 More than one race...........................................................................9 All operators of Spanish, Hispanic, or Latino Origin ..........................

2011 JD 1770NT Planter - Urbana

2009 JD 1990 CCS Drill - Greenville 40’, 48 Openers at 10” Spacing. Elec. Population Rate Control, Large Seed Metering Wheels, SM500 Monitor w/4 Meter Seed Counting., Single row spacing, 31/13.5x15 10PR Tires.

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2008 JD 1770NT Planter - Anna 16-Row, 30” Spacing, Fert. Frame, Mech. Seed Drive, Vacuum Metering, ComputerTrak 350 Monitor, Wilger Fert. Flow Meter, Dual Vacuum Blowers, Pneumatic Down Force System, 600 Gal. Fert. Tank

JD 1770NT CCS 16-Row, Vacuum, Refuge Kit, No-Till Coulters, Auger ..... (U) JD 1990 CCS Drill 40, 10” Spacing, 48 openers@ 10” spacing, ...... (G) JD 1770NT CCS Flex-Fold 16-Row Planter, 30” Spacing, Vacuum ...... (U) JD 1770NT Flex-fold Planter, 16-Row, 30” Spacing, many features .. (A) JD 1890 CCS Drill, 30, 40 Openers,@7.5” Spacing, 31/13.5x15 ..... (G) JD 1770 Flex-Fold Planter 16-Row, 30”, Vacuum, Liquid, RedBall ..... (A) JD 1590 No-Till Drill, 15, 24 Openers@7.5” Spacing, lo usage ........ (U) JD 1780 Planter, 6/11-Row, 15”/30” Spacing, Vacuum................... (A) JD 7200 Planter, 12-Row, 30” Spacing, Vacuum .............................. (U) JD 1560 No-Till Drill, 15, 24 Openers @ 7.5” Spacing..................... (U) JD 7200 Front Fold Planter, 12-Row, 30” Spacing, Vacuum Mtr........ (U) JD 7200 Flex-Fold 16-Row, 30”, Finger Pickup, Liquid ..................... (A) JD 750 No-Till Drill, 20, 32 Openers@ 7.5” Spacing, 31/13.5x15... (A) JD 7200 Planter, 12-Row, 30” Spacing, Frnt.Fold Flex, Vacuum mtr . (G) JD 7200 Planter, 6-Row, 30” Spacing, Vacuum Mtr, HD springs ....... (A) CIH 900 Planter, 30” Row Spacing, Air Seed Metering ..................... (U) JD 7000 Std. Planter, 4-row, 30” Spacing, Finger Pickup-Corn Mtr ... (A)

Information from www.agcensus.usda.gov

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Acres of West Central Ohio â&#x20AC;˘ February 2013 â&#x20AC;˘ Page 17

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Acres of West Central Ohio Serving Auglaize, Logan, Shelby, Champaign, Clark, Miami, Montgomery counties

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586 Sports and Recreation

800 - Transportation

805 Auto

425 Houses for Sale SIDNEY, 1801 Cheryl Drive. Remodeled 3 bedroom, 1 bath, 1100 SF on a cul-de-sac. $72,000, (937)489-9080.

500 - Merchandise

1993 CADILLAC Fleetwood Brougham, excellent condition! 39,000 original miles. Asking $6000, (937)778-0217.

510 Appliances

535 Farm Supplies/Equipment (2) IH 715 COMBINES 419-275-2312 SNOW PUSHER boxes for skid steers and backhoes, made in Findlay, Ohio. Call 419-348-0240.

540 Feed/Grain BEAN STRAW, 150 bales, 4X5, $25 bale. (419)925-4616

(937)667-6608

2003 CHRYSLER 300 M SPECIAL Pearl black, premium leather black, 3-5 high output V6 24V, 35,000 miles, like new condition, non-smoking, $9600 OBO. (937)489-3426

577 Miscellaneous BATHROOM VANITY 3 cornered lavatory with medicine cabinet. Over stool wood cabinet. Excellent condition. $65. (937)596-6605 FIREARMS FOR SALE, Marlin model 336W Rifle, .30-30 lever action, Capacity 6+1, like new, with camo soft case, 20 rounds of ammo, my cost $475 asking $425, Walther, PPK/S, 380 Pistol, stainless steel, upgraded walnut handle, 150 round ammo, like new in case, my cost $740 asking $700, Walther P22 Pistol with laser, well cared for, great first gun, my cost $350 asking $300. Call or text (937)418-5329. LIFT CHAIR Only used 2 months. Like new condition. Blue. Asking $500. (937)418-3162

Ask About Steel Roofing For Your Home

CLASSIC, E-CLASSIC & MAXIM FURNACES IN STOCK & READY FOR DELIVERY!

Eagle Outdoor Furnaces

FREE ESTIMATES

CALL JASON

www.allstarpolebarns.com

(419) 733-7586

â&#x20AC;˘SIDING â&#x20AC;˘KITCHEN â&#x20AC;˘DOORS â&#x20AC;˘DECKS â&#x20AC;˘WINDOWS â&#x20AC;˘ROOFING â&#x20AC;˘BATHROOMS & MORE

Lebanon, Ohio

Call Jeff Huddleson at 1-513-638-5717

Visit us at: EagleOutdoorFurnaces.com

2357812

COMPLETE Home Remodeling â&#x20AC;˘ Additions â&#x20AC;˘ Garages â&#x20AC;˘ Decks & Roofs â&#x20AC;˘ Drywall â&#x20AC;˘ Room Additions â&#x20AC;˘ Kitchens â&#x20AC;˘ Baths â&#x20AC;˘ Siding â&#x20AC;˘ Texturing & Painting Small Jobs Welcome

Call Jim at

FREE ESTIMATES MIKE BENNETT CELL(419) 561-1882 Since 1977

JTâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S PAINTING & DRYWALL 937-694-2454 Local #

1953-1972, any condition. Competitive buyer. 1-800-850-3656 or www.corvettebuyer.com

KNOCKDOWN SERVICES 00 starting at $

2001 FORD Explorer Sport, electric everything! Loaded! Exceptionally clean, $2500 OBO. Call (828)305-0867.

159 !!

LOCALLY OWNED AND OPERATED 2004 TRITOON PONTOON ODYSSEY 20ft, new stereo, cover, decals, 04 Yamaha 150hp, trailer, runs Great! asking $15,500 email kgeise@electrocontrols.com

BORED with your current job?? Register and create your personal career profile containing your skills, qualifications and preferences. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be matched to jobs you appear to be qualified for without having to search for them!

DO YOU HAVE MISSING SHINGLES OR STORM DAMAGE?

(See Us For Do-It-Yourself Products)

B.E.D. Program (Bed Bug Early Detection) System

Call for a free damage inspection.

Since 1936

We will work with your insurance.

BBB Accredted

2361101

WE KILL BED BUGS!

Corvettes Wanted

For 75 Years

Call Walt for a FREE EstimateToday

800-737-8189

OFFICE 937-773-3669

Free Inspections â&#x20AC;&#x153;All Our Patients Dieâ&#x20AC;?

2358996

FARMLAND WANTED

COOPERâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S GRAVEL

HIGHLY MOTIVATED PURCHASER Contact Tina Ortiz Mark Fornes Realty, Inc. (937) 434-2000 tina@fornes.com

Gravel hauled, laid & leveled Driveways & Parking Lots

875-0153 698-6135 minimum charges apply

2360995

2360022

Agricultural Real Estate Sales

Farmers National Company

KDI

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KOVERMAN DICKERSON INSURANCE

- by The Land Report, The Magazine of American Landowners 6FRWW $UQROG $)0 -D\ 9DQ*RUGHQ $)0 5HDO (VWDWH %URNHU 32 %R[  0LQVWHU 2KLR  (419) 628-3276 SArnold@FarmersNaWLRQDOFRP

5HDO (VWDWH %URNHU 32 %R[  0DU\VYLOOH 2KLR  (937) 645-0468 JVanGorden@FarmersNaWLRQDOFRP

TROY | PIQUA | COVINGTON | ST. PARIS

800-837-4119

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FIREWOOD, All hardwood, $150 per cord delivered or $120 you pick up, (937)726-2780.

BEAN STRAW, 150 bales, 4X5, $25 bale. (419)925-4616

Eliminate High Heating Bills! Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t wait any longer! Start saving money on your heating bill when you heat your entire home, water and more with the safe, comfortable heat of a Central Boiler outdoor furnace.

MIKEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S REMODEL & REPAIR

FIREWOOD, $125 a cord pick up, $150 a cord delivered, $175 a cord delivered and stacked (937)308-6334 or (937)719-3237

575 Live Stock

â&#x20AC;˘ OUTDOOR FURNACES â&#x20AC;˘

Remodel & Repair

545 Firewood/Fuel

FIREWOOD, free for the cutting and hauling from property lines. Prefer reliable and prompt person. Please call (937)492-3499.

#STAR POLEBARNS

840 Classic Cars

880 SUVâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

WASHER/ DRYER Heavy duty XL capacity, Whirlpool washer, $75. GE electric dryer, $75. Whirlpool heavy duty super-capacity dryer, $90. (937)492-5702

ALL

auto, cruise, air, deluxe radio, 4.3 liter V6, $5000

We Accept

Service & Business Directory

PICTURE IT SOLD

2001 CHEVY S10 EXTREME

877-844-8385

of West Central Ohio

that work .com

CCW CLASS. March 2nd, 8am to 4pm and March 3rd, 8am to noon. Held at Piqua Fish and Game. $60 person. parthelynx@aol.com. (937)760-4210.

400 - Real Estate For Sale

BUY $ELL SEEK

POLICY: Please Check Your Ad The 1st Day. It Is The Advertiserâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Responsibility To Report Errors Immediately. Publisher Will Not Be Responsible for More Than One Incorrect Insertion. We Reserve The Right To Correctly Classify, Edit, Cancel Or Decline Any Advertisement Without Notice.

2354125

We are taking applications for:

SNOW BLOWER 5hp, Self propelled, 20" cut. Briggs and Stratton engine. Runs great. $325. (937)498-9147

Office Hours: Monday-Friday 8-5

Visit our website for information on all of our landowner services!

www.FarmersNational.com

2360722

Interested in working in West Central OHIOâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s AG EQUIPMENT INDUSTRY?

899 Wanted to Buy PAYING CASH for motorcycles, Jeep Wranglers and muscle cars (937)681-5266

2358989

235 General

577 Miscellaneous R E VO LV E R - R E P L I C A , 1858 cap and ball from Cabellas. Extra cylinder for .45 caliber. Shot only a few times. Call for info and price, (937)498-0404.

2351931

200 - Employment

GENERAL INFORMATION

Liner deadline: 3rd Friday each month Display Deadline: Aug. Edition: July 18 Sept. Edition: Aug 22 Oct. Edition: Sept 19 Nov. Edition: Oct 24 Dec. Edition: Nov 19 Jan. Edition: Dec 19

5HDO (VWDWH 6DOHV Â&#x2021; $XFWLRQV Â&#x2021; )DUP DQG 5DQFK 0DQDJHPHQW $SSUDLVDOV Â&#x2021; ,QVXUDQFH Â&#x2021; &RQVXOWDWLRQV Â&#x2021; 2LO DQG *DV 0DQDJHPHQW /DNH 0DQDJHPHQW Â&#x2021; 1DWLRQDO +XQWLQJ /HDVHV

For 24|7|365 Insurance Service Visit

www.kovermandickerson.com 2358911

Find a new and exciting career! 62ND ANNUAL BUCKEYE FARM & EQUIPMENT AUCTION Sat. Feb. 9, 2013 at 9:00am Wayne Co. Fairgrounds Wooster, Ohio Just off Rt. 30 West By Pass, on Rt. 3 South Exit 3 Auctioneers starting at 9:00am Plus 2 auction trucks all day. All Types of Farm & Construction Equipment Consignment accepted Last year we had over 600 major pieces, with over 1000 in attendance. This is the 62nd auction. One of the oldest and largest auctions where buyers and sellers meet. Consignments welcomed on Thurs. Feb 7th 1-5. Fri. Feb 8th, 8am til dark. 2 loader tractors Thurs. pm, all day Fri. Loader tractors auction day and Mon. All items sell as is, no guarantees of fitness or usability. Free adv. if called in early. Not responsible for accidents.

Ph. M.P. Stauffer Auct. 330-683-2686 or 330-464-8827 Paul Miller App. Auct. 419-750-0904 Roger Ford, Harold and Russ Farnsworth and Ben and Brad Higgins, Auctioneers 2360328

JobSourceOhio.com


Acres of West Central Ohio • February 2013 • Page 18

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2357711

WC 02/13  

West Central Ohio Acres

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