News & Events

'Farm Factor' feeding more than food to local consumers

Published Jul. 22, 2014

A hunger for food is something that will always be a part of our ever-growing society, but what is recently being added to the appetite of many consumers is a hunger of knowledge concerning where their food is coming from. The Ross County Farm Bureau is satisfying both cravings with their yearly Farm Factor event, a four-course progressive meal served on four different farms in the county.

2 ag-gag laws facing federal court challenges

Published Jul. 21, 2014

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The years-long fight between farm organizations and animal rights activists over laws prohibiting secretly filmed documentation of animal abuse is moving from state legislatures to federal courts as laws in Utah and Idaho face constitutional challenges.

5 food writers subpoenaed in 'pink slime' lawsuit

Published Jul. 30, 2014

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - Several food writers, including a New York Times reporter, have been subpoenaed by a meat producer as part of its $1.2 billion defamation lawsuit against ABC in regards to the network's coverage of a beef product dubbed "pink slime" by critics.

Abundant Grain Ripples Through U.S. Farm Industry

Published Jul. 28, 2014

As some of the biggest U.S. agribusiness firms report earnings this week, analysts will weigh prospects for another massive U.S. corn crop and a likely record haul of soybeans, thanks to benevolent weather this summer, with plenty of rain and moderate temperatures setting up the best growing conditions in years.

AFBF's Rural Entrepreneurship Challenge highlights entrepreneurship

Published Jul. 25, 2014

WASHINGTON — American Farm Bureau Federation together with Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business Global Social Enterprise Initiative and the Georgetown Entrepreneurship Initiative’s StartupHoyas today announced the Rural Entrepreneurship Challenge. Individuals will be able to showcase ideas and business innovations being cultivated in rural regions of the United States.

Ag is Cool winners announced

Published Jul. 25, 2014

Governor John R. Kasich and Ohio Department of Agriculture Director David T. Daniels announced the winners for the 2014 “Agriculture is Cool” visual arts contest.

Ag Lender Poll: 2014 Farm Bill Changes to have Neutral Impact on Farm Financials

Published Jul. 31, 2014

"The poll reflects the reality that grain commodity prices are lower compared to last year, which will likely have some negative impact on profitability for crop producers this year," said Jerry Lehnertz, vice president, lending for AgriBank. "On the flip side, most crop producers have entered this lower commodity price environment with strong overall financial positions."

Agriculture must redefine GMO conversation

Published Jul. 31, 2014

“In general, we find a large and growing number of consumers who stigmatize GMOs,” said David Just, co-director, Cornell Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Programs. “This stigma has long been a factor in Europe, and we see the same pattern emerging in the United States.”

Appeals court upholds country of origin labeling

Published Aug. 1, 2014

SALEM, Ohio — A U.S. appeals court has upheld an earlier decision by the federal government to require meat packages to be labeled according to where the meat originated.

Banking on farm-to-table trend: You kill it, hotels cook it

Published Jul. 21, 2014

Farm-to-table meals have become so popular that hotels are now getting in the game with an even closer-to-the-source experience by offering chef-prepared meals using food hooked, foraged or shot by their guests.

Boost of chicken consumption in U.S.

Published Jul. 23, 2014

More chickens are crossing the road and on to consumers' plates, according to new research presented today at the National Chicken Council's Chicken Marketing Seminar in Greensboro, Georgia.

Can You Trust That Organic Label On Imported Food?

Published Jul. 25, 2014

Maybe you've wondered, while looking at the price tag on some organic produce, whether that label is telling the truth. Peter Laufer, a writer and professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, doesn't just wonder. He's an outright skeptic, especially because the organic label seems to him like a license to raise prices.

Changes are coming to FSA programs

Published Jul. 31, 2014

The 2014 farm bill brought changes. The DCP/ACRE program, that paid direct payments, was eliminated. Our MILC Dairy program is being replaced. The NAP program is being made into a buy up program which I believe is good. Crop insurance is subject to sodbuster/swamp buster rules.

Columbus to spread more wastewater sludge on farm fields

Published Jul. 23, 2014

The city wants to spread its wastewater sludge on farm fields rather than burn it and dump it into landfills. To do that, Columbus will spend $3.2 million to design storage tanks to hold the sludge.

Compensatory loss emphasis of new farm bill

Published Jul. 22, 2014

Two years ago, farmers in the four-county Toledo metro area collected more than $10.5 million in direct payments from the federal government, a subsidy program that had become increasingly seen as a poor use of taxpayer money. Starting this year, those payments disappear.

Cool weather slowing development and facilitating diseases

Published Aug. 1, 2014

The cool weather makes for a great trip to the fair and successful corn pollination, but below normal summer temperatures can adversely affect crops.

Crops look great, but some concerns remain

Published Jul. 30, 2014

The excessive rains of this past spring and earlier this summer have become but a memory for Ohio's agricultural producers, as drier, cooler weather this month has allowed for consistent bouts of fieldwork. And the state's crops have benefited from the improved conditions as well.

Custom farm work rates rising in Ohio

Published Jul. 23, 2014

The rates custom farm workers are paid in Ohio are rising, according to a new statewide survey of Ohio growers, farm workers and machinery operators completed by agricultural economists from Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

Custom farm work rates rising in Ohio

Published Jul. 28, 2014

The 2014 Ohio Farm Custom Rate Survey found that the rates paid to farm workers and machinery operators for custom farm work have increased thanks in part to increased supply costs and the agriculture industry boom in recent years,

Drones could be used to spy on farms

Published Jul. 21, 2014

An independent journalist says he's found a way around the so-called "ag-gag" laws by flying drones over large livestock operations to document animal welfare problems and pollution.

Fairs play a crucial role in education and future food production

Published Jul. 30, 2014

Fairs play a vital role in the future of our state. Fairs help educate the public about the importance of agriculture, and they support another cycle of youth involvement in responsible food and agriculture production.

General Mills to reduce GHG emissions from agriculture

Published Jul. 31, 2014

“However, given that nearly two-thirds of General Mills’ GHG emissions and 99 percent of water use throughout our value chain occur upstream of our direct operations, primarily in agriculture, we’ve also been focused on advancing sustainable agriculture,” John Church, General Mills’ executive vice president of supply chain operations, said in a blog post

High corn yields drop price, have far-reaching effect on market

Published Jul. 29, 2014

DAYTON — Near-perfect weather conditions are creating a predicted bumper crop for Ohio corn farmers, but the high yields this year and from last year are forcing a drop in prices not seen in the past five years. The drop is bad for farmers but consumers can expect lower food prices, experts said. Meat prices likely will decline because the price of the feed for the animals is lower.

Holding on to a quality agricultural work force

Published Aug. 1, 2014

As the saying goes, “good help is hard to find.” That is especially true when it comes to hiring and retaining quality employees that embrace the anything-but-a-desk-job, far from glamorous, tiring and dirty jobs in agriculture.

Homemade food sold through cottage-food law

Published Aug. 1, 2014

In Ohio, a variety of foods found at farmers markets and roadside stands are sold without license or inspection. These products are known as “cottage foods.”

Hord Livestock pigs now virus-free

Published Jul. 21, 2014

BUCYRUS — Although a deadly virus continues to impact pigs across Ohio as fair season ramps up, one of Crawford County’s largest livestock producers recently was successful at eradicating the disease.

How Google Glass Can Be the Next Big Thing for Agriculture

Published Jul. 29, 2014

Imagine being able to look at a cotton crop, taking field notes and snapping pictures, sending videos of exactly what you're looking at to experts, or dictating notes, all hands-free.A Georgia based company has developed IntelliScout, an application that uses Google Glass to make it easier for the crop scouts to log any issues they find, without having to pull out a camera or even a smartphone.

In Ohio cow country, he’s making cheese from a herd of goats

Published Jul. 23, 2014

WAUSEON, Ohio — The flat land and fertile fields of northwest Ohio are an ideal place to grow corn and soybeans and graze cattle. One farmer has decided it’s also ideal for goats.

Is my farm exempt? OSHA confusion continues

Published Jul. 28, 2014

The small farm exemption came under fire in 2013 when OSHA began inspecting and issuing citations to farming operations. In 2011, OSHA issued a guidance memorandum to its inspectors asserting that on-farm grain storage and handling was not part of the “farming operation” and that OSHA had the authority to inspect such facilities and enforce its rules and regulations,

Kudzu heading north as climate changes

Published Jul. 29, 2014

As the climate warms, the vine that ate the South is starting to gnaw at parts of the North, too. Kudzu, a three-leafed weed first planted in the United States more than 100 years ago for the beauty of its purple blossoms, is creeping northward, wrapping itself around smokestacks in Ohio, overwhelming Illinois backyards and even jumping Lake Erie to establish a beachhead in Ontario, Canada.

Lawmakers pushing for good trade deal for ag

Published Aug. 1, 2014

Nearly one-third of the U.S. House urged the White House to pursue a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement without countries that prove unwilling to fully open their markets to all U.S. agricultural products.

Local crops blooming

Published Jul. 31, 2014

In Ross County, soybeans are blooming and much of the corn crop is full-tasseled, Garman said. Vegetables also appear to be thriving, he said, referring to the quality of produce local farmers have been selling at his feed store several days per week this summer.

Mobile market brings local fruits, veggies to your door

Published Jul. 23, 2014

On a Monday in mid-July, Adam Sturm is manning the register at his grocery store. He's got local summer squash, some deep hued organic eggplant and a bevy of colorful heirloom tomatoes. And inside, Sturm has grits, eggs and more. Sturm's truck houses Adam's Mobile Market, his 5-month old local food venture. The market carries fresh local products from six local farms.

Mobile slaughter on rise in U.S

Published Jul. 29, 2014

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates 20 mobile units are in operation around the country. Units from Texas to Alaska butcher birds, cows, pigs and other animals as the market for locally produced food has grown from a beachhead of hippie co-ops and health food stores to Whole Foods Market Inc., Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Kroger Co.

Northwest Ohio farmers wade through farm bill at forum

Published Jul. 29, 2014

BOWLING GREEN — The Ohio Farmer’s Union held a Farm Bill Implementation Forum on Friday at Bowling Green State University to help area farmers wade through the complexities of the 2014 Farm Bill.

OFB expert: Beware of liabilities when purchasing a gas well

Published Jul. 25, 2014

COLUMBUS — Landowners who take ownership of gas wells on their property need to make sure the benefits outweigh the financial liabilities, according to Ohio Farm Bureau (OBF) Federation Director of Energy Policy Dale Arnold.

Ohio and Michigan are in a pickle by being out of pickles

Published Jul. 23, 2014

First it was tomatoes; this summer Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan fresh-market pickle producers will lose millions of dollars because farmers can’t attract enough migrant workers to pick their crops.

OHIO FARMERS GETTING FOOD TO 'HUNGRY PEOPLE'

Published Jul. 21, 2014

WOOSTER, Ohio -- As the world population increases, so do the challenges for the agricultural industry, according to Philip Shull, an agricultural counselor for the USDA Foreign Agriculture Service. The Wooster native, most recently posted at the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines, described the challenges when he spoke at a Wooster Kiwanis meeting.

Ohio foodbank program an option for growers

Published Jul. 31, 2014

Now, growers like Gram can turn to groups like the Ohio Association of Food Banks and its Agricultural Clearance Program, and they are turning a profit in the process.

Ohio State Fair butter sculptures honor state’s history

Published Jul. 23, 2014

The Ohio State Fair butter surprise this year? A multitude of sculptures depicting the symbols and signs associated with Ohio, including a cardinal, a ladybug and a carnation.

Organic certification cost recovery for Ohio farms

Published Jul. 29, 2014

The Ohio Department of Agriculture announced it will receive $478,600 to help growers and handlers of organic agricultural products recover part of the cost of their U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) certification.

OSHA updates small farm exemption memo

Published Jul. 31, 2014

he Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) formally clarified that it cannot regulate family farms with 10 or fewer employees. In a guideline issued, OSHA recognizes that postharvest activities integral to farming operations, including drying and storing grain, are exempt from regulations if the farm has 10 or fewer employees, consistent with current law.

OSU Extension celebrates 100 years

Published Jul. 21, 2014

NEWARK — Persistent rain and dreary skies could not dampen the determination of visitors to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Ohio State University Cooperative Extension.

PED virus still a threat for hogs this fair season

Published Jul. 25, 2014

The summer weather has succeeded in slowing the devastating spread of PED virus, but it has not been stopped.

Pickaway County farmland will revert to the wild as Bartley Preserve

Published Jul. 29, 2014

CIRCLEVILLE, Ohio — Nestled among acres of rolling Pickaway County farmland, the newly christened Bartley Preserve stands out. The property, formerly owned by the List family, contains slopes and ridges created by glaciers, allowing rare and endangered plants to thrive in seasonal wetlands.

Pipeline to carry natural-gas liquids from Ohio to Texas moving forward

Published Jul. 23, 2014

Plans for a pipeline to carry natural-gas liquids from Ohio to the Gulf Coast are progressing.

Remember the Polar Vortex? Ohio’s grape and peach growers sure do

Published Jul. 30, 2014

WOOSTER, Ohio — After enduring the coldest winter in 20 years, many grape and tree growers in Ohio and western Pennsylvania predicted their summer crop would be greatly diminished. Producers are finding plants that are black and dead, and some that are trying to survive, but will most likely still die.

Sec Vilsack on rural America

Published Jul. 28, 2014

“I think it’s important for the folks to understand that there’s great profit opportunity and business opportunity in rural America. We’re about 75 percent of the land mass in the United States. The vast majority of America is located in rural areas. It’s where most of our food comes from, a lot of our water.

Sick, Abused Horses Overwhelming Rescuers

Published Jul. 22, 2014

CENTRAL OHIO - Dozens of sick and malnourished horses are overwhelming local rescuers. The numbers continue to grow, and by Monday there were 37 horses rescued by the Ohio Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA).

Solon residents to vote on farm animals, zoning changes in November

Published Jul. 23, 2014

SOLON, Ohio -- Solon residents will have the opportunity to vote on the controversial farming regulations proposed by the city this fall.