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Agricultural Community Review

Winter 2017

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Ohio’s Alpaca Farms Farm Bureau Director John Fitzpatrick Retires


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Winter 2017, Volume 4, Issue 1



14 06 30



06 14 30


Completes 18 Year Tenure as Farm Bureau Director

Quilt Barn Trails in Coschocton County


05 17 24



On The Cover: Photo by Rob Turk – An alpaca at Gaelic Glen Alpaca Farm stares into the camera

© 2017 Spectrum Publications – A Division of GateHouse Media 212 E. Liberty St., Wooster, OH 44691 | 330-264-1125 | 800-686-2958 | Find us on Interim Group Publisher – Jim Hopson Spectrum Director – Kelly Gearhart | Advertising/Production Coordinator – Amanda Nixon | Content Coordinator – Emily Rumes | Designer – Adam Arditi HARVEST magazine is a quarterly publication centered in some of the most agriculturally rich counties in Ohio. We will bring you the latest in farming technologies, industry practices and hot topics in agriculture from industry experts in our area. If you wish to submit an article or offer a suggestion, please feel free to contact us. We look forward to hearing from you.

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Greetings, From the Center of the Universe!


oday, February 1, 2017, I received a forwarded email from the office at the Wayne County Farm Bureau. The message was from Spectrum Publications concerning a request to supply information for an article in Harvest Magazine. It seems that messages sent to my old email at Ohio Farm Bureau Federation now go to my regional supervisor and she forwards what is requested to the county offices. Harvest Magazine would like to do another article about me and my years of service with the Ohio Farm Bureau. Although I am honored to have my career with the Ohio Farm Bureau noted in Harvest Magazine; it would not be completely accurate to do so. Over the eighteen years I was honored to serve Ashland, Holmes, Medina and Wayne Counties as the Organization Director it was the volunteer members who achieved the numerous distinctions that brought accreditations to those counties. I wish I could trust my memory to list every individual who deserves accolades for all of their creativity, dedication, planning and hard work that resulted in so many achievements over those years. Thankfully, I have now reached the age where I can blame my years for lacking the memory to be certain I would include everyone. So I will choose not to list any individuals out of respect to the many that might allude my memory at this time. In those eighteen years these great northeast Ohio rural counties have generated four young farmers who have won the state contest as Outstanding Young Farmers/Farm Couples. The individual counties have captured nine County Activities of Excellence Awards from the American Farm Bureau Federation. The Ohio House of Representatives has issued three proclamations honoring these counties for special programming that they have accomplished. The Ohio Revised Code contains two specific laws generated by policies from these counties and nurtured through the legislature by volunteers from these counties. The Ohio Farm Bureau Federation has recognized one or more of these counties every year for special programming or membership achievement! Now these counties are preparing to enter a new phase of their Farm Bureau involvement. I am certain that the next issue of Harvest Magazine will feature an article about the person selected to take

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One of John’s Favorite Moments: The signing of House Bill 9 “Fast Tractor Law” on June 19, 2007. State Representative Jim Carmichael is seated, along with Governor Ted Strickland, Mary Elizabeth Baker and Roger Baker. Also pictured are Carolyn Carmichael, State Trustee Bob Slicker, Kurt Steiner, Scott Myers, Niki Clum (OFBF), Rocky Black (OFBF), Samantha Cowne (representing Senator Ron Amstutz), Secretary of Agriculture Robert Boggs, Earl Jentes, Tim Workinger, John Fitzpatrick and Ted Mallard (JCB Tractor).

over my position; whomever he/she may be. That is a very positive occurrence! The truth is – I am beyond the normal age of retirement and, like many people of my age, I have not kept pace with the changes in technology and other factors necessary to properly communicate agricultural messages to both members of the Farm Bureau and to the consumer public. For me to continue in this pivotal position would be a disservice to those members and to the public. So everyone should look forward to the next years for the Ashland, Holmes, Medina and Wayne County Farm Bureaus! Thanks to the dedicated volunteers and to the refreshing enthusiasm and exuberant creativity of the new Organization Director these will be even better years for these county Farm Bureaus. The volunteers will ensure that to be the case! Sandy and I will forever cherish our memories of friends, fun, and achievements with the Farm Bureau. And we will delight in continuing our membership and helping with various activities and functions in the years to come. But far more importantly, we will look to Ashland, Holmes, Medina and Wayne County Farm Bureaus to lead the Ohio Farm Bureau and American Farm Bureau with promulgation of important agricultural issues, meaningful programs, and futuristic planning. And, until the day God calls me from this earthly venture, everyone in the Farm Bureau family will continue to hear me say, “Greetings from the center of the universe!”

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Story by | Samantha Peko HARVEST CONTRIBUTOR

Photos by Samantha Peko & Rob Turk

To Largest Number Of Alpaca Farms


he subtle hum of alpacas can be heard at many area farms in Ashland County. Ohio has the largest number of alpacas in any state, according to the Ohio Alpaca Breeders Association. “With its robust agricultural infrastructure, large network of experienced alpaca farmers, well-suited climate, abundant pasture land, central location to many other states and the highest population of alpacas of any state, Ohio is the premier place to raise alpacas,” according to the association’s website. OABA lists 34 breeders in Ohio, but the number isn’t inclusive, because alpaca farmers need to register with the organization to be included in the list. In Ashland County, there are several alpaca farms, some names include Shooting Star Alpaca Farm and Morning Glory Alpaca Farm in Sullivan, Peapod Acres Alpacas, Rocky Road Ranch Alpacas and Aberdeen Alpacas in Ashland and Gaelic Glen Alpacas in Perrysville, according to an Flexible Coverage for Farm and Ranch, Large and Small.


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online search. Alpaca farming is popular in Ohio because of the state’s “climate and pasture land,” according to the OABA. Local alpaca farmers say the appeal of raising alpacas is for their fleece, which actually allows the animal to adapt to most climates. An alpaca’s fleece can measure about 4 to 5 inches long, which protects the animals in winter and they are sheered every spring, according to David Spieker, who owns Shooting Star Alpaca Farm with his wife, Sharon. The Spiekers have raised alpacas at their farm for the past eight years. David said initially his wife wanted to have a pet, but he thought they could turn it into a business. “I thought you have to have more than one, so we might as well do a little business out of it,” he said. David retired from the boilermakers about 12 years ago, and he bought the farm a couple of years later. The couple owns about 4 acres of farmland where 19 alpacas currently inhabit about 1 acre of that land. Once the alpacas are sheered, the fiber is sent out to a mill to make yarn, David said. He sells woven goods such as hats and scarves out of his barn. He also has a website listed on Sometimes, the alpacas are sold to other breeders for additional revenue. He said alpaca fleece is three times warmer than wool and as soft as cashmere.

Photo Top: Alpacas roam the snow-covered Perrysville farm. Photo Right: David Spieker  poses  with  one  of  his  alpacas  at  his farm in Sullivan.

“An alpaca’s fleece can measure about 4 to 5 inches long, which protects the animals in winter and they are sheered every spring...” Raising alpacas takes time. David feeds his alpacas twice a day and must keep their living quarters clean. Overall they are easier to care for than most other farm animals because alpacas have a lean diet that consists of grass, hay and special pellet grain for additional nutrition. “One alpaca will eat a bale of hay in about three weeks,” he said. He added that a horse or cow would eat more. The cost of providing food for one alpaca is minimal, according to an online search. One bale of hay was listed as costing $2.60 on and alpaca grain listed on Mazuri exotic animal nutrition’s website ranged from $20 to $30 for a 40-pound package. A pair of alpaca socks listed on the Shooting Star Alpaca Farm page of the OABA website costs $23 and an alpaca fawn is selling for $800. But the market for alpaca products has made it difficult to run a business, David said. and the farm is not generating a profit. “When we first got in it, it was a lot better and then the recession came and the bottom fell out of it,” David said. “The prices are a lot lower now than they used to be.

Some people might do really well and then it all depends on how you do your marketing.” For now, the reward is keeping the alpacas, although the sales help offset the cost of food and maintenance, he said. At Gaelic Glen Alpacas in Perrysville, Rob and Kathy Turk are developing their own line of Gaelic Glen alpacas. Kathy explained that alpacas are classified by the quality of their fleece as well as how long ago they were imported. At first, the Turks had to buy alpacas from other states by searching online for breeds in specific colors or having soft fleece textures. Now, the Turks can breed the alpacas they currently own with each other. “It’s like with dog breeders,” she explained in regards

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to how alpaca farmers develop their line. The couple has owned the farm since 2010. The farm encompasses approximately 11 1/ 2 acres of land. The Turks sell alpaca products at their home farm store, breed and sell alpacas and operate a farm photography service. Outside of their business operations, the couple shows the alpacas at various alpaca shows and plays host to farm welcome visits. They also bring the alpacas to community events such as the Hayesville Live Nativity during the Christmas season. The couple got into the alpaca business after leasing a farm from a friend. They decided to buy their own farm a few years later. Rob and Kathy are retired. The Turks said they breed alpacas for fleece and because of the animal’s good temperament. “Our alpacas are people friendly,” Rob said. Kathy added that alpacas are gentle animals provided that you work to socialize them. “We have a lot of 4-H kids that come here and we want nice temperament animals,” she said. As a business, the Turks said they were showing a small profit, but added that making a profit wasn’t their primary goal. When asked why Ohio might be a popular place to raise alpacas, they said it could be because of Magical Farms. Magical Farms, once known as the largest alpaca farm in North America, was home to 1,000 acres of land and


1,600 alpacas. The farm, which is no longer in operation, started in 1993. The land Magical Farms once occupied is located in Litchfield, Medina County. According to area reports such as, the company was faced with a legal suit regarding the poisoning of several alpacas in 2003. The farm site’s homepage now redirects viewers to a property sale advertisement. The Turks said a lot of small farmers used to go to Magical Farms to learn about the alpaca farm trade. Locally, the couple said they have seen a rise in alpaca sales. Alpaca importation ended in approximately 1999, but since people have developed their own breeds, Rob said. He added that he’s sold alpacas to families with enough acreage to support the animals and sometimes older farmers as well. “They make good companions for all different age groups and for all different reasons,” Rob Turk said. John Fitzpatrick, recently retired director of the Ashland County Farm Bureau, said the alpaca farm market appears to be dwindling. Alpaca farming can be categorized as two types: alpaca farmers who sell for profit and recreational farmers. He said the selling market seemed to be at its peak about 25 years ago, but in the past decade the numbers have declined. Samantha Peko is a graduate student at Ohio University. Email her at


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For Expo Center At Harvest Ridge

ith funding help coming from state government and from an interested third party alliance, the proposed exhibition center at the new fairgrounds at Harvest Ridge has generated a good chunk of the projected $2.2 million cost toward constructing the 48,000 square-foot building. The state government and the Hardwood Furniture Guild have generated enough to get the building started, but it is still a long way away from determining if the building will be usable for the 2017 Holmes County Fair, Aug. 7-13. Former state Rep. Dave Hall (R-Millersburg) wanted to leave a lasting legacy commemorating his efforts during his eight years serving the Holmes County district in the State Legislature, and he did so by securing $500,000 that was included in the state’s $2.6 billion capital budget for a year-round, multipurpose exhibition center at the new Holmes County Fairgrounds at Harvest Ridge. The expo center would be used for conventions, trade shows and similar events, as well as the Holmes County Fair. Fair Board President Kerry Taylor expressed his gratitude that the project received the appropriation, acknowledging the hard work and effort Hall had in securing the funds for the ongoing project at Harvest Ridge.

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“Having this money available is a huge shot in the arm for the next phase of the project, which is to construct the arena/ exhibit hall building,” Taylor said. “We certainly appreciate the time and effort Dave Hall put into helping us get this funding.” Hall said he was glad to work toward the same goal as Taylor and the Harvest Ridge board. “It was my last year (in Columbus as a state representative), and I’ve put a lot of hours in on a lot of things over the last eight years,” Hall said. “When I talked about the project and what it meant for Holmes County and the area and how it would help the economy, I was able to sell it to the right people here. “It was a long battle to get this project included in the budget,” he continued. “There were a lot of ups and downs. It was in, it was out, it was back in, and out at the last second. A few important phone calls got it back in and now it’s staying in.” This is a one-time, half-million dollar appropriation to help get the project started. “This is meant to help the process of partnering and getting this exhibition center built,” Hall said. “It provides no operating funds. It’s all bricks and mortar, capital funds.” The pre-construction estimate for the Expo Center was $2.2 million for the 48,000 square foot building. Bids were opened at January’s Agriculture Society meeting. More than half a dozen contractors offered bids, ranging from $1.8 million to $3.5 million, the lowest bid submitted by Ivan Weaver Construction, the same company that built the Humrichouser Livestock Building.

Photo Top: Holmes County Fair Board President Kerry Taylor displays the plans for the proposed multi-purpose exhibition center to be constructed at the north end of the Humrichouser Livestock Building. Photo Below: An artist’s rendering of the proposed 48,000-square foot multi-purpose facility to be erected at Harvest Ridge. The building will serve many different purposes, from trade shows to weddings and many other options yet to be thought of.

The $500,000 Capital Appropriations Grant planted the seed money. Another $50,000 grant for the Agricultural Society from the state, and the Hardwood Furniture Guild has pledged well over a million dollars, and there is also some potential funding sources to make up any gaps, once the bids come in, according to Taylor. “That’s going to provide a lot of direction and a time frame, depending on costs,” he said. The current plan is to have a 225-feet by 150-feet free span building with a 35-feet lean-to on both sides. The lean-tos will house restrooms, kitchen, meeting room on one side and storage and fair use on the other side. The idea would be to shell in a kitchen and in the lean-to area have a storage area as well as possibly the milking parlor. More discussion will follow on these details. It is estimated that approximately $1.5 million will be needed to complete and condition this building in time for next year’s fair, which has been submitted to be held Aug. 7-13. The Farm Bureau has pledged between $40-50,000 to complete the kitchen in the arena building. The multi-purpose building is planned to be located immediately north of the Humrichouser Livestock building and will be similar in size and appearance .. once constructed. Shasta Mast, board member of Harvest Ridge and executive director of Holmes County Chamber of Commerce, said the Exposition Center at Harvest Ridge will provide a boon for the local economy in many different ways. “There is potential for all kinds of events,” Mast

said. “Reunions, weddings, concerts, there are agricultural-type things such as animal husbandry groups, like the National Guernsey Association, and all kinds of trade associations that are interested in coming to Holmes County for shows, that we just didn’t have a big enough facility for. “Then there are consumer-type shows that can come, things like home and garden, quilt shows, bridal shows, and all types of things we haven’t even thought of yet,” Mast added. “It is really fun. We get calls all the time from people looking for these kinds of venues.” She noted the Cavaletti horse show that Harvest Ridge hosted just after the inaugural fair. “There was a big horse show over Labor Day weekend and that was before the facility was even ready,” Mast said. “We’ve got people who want to book something in a building that doesn’t even exist. That’s pretty exciting.”

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he erosion of milk’s reputation as a healthy food choice is the biggest issue facing the nation’s dairy industry, said the new dairy chair for The Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. “You could survive longer on milk without food, without water, without pizza, than you can survive on anything else,” said Rafael Jimenez-Flores, who joined the college as the J.T. “Stubby” Parker Endowed Chair in Dairy Foods earlier this year. Jimenez-Flores has made it his mission to demonstrate scientifically the nutritional benefits of milk in the face of “fear mongering” that may have led to some public misconceptions that it is not good for you. “It is unethical to use fear for profit when we are trying to feed the world,” he said. Calling milk “the only food that has evolved with us,” Jimenez-Flores points out that the lactose in milk favors positive gut bacteria, which aid digestion. In addition, the milk fat globule membrane has been shown to help prevent obesity and cancer as


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Dairy Scholar Extols Nutritional Virtues of Milk “You could survive longer on milk without food, without water, without pizza, than you can survive on anything else”

Rafael Jimenez-Flores well as to enhance brain development, JimenezFlores said. Ohio’s dairy industry has a strong reputation for processing in a manner that allows waste to be used as raw materials, adding value to dairy by-products, he said. Among his current research initiatives is an examination of the “fresh milk” concept in Australia, where unpasteurized milk is being sold to consumers. Rather than using heat to kill harmful bacteria, the process requires a high-pressure treatment, JimenezFlores said. He is working on a proposal to investigate high-pressure homogenization as well. While the research is interesting and important, Jimenez-Flores considers his first priority as dairy chair to teach college students to solve problems. He plans to accomplish this by sharing his enthusiasm and love for his discipline. “What the industry really needs are Ohio State graduates who can work and succeed,” he said. “Future graduates coming from my program will be unquestionably well prepared. These were values given to me by my professors, for which I am forever



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indebted.” When he was an undergraduate student himself in Mexico, Jimenez-Flores studied chemical engineering and pharmaceutical chemistry at the Universidad La Salle, A.C. He went on to Cornell University where he earned his MS in food science. Then he received his PhD in agricultural chemistry and food science from the University of California, Davis. Prior to coming to Ohio State, Jimenez-Flores worked as a professor at California Polytechnic State University for 21 years, spending the last three as director of the Center for Applications in Biotechnology there. He had always wanted to be an endowed chair, and when the opportunity arose at Ohio State, JimenezFlores was already aware of the department’s reputation, especially that of the late Jim Harper, who held the position from 1993 to 2013. “It’s like an unreal thing to come here. Ohio State has tons of talent everywhere, not only in agriculture,” he said. “I want to help the dairy industry by attracting talent to work in and help develop dairy science.”

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FITZPATRICK Completes 18 Year Tenure as Farm Bureau Director

Story & Photos by | Emily Rumes HARVEST WRITER


hen John Fitzpatrick makes his morning rounds on Friday, January 27th, he will be traveling a familiar path for the final time as Farm Bureau Director for Ashland, Holmes, Medina and Wayne Counties. As his schedule allows, John hopes to continue to be a part of Farm Bureau events as a volunteer and a friend of the Farm Bureau, but he is also looking forward to taking some much needed time to be with his family. Family is what started John on his journey into the field. He grew up in Lower Akron (which he jokingly calls “L.A.”). His mother was a farm girl who had moved to the big city, and her oldest brother ran the family farm in Carey, Ohio. Their farm, established in 1824, was called “Dairy Air”, named by one of the brothers who came home





14 | WINTER 2017

from the war speaking French. He was working out in the barn and as a cow passed gas he quipped, “Now that’s real ‘derriere’!” (you can see where John gets his sense of humor). The farming family lovingly referred to John as “the city cousin” and he enjoyed going to Carey during the summer months not just to visit, but to work. John recognized a unique sense of accomplishment that he still sees today in the youth of the farming communities. “The kids in the farming areas didn’t need ‘participation trophies’ because they had self esteem from doing the job they did raising their animals,” said John. “If they won at the fair or in their school sports, then they delighted in a trophy, feeling great pride for their work.” This sense of farming pride is well deserved. Recently there were 25 counties across the United States that were recognized by the American Farm Bureau Federation for unique and meaningful programs in agriculture, 8 of those counties are in Ohio and 4 of those counties are under the direction of John. “These are great counties,” John added. “The

“Some of my fondest memories have been going and seeing the volunteers recognized and receiving honors for their work.”

Photo Left: Painted photo of the family farm in Carey, Ohio taken in 1896, the year John’s grandparents were married. Photo Right: John Fitzpatrick taking some time to reflect on the past 18 years at his office in Wooster.

farmers are concerned about agriculture and about their local farm bureaus. Some of my fondest memories have been going and seeing the volunteers recognized and receiving honors for their work.” John first heard about the position with the Farm Bureau 18 years ago when he was working for the United States Chamber of Commerce selling memberships. Prior to that he had obtained a degree in speech and hearing pathology and started out working in the public school system. John went in for the Farm Bureau Director interview, and afterward he and his wife Sandy waited outside in the car for hours (it turned out there was other lengthy business being discussed that night, but the decision to make John the director was made fairly quickly). Finally people started coming out to their cars from the meeting, and John and Sandy were able to breathe a sigh of relief when they were told he got the job. He found out first hand that word travels fast in the farming community. The next morning after the

decision was made, he walked into the milking parlor at Irv Gresser’s dairy farm and Irv greeted him with, “Welcome aboard!” Looking ahead, John sees the fresh ideas and enthusiasm that a new director will bring as a very good thing for the Farm Bureau. “Longevity is rare in this particular position,” he added. “There will be someone coming in to encourage new experiences. This will be a unique time for the bureau and it should get people fired up.” As he reflects on his time as director, John recognizes the changes that have come over the years, particularly in Ag Science and production, and hopes that farmers will continue to embrace new ideas. Government regulations are changing the way farmers address medical issues with their livestock, and understanding these will be vital to the farmer’s success. Something that has always impressed John with every livestock farmer he knows, is that the animals always come first. John is passionate about making sure consumers

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do their research and understand the world food supply as it relates to tillable ground. “People want their food the way they want it, but with this mindset, a farmer is going to be less productive so that those who can afford it are able to get their food in a certain way.” “Decisions need to be made with research,” John added. “The advances that we have made in farming and agriculture are not bad. Currently there are 7 billion people on the planet and 3.6 billion acres of tillable land. According to projections there will be 9 billion people in 2050, but we cannot create more land, so where will the food come from?” Farmers today must be well versed in accounting, marketing and the numerous different sciences they use on a daily basis. “Education is extremely important and all of the farmers in our counties are educated,” John said. “They are small business owners, no matter how big the farm is, and all the farms in our area, besides the ones at ATI, are family owned.” While he focuses on his family this year, John looks forward to heading to Camp Manatoc, a place where he went as a boy and where he took his son

and grandsons for boy scouting. You may also see his name as a writer and contributor for articles and features from time to time. His next big adventure in the works will be a family trip to New England this fall. John has invested in his counties, building a strong community of trust and support that will allow for continued growth for years to come. The livelihood and success of our farmers is good for us all, and helping others understand that has been one of his primary objectives for the past 18 years. Wayne County Farm Bureau State Trustee, Roger Baker sums up this investment, being one of the many farmers who worked with John over the years, “When it comes to the Farm Bureau, John is about the farmer and the farmer’s issues at the farm gate,” Baker said. “John was truly a grass roots organizational director, giving us opportunities and plugging people in to serve. The powerful thing about the Ohio Farm Bureau and the American Farm Bureau is that the farmer members become the voice and John was the one who orchestrated that for us.”

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| 17


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he hops industry is booming in Ohio and organizers of The Ohio State University Hops Conference and Trade Show, which took place on Feb. 24th and 25th, brewed up a program that kept the learning flowing for beginner and advanced

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growers alike. “There was an estimated 200 acres of hops planted in Ohio on 80 farms in 2016, up from 10 acres on four farms in 2014,” said Brad Bergefurd, horticulture specialist with Ohio State University Extension and one of the conference organizers. The event is cosponsored by the Ohio Hop Growers Guild. Ohio’s growing number of breweries require flowers of the hop plant as the main ingredient providing bitter notes as a balance to the sweetness contributed by malt sugars. An interest in locally grown ingredients has spurred growth in Ohio’s hops production. This is the first year the annual conference was held at The Ohio State University’s South Centers, Bergefurd’s home base. “By bringing the conference here, we were able to offer tours of our research hop yards,” Bergefurd


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said. “We were also able to show participants our new galvanized hop trellis system that we are testing in partnership with a private company,” he added. “This is a first in the United States. If the prototype works, then we can save farmers from having to replace the standard wooden poles, which growers have relied upon for over 100 years, that need to be replaced every 20 to 25 years or less.” Participants were also able to see a demonstration of the center’s new hops harvester equipment, purchased last summer from HopsHarvester in New York. “This harvesting method can help save growers labor, reduce labor costs, increase harvest efficiency and the timeliness of harvesting, which leads to a better-quality hop,” Bergefurd said. Both OSU Extension and the South Centers are part of The Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. Sources: Brad Bergefurd, 740-289-2071, ext. 136, Charissa Gardner, 740-289-2071, ext. 132 ,




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| 19


Story & Photo by | Bobby Warren DAILY RECORD WRITER

Farmers Facing Financial Hardships



20 | WINTER 2017

or many years, the agricultural industry helped prop up Wayne County’s economy, but for the past couple of years, farm families have faced financial challenges. The county is the state’s perennial leader in dairy, and dairy farmers took a hit when milk prices started dropping after historic highs in 2014. Dairy producers were paid about $24 per hundredweight in 2014, and it dropped to about $17 in 2015 and $16 in 2016, a 33 percent decline in two years. “I don’t think we can keep doing it for long,” said Paul Rohrer, who farms, along with his son Ben Rohrer, 500 acres west of Orrville and milks 180 cows. “Things go in cycles. Prices are going up a little, but I don’t understand that. There’s still a lot of milk around.” “The biggest challenge is the federal milk price,” Ben Rohrer said. “It really has affected the dairy farm.” Mike Pearson, who is the host of a farm market show on Iowa Public Television, said he believes the price per hundredweight is heading toward $18, but he does not think it will return to the $24 mark. Though prices are moving back up. “I hope tomorrow it’s not all gone,” Ben Rohrer said. Lee Fitzsimmons of Wayne Savings Community

Photo Left: Father and son farmers, Paul (left) and Ben Rohrer, say it has been rough being dairy farmers. Milk prices dropped 33 percent from record highs and costs are going up. Milk prices have rebounded a little, but not enough, they say.

ribbons,” said John Fitzpatrick, who recently retired as organizational director for the Wayne County Farm Bureau. “It was either good, or you were in a drought. A lot of farmers who raised their own forage and had some to sell had to buy (last year). So, farms are up against it this year. If you had grain to sell, the price was not enough to offset inputs.” “We face the same economy others are facing,” Ben Rohrer said. “It’s really a small business issue. The challenge is how to be a small business and keep doing business the same way. “Our hardest job is to do everything the best we can, even if we’re not getting paid.” Tom Stocksale of Farmers National Bank, who does a lot of ag lending, said cash flow is a big issue for farmers and “not knowing what to do to make ends meet.” This financial uncertainty adds a lot of stress, and “Stress is a silent killer,” Stocksdale said. Not only do these families need to be financially healthy, they need to be kept physically healthy, too.”


Bank works with a lot of farmers. He said the cost of production was higher than what some of the farmers were receiving in income. “Everyone’s financial statements are stressed,” Fitzsimmons said. “We’re seeing farmers try to figure out how to cut expenses. It might be in deferred maintenance, spending less on fertilizer or taking less of a paycheck home.” Some of the expenses the Rohrers are having to deal with include higher insurance premiums for workers, Ben Rohrer said. Inputs are rising; the quality of feed is lower; the corn yield was lower because of less rain. Mark Payne, who farms along the Ashland County/ Wayne County line, got hit hard with drought this year. Like the Rohrers, he had to deal with lower yields — and lower grain prices. “Fertilizer and seed costs cut into everything.” Payne is a grain farmer and has no livestock. He also has a job outside the farm. “Rain came through (the county) in narrow


| 21


Keeping Livestock Hydrated & Knowing the Signs of Dehydration

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hen the thermometer outside drops below freezing, feed intake for livestock is likely to go up, leading to an increase in energy to help process food. Shivering and cold weather stress may bring energy levels up even further. During any temperature extremes animals need plenty of water to support digestion and allow for proper rumen and gut function. One of the most important aspects of keeping their systems in balance in the cold, is making sure they stay well hydrated. Keeping the ice broken on open water sources and making sure that water is kept clean throughout the muddy and mucky winter months is vital. Pregnant animals in particular are susceptible to dehydration, especially in winter. You’re not only making sure the mother stays well fed and watered, but you’re providing the same care for the growing fetus. It may seem that animals would be able to use snow or ice as an additional water source, but the daily requirements are beyond what an animal would be able to get just by eating snow. The average daily water requirements are around three gallons (for sheep) and around 14 gallons (for cattle). Signs to look for when you suspect dehydration include lack of energy, irritability, loss of appetite, decrease in production of urine or the animal’s urine becoming

darker or stronger smelling. Their eyes may also look sunken or have a dulled or lusterless appearance. The “pinch test” is one way to check for signs of dehydration. In a well hydrated animal, the skin will return to a normal position within one second of pulling it away from the animal’s body (you’re looking for elasticity). You can also check the animal’s gums by applying pressure and seeing if the gum color fades and returns quickly. If it takes longer than 3 seconds for the gum color to return to normal and the gums are dry with less mucous, this could be a sign of dehydration. One method farmers often turn to during the winter to keep an open water supply on the property from freezing over is breaking or chopping the ice. The ice needs to be broken down far enough that the animals are able to get a mud-free drink. If the ice goes all the way down to the mud, you may have to turn to a different method. Other tips and tricks for maintaining an ice-free water source include grouping water troughs together to help trap in heat, using tank heaters and deicers or using heated buckets and water circulators. Check to see how much water your livestock need and how much they are drinking. When you don’t overfill, the animals may be more likely to have the water consumed before it freezes

(just make sure they are not getting too little and check the water often if you plan on regulating it this way). It’s just as important to make sure that livestock aren’t attempting to go out onto the ice in order to gain access to water. Temporary fences can be put in place during the winter in order to block off sections of a pond or stream that may be dangerous, keeping the animals from falling through. Winter can be a treacherous time. Livestock are depending on as to make the best decisions for their health when it comes to maintaining a clean, adequate source of water in the cold. Keep a watchful eye on their hydration and as always, be willing to be adaptive and ingenious with your solutions if need be.

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Agricultural Community Review

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Continued from page 5

SHOCKBINDER Story & Photos by | Paul Locher GATEHOUSE MEDIA

A shock binder was help bind corn shocks together. Back a long, long time ago, farmers cut their corn stalks off about a foot above the ground after having stripped them of their ears with a corn cutting knife. The stalks could serve as bedding for animals in the barn, as well as other purposes. In order to dry them out using the wind, the cornstalks were gathered into bundles two or three feet in diameter — large and heavy enough to give them stability and keep them from blowing over in the field. In order to create the stalk bundle — or shock — the farmer would gather as many stalks as he could hug together, thrust the pointed end of the binder through the middle of them, and then crank it in such


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Collection of Paul Locher

a manner as to tighten its attached rope around the shock. Once compressed in such a manner, a cord could be tied around the shock to hold it. Some shock binders utilized a second piece of wood, that being a stout curved plank perhaps 18 inches in length. It would be placed on the opposite side of the shock and serve as a rigid backing against which the stalks could be tightly drawn up. Most of those secondary pieces have, unfortunately, been lost over the years. Because of their working against the naturally abrasive surface of corn stalks, most shock binders have been well worn to an extremely smooth and glossy patina over the years.

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Comes To Marshallville, Orrville



arshallville has added a little more clean energy to its power supply. American Municipal Power (AMP) chose the village to host one of its solar fields, containing 3,024 solar panels, 14-50 kW inverters and a transformer. A three-quarter mile distribution line extension will connect the power generated by the solar site onto Marshallville’s system. The solar field is part of an AMP project called Solar Phase II, which has six sites underway and 16 more in the works as part of a second tier of the project, according to Krista Selvage, director of media relations and communications for AMP.

Seven years ago, Marshallville responded to a notice from AMP asking its participating members about consideration for a solar site. The village was one of the first municipalities to respond. The Marshallville solar site spreads across six and a half acres. It has a capacity of 700 kilowatts and a projected 1,200 megawatt-hours per year. The energy produced by the site will provide 10 percent of Marshallville’s power with the village’s other 90 percent of power still being provided by Orrville Power. It will also help to power the recently installed Multi-Agency Radio Communications (MARCS) tower that sits on the total 40 acres of village property. “Village residents will still pay the same and the system will still function as usual,” Marshallville mayor Robert Brooker said. The solar field will share access with the future Rails to Trails bike path, which will link Orrville to the Towpath Trail and travel through Marshallville

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Photo Left: American Municipal Power installed solar panels across six acres in Marshallville. The solar field will provide at least 10 percent of the village’s power.

operate all solar sites, including Marshallville, and AMP will purchase output from the solar generation using a take-and-pay contract as part of a solar power purchase agreement between the two organizations. The city of Orrville is in the preliminary stages of development for its own solar field project, also through AMP and NextEra. The project will create solar farms on two city-owned parcels of land that are largely unsuitable for construction purposes, according to utilities director Jeff Brediger. One site will be in the city’s business and technology park near the world headquarters of Venture Products. The six-acre parcel, located in a flood plain, will see the building of 5,600 solar panels expected to generate 1.3 megawatts of power. The second is a 10-acre parcel located at the end of Allen Drive, in a low-lying area east of the city’s waste water plant. That site will have 8,000 solar cells and generate 2.1 megawatts. The energy generated will supply 2 percent of the power received by the city’s utility customers.

and Clinton. AMP has agreed to pave the first quarter mile of Marshallville’s portion of the trail from East Market Street to the site’s access road. AMP’s Solar Phase II project also includes a 20 megawatt site in Bowling Green, the largest solar installation in Ohio, which began construction last summer. The solar sites in Marshallville and Prospect, Ohio became operational this month and a 2.5 megawatt facility in Front Royal, Va. will go into operation in May. “AMP continues to work with its members to assess the feasibility of possible solar sites in their communities,” Selvage said. Last March, AMP entered into a joint development agreement with DG AMP Solar, a wholly owned subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources for the development, construction and operation of up to 80 megawatts or more of new solar electric generation facilities. Reporter Emily Morgan can be reached at 330-287-1632 The DG AMP Solar subsidiary will build, own and or

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s March arrives, Town & Country Co-op will merge with Western Reserve Farm Cooperative, with a new name to reflect the changes. Centerra Co-op will be the new name, effective March 1, which also is the official merger date. Western Reserve is based out of Middlefield and has locations in parts of northeast Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York. The corporate office of the new co-op will be based in Ashland, where Town & Country also has its corporate office. Town & Country has branches and stores throughout Ashland, Lorain, Medina, Richland and Wayne counties. Current Town & Country CEO Al Holdren will retire from the co-op as Jean Bratton will take over as CEO of the new co-op. “He brought me into the co-op,” Bratton said of Holdren. “I owe him a big debt as a mentor.” The two co-ops held votes to approve the merger, and chairs of the new board were selected in December. The chair will be Ken Kuhns of North Bloomfield and the vice chair will be Bill Simmons of Medina. In all, there are 15 board members between the two organizations that will make up the new board. There are 27 total locations.

Photo Left: Town & Country’s drive thru in Wooster. Photo Right: Town & Country’s branch office in Smithville.

“The name reflects our purpose and our ethics. We are collaborating to better things with the customer at the center of this effort.” Bratton said the combination of the two co-ops will affect services in a positive ways as both “complement each other.” The new name comes from the combination of center, meaning the point of focus within a circle and terra, meaning the Earth. In a media release, Bratton had explained the meaning of the name as it applied to the co-op’s mission. “The name reflects our purpose and our ethics. We are collaborating to better things with the customer at the center of this effort. We are focused upon the customer instead of our own needs. We are well grounded in principles and knowledge and promote good farm practices that reflect our customers’ love of the land,” she said. AS-10527064

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Story & Photos by | Beverly Kerr HARVEST CONTRIBUTING WRITER



Sunday drive has always been one of my favorite things. Dad would travel the back roads exploring places we had never been. That same feeling occurred while wandering along the Coshocton Quilt Barn Trails. It was a peaceful, old-fashioned road trip on those narrow, two-lane country roads, where you could actually take time to look at the scenery. While Quilt Barns have become a nationwide movement, they got their beginning fairly recently. In 2001, Donna Sue Groves wanted to honor her mother’s passion for quilting, so she painted her

30 | WINTER 2017

In Coshocton County mother’s favorite quilt square on their old tobacco barn in Adams County. From there, the Quilt Barns arose to reflect the spirit of the community. In Miami County, quilts were hand-painted on the barn’s surface replicating the look of fabric, while in Harrison County emphasis was on the Underground Railroad. Coshocton County Heritage Quilt Barns feature family quilt patterns. Each quilt has a story to tell. The Pomerene Center for the Arts is responsible for creating this historic drive to view our nation’s agricultural landscape. They have three possible routes: Tiverton Trail, SR 643 Trail and Progressive Valley Trail. It is important to either print off a map from the computer, open one on your phone or tablet, or pick one up at the Coshocton Visitors’ Bureau in Roscoe Village. Directions are essential. Several of the Quilt Barns have online connections to stories about the colorful quilts and who originally

Photo Top: The Ohio Rose & Star appeared in Clary Gardens, home of The Theatre in the Ravine, a fresh air amphitheater. Photo Right: Mother Setzer’s Quilt was the first barn seen that day along Route 93 near Fresno.

TIPS FOR THE QUILT BARN TRAIL: »» Get directions – Print a map, access one on a tablet or phone, or pick one up at Coschocton Visitors’ Bureau »» Be prepared for all types of weather and muddy roads »» Bring a camera designed the quilt squares. Mother Setzer’s Quilt Barn appeared first and had a lovely setting with a firm foundation of large rocks around the barn. Their grandmother made this quilt pattern from scraps of her clothing and black silk dresses. While SR 643 was the trail of choice, meandering from that path became frequent. The desire to see more Quilt Barns eventually lead us onto parts of all three Coshocton trails. Many of the Quilt Barns sat on back roads. Some became a challenge, and a four wheel drive vehicle would have been helpful on this rainy day as roads were steep and muddy. But beautiful, scenic farms

throughout this Amish countryside made the day enjoyable. Corn shocks were a sight not seen since childhood. Chalice was the name given to the quilt pattern made by Catherine Stubbs on a barn near a lovely stone house. It appears that Catherine stayed very busy with quilting and life in general. One day when her husband was at work in the coal mines, she moved them to another house closer to his work. It’s said when she cooked Sunday chicken dinner, she could stretch one chicken to feed twelve people. The Butterfly Quilt Barn near Fresno showcases a quilt made and designed by Oneita Hahn. Family Agricultural & Industrial Service & Repair Hoses

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Not all barns were in the country. One actually was found in downtown Coshocton on the side of an old IOOF building, which formerly housed Mercantile on Main. members remember her quilting frame being up in the dining room quite often. Quilt patterns often were created by the quilters themselves and then drawn on newspaper. Not all barns were in the country. One actually was found in downtown Coshocton on the side of an old IOOF building, which formerly housed Mercantile on Main. Snowball, a black and white quilt, decorated the front of this one-time quilt supply shop. In Roscoe Village on the side of the Blacksmith Shop, Canal Era Applique could be seen upon entering the village on North Whitewoman Street. The quilt square on display appeared on a quilt made by Hannah Hays, whose family arrived in the area by canal boat. The end of the SR 643 Trail came in classy Clary Garden. Ohio Rose & Star has graced the side of their



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But this artistic project doesn’t stop here. All over the United States, Quilt Barn Trails have been created. Presently, over 6,000 quilt patterns have been placed on barns in 33 Ohio counties, 45 states, and even some in Canada.




barn since 2003. Made by Coshocton Canal Quilter Helen Moody, this pattern was chosen to hang at the gardens in honor of the family’s rose business. But this artistic project doesn’t stop here. All over the United States, Quilt Barn Trails have been created. Presently, over 6,000 quilt patterns have been placed on barns in 33 Ohio counties, 45 states, and even some in Canada. It’s a wonderful excuse to get in the car and take a road trip. This country adventure through scenic back roads will take you back to a less stressful time. The Quilt Barns provide a variety of attractive patterns in excellent condition. You can take this drive any time of the year and enjoy this grassroots art movement. Watch for Quilt Barns wherever you travel. While on the Coshocton Quilt Barn Trails, you’ll find not only creative quilt patterns but Amish farms, meandering streams, beautiful stone houses, and unique shops along the way. Don’t forget your camera! Contact Bev at or follow her blog at Photo Top: Chalice on the side of this barn was designed by Catherine Stubbs and can be found along SR 643. Photo Below: Since Snowball was on Main Street in Coshocton, there was easy access for viewing. Photo Right: At the edge of Roscoe Village on North Whitewoman Street, the Canal Era Applique can be found on the Blacksmith’s Barn. HARVEST

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Story submitted by Buehler’s Fresh Foods Through Baker Creative

Shares ‘Treasures of the Kitchen’ Recipes


uehler’s Fresh Foods, a local family-owned grocery store, is sharing secret family heirloom recipes from their local producers with their consumers. Each recipe will include exclusive ideas— from our kitchens to yours. When it comes to family dinners, Buehler’s knows first-­hand the importance of eating a home-­cooked meal—and eating that meal together as a family. Buehler’s customers can create these tasty treasures, and will have everything they need to eat and live better by cooking with fresh and local foods that can be found at Buehler’s store locations. For a recipe to be considered heirloom, it is most likely a guide that was cooked up by a seasoned cook without them opening a cookbook. The food has been tasted and family approved, and then passed down through generations. Buehler’s recently launched its Grow Local campaign, which features more than 200 local products from Ohio producers ranging from Smith

Dairy, Hillandale, Hartzler’s, Hirzel Canning, Walnut Creek Foods, Homestead Springs, Maurers, Zellers, Hickory Harvest, Sauder’s Eggs and Red Run Bison Farm, just to name a few. “We are always looking for ways to support our local communities, and one of our favorites is through outreach and supporting our local farmers,” B. Buehler, of Buehler’s Fresh Foods, said. Our farmers are known for going the extra mile to research and grow varieties that are the freshest. They tend to their field all year long. That’s why at Buehler’s you will always find that our local products are kept safe by being properly handled and stored as they journey to your dinner table. Buehler’s Fresh Foods has been a family-­o wned business since 1929, when E.L. (Ed) Buehler and his wife, Helen, first opened their doors. E&H Family Group owns and operates 14 Buehler’s Fresh Foods Supermarkets and 18 ACE Hardware stores.

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n 2016, the Ohio Department of Agriculture recognized 118 new century, sesquicentennial or bicentennial farms owned by the same family for at least 100, 150 or 200 consecutive years. More than 1,300 farms are now registered across the state in the Ohio Historic Family Farms program.

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“While their operations are diverse, all the families share a deep pride in their land and the stories behind it.” Each family received a certificate signed by Governor John R. Kasich and Ohio Department of Agriculture Director David T. Daniels to keep with their historic documents and pass down to future generations. “The state’s historic family farms program provides a direct link to Ohio’s impressive agricultural heritage and history,” said Director Daniels. “While their operations are diverse, all the families share a deep pride in their land and the stories behind it. I am happy to help honor their impact on Ohio agriculture.” Ohio Historic Family Farms is a voluntary recognition program administered by the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Century farms have been recognized since 1993, with the bicentennial farm designation added in 2013, and the sesquicentennial farm designation in 2016. A complete list of Ohio’s century, sesquicentennial and bicentennial farms is available at www.agri.ohio. gov/ divs/ cent_farms/. Anyone who can verify that a currently owned farm has remained in their family for at least 100 years may register. For more information, visit divs/ cent_farms/, or contact Cindy Shy in the Office of Communication at 614752-9817 or HARVEST

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Story submitted by Ohio Farm Bureau

Young Ag Professionals Conference


hio Farm Bureau Federation’s Young Agricultural Professionals held another successful conference, drawing more than 600 attendees who enjoyed two days of leadership training, networking and camaraderie. Nationwide Board Chairman and Ohio farmer Tim Corcoran challenged the young agricultural professionals to be engaged in Ohio Farm Bureau and spoke of the many opportunities provided by the state’s largest and most inclusive farm organization. “In this day and age you need to be confident, and you need to be humble. It’s the support that you give others that comes back to you several fold,” he said. “I challenge all of you to engage in Farm Bureau. Utilize the (social media) tools you have that most of us can’t get our arms around. You are our hope.” The “Cultivating Connections” conference held Feb. 3-4 in Columbus drew 645 people from across Ohio who were interested in learning more about the agricultural industry and ways to make a difference Stock up Now! Order your furnished beef or hog - cut & packaged specifically for



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in their communities. The Young Ag Professionals program is for Ohio Farm Bureau members age 18 to 35 who are interested in improving the business of agriculture, learning new ideas and developing leadership skills. The conference, held at the Hyatt Regency hotel, featured a wide range of workshops, including how to understand farm leases, negotiate job offers, direct market agricultural products and make wine or artisan cheese at home. In her keynote address, Tyne Morgan, national reporter for AgDay on RFD-TV, urged conference participants to be united in advancing the entire agricultural industry and not just one segment. “We’ve (agriculture) got to be one voice. It’s not about organic, nonorganic. When you start talking to one person and another person and another – that’s when you affect change (and change perceptions),” she said. “Policymakers want to hear from constituents about the issues that matter most to them and how they affect their lives, said Ohio Sen. Bob Peterson. “We can affect your lives in so many ways and you don’t even know who we are. We are desperate to talk to you,” he said. Peterson, a past Ohio Farm Bureau president, also spoke about the strength and effectiveness of a large grassroots organization like Farm Bureau, saying “When you run alone you run fast; when you run together you run far.” Tom Somrach, a recent University of Findlay graduate, attended his fourth Young Ag Professionals conference, saying the friendships he’s made and sustained over the years is what brings him back year

More than 600 Ohioans attended the Ohio Farm Bureau was interested in learning more about natural fibers Young Ag Professionals winter conference Feb. 3 – 4 in Columbus and how farming plays a role in the environment. for how-to workshops, leadership development training and fun. “I am excited about learning more about the

industry, from the outside looking in,” she said. For Ashtabula County Farm Bureau members Daniel and Sara Frank, they were excited to share what they learned about phosphorus use during one of the workshops when they returned home. “We’re working hard to solve the water quality issues in our county,” Sara said. “We’ve had a lot of problems, and we’re learning how to prevent them from continuing.” Members of Ohio Farm Bureau’s Young Agricultural Professionals include farmers, OSU Extension agents, teachers, consumer educators, former Ohio Farm Bureau Youth members, FFA and 4-H alumni, farm media communicators, livestock and equine enthusiasts, wine makers, alpaca breeders, seed representatives, beekeepers, green industry employees, gardeners and foodies. Learn more about this innovative program at

after year. “I’m here because of the connections I have made. I’m still friends with people I met my first year,” said the Geauga County Farm Bureau member who recently accepted a job in the swine industry as a technical specialist where he’ll be monitoring several farms for best practices and quality assurance. Learning how what she learns in the classroom is applicable in real life is what drew Rishona HeadenBrown to attend the conference. She’s an Ohio State University student majoring in food science and also a member of Ohio State’s Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences. “I’m interested in policy overall, including the farmers’ and producers’ perspective, and I’m here to learn about that. I want to find the missing links and bridge the gap between consumers, farmers and policymakers,” she said. Patrice Crosby, a third year Ohio State University This is a news release for use by journalists. Questions student majoring in chemical engineering, said she should be directed to Joe Cornely, 614-246-8230.



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Recap & Preview for 2017

rive out on Interstate 70 in mid-September, about 20 miles or so west of Ohio’s capital city, and you’ll likely notice big tractors and tents and crowds on either side of the four-lane highway. That’s the grounds of the Molly Caren Agricultural Center near London, Ohio. Every year, for three days in September, the site draws more than 100,000 visitors for demonstrations

of the newest farm implements and discussions on the latest agricultural research, plus displays of hundreds of seed companies and vehicle dealers and other representatives of agri-business. According to Suzanne Steel, a spokeswoman at The Ohio State University, “The Review brings together farmers and others in the agricultural industry every year to share research-based info and also to address issues of the day through educational programming.

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Whether we have endured a drought, or are facing low prices, or high prices or new regulations, farmers can come to the Review and get some input and ideas.” This year’s event is set to take place Sept. 19-21 at the 2,100-acre Review grounds (tickets cost $7 in advance or $10 at the gates, with kids age 5 and younger free). The Ohio State University has been sponsoring the event for more than half a century. “The Review provides a format for passing along research-based information from the university to people who can put that information to use on their farms,” Steel said in a released statement. “Even the exhibits are educational. Producers can compare products on the same day in the same location. The field demos let them compare equipment in the field — side-by-side with the competition.” The main grounds includes numerous equipment displays — during last year’s event, Case unveiled a new autonomous concept vehicle, a driverless vehicle of the future. OSU also plants and harvests surrounding farm fields, showcasing global positioning and other technologies.

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The first day of the annual event often includes a panel discussion by economists talking about hot topics of the day — everything from genetically modified crops to the impact of trade policy on commodity prices. The last day includes the presentation of Conservation Farm Family Awards, given annually to farm families around the state for environmentally friendly practices. OSU also uses the event to showcase its course offerings, with hundreds of Ohio school kids spending the day talking to faculty and learning about agricultural degree programs. Shuttles (actually, they’re trailers pulled by tractors) transport visitors to the nearby Gwynne Conservation Area, which has additional daily demonstrations and interactive displays. Additional information is available online at

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Renovation Options



he need for spring pasture renovation can be generated by a number of factors, including drought, overgrazing, or trampling during wet, muddy conditions. There are a number of options available regarding pasture renovation. How you choose to renovate your pasture will be determined by how soon you need to have the pasture back in rotation, the amount of damage to the pasture, and your end goal for the pasture. Here are some pasture renovation options to consider. Use of cereal grains: Think of this as a temporary patch for pastures that have been severely overgrazed or for those areas that have been tore up in wet, muddy conditions. At this point I have to say that I could not find any research where use of a winter cereal grain had been seeded into an overgrazed cool season pasture in the spring, but I think it might be worth a try. The closest Land Grant University

information I could find to this option was in a University of Missouri publication entitled “Dairy Grazing: Pasture Establishment”. In one section of this publication there is a practice called interseeding filler forages where cereal grains are interseeded into warm season perennial crops to provide some early season grazing. Here is my recommendation if a grazier is willing to experiment. First, choose a pasture that has been severely overgrazed, but that still has an intact sod base. Use a no-till drill to seed either winter wheat or winter rye at a rate of 1 to 1.5 bushels per acre. On an experimental basis, I might stick closer to the 1 bushel/acre rate. Seed should be drilled about an inch deep. Seeding time should be in the mid- March to maybe early April time period. Depending upon soil fertility and how our spring develops, I estimate that a grazing pass might be made 45 to 60 days after

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Use of cereal grains: Think of this as a temporary patch for pastures that have been severely overgrazed or for those areas that have been tore up in wet, muddy conditions. planting. The idea is to let this annual crop fill in the forage void of a stressed perennial pasture while the sod base recovers. If winter wheat or winter rye is used, the advantage is that these plants will not produce a seed head, they will stay vegetative. Oats will produce a seed head, so need to be grazed before seed head formation to keep forage quality high. It should be possible to get multiple grazing passes and I would expect more passes from winter wheat or winter rye than oats. Eventually the cereal grain will be grazed out and by that time the sod base should have recovered and once again be productive. I’ll say again, I could not find research-based information for this recommendation, so try this as an experiment on limited acres. This same plan could be used for areas that have been tore up and the sod base destroyed. Level the area and plant the cereal grain to get some late spring through early summer grazing. If the sod does not recover, then do a late summer seeding to

establish perennial grasses/legumes in the area. Use of annual ryegrass: This is another temporary patch option. Annual ryegrass is noted for its quick germination and rapid establishment. Mark Sulc, OSU Extension Forage Specialist, thinks this is an option worth considering. Mark recommends seeding annual ryegrass at about 15 pounds/acre. Seeding depth should be about one-quarter inch. As with the other options, seed as early as possible once we get into March. The ryegrass will produce a quicker and more vigorous growth compared to the stressed perennial sod base and will provide some spring through summer grazing to supplement the recovering sod base. If used in an area where the sod base has been destroyed by overwintering livestock, then a late summer seeding to establish perennial grasses/legumes could be done if the sod base does not recover satisfactorily. Use of turnips: I have seen this used and heard

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“March is often the optimum time for frost seeding although in some years that window can be extended into April. Watch the forecast and plan accordingly.” other graziers talk about the use of turnips in those areas that get tore up by overwintering livestock. Turnips planted into those areas in the spring at 2 lbs/acre and ¼ to ½ inch deep, will provide grazing about 60 - 80 days later and into the summer. As with the previously mentioned options, the area can then be re-seeded into perennial forages in late summer if the sod base has not recovered. Use of perennial cool season legumes: Consider this in situations where a sod base still exists or will recover by early summer after a rest period. The least costly way to add a perennial cool season legume such as red or white clover to a pasture is by frost seeding. Success depends upon several steps being followed. First, there must be exposed soil. Since we are talking about overgrazed pastures and pastures tore up by overwintering livestock, that requirement should be met. Broadcast seed at 6-8 lbs/acre for red clover and about 2-3 lbs/acre for

white clover. Second, timing must be right. Frost seeding depends upon freeze/thaw cycles to insure good seed and soil contact. We need daytime temps in the 40’s (or higher) plus nighttime temperatures below freezing. I like to see mid-twenties. March is often the optimum time for frost seeding although in some years that window can be extended into April. Watch the forecast and plan accordingly. The final step is post germination care of the new legume plant. Do not let it get shaded out by the grass sod. Once the grass reaches 6-8 inches in height, a grazing pass or clipping must be made to insure that sunlight will get down to the newly emerged legume plant and let it get established in the stand. Graze or clip the grass down to 3-4 inches and no lower. If frost seeding is not an option, or the window of opportunity has passed, consider no-till seeding red or white clover into a damaged pasture grass stand. Seed red clover at 4-5 lbs/acre and white clover at




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2 lbs/acre. Follow the same post germination care guidelines as above. The addition of a legume into a grass stand will boost forage quality, both in terms of crude protein content as well as energy content. Legumes also fix atmospheric nitrogen and can reduce or eliminate the need for nitrogen fertilizer. Use of improved perennial grass and legume species: Consider this in situations where a major renovation is desired and where the stand can be

managed to provide time to allow new grass and legume species to become established. An example might be a pasture sacrifice area. On one hand, the pasture has been destroyed and productivity has been lost, on the other hand is an opportunity to bring in some new improved varieties that have higher yield potentials, better drought tolerance and improved palatability. Think about planting at least 3 grass species and 1 to 2 legume species in the mix. Do not settle for old genetics, talk to seed company representatives and take advantage of the advances in genetics that have been made in the past several years. Recognize that it will take 6-8 weeks after germination for the new grass plant and legume plant to get established. The first couple of grazing passes will need to be managed carefully. Planting should be done anytime from late March through about the first week in May, but early is usually better. A final point to keep in mind is that the kind of pastures we have, in terms of species present, production and quality is a response to our management. So, if you aren’t happy with what you have, renovation can be part of the answer, but a change in management is the other necessary part.

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To Local Young Ag Professionals, Collegiate Farm Bureaus

Submitted by | Ohio Farm Bureau





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hio Farm Bureau Young Ag Professionals groups and Collegiate Farm Bureau groups can obtain funding for local projects thanks to the generous support of Farm Credit Mid-America. Eight local YAP groups and two Collegiate Farm Bureau groups will be awarded $500 grants for educational programming or events. Applications for the grants can be submitted at and are due March 31, 2017. “Participation in our YAP and Collegiate programs is growing, and this support from Farm Credit will help our members accomplish some great things in their local communities,” said Melinda Witten, leadership programming director for Ohio Farm Bureau. The local grants are a part of Farm Credit MidAmerica’s $100,000 donation to Farm Bureau young leader programs in their four-state region of Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. A portion of the funds donated to Ohio is being used for the local grants program. Photo Above: Farm Credit Mid-America staff members talk with attendees at the Ohio Farm Bureau Young Ag Professionals conference where Farm Credit’s new grant program for local YAP activities was announced.

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“Participation in our YAP and Collegiate programs is growing, and this support from Farm Credit will help our members accomplish some great things in their local communities.” – Melinda Witten | Leadership Programming Director for Ohio Farm Bureau. The local grants program is a new opportunity for YAP and Collegiate groups and was announced during the 2017 YAP Winter Conference Feb. 3 – 4 in Columbus. Farm Credit Mid-America is an agricultural lending cooperative owned and controlled by its customers. They are one of the largest associations within the Farm Credit System. With more than 1,100 employees, they serve nearly 100,000 customers throughout Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. Since all their customers are members, they have a voice in how the organization is run. The customers help shape who they are, define the course they take moving forward and decide who will be on the Board of Directors to guide them there.

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Harvest: Winter 2017  

Harvest, the Agriculture Community Review, is published quarterly by GateHouse Media.

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