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Washington C.H. Record Herald,

Thursday, March 8, 2012

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National Ag Day From our fields to your family table

A Special Publication of the Record-Herald

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8A

Washington C.H. Record Herald,

Thursday, March 8, 2012

National Ag Day

From our fields to your family table

Giant grain hub coming to Bluegrass Farms By RYAN CARTER Assistant Editor

It may seem strange to many to find a gigantic grain shipping facility in the middle of Fayette County, however, that is exactly what is under construction at Bluegrass Farms in Jeffersonville. When completed, the $10 Central Ohio million Logistics Center (COLC), in combination with Queensgate Terminals in Cincinnati, will be an intermodal terminal, which involves the transportation of freight in an intermodal container or vehicle, using multiple modes of transportation (rail, ship, and truck) without any handling of the freight itself when changing modes. This method reduces cargo handling, improves security, reduces damage and losses, and allows freight to be transported faster. Bluegrass Farms of Ohio began in the 1980s when the Martin family began raising identity-preserved soybeans for local suppliers. In January 2008, Bluegrass opened its state-of-the-art soybean processing facility at 9768 MilledgevilleJeffersonville Road, Jeffersonville. In addition to producing identity-preserved beans, Bluegrass works exclusively with non-GMO, or non-genetically modified organism, crops. “We recognized that every market in the world has its own requirements,” said David Martin, the president of Bluegrass Farms. “Bluegrass Farms of Ohio can accommodate any combination of cleaned, unclean, bulk or bagged products. We can also vary the cleaning process to meet your needs. If a rough cleaning of the product is ordered, we can accommodate the order and reduce the costs. If a precision cleaned product that must have high quality and visual standards is required, Bluegrass Farms of Ohio can process any standard requested.” The soybeans handled at Bluegrass include: specialty soybeans, tofu, miso, soymilk, food grade, nonGMO, and identity-preserved soybeans. “Our roots go back nearly 25 years when we began Identity Preserved Grain as seed,” said Martin. “We are now building on the same

skills and knowledge and applying them to the food industry. Our trained professionals select cultivars that have unique milling properties from the best plant breeding programs in the country and link these traits to specific uses within the food industry.” One of the most important components of Bluegrass Farms’ soybean products is how they are handled in the field. “We have developed a very extensive program that protects the integrity of our grain,” said Martin. “We use our own internal measurements, as well as an independent inspection agency, to help insure the viability and reliability of our process. Our strongest attribute is our ability to isolate unique varieties and protect them from unwanted contamination. It is very important to manage each stage of production. We concentrate on every stage of production from planting until the final product is delivered to our customers.” Bluegrass tests seeds before they are planted, conStaff photo by Ryan Carter tracts third-party inspections David Martin (left), the president of Bluegrass Farms of Ohio in Jeffersonville, led a tour of his facilof fields to ensure purity, ity for an Israeli Delegation, which showcased local businesses as trade opportunities for Israel. tests each truck load that enters the facility, and has thing we produce goes to From a logistical perspeceach lot tested at the state Japan,” said Martin. tive, Fayette County is the certification lab to support Bluegrass can receive an perfect location for this their guarantee of 99.5 per- order from Asia, fill it, and gigantic shipping facility, as cent purity. load it onto a truck within a 60 percent of the American At the Jeffersonville facil- couple of days providing and Canadian marketplaces ity, there are machines to sort there is an empty truck on are only one trucking day soybeans by weight, size, which to load the order, and away from the site. and even color. There is a a ship available to take it, “We take great pride in robotic arm that precisely once the load gets to port. producing our grains in a loads the pallets, and a Because of the possible clean and professional manturntable contraption that transportation logjam, ner, keeping in mind that shrink-wraps each pallet. Bluegrass is developing the they will be processed fur88 N. Paint St., Chillicothe, OH 45601 Most soybeans enter and COLC with help of a $7.5 ther into high quality and leave Bluegrass’s processing million forgivable state loan healthy food products,” said “When Experience Counts, Call The Professionals” facility without ever being to finance the facility. Martin. Certified • Licensed • Bonded • Insured touched by human hands, 2263668 The cargo-loading facility making them the perfect can handle products being choice for inclusion in food shipped domestically, and products like soy sauce, those headed abroad would soymilk, tempe, and tofu. have a short rail or truck ride “Our contract growers to the container-to-barge have experience producing Queensgate Terminal, directspecialty grains,” said ly on the Ohio River. Martin. “They take the time Once there, the product to clean and operate their can be loaded onto a barge equipment and must have and sent on its way, down the high quality production his- river. tory.” Expediting the whole Production records are shipping process not only March 8th marks National Ag Day. A time when producers, maintained on every field increases the amount of agricultural associations, corporations, agencies, and countless others level to eliminate any con- product Bluegrass can across America gather to recognize and celebrate the abundance provided tamination problem. These accept and process, but also include field history, cultiva- helps ensure food safety and by Agriculture. Merchants National Bank supports Agriculture, not tion practices, agronomic security. The longer a cononly on Ag Day, but as we have done for the past 131 years and inputs and climate condition tainer of soybeans sits in a will continue to do in the future! We admire and have a reports. rail yard or shipping port, A majority of Bluegrass’ waiting to be picked up, the sincere appreciation for our Agricultural Community! product gets shipped interna- higher probability there is of tionally, primarily to Asia. contamination. “A little over half of everyWE THANK YOU!

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Farm auctions a great place to find livestock, used equipment If you’re looking for some quality used equipment for your farm, or some livestock for that matter, you might want to start your search at a farm auction. You will find all sorts of things for sale at farm auctions from equipment and vehicles to land and livestock to antiques and collectibles. There are many resources for finding farm auctions. Two of the most popular are newspaper classifieds and the Internet. You will find dozens of Web sites with farm auction listings. You can also check for listings at local feed and supply stores as well as with local farmers. Should you find an auc-

tion that you would like to attend but can’t, don’t despair. In an effort to keep up with the electronic age and reach more coansumers, many areas now broadcast auctions live through the Internet. You might be able to tune in to the auction via the Internet

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Washington C.H. Record Herald,

Thursday, March 8, 2012

9A

National Ag Day

From our fields to your family table

Fayette County richly OSU wants your rooted in agriculture Our county is rooted firmly in the rich soil of agriculture which touches everyone in our community no matter if they are farmers or not. With Fayette County boosting the largest average farm size of 422 acres in the state of Ohio, our local economy depends on these largescale grain production farms and the smaller farms that dot our landscape. When my husband and I first drove through Fayette County looking for a home twenty years ago, we were struck by the scenery of the large flat fields of corn and beans. For two young parents, both with agriculture degrees, this seemed the perfect place to raise our family of three. We knew that our children would grow up with traditions and values that living in a rural community that we felt were important. They would learn the importance of agriculture in our society by observing a farming community along with having the opportunity to visit their friends’ farms and being involved in 4-H. The young people growing up in our rural community have been exposed to agriculture since they were tiny tots. Seeing a green tractor roll down Court Street is nothing strange to them. Driving down country roads lined with fields of corn and soybeans signals to them the seasons changing. On a crisp fall night with the bright stars shining brightly over fields dotted with combines is part of their backyard canvas. These scenes are only part of their childhood experiences of living in a farm community. Many of our youth come from a long line of farm families with knowledge of farming born into them and the importance of agriculture. Others have gained knowledge of agricultural practices through their experiences as a 4-H or FFA

Fo g t ’s 4 - H N o t e s

By Nadine Fogt Extension Educator

member. In Fayette County, 4-H and FFA has played an important role in our community for almost a century. In recent years, more than 900 youth are involved in the Junior Fair which highlights their hard work and accomplishments. Livestock 4-H and FFA projects are one of the most popular projects with young people in Fayette County. The President of the Ohio Cattlefeeders, Sam Southerly spoke at the recent Fayette County Cattlefeeders Banquet stressing that those youth taking just one livestock project at the county fair is a producer. This is an important point for us to realize that our young people are not only having fun at the fair showing their livestock, but they are producers of an agricultural product even if they are only nine years old! Besides being a producer of a food product that will become part of the food chain, livestock projects teach life lessons which are valuable about agriculture that is science based. Projects are “hands-on” or experiential educational simulations. Experiential learning opportunities through livestock projects develop critical thinking and problem solving skills. Since they are producers, it is critical for the youth to learn about applying the best quality assurance practices when raising their animal for the county fair

exhibits because once the fair is over the animal will eventually become a food product. By learning to feed and care for their livestock project not only they are learning responsibility, but youth learn about nutrition, anatomy, and biology, all important science components. Livestock projects also teach youth early on about economics and money management by learning how to budget for their project and to keep financial records of feed costs, medications, housing, and supplies. 4-H and FFA projects encourage youth to expand their knowledge of the livestock industry and become proficient in livestock management practices and quality assurance. A long drive to Fayette County on a spring evening for my husband and me twenty years ago, led us to a road of opportunity to watch several hundred young people learn from 4-H, FFA, and their families about the importance of the agriculture. I have watched our youth succeed and sometimes even be challenged through their various projects. As adults, there have been numerous young people who have challenged themselves to learn more about agriculture by attending college to earn a degree. There are those who return to the family farm using the knowledge they gained in college or from their work experiences. Many young adults have had their 4-H and /or FFA projects lead them into a career in agriculture or a career that is associated with the industry. But no matter where these youth land as adults, their roots will always be in agriculture. Nadine S. Fogt is the Extension Educator, 4-H Youth Development for the OSU-Fayette County Extension Office.

Warm winter may bring pest-filled spring HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The mild winter that has given many Northern farmers a break from shoveling and a welcome chance to catch up on maintenance could lead to a tough spring as many pests that would normally freeze, have not. Winters are usually what one agriculture specialist calls a "reset button" that gives farmer a fresh start come planting season. But with relatively mild temperatures and little snow, insects are surviving, growing and, in some areas, already munching on budding plants. Almost every state had a warmer-than-usual January, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In Albany, N.Y., for example, the average high in January was 37

degrees, when it's usually less than freezing, according to the National Weather Service. In Tulsa, Okla., the average high last month was about 57 degrees, 9 degrees higher than normal. The Upper Midwest, Great Plains and a few other areas were "much above normal" in temperature, NOAA said. Dawn Allen, who has an 89-year-old, family-run bog in Freetown, Mass., said her family will likely start sweeping bogs with a contraption similar to a butterfly net in April to catch winter moth caterpillars, instead of waiting until mid-May, when they typically start. The winter moth caterpillars are aggressive and eat buds, potentially ruining a crop for a whole year.

"It's a big stress factor that gets us out on the bog early," said Allen, whose farm sells cranberries for juice and pulp converted into cranberry vitamins.

farm family stories COLUMBUS - As the Farm Science Review looks forward to its 50th farm show Sept. 18-20, show organizers want to get in contact with individuals who were in attendance at the early Reviews dating back as far as 1963 when it was held at Ohio State University’s Don Scott Field in Columbus. “Progress is the very thing that the Science Farm Review is about, and we want to learn about the ways the Review has brought innovation and technology to farmers over the last 50 years,” said Chuck Gamble, manager of the Farm Science Review. “We can tell stories about the three-day span of the Review, but the real impact is what happens after the Review inspires adoption of new technology or methods on the farm.” In particular, Gamble

says he is interested in finding: People who have attended every Review. People in attendance at t h e

ve r y first Review. Innovations adopted after their introduction at the Farm Science Review. Family memories that involve the Farm Science Review. Multi-generational stories of Farm Science Review attendance. Exhibitors’ innovations in the last 50 years. If you or a family member is interested in contributing, please submit your information along with your contact

information, memories photos to or l i n d s a y @ w i l t p r. c o m (765-967-7539). Please submit digital copies of photos, as they will not be returned. This year’s Farm Science Review will be held Sept. 18-20 at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center in London, Ohio. Advance sale tickets will be available July 15 at OSU Extension offices for $5; agribusinesses also offer advance ticket sales. Admission is $8 at the gate. Children 5 and under are free. For more information, go to http://fsr.osu.edu. Farm Science Review is sponsored by the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.

Crop insurance: A little peace of mind Anyone familiar with farming has probably heard of multiple peril crop insurance (MPCI), but for those of you who haven’t, it is a form of federal crop insurance that provides protection against weather-related losses and other unavoidable perils. The insurance is available through the Federal Crop Insurance Program, which is underwritten by the Federal Crop Corporation Insurance (FCIC) and sold and serviced through private insurance companies. MPCI policies apply to a variety of crops. MPCI policies typically cover damage caused by drought, earthquakes, excessive moisture, excessive temperatures during pollination, fire, flood, frost/freeze, hail, insect infestation, lightning, plant disease, tornadoes, wildlife damage and wind. Policies do not

cover damage caused by a number of other factors, including poor farming practices, theft and low commodity prices. MPCI policies also cover replanting, planting and late planting situations. In the event of late planting, there is a 25-day period. In the event crops can’t be planted in a field, no other crops can be planted except for forage crops. The amount of MPCI coverage is based on the

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Washington C.H. Record Herald,

Thursday, March 8, 2012

National Ag Day

From our fields to your family table

Spring Valley organic farmers honored By PAUL COLLINS OCM News Service

COLUMBUS — Two decades of doing things naturally earned two Greene County organic farmers the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s (OEFFA) highest honor on Saturday, Feb. 18. Doug Seibert and Leslie Garcia received the OEFFA’s 2012 Stewardship Award during the association’s 33rd annual conference entitled Sowing the Seeds of Our Food Sovereignty. The award, according to OEFFA’s website, “recognizes outstanding contributions to the sustainable agriculture community.” The association was founded in 1979 and is a grassroots organization that promotes local and organic food systems through education and advocacy. The award, says Seibert, was unexpected good news.

“Our reaction was surprise,” said Siebert. “When I was at the conference, I was looking at these major players around me. It made me think, ‘Why me?’” Since 1992, Seibert and Garcia have been certified as organic farmers in the Greene County area. The farm organically at Peach Mountain Organics, their Spring Valley-based farm. The farm possesses 43 acres, with more than 25 acres certified organic and used to produce seasonal vegetables, early tomatoes, winter greens, cut flowers, log grown shiitake, herbs and gladiola bulbs. For Seibert and Garcia, organic practices represent the most responsible and healthy approach to agriculture. “I’ve never considered any other way to farm,” said Garcia. “I think its more in line with natural law. It’s more pleasing to God and less toxic. I went to agricultural college just one year. I didn’t like what they were

teaching.” “I’ve never thought of farming any other way,” added Siebert. “My father never used anything but chicken manure in his garden. If you know a lot about chemistry, you know you don’t want to eat a lot of what’s going onto the fields on conventional farms. I can’t appreciate soil loss or pollutions in our streams. It doesn’t make sense to me.” Visitors to the Yellow Springs Farmer’s Market will recognize Seibert and Garcia as market regulars, selling their organic mixed vegetables, microgreens, fresh-cut flowers, bedding plants, mushrooms, hay and greenhouse plants. The duo also sells their products to local restaurants, grocery and health food stores. For a time during the early nineties, Seibert and Garcia were Greene County’s only organic farmers. According to Siebert, the organic way of life has experienced steady growth and expan-

sion since that time. “When you look at health food stores, it’s certainly on the rise,” said Siebert. “You see more people talking about it. The reality is that it is escalating. Science is starting to convert itself to organics. It works better.” “As a shopper myself, it’s easy to find organic products now,” added Garcia. award-winning The organic farmers are dedicated to OEFFA’s mission to educate people concerning sustainable, ecological and healthy food systems. In addition to raising and selling produce, Siebert and Garcia hold farm tours, host agiculture classes for Wilmington College and present OEFFA conference Doug Siebert and Leslie Garcia are recipients of the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s (OEFworkshops. FA) 2012 Stewardship Award. Submitted photo. “Most of my friends at and local.” on looking for a recipient the OEFFA use me for Recipients of the who has made organic food information,” said Siebert. Stewardship Award are a way of life. “We’re a draw to people selected by the prior year’s “We’ll be looking for who are looking into organwinners. When next year’s people who live and breathe ic foods,” added Garcia. selection process begins, organic in their everyday “People who are concerned Seibert and Garcia intend lives,” said Siebert. about food and eating fresh

Mariculture means no tractors required A subset of the field of aquaculture, mariculture is the farming of marine organisms for food and nonfood products from saltwater. Marine organisms include fish and crustaceans. Among the most important organisms harvested are mollusks, with seaweed running a close second. Crustaceans make up a smaller part of mariculture, with finfish the most common. There are many methods for farming marine organisms. Two of the most basic are letting nature take its course, with the farmer preparing the area but doing little else to assist growth, and using ponds for different fish and shrimp species. The ponds are filled by pumping in seawater or opening a floodgate when the tide is rising. The size and type of marine organisms stocked in the ponds determine how long it takes them to reach a harvestable size, ranging from a couple of months to a couple of years. Another method involves using pens and cages in protected bays. The majority of

Regardless, all individuals entering the field must have knowledge of animal health, business management, marketing and onsite farm management. Knowledge of disease prevention and cures relating to marine animals is useful as well. Finding work overseas is often quite easy. This is due to the fact that some of the top mariculture-producing

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cultured salmon is raised this way in Chile, the United States, Canada and Norway. Other types of fish species are produced in this way in Japan, Europe and the Middle East. In recent years, opposition to this type of mariculture has developed due to environmental concerns. The most high-tech method of farming marine organisms involves raising

marine organisms in tanks in an indoor facility. The tanks are pumped with seawater, which may be used and discarded or treated and reused. The indoor facilities are usually used as hatcheries and as holding places for adults used in reproduction. Another way to practice mariculture developed by the Japanese is sea ranching. Fish are raised in a knit-

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“While most organic growers in Ohio focus largely on local and regional markets, some are already exporting their products internationally,” McSpadden Gardener said. “This new agreement should help that subset of growers and also positively impact innovative food processors that use organic ingredients.” Stan Ernst, an Ohio State University Extension agricultural economist, called the agreement “gen-

erally a good thing.” “Anything that makes the policies a little more uniform has to make it easier for the supply chain to work,” Ernst said. “It will open new markets for certain producers.” Now in its 15th year, OFFER provides sciencebased information to Ohio’s organic farmers. The nationally known organic farming research program is part of the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center,

which is the research arm of Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and is the largest university agricultural bioscience research center in the U.S. Information from Ag Answers, www.aganswers.net . Ag Answers is a collaborative effort by the A g r i c u l t u r a l Communication at Purdue University and the Section of Communications and Technology at The Ohio State University.

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(AP)—A historic new partnership between the United States and the European Union announced last week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture means organic foods certified in the U.S. can be sold in Europe for the first time - a move that could provide new market opportunities for Ohio growers, an Ohio State University expert said. The agreement, which now makes the $26.7 billion U.S. organic market functionally equivalent to Europe’s organic market, means organic growers nationwide no longer have to comply with often-contradictory rules setting different organic standards for each country, experts say. The move means there are fewer regulatory hurdles for certified organic growers who want to export their products to Europe, said Brian McSpadden Gardener, director of Ohio State’s Organic Food and Farming Education and Research Program (OFFER) in Wooster.

countries are located there, including China, ranked number one, Japan, ranked number two, and Taiwan, ranked number three. The United States is ranked fifth. As the world’s demand for seafood increases, the field of aquaculture production will expand and mariculture will grow in importance.

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Washington C.H. Record Herald,

Thursday, March 8, 2012

11A

National Ag Day

From our fields to your family table

Ind. lawmakers look at ‘Right to Farm’ bill

Indiana lawmakers are considering a bill which could deter rural residents who have legitimate reasons for suing farms over manure runoff or other problems over concerns a judge would declare their lawsuits frivolous and saddle them with thousands of dollars in attorney fees.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP)— Activists say a bill requiring people who file frivolous lawsuits against Indiana livestock farms to pay the farms’ legal fees would make people reluctant to take action, even when they have legitimate complaints about smells or waste. The measure, which supporters call a right-to-farm bill, passed the House earlier this month on a 57-39 vote and goes before the Senate judiciary committee soon for a hearing. It has strong support from the Indiana Farm Bureau and Indiana Pork Producers, but environmental groups are opposed. Rep. Bill Friend, RMacy, said he sponsored the bill because farms need protection from unfounded, groundless lawsuits filed just to interfere with their business. While livestock farms have been the subject of most nuisance suits, the bill would apply to all farms in the state. Friend rejected the idea that it would deter residents with legitimate complaints from suing a livestock or grain farm. “All this bill says is that actions have consequences and bring us your serious issues so the legal system can function,” Friend said. “The only way this even has

an effect is if the court says this was groundless or frivolous and you wasted the court’s time.” Kim Ferraro, water policy director for the Hoosier Environmental Council, said court records indicate only 10 nuisance lawsuits have been filed in the past decade against agricultural operations in Indiana, including large factory-style livestock farms. Not one has been dismissed as frivolous, she said. “Where are these frivolous lawsuits they’re so concerned about?” Ferraro asked. The council has pushed for tighter regulation of the state’s roughly 2,000 industrial-style livestock farms where thousands of animals are raised together in close quarters and produce large amounts of waste. If the bill becomes law, Ferraro said rural residents who have legitimate reasons for suing such farms over manure runoff or other problems may decide not to because they’re afraid a judge would declare their lawsuits frivolous and saddle them with thousands of dollars in attorney fees. “The idea is to intimidate, to make somebody be worried that they’re going to be on the hook for paying for a defendant’s attorney fees and costs,” Ferraro said. “It’s a chilling effect.”

One provision of the measure requires judges who find lawsuits against farms and agricultural operations “frivolous, initiated maliciously, or groundless” to order the plaintiffs to pay the defendants’ litigation costs, “including reasonable attorney’s fees.” Indiana law now allows judges to impose such fees in cases of frivolous lawsuits but doesn’t require it. At least 16 other states have statutes addressing awards for attorney’s fees in agricultural nuisance suits, said Scott Hendrick, a policy specialist with the National Conference of State Legislatures. Ferraro questioned the wisdom of helping one industry when many others also face nuisance lawsuits. “Why just single out these farms? Why are we are providing another layer of protection against one particular industry?” she said. Sen. Jean Leising, an

Oldenburg Republican who is co-sponsoring the bill in the Senate, said she would be willing to consider measures giving the same protection to other Indiana businesses. But she said for now the focus is on the state’s farms. More urban residents are moving to rural areas, where they encounter the smells that come with farm life, such as the stench livestock can produce, she said. Leising said the bill would provide peace of mind for farmers who are following state and federal rules but fear, for example, that a new subdivision being built near their farm might spawn lawsuits. “If you do something wrong this isn’t going to protect you,” she said. “But if you’re doing things by the letter of the law, you will not have to worry about any lawsuits to defend yourself from — to me, that’s the bottom line.”

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The National Grange, or the Order of Patrons of Husbandry, is the oldest national agricultural organization in the country. Founded in 1867 by freemason Oliver Hudson Kelley to promote rural life, the grange was arranged along the lines of the freemasons. It arose during a time when industrialism was becoming a force to contend with and gave farmers a unified voice. While in Washington from 1866 to 1867, Kelley discussed the idea of a secret national farmers’ organization with William Ireland and William Saunders. The men were receptive to the idea and invited Aaron B. Gosh, John Trimble, John R. Thompson and Francis McDowell to the first meeting establishing the Order of Patrons of Husbandry. The primary goal of the organization was to help farmers in the South and the West. The grange was originally intended to be a secret organization with signals and passwords to identify members, which were primarily farmers and their families. Over time, lawyers, politicians and people living in urban areas were allowed

t o j o i n . Considered interlopers, they were later stricken from the ranks. Women were admitted into the ranks of the grange early on and given equal voting rights. Youngsters were also allowed to be grange members in an effort to keep them on family farms. The 1880 national meeting reduced the membership age to 14 for boys and 16 for girls. The grange movement flourished until the end of the 19th century, and to this day, grange halls can still be found in small towns around the country. The grange consists of several levels. Subordinate or local granges

focus on the local community and confer the first four ritualistic degrees. Pomona (county) granges are located within a given district, meet monthly or quarterly, and confer the fifth degree of the order. State granges represent subordinate and Pomona granges, meet annually to discuss legislation and public policy on matters concerning agriculture and rural America, and confer the sixth degree of the order. The National Grange opens meetings to subordinate grange members in good standing but doesn’t allow them to vote. One day is set aside at the annual convention to confer the seventh degree, the order’s highest degree. Symbolism and rituals are important in grange hall arrangements, with officers given names associated with English estates and arranged in the room according to these titles. The gate keeper stands at the door, permitting members to come in. Other officer titles include master, overseer, lecturer, steward, assistant steward, lady assistant steward and chaplain. In addition, there are three

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female-oriented titles based on Roman goddesses Ceres (goddess of grain), Pomona (goddess of fruits) and Flora (goddess of flowers). Rituals include reading verses from a Bible displayed prominently in the room and wearing sashes if an officer and badges if a member. There are also secret handshakes, signals and passwords.

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12 A

Washington C.H. Record Herald,

Thursday, March 8, 2012

National Ag Day

From our fields to your family table

DeBruin boys turning organic produce into life lesson at Fayette Co. farmers’ market Dallas DeBruin was only 10 years old when he decided he wanted to sell produce at the Fayette County Farmers’ Market. Although his parents operate an organic, seasonal grass dairy located near Good Hope, they’ve never sold products locally. Dallas, however, wanted to know what was involved in growing and selling produce. That was four seasons ago and Dallas, who is now a sophomore at Miami Trace, expands the variety of his produce annually. A young entrepreneur, he is learning what labor is involved in growing and preparing produce for market, how to handle seasonal fluctuations in crops, and what is important to customers. Five years ago, Dallas only grew lettuce for the market. He grew seven different types of lettuce,

Mary Lou Shaw Eat Local washed and packaged in 8-ounce bags. Each year, Dallas offers more varieties of produce. Lettuce is a “cool-season” crop, and it is difficult to grow during the heat of When his summer. younger brother, Grant, joined him at the market the second season, they added tomatoes and green beans from the family’s garden. By the third season, they were also offering blackberries and green peppers. Grant, the younger brother, is now 8 years-old and in third grade. He actually began the sweet bell-peppers from seed. Although Dallas is kept busy with planting and weeding in the summer, he finds blackberries are his

Submitted photo

Dallas DeBruin, left, Grant DeBruin, right, are learning how to run a business through their organic produce, sold at the Fayette County Farmer’s Market.

most popular produce. He picks wild berries from the farm, and he also bought and planted blackraspberry, raspberry and more blackberry bushes. These plants should be producing for this summer’s farmers’ market. Their organic produce draws many people to the

DeBruin Family Dairy booth, but Dallas and Grant have even added another special treat: chocolate chip cookies, made with eggs fresh from their farm and pasturebased-butter. Dallas and Grant are able to offer produce that is unique in three ways

from grocery store produce. First, no chemicals or pesticides are used on the DeBruin’s farm. Secondly, the garden’s soil is annually enriched with compost. Their cows supply the manure and straw bedding that creates the garden’s rich soil. This results in food that is “nutrient-dense.” Third, local produce tastes better and is more nutritious because it is picked fully-ripe and sold when fresh. “Local” also means that varieties of fruits can be chosen for their flavor, and not because they ship well over distances. Both boys appreciate their parents’ support. It was their dad, Gene, who originally suggested growing lettuce as a niche market crop. Toni, their mother, provides needed help with the garden, kitchen

and transportation. Dallas said he began as a vendor with the Fayette County Farmers’ Market with the intent of learning the “production dynamics” of business. These past four years, he’s learned not only about the work necessary to be successful, but more importantly, what customers care about. Not surprisingly, in addition to wanting music to be part of his life, Dallas intends to be in business. As for 8-yearold Grant, he’s quite sure that he wants to continue the family farm and be a naturalist. For others wanting to be a market vendor, Dallas stresses it’s important to enjoy both the growing and the selling aspects of marketing. He sums it up by saying, “Be passionate, knowledgeable and always remember the customer.”

Intercropping can help reduce pests, erosion When two or more crops are cultivated at the same time on a field, the process is called intercropping. The theory behind intercropping is that the crops planted aren’t likely to be plagued by the same insect pests and diseases, raising the potential for growth. The concept of intercropping has been around for some time. In the South, velvet beans or cowpeas were planted in standing corn in rows wide enough to let the sunlight in. The beans or peas would climb the corn-

stalks, allowing them to be harvested together in the fall and saving on manual labor. Deciding what crops to plant in intercropping requires careful consideration of a number of factors, including the climate and soil. The crops used can be from different plant families or different varieties of the same crop species as long as they don’t compete with each other for water, nutrients, sunlight or space. One crop will be more important than the other due to its contribution to food production.

However, because one crop will mature before the other, the competition between the two will be reduced. There is more than one method of intercropping. Some of these include: • Mixed or multiple intercropping, in which two or more crops are grown on the field at the same time without any row arrangement. • Relay intercropping, in which the second crop is planted with the first crop in its reproductive stage but before harvesting. • Row intercropping, in

which two or more crops are grown at the same time with at least one of them planted in rows. • Strip intercropping, in which two or more crops are planted together in strips wide enough to allow machine crop production but close enough to interact. There are two types of strip intercropping. Contour strip cropping follows the layout of a rotational sequence and the contour of the field during tillage. Field strip cropping follows the general slope of the land with strips of the same width.

The benefits of intercropping are numerous. Some of these include: • Reduction of insect pests • Reduction of plant diseases • Reduction of weeds • Reduction in hillside erosion • Increased topsoil protection • Attraction of beneficial insects • Better use of farm area

• Better production and profitability Although intercropping is most common on farms, it can also be done in backyard gardens through companion planting. Planting flowers or herbs among vegetables with the same nutrient and moisture needs can add color to the garden and attract more beneficial insects than harmful ones. Isn’t that something?

Deadline nears for 2012 crop assistance program COLUMBUS -- The deadline is March 15 to apply for 2012 Noninsured Assistance Program coverage for spring-planted crops, through the Farm Service Agency. The program covers losses caused by weather. Producers receive a payment when the loss is in excess of 50 percent. Losses are generally determined by the percentage of loss compared to the producer's actual production history. Eligible production losses

are paid at 55 percent of the established value for the crop. The service fee is $250 per crop per county, or $750 per farmer per county. The fee cannot exceed a total of $1,875 per farmer with multiple counties. Limited resource producers may request a waiver of service fees. Program coverage is for crops not covered under the federal crop insurance program. Farmers are required to have federal crop insurance or non-insurance

assistance program coverage on all crops to be eligible for the agency's disaster assistance programs. Separately, Farm Service Agency and the Risk Management Agency have established common acreage reporting dates for producers participating in either agency's programs. This year, burley tobacco, spring cabbage planted March 15 through May 31, corn, grain sorghum, hybrid corn seed, spring oats, popcorn, potatoes, soybeans, sugar beets,

tomatoes, and all other crops not listed elsewhere will have a July 15 acreage reporting date. Summer cabbage planted June 1 through July 20 will have an Aug. 15 acreage reporting date. Beginning in 2013, Jan. 15 will be the acreage reporting date for apples and grapes, while Dec. 15 will be the acreage reporting date for fall barley, fall wheat, and any other fallseeded small grains. For more information, farmers should contact the Farm Service Agency,

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Washington C.H. Record Herald,

Thursday, March 8, 2012

13A

National Ag Day

From our fields to your family table

Importing horses can be a challenge You fell in love with horses as a young child, and now that you are older, you would like to get one of your own and perhaps even start breeding them. If you are planning to purchase a horse inside the United States, you will probably encounter few obstacles. If you are planning to purchase a horse from abroad, however, you may run into some difficulties. Before you purchase one, you should be aware of the rules of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) governing the importation of horses. According to the guidelines put forth by the USDA, all horses imported into the United States must be examined by a full-time veterinary officer of the government of the exporting country. During the examination, the officer must Be sure to familiarize yourself with USDA rules before ensure the horse meets cerimporting a horse. tain health requirements and

complete a veterinary health certificate attesting to that fact. The requirements are: • The horse must have been kept in the exporting country for the 60 days prior to importation. If not, then a veterinary officer of the government of each country where the horse was kept within the 60 days must issue a health certificate. • The horse must be free of ectoparasites and contagious diseases and must not have been exposed to contagious diseases within the 60 days prior to importation. • The horse must not have been vaccinated with a live, attenuated or inactivated vaccine the 14 days prior to importation. • The horse must not have been kept in or exposed to any areas where African horse sickness, contagious equine metritis, dourine, epizootic or ulcerative lymphangitis, equine infectious anemia or piro-

plasmosis, glanders, surra, Venezuelan equine encephalomyelitis or vesicular stomatitis has occurred within the 60 days prior to importation. • The horse must not have been kept in a country where contagious equine metritis is known to exist or have contact with any horses from such country the 12 months prior to importation. All horses must meet the health requirements above in order to be imported. In addition, the horse must be quarantined for a certain period of time at the U.S. port of entry. The length of time is determined by the exporting country. Horses from Italy, for example, must be quarantined for three days, while horses from Mexico must be quarantined for seven days and horses from Saudi Arabia, a country known to be infected with African horse sickness, for 60 days.

During the quarantine, horses will be tested for certain diseases. Any horse that tests positive for the disease will be denied entry into the United States. Owners will be responsible for all quarantine fees. In addition to the USDA requirements, some states have their own health requirements for the importation of horses. To ensure you meet all of the requirements, check with the USDA and the state government where you live for complete information. Importing a horse can be expensive. Don't go into it unprepared. Contact the appropriate authorities and familiarize yourself with the importation process and the health requirements your horse must meet in order to be admitted to the United States and your state. If you don't, you may lose your horse and your money!

Lamb and Wool Queen to Ohio high court ruling clear way for wind turbines be crowned at Shepherd’s Club banquet The 72nd annual Fayette County Shepherd’s Club Banquet will be held on Saturday, March 31, at 6 p.m. at Heritage Hall, 1867 U.S. Rt. 35 NW. Plan to attend a night of community fellowship, youth recognition, live and silent auctions, and a delicious dinner featuring locally grown lamb. A chicken meat option will be available to those who desire. Ticket donations are $16 for adults and $10 for youth 12 and under. Tickets for this event may be obtained by contacting any Shepherd’s Club director or the Fayette County Extension office at 335-1150. The evening will feature a silent auction of sheep-related items to benefit the scholarship fund, door prizes, and the crowning of the 2012 Fayette County Lamb and Wool Queen by the outgoing queen, Jennifer Frost. Youth

URBANA (AP) — A project to build dozens of wind turbines can proceed after an Ohio Supreme Court decision essentially validated regulators' approval of the project. The Springfield NewsSun reports more than 50 turbines would be built across five Champaign County townships in the

first phase. Dozens more could be added later. A group of area residents had contended that a regulatory board wrongly left details of the project to be decided by staff members. The high court voted 43 this week in deciding the board acted within required regulations in

approving the wind farm. The dissenting opinion said some justices believed residents' safety concerns were not sufficiently addressed. official with An Everpower Wind Holdings, which is overseeing the project, says construction could start later this year.

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Have a news item for the Record-Herald? You can e-mail text to info@recordherald.com in text format. Please copy and paste text directly in to the body of the email. Photos are also welcome in jpg format. The 2012 Fayette County Lamb and Wool Queen will be crowned at the March 31 banquet. Jennifer Frost, above, was the 2011 Fayette County Lamb and Wool Queen.

participating in the 2011 Fayette County Fair with a sheep project, as well as those who participated in Guys & Gals Lead, will be honored. All Fayette County Fair sheep project and

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14 A

Washington C.H. Record Herald,

Thursday, March 8, 2012

National Ag Day

From our fields to your family table

The ancient art of beekeeping

Fenced out Choosing the right kind for your farm barbed wire proved to be a cheaper, more effective way to fence in large areas. As a result, many farmers and ranchers began building fences of barbed wire, stringing it along wooden posts set into the ground. Usually four or five strands of barbed wire were enough to construct an ample barrier. In the 1970s, highbarbed wire tensile became available. Lighter in weight and lower in cost than its predecessor, high-tensile barbed wire became the preferred choice of many farmers and ranchers. In the 1950s, electric fencing burst onto the scene. Constructed of lightweight steel wire attached to posts with porcelain or plastic insulators and accompanied by a charger which sent an electrical pulse from the ground to the wire every second, the fencing shocked any livestock that came into contact with it and taught them to stay away. Cheaper and faster to construct than other types of fencing, electrical fencing became popular among farmers and ranchers, especially as the technology improved. Many looked to as a means of temporary and reinforced fencing. In the 1980s, high-tensile (HT) fencing was introduced. Unlike high-

tensile barbed wire, HT fencing was constructed of heavy steel wire that could be insulated and electrified. For many farmers and ranchers, it proved to be a safer, more secure means of fencing. Today there are numerous types of fencing on the market. To determine what is best for them, farmers and ranchers must consider not only their budget but their livestock. While cattle and horses rarely escape from fences, goats, sheep and pigs are notorious for burrowing and digging under fences. For those animals, a combination of fencing usually works better. A fence constructed primarily of woven wire with one or two strands of barbed wire at the top and a strand at the bottom is more likely to prevent pigs from escaping than a traditional barbed wire fence, which they could easily dig under. Unfortunately, as any farmer or rancher will attest, no type or combination of types of fencing is foolproof. Almost any animal will escape when motivated to do so, either by hunger, fear or some other natural response. Still, in most cases, fencing is effective, and as long as it is cared for properly, will remain so for years to come.

For the most part, beekeeping in the United States remained a rural trade until the 1980s and '90s, when a large number of bees died due to the arrival of a new batch of parasites. Until then, rural beekeepers had relied largely on the knowledge and techniques of their ancestors to raise their bees. Because their ancestors had never dealt with tracheal or varroa mites or small hive beetles, the beekeepers had no idea how to eradicate the new pests. As a result, many bees died and some beekeepers left the trade. As others picked up the practice, beekeeping shifted from being primarily a rural trade to one that almost anyone, anywhere could do. Today, beekeepers can be found in rural and urban areas and generally fall into three categories: hobbyists

Today’s beekeepers fall into three categories: hobbyists who practice beekeeping for fun, sideliners who practice beekeeping in their spare time to supplement their income and commercial beekeepers.

who practice beekeeping for fun, sideliners who practice beekeeping in their spare time to supplement their income and commercial beekeepers who practice beekeeping as their only source of income. While most southern beekeepers raise bees to sell them, northern beekeepers raise bees for honey, pollen and other products. As the weather turns cold, they either move south to continue their pollination services

or stay at home to build up their colonies and prepare them for harvest. Beekeeping can be a challenging trade, especially for those who make it their sole occupation. They must work hard to keep their colonies disease free and fully functioning. It can take some time to become a proficient beekeeper, so if you should decide to take up the practice, learn as much as you can and be patient as your colonies develop.

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To fence in or fence out? That's the question for many farmers and ranchers around the country who raise livestock. Often the state where they live determines the answer. While some western states allow farmers and ranchers to let their livestock roam and fence only the areas where they do not want their livestock to go, most midwestern states require farmers and ranchers to fence in their livestock. Either way, livestock are subjected to fencing and the types of fencing have varied over time. Early fences were generally made of stone or wood. Farmers and ranchers built fences from the stones they found while clearing the land or the logs they split from the trees they cut down. Depending upon the natural formation of the area that needed to be enclosed, some farmers and ranchers created fences by digging ditches with one steep side that livestock could not climb and one sloped side that livestock could roam. With the Industrial Revolution came the development of a new fencing material, barbed wire. Constructed of two mild steel wires twisted together and attached periodically with two- or four-pointed barbs,

When you hear the word "farmer," you probably envision someone working the land from sunup to sundown raising crops or livestock. While the majority of farmers in the United States today do raise crops, livestock or both, a small number raise something altogether different-bees. Known as apiculture, beekeeping has been around since 13,000 B.C. and has become a viable practice in the United States. First practiced by the ancient Chinese, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, beekeeping provided two important products, honey and wax. With sugar not yet available, many people relied on the honey harvested from hives to sweeten their food and the wax to create candles to light up their homes. While beekeeping had been practiced abroad since ancient times, it did not appear in the United States until the arrival of the colonists. Importing European dark bees and later carniolan and Italian, Caucasian bees, many colonists raised bees not only for their honey and wax but for their ability to pollinate crops.

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Ag Day 2012  

A special publication of the Record-Herald, Washington Court House, Ohio.

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