Beef Twilight Tour was Enlightening

Boy, are we flying throught the month of October.  I wish the month would slow down so we can enjoy the sights and smells of this fabulous fall for a longer time.  As we hit the homestretch of the month, I would lkie to recap a really nice Beef Twilight Tour held earlier this month and remind you of my next oil and gas tax seminar. 

We had a great response to our Beef Twilight Tour on a gorgeous fall evening at the beginning of this month at Balzer’s Phalanx Simmentals in Newton Falls.  I was very pleased to see more than 90 beef producers from northeast Ohio in attendance. 

Balzer’s Phalanx Simmentals has been in operation since 1971.  Jim and Nannette Balzer raise 21 Simmental brood cows and manage 80 acres of hay and pasture ground.  The majority of their cattle are artificially bred to calve in the fall with the rest calving in January.  Heifers, bulls and steers are sold throughout northeast Ohio.

During the tour, participants learned a variety of management tips to take back to their operation.  A lot of the attendees were especially interested in how the Balzers are using forage turnips to extend the grazing season.  Their five acres of forage turnips have added eight weeks of grazing for this Simmental operation this fall.  This is crucial given the hay shortage in northeast Ohio.  While many producers are using up their winter hay already, the Balzers are saving money and hay by providing turnips for their cows to graze.

Over the years, the barn and lot areas have been upgraded and made user-friendly.  Participants also saw a system of gates, pens and self-locking head locks which have made working cattle a one-person stress-free job.  Participants also saw an innovative 20-cow catch wagon built by Jim to catch cattle in pastures.

The Balzers are also good stewards of the land.  In pastures where pond water is used, they have built a gravity flow system which puts water in stock tanks, keeping the cattle out of the pond and other environmentally sensitive areas.

I would like to thank Jim and Nanette for opening up their operations for our beef producers.  For producers who missed this ourstanding tour, there are program handouts to mail.  Contact 440-576-9008 or [email protected]

On anther note, due to landowner demand, I am scheduling more workshops to help landowners understand the financial and tax implications of oil and gas leases/royalties.  The meetings will rotate between our Extension offices in Northeast Ohio.  The next available workshop will be held at the Ashtabula County Extension office located at 39 Wall Street in Jefferson from 6:30 to 8:00 pm on November 1.  Complete registration details can be obtained by calling 440-576-9008 or at

Have a good and safe day.

David Marrison is associate professor and extension educator, agriculture and natural resources, Ohio State University Extension for Ashtabula and Trumbull Counties.   He can be reached at 440-576-9008 or [email protected].

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