2 - March 19, 2014 - Paulding County Progress, Salute to Agriculture

PAULDING COUNTY SUMMARY: The 2012 Ohio Department of Agriculture Annual Report and Statistics
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Salute to Agriculture - Paulding County Progress - March 19, 2014 - 3
Staci Hiler, 4-H program assistant
Paulding County OSU Extension
The Senior and Junior Fair Boards are
gearing up for another successful Paulding
County Fair, June 9-14.
Junior Fair exhibitors are required to
complete specific requirements to show at
the Paulding County Junior Fair.
First, they must be enrolled in a 4-H club
or FFA chapter by enrollment deadline.
They must complete a yearly Quality
Assurance Program with their parent or
legal guardian. This year, the Paulding
County Quality Assurance is March 22
from 9-11 a.m. in the Extension Building.
Exhibitors must have their animal iden-
tified and have possession by specific
dates depending on animal species. The
yearly tagging and weigh-in is set from 9-
11 a.m. Saturday, April 5 at the fair-
grounds, at the east end of the swine barn.
This will include the following animal
species: goats, swine, sheep, dairy beef
feeders and beef feeders.
Rabbit tattooing is scheduled from 6-8
p.m. Wednesday, May 21 in the rabbit
barn. All meat pen and single fryers must
be tattooed with the Paulding County
Junior Fair tattoo to show at the fair.
For poultry exhibitors, the OSU Extension
Office will be again placing a bulk order of
chickens from Milan Center Feed and Grain.
Order forms are available at the Extension
Office or online at paulding.osu.edu. Order
forms are due by 4:30 p.m. March 27 at to the
Extension Office.
Members exhibiting horses at the fair will
need to meet the following deadlines: Horse
I.D. with current picture and “Permission to
Participate” forms as well as lease agreements
are due May 1 to the Extension Office. First-
year horse exhibitors are required to complete
the safety videos. They are available to bor-
row from the Extension Office.
Skill-A-Thon is set from 4-7 p.m. May 28
in the Extension Hall. Livestock exhibitors
will be required to know the parts, breeds,
and medication label identification as well as
bring their completed 2014 record book to
Skill-A-Thon. Anyone unavailable to attend
Skill-A-Thon may attend Pre-Skill-A-Thon
at 6 p.m. May 15 in the Extension Hall.
RSVP must be made by May 9.
Mark your calendars for the 2014
Paulding County Fair in Paulding! Come out
and show your support for our youths in
Paulding County.
Junior fair exhibitors must meet several requirements before they can show their animals
at the fair. Here, youths exhibit their goats at the 2013 Paulding County Fair.
Livestock exhibitors are getting ready for the fair
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4 - March 19, 2014 - Paulding County Progress, Salute to Agriculture
To continue or not continue ownership
of the family farm to next generation
By JIM LANGHAM
Feature Writer
PAULDING – David Marrison, Associate
Professor and Extension Educator for
Ashtabula and Trumbull counties, told those
attending 2014 Paulding County Agronomy
Day that whether a family is ready or not
desiring to continue the family farm business
is a valid question being asked by many these
days.
Marrison said that recent figures indicate
that while 78 percent intend to pass the busi-
ness on to children, only 34 percent create a
successful family plan. The educator stated
that 30 percent of first generation businesses
survive for the second generation, 15 percent
survive to the third generation and 1 percent
keep going into the fourth generation.
Marrison challenged those attending to
consider nine questions when thinking
through the issue of continuing on the family
farm. They include:
• What do we desire to happen to our busi-
ness?
• Is there a “future” for the business?
• How do we develop the next generation
of managers?
• How can each generation communicate
their needs, desires and aspirations?
• Are plans being made for retirement?
• What are our plans for the unexpected?
• How can I treat my heirs
fairly?
• What is the best way to
transfer my farm and person-
al assets?
• How do I get my finan-
cial affairs in order?
Marrison said one major
consideration is whether the
family is going to pass the
business on as a functioning
business or a group of assets.
“If you are just passing it
on as assets, the permanent
federal estate tax limit in
2014 is $5,340 and it
includes an inflation index
and portability,” said Marrison. “The Ohio
Estate Tax has been eliminated but I suggest
to pull together a good balance sheet each
year and know the value of your assets.
“Is the business profitable enough to ensure
a future for the family,” noted Marrison. “Is
the business large and profitable enough to
support multiple families? How does our
business compare against the competition?”
Some of the most important considerations
of turning over control of the
farm, said Marrison, is to start
early to learn each potential
successor’s capacity. The suc-
cessor can be an in-law,
grandchild or neighbor.
“Ask yourself, ‘Can I live
with their decision,’” noted
Marrison. “Give control over
different sectors of the busi-
ness so the next generation
can master each other inde-
pendently. Rome wasn’t built
in a day; your successor’s
transition into control should
be gradual.”
Marrison stressed that fam-
ily members need to practice communication
skills and use them effectively in family busi-
ness meetings where they work out an agree-
ment to allow for consistent and productive
meetings.
Areas of consideration should be when
owners wish to retire, how much money will
be needed for retirement, how the family
business can help for retirement and what
additional retirement sources are available to
family members.
Marrison said that in planning to transfer
assets, it is important to understand the dif-
ference between tangible assets (breeding
livestock, crop inventories, machinery and
equipment, land and buildings) and intan-
gible assets (business knowledge, good-
will, insurance, unwritten agreements,
obligating, and managerial control).
“Ideals for transferring assets include
using a business structure to protect the
next generation, possibly using pre-nup-
tials to protect assets, gifting as an option
to move assets and consideration the chil-
dren’s input into the matter,” said
Marrison.
“Develop a document which lists infor-
mation for your heirs,” Marrison said.
“Such information includes personal infor-
mation, relatives, personal advisors, loca-
tion of valuable papers, listing of financial,
insurance and properties, list of money
owed and funeral arrangements.”
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Salute to Agriculture - Paulding County Progress - March 19, 2014 - 5
New 2014 crop insurance
guidelines for cover crops
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The USDA’s Risk
Management Agency (RMA) has
announced updated guidance providing pro-
ducers more flexibility when insuring a crop
that follows a cover crop in Illinois, Indiana,
Michigan and Ohio.
RMA changed federal crop insurance provi-
sions concerning cover crops as a result of
increasing interest in this conservation prac-
tice.
According to Brian Frieden, director of the
Risk Management Agency’s Springfield
Regional Office, the changes are a result of
a coordinated effort with the Natural
Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
and the Farm Service Agency (FSA) to
develop a consistent, simple and flexible
policy across the three agencies.
“For farmers wanting to insure their spring
crop following a cover crop in Illinois,
Indiana, Michigan and Ohio the cover crop
must have been planted within the last 12
months and terminated at, or within five
days after planting, but before crop emer-
gence,” noted Frieden. “Cover crops may
also be hayed, grazed or used for silage as
long as the planned amount of biomass is
available at the time termination.”
Producers using cover crops are encouraged
to discuss these changes with their crop
insurance agent when making decisions for
the upcoming crop year.
A cover crop is a crop generally recognized
by agricultural experts as agronomically
sound for the area for erosion control or
other purposes related to conservation or
soil improvement. For the 2014 crop year,
crops planted following a cover crop are
insurable as long as the cover crop is man-
aged and terminated according to the
Natural Resources Conservation Services’
Cover Crop Termination Guidelines and
Cover Crop Termination Zones Map.
Crop insurance is sold and delivered solely
through private crop insurance agents.
Contact a local crop insurance agent for
more information about the program. A list
of crop insurance agents is available at all
USDA Service Centers or on the RMA web-
site at: www.rma.usda.gov/tools/agents/.
Poling elected to OFBF board
COLUMBUS – Michael “Mike” Poling
of Delphos has been elected to the board of
trustees for the Ohio Farm Bureau
Federation (OFBF). He will represent Farm
Bureau members in Allen, Paulding,
Putnam and Van Wert counties. Poling will
help govern the state’s largest and most
influential farm organization.
He fills the board seat formerly held by
Mike Schumm of Willshire, who retired
after 12 years of service to Farm Bureau
members.
Poling and his wife, Bernie, farm along
with his father, Larry. They raise corn, soy-
beans and hay and have a cow-calf opera-
tion. Poling is also the owner of an ag con-
sulting business and is a district sales man-
ager for Stine Seed.
Poling is a graduate of Owens Technical
School. He is a 34-year member of the Van
Wert County Farm Bureau and has served
as its president and on various committees
including membership and public policy.
Poling is a Van Wert County fair board
director, member of the NFIB and attends
Jennings Road Church of Christ. The
Polings are parents of a daughter.
Poling’s election took place during the
95th annual meeting of Ohio Farm Bureau
held in December in Columbus. OFBF’s
mission is to forge a partnership between
farmers and consumers.
MIKE POLING
6 - March 19, 2014 - Paulding County Progress, Salute to Agriculture
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Salute to Agriculture - Paulding County Progress - March 19, 2014 - 7
attend a program or contact the Extension
Office at 419-399-8225 to attend the pro-
gram in another county.
All exhibitors must complete QA by
June 1 to exhibit at the fair.
This year’s program focuses are on use of
an appropriate veterinarian/client/patient
relationship (VCPR) as the basis for med-
ication decision-making, using antibiotics
responsibly and establishing effective ani-
mal identification, medication records and
withdrawal times.
Guest speakers for the Quality
Assurance Program will include Linda
Harmon, fair veterinarian, and Kevin
Stuckey from Cooper Farms.
This program will feature 2014 fair book
updates and new information for livestock
exhibitors to ensure quality care for their
animals.
Staci Hiler/OSU Extension
Lonnie Miller, Paulding County Senior Fair Board Livestock Committee chairman, teaches
local youths about proper animal care.
Livestock production through Quality Assurance
Staci Hiler, 4-H program assistant
Paulding County OSU Extension
Paulding County livestock exhibitors are
beginning to prepare for the 2014 fair sea-
son with Paulding County being the first
fair in Ohio. This week, all livestock
exhibitors will be completing the Quality
Assurance (QA) Training Program
required for all livestock exhibitors in the
State of Ohio.
Paulding County’s Quality Assurance
dates is March 22 from 9-11 a.m. in the
OSU Extension Building. The first of two
QA sessions was held March 18. The
exhibitor and a parent/guardian must
8 - March 19, 2014 - Paulding County Progress, Salute to Agriculture
101 East Perry St.
Paulding, OH 45879
419-399-8296
Dedicated to receiving, growing and distributing
gifts for the benefit of the people
of Paulding County.
Paulding County Area Foundation and Marshall Memorial
Supporting Foundation Salute our American Farmer
for providing safe and abundant food.
Marshall Memorial Supporting Foundation
Assisting and
Promoting
Young Farmers in
Paulding County
By Catharine Daniels, Attorney
OSU Extension Agricultural and
Resource Law Program
Attorneys across Ohio recently came
together for the 2013 Ohio Agricultural
Law Symposium to learn about current
legal issues for Ohio farmers and agribusi-
nesses. In a session about protecting the
farm and agribusiness, Cari Rincker, a
food and agricultural law attorney in New
York City, discussed why farm and
agribusinesses might consider using a
Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) to
safeguard confidential business informa-
tion.
An NDA is not typically a tool that a
farm or agribusiness would think of using
in a business transaction. According to
Rincker, however, NDAs are underutilized
in the food and agriculture industry. Many
farms and agribusinesses develop their
own ideas, concepts, know-how, trade
secrets, intellectual property, business
plans or financial information. Preventing
other parties from disclosing these types of
information can be important to the long-
term health and viability of the farm or
agribusiness.
Rincker highlighted two common situa-
tions for using an NDA. One is when a
farm or agribusiness is entering into busi-
ness discussions with another party; confi-
dential information could be disclosed dur-
ing the course of these discussions. For
example, if a farmer approached a website
developer about his or her proposed online
agribusiness, that farmer may wish to have
an NDA with the website developer to
keep the business plan confidential.
The second situation concerns employ-
ees or independent contractors. An NDA
binds employees and contractors to confi-
dentiality about private information they
acquire from working for the business. An
agribusiness may want a bookkeeper to
maintain confidentiality about business
finances, for example.
What’s in a Non-Disclosure Agreement?
According to Rincker, an NDA should
address at least these questions:
1. Who will be exchanging confidential
information?
2. What is the purpose of the exchange
of confidential information?
3. What type of information will be con-
sidered “confidential” for purposes of pro-
tection under the NDA?
4. How can the confidential information
be used and who can use it?
5. How will the secrecy of the confiden-
tial information be maintained?
6. How long will the confidentiality of
the information be maintained?
7. What are the consequences of a
breach or misuse of the confidential infor-
mation?
Maintenance of confidential information
should not be taken lightly, states Rincker.
If your farm or agribusiness could be
harmed by the disclosure of private infor-
mation, talk with your attorney about an
NDA.
For more information on NDAs, visit
the Rincker Law website and blog at
http://rinckerlaw.com/blog/.
Should your agricultural business
consider a non-disclosure agreement?
Salute to Agriculture - Paulding County Progress - March 19, 2014 - 9
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USDA to expand support for small- and mid-sized farmers, ranchers
SANTA FE, N.M. – In remarks earlier
this month at the National Farmers Union
National Convention, Agriculture Secretary
Tom Vilsack announced new and expanded
efforts to connect small- and mid-sized
farmers and ranchers with USDA resources
that can help them build stronger business-
es, expand to reach new and larger markets,
and grow their operations.
“The recent Census of Agriculture shows
that there is tremendous growth potential
for small and mid-sized producers in the
American agricultural landscape,” said
Vilsack. “USDA is taking a hard look at our
existing resources to ensure that they work
for producers of all sizes. We’ve adjusted
policies, strengthened programs and inten-
sified outreach to meet the needs of small
and mid-sized producers. These producers
are critical to our country’s agricultural and
economic future.”
Efforts include improved access to
USDA resources, revised risk management
tools that better fit the needs of smaller pro-
ducers, additional support for hoop houses,
and expanded collection of valuable market
news information.
USDA is also introducing a series of edu-
cation tools focusing on opportunities for
farmers engaged in local and regional food
systems. In addition, USDA field staff will
be boosting their outreach efforts to small
and mid-sized farmers and ranchers.
More information about tools and
resources available to small and mid-sized
farmers will be rolled out in the coming
months, including information about access
to capital, risk management, food safety,
and locating market opportunities on
USDA’s Small and Mid-Sized Farmer
Resources webpage.
The new efforts announced by Vilsack
include:
ACCESS TO CAPITAL
• Changes to the Farm Storage and Facility
Loan (FSFL) Program to help small and
midsize fruit and vegetable producers access
the program for cold storage and related
equipment like wash and pack stations.
Diversified and smaller fruit and vegetable
producers, including Community Supported
Agriculture programs, are now eligible for a
waiver from the requirement that they carry
crop insurance or NAP coverage when they
apply for a FSFL loan. FSFL can also be
used to finance hay barns and grain bins.
• Funding for producers under the popu-
lar microloan program. USDA launched the
microloan program to allow beginning,
small and mid-sized farmers to access up to
$35,000 in loans using a simplified applica-
tion process. Since their debut in 2013,
USDA has issued more than 4,900
microloans totaling $97 million.
• Funding for hoop houses to extend the
growing season. Hoop houses provide rev-
enue opportunities while also promoting
conservation for small and mid-sized farm-
ers. The hoop house cost share program
began as a pilot in 2010. Since then, more
than 10,000 hoop houses have been con-
tracted. USDA will soon announce an addi-
tional $15 million for hoop house develop-
ment in persistent poverty counties in 19
states as part of USDA’s StrikeForce for
Rural Growth and Opportunity Initiative.
RISK MANAGEMENT
• Developing tools to help small and mid-
size farmers and ranchers make sound
financial decisions as they plan for their
future. USDA is developing a whole farm
insurance policy that will better meet the
needs of highly diversified producers, par-
ticularly small and midsize fruit and veg-
etable growers. Using new tools provided
by the Farm Bill, USDA is working to
reduce crop insurance costs for beginning
farmers and ranchers. And organic produc-
ers will benefit from the elimination of a
previously required 5 percent surcharge on
crop insurance premiums.
LOCATING MARKET
OPPORTUNITIES
• USDA’s Farm to School Program has
put seven new Farm to School
Coordinators on the ground in regional
offices to help build direct relationships
between small and mid-sized producers
and school districts. One priority area for
Farm to School is creating more opportu-
nities for small and mid-sized livestock
and poultry producers. Since 2013, USDA
has invested nearly $10 million in Farm to
School grants that support schools as they
purchase from local and regional sources.
In the 2011-12 school year alone, schools
spent nearly $355 million on local and
regional food purchases.
• Expanded price, volume, supply and
demand information through Market
News. Market News is now collecting
price data on grass-fed beef to arm produc-
ers will real pricing information from the
sector. Market News will also soon begin
collecting data about local food prices and
volume, valuable to small and mid-sized
producers engaged in that marketplace.
Market News provides real time price, vol-
ume, supply, and demand information for
producers to use in making production and
marketing decisions. Access to timely,
unbiased market information levels the
playing field for all producers participating
in the marketplace.
See USDA, page 15
10 - March 19, 2014 - Paulding County Progress, Salute to Agriculture
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COLUMBUS – With many grain bins statewide
full of stored grain this time of year, safety experts
with Ohio State University’s College of Food,
Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences are
reminding farmers to be aware of safety precautions
to prevent grain engulfments and to have an overall
awareness and understanding of grain bin safety.
The issue is significant considering that every
year, an average of 26 Ohio farm workers lose their
lives to production agriculture, said Dee Jepsen,
state safety leader for Ohio State University
Extension. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of
the college.
“Flowing grain and grain storage is one of the
contributing factors,” she said. “In the past 10 years,
we’ve had three deaths to Ohio farmers caused by
engulfments in grain bins.
“We’ve had five deaths due to entanglement with
equipment including grain bins, silos and silo
unloaders. And we’ve had four deaths due to farm-
ers being struck by equipment or falling from large
heights.”
The ultimate goal, Jepsen said, is to work to pre-
vent farm deaths and injuries, and one way to do
that is through education and awareness of grain bin
safety. To that end, members of the college’s agri-
culture safety team promoted Grain Bin Safety
Week to raise awareness to help protect farm fami-
lies and farm workers from farm-related injuries
and deaths.
More information on agriculture safety and
Grain Bin Safety Week can be found at
http://agsafety.osu.edu.
The college has also recently hired Dave Torsell,
program manager for agriculture rescue, who will
work with OSU Extension’s grain bin rescue out-
reach education and awareness program. That
includes a focus on the Grain Community
Agricultural Rescue Trailer (CART) – Ohio’s first
grain rescue simulator, which was designed by
CFAES students and is used to train first respon-
ders, grain industry employees and farm families
about the hazards of flowing grain.
Mounted on a 40-foot flatbed trailer, it includes a
grain bin, grain leg, gravity wagon and other train-
ing essentials.
The Grain CART, which is now being used
statewide by the Ohio Fire Academy to train first
responders, is also being used in rural communities
to raise awareness of grain bin engulfment hazards,
Jepsen said.
Grain bin rescues can be classified as confined-
space rescues, requiring technical training in vari-
ous capacities. Rescue personnel have requested
specific training in these unconventional rescue sit-
uations, where they have limited experience and
limited knowledge of the agricultural conditions
that exist, she said.
“It is important to understand how fast grain can
consume you and how quickly you can become
helpless,” Jepsen said. “The main message is pre-
vention: Never enter a grain bin alone, shut off the
auger before entering the bin, and always wear a fall
protection harness.”
In addition, farmers need to be aware that in
Ohio, most farm fatalities are caused by tractors,
she said. In fact, there were 95 fatalities due to trac-
tors in Ohio in the past 10 years.
“Every farmer has at least one tractor,” Jepsen
said. “Tractors are often working around grain bin
operations, so we don’t want to forget about the
tractor as one of the most dangerous factors on Ohio
farms.”
Preventing grain bin engulfments
The Grain C.A.R.T. (Comprehensive Agricultural Rescue Trailer), Ohio’s
first grain rescue simulator, was built by OSU students, dedicated to the
Ohio Fire Academy for the continued education and prevention of agricul-
tural fatalities.
See GRAIN BIN, page 16
Salute to Agriculture - Paulding County Progress - March 19, 2014 - 11
we can all use it as a snapshot in time to see
how Ohio agriculture is changing over time
and how we compare to the rest of the
country.”
The Census of Agriculture is a complete
count, taken every five years by the
USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics
Service, of America’s farms and ranches
and the people who operate them.
More information on the Census of
Agriculture including a copy of the prelim-
inary results can be viewed at www.agcen-
sus.usda.gov. A final
version of the report is
scheduled to be
released in May.
12 - March 19, 2014 - Paulding County Progress, Salute to Agriculture
Census data shows continued growth in Ohio ag industry
REYNOLDSBURG, – Ohio’s thriving
agriculture industry is seeing continued
growth, based on preliminary results of the
2012 Census of Agriculture released
recently by the United States Department
of Agriculture (USDA). In several cases,
Ohio’s growth significantly outpaced the
nation, highlighting the strength of the
state’s agricultural producers.
“The preliminary data shows what we
have known for years: Ohio’s $105 billion
food and agriculture industry is built upon
a strong and thriving agricultural produc-
tion base. Our farmers are the backbone of
our state’s economic growth and this data
shows us they are working harder than ever
to provide our state with a safe, wholesome
and abundant food supply,” said Ohio agri-
culture director David T. Daniels.
Among the most notable results in the
preliminary data is the increase in the mar-
ket value of crops and livestock sold since
the census was last completed in 2007.
While market value numbers increased
32.78 percent nationally, the value of Ohio
crops and livestock increased 42.28 per-
cent. This is primarily due to a sharp
increase in crop values, which increased in
Ohio by 60.54 percent but only 47.85 per-
cent nationally.
Ohio is ranked 13th nationally with a
total value of crop and livestock sales just
over $10 billion in 2012.
While the number of farms has decreased
both in Ohio and in the nation, Ohio has
lost only 0.5 percent of its farms when the
number of farms nationally has decreased
by 4.3 percent; Ohio now ranks seventh for
the number of farms in the nation with
75,462.
Furthermore, in a time when farm acres
are disappearing, with the nation losing
about 7.5 million acres of farmland since
the 2007 census, the numbers of acres in
agricultural production in Ohio have
remained steady and actually increased
slightly. The state now has 13.96 million
acres of farmland.
“One of the most important takeaways to
remember about the Census of Agriculture
is that the information is used for decision-
making by producers as well as all those
who serve farmers and rural communities –
federal, state and local governments,
agribusinesses, trade associations and
many others,” said USDA state statistician
Cheryl Turner.
“When we look at the data for our state,
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New online tool helps well owners understand water test results
COLUMBUS – Private well own-
ers are encouraged to have their well water
tested regularly, but when they do, they’re
often stumped when trying to decipher the
lab results.
And with more Ohio well water being
analyzed under a mandate that shale energy
companies provide such tests for any wells
within 1,500 feet of proposed horizontal
drilling sites, more Ohioans have been left
scratching their heads when trying to inter-
pret the findings.
That’s why Ohio State University
Extension has teamed up with the Ohio
Department of Health and the Ohio
Environmental Protection Agency to pro-
vide a free online Well Water Interpretation
Tool.
The tool is available through OSU
Extension’s Ohio Watershed Network at
http://ohiowatersheds.osu.edu. Click on
“Know Your Well Water.”
“A lot of people were contacting the
health department and the Ohio EPA
because they had questions about their lab
results,” said Anne Baird, program director
with OSU Extension in Ohio State
University’s School of Environment and
Natural Resources. Both OSU Extension
and the school are part of the College of
Food, Agricultural, and Environmental
Sciences.
“The information that could help people
was available, but it was scattered around
on different websites,” Baird said. “So they
(Ohio EPA and the Ohio Department of
Health) approached us (OSU Extension) to
see if we could help consolidate every-
thing.”
The result is a website that helps people
actually test their well water if they haven’t
done so recently, understand the results, and
protect their well water and groundwater
resources for the future, Baird said.
The site provides:
• Links to a list of labs certified to conduct
well water testing.
• Recommendations on what to test for.
• Guidance on whom to contact with
questions regarding well water.
• A tool to type in lab results to get an
assessment of the results and recommenda-
tions about whether the well owner should
take remedial action.
• Guidance on well maintenance and
groundwater protection.
The site also has information for media
and educators, as well as other resources
helpful for well owners, Baird said.
Rebecca Fugitt, program manager for the
Residential Water and Sewage Program at
the Ohio Department of Health, said the
state agency, as well as local health depart-
ments, often get questions about interpret-
ing well water lab results.
“They’ll get the results but don’t know
how to read the report and don’t understand
what the results mean,” Fugitt said. “Lab
results are complicated, and people need
some help navigating through them.”
About 705,000 Ohio households rely on
private wells for their water, said Cliff
Treyens, director of public awareness for
the National Ground Water Association.
“If you’re the owner of a private well,
you are the manager of your well system,”
he said. “It’s up to you to test and treat the
water, if necessary.
Ohio State University Extension has
teamed up with the Ohio Department of
Health and the Ohio Environmental
Protection Agency to provide a free online
well water interpretation tool.
See WELL OWNERS, page 16
14 - March 19, 2014 - Paulding County Progress, Salute to Agriculture
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of these methods is where we’re at today,”
he added.
High-speed Internet is used by 71% of
those surveyed, with 28% relying on a
satellite connection and fewer than 2%
turning to dialup.
New this year, the young farmers and
ranchers were asked about their rural entre-
preneurship efforts, with 40% reporting
they had started a new business in the last
three years or plan to start one in the near
future.
The survey also shows that America’s
young farmers and ranchers are committed
environmental caretakers, with 55% using
conservation tillage to protect soil and
reduce erosion on their farms.
Young farmers challenged by access to land, red tape
Farm Bureau’s annual survey reveals key insights about the next generation of farmers and ranchers
What concerns keep young farmers up at
night? According to the American Farm
Bureau’s latest survey of participants in the
Young Farmers and Ranchers program,
there isn’t just one issue.
When asked about their top challenge,
22% of respondents said securing adequate
land to grow crops and raise livestock, fol-
lowed by economic challenges, particularly
profitability, which was identified by 15%
of the respondents.
Other issues ranked as top concerns by
young farmers and ranchers included gov-
ernment regulations and red tape, 12%;
availability of farm labor and related regu-
lations, 9%; water availability and urban-
ization of farm land, 7% each; and health
care availability and cost, 6%.
The informal survey of young farmers
and ranchers, ages 18-35, was conducted at
AFBF’s 2014 YF&R Leadership
Conference in Virginia Beach, Va., in
February.
Optimism grows
The survey, now in its 22nd year, also
revealed that 91% of those surveyed are
more optimistic about farming and ranch-
ing than they were five years ago. Last
year, 90% of those surveyed said they were
more optimistic about farming compared to
five years ago.
In addition, 93% of the nation’s young
farmers and ranchers say they are better off
than they were five years ago. Last year,
83% reported being better off.
More than 91% considered themselves
lifetime farmers, while 88% would like to
see their children follow in their footsteps.
The informal survey reveals that 87%
believe their children will be able to follow
in their footsteps.
Technology adopters
Nearly 70% of respondents consider
communicating with consumers a formal
part of their jobs, many using social media.
Of those surveyed, 74% use Facebook,
while 22% use Twitter. Fewer respondents
use a farm blog/webpage or Youtube, at
16% and 13%.
“Use of technology and all the tools at
our fingertips to not only improve produc-
tion practices on the farm but also to inter-
act with consumers – our customers –
among young farmers continues to grow,”
Carter said. “Use of social media platforms,
personal outreach through farm tours, agri-
tourism, farmers’ markets or a combination
Salute to Agriculture - Paulding County Progress - March 19, 2014 - 15
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Dairy panel examines future of industry at convention
WISCONSIN DELLS, Wis. – At
National Farmers Convention 2014 in
Wisconsin Dells, Wis., in January, a panel
of dairy marketing and ag media profes-
sionals gave their viewpoints about the
future of America’s dairy industry.
Brad Rach, director of dairy marketing
for National Farmers, opened the panel by
underscoring the changing makeup of the
dairy industry. He noted more processors
are becoming privately owned, as well as
foreign-owned.
“What a difference one year can make,”
he said. America’s top four processors
today have no dairy cooperatives on the
list, and the number one processor is for-
eign-owned.”
Mychal Wilmes, managing editor of
AgriNews in Minnesota, talked about the
changing role of cooperatives.
“Cooperatives are facing a serious chal-
lenge,” said Wilmes. They are losing mar-
ket share. How can they remain viable in
an international marketplace?” he asked.
“How do we keep the wealth generated by
agriculture in our own communities?”
Wilmes said there is an age crisis loom-
ing on the horizon, and that co-ops could
have a role in assisting young farmers get
into the business as their older counter-
parts exit. Additionally, he believes co-ops
need to find new ways to connect with
consumers. “They are our best allies,”
Wilmes said.
Dr. Richard Levins, an economist and
panel member, focused on the dairy pro-
cessing industry. “The last couple of years
were tough on dairy farmers,” he said. But
during those times, could processors have
afforded to pay producers a little more? I
believe they could have.”
Levins reiterated that producers have the
milk, and that buyers do not. “Pooling the
milk, and demanding a higher price is a
good strategy,” he said. Today, he says, it’s
a volume game in the industry.
“Everybody else is playing it…They
can’t afford to dry up plants anymore than
you can afford to dry up a dairy farm,”
Levins said. “But they are up against some
pretty tough competition, too.”
He posed the question: Is a processor
going to ask Walmart to pay them more, or
is that processor going to ask you as a pro-
ducer to be paid less?
He said National Farmers marketing
strategy makes the most sense to him as an
economist. They are about asking (big
buyers) if they can afford to pay more in a
little more forceful way.
Jim Massey, editor of the The Country
Today in Wisconsin, shared his thoughts
about the future of economic activity in
rural communities. He said in Wisconsin,
for example, between 97 and 99 percent of
dairy farm operations are family run. He
said large dairy farms are still owned by
independent families.
He noted that from a historical perspec-
tive, 20 years ago, not many farmers were
encouraging their kids to go into the agri-
cultural production industry. But now,
many believe the future is brighter and are
helping young people transition to owner-
ship.
Massey suggested there still will be
more opportunities for diverse agriculture
and smaller operations, if they can work
together with local plants and develop a
specialty product that consumers want.
16 - March 19, 2014 - Paulding County Progress, Salute to Agriculture
Agriculture secretary offers views
on Census of Agriculture results
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Agriculture
Secretary Tom Vilsack made the follow-
ing statement on the 2012 Census of
Agriculture preliminary results:
“The preliminary data released today
provide a snapshot of a strong rural
America that has remained stable during
difficult economic times.
“We have slowed significantly the
loss of farmland, which has totaled 72
million acres since 1982. New tools pro-
vided in the 2014 Farm Bill will help to
further slow and reverse this trend.
“The data confirm that farm income is
at a record high. However, the pro-
longed drought and lack of disaster
assistance have made it more difficult
for livestock producers and mid-
sized farms to survive. The 2014 Farm
Bill guarantees disaster assistance and
provides additional stability for farmers
and ranchers.
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Aquaculture companies featured for March Ohio business profiles
COLUMBUS – Ohio Secretary
of State Jon Husted announced that
as part of an ongoing effort to rec-
ognize the impact of Ohio busi-
nesses, March’s Ohio Business
Profile will highlight businesses
across our state that fall under the
aquaculture theme.
“Agriculture is one of the state’s
largest and most diverse indus-
tries,” Husted said. “A growing part
of that landscape, aquaculture, pro-
vides job opportunities for hard
working Ohioans and helps to fur-
ther strengthen our economy.”
Aquaculture, which includes fish
farming, is one of the fastest grow-
ing segments within the agricultur-
al sector, according to the Ohio
Department of Agriculture. The
products are used for food, stock-
ing and environmental remediation,
and fill a growing demand for safe,
sustainable, and locally produced
food.
The Ohio State University
College of Food, Agriculture and
Environmental Sciences reported
that in 2010, 173 farms in Ohio had
aquaculture permits, with the
majority planning to maintain or
expand their production over the
next five years. More on this grow-
ing industry can be found by visit-
ing the Ohio Aquaculture
Association at www.ohioaquacul-
ture.org.
Companies profiled this month
include:
• Jones Fish Hatcheries and
Distributors Inc. of Newtown –
Started in 1989 stocking farm
ponds throughout Ohio, they have
had customers such as the
Cincinnati Zoo, Central Park in
New York City and the White River
in Indiana.
• Freshwater Farms of Ohio Inc.
in Urbana – Owned and operated
by three generations of the Smith
family, they are the state’s largest
indoor fish hatchery, raising up to
100,000 pounds of fish per year.
• Calala’s Water Haven Inc. of
New London – A family-owned
farm with over 50 years of experi-
ence, they have 60 ponds covering
90 acres in northeast Ohio.
• RainFresh Harvests of Union –
Since 2004 they have grown
wholesome foods in an ecological-
ly sustainable system, blending
nature with technology.
• Ripple Rock Fish Farms LLC
of Frazeyburg – In 2011 their com-
pany began with just two 55 gallon
drums filled with 12 goldfish. They
have since grown into a 3,000 gal-
lon system that has produced more
than 2,500 pounds of tilapia.
Launched in June 2011, Ohio
Business Profile has helped raise
awareness about companies regis-
tered and doing business in Ohio
that are creating interesting prod-
ucts, offering outstanding service,
contributing to their local commu-
nities and employing Ohioans in
the process. Each month, a handful
of diverse businesses linked togeth-
er by a common theme are featured
on the Secretary of State’s website
at OhioBusinessProfile.com, where
Ohioans are encouraged to go to
submit companies they feel are
deserving of recognition in future
months.
“A bright spot in the data is the
slight increase in young farmers and
the stable number of small farms and
large-scale farms. This reflects our
work to grow both local and regional
food systems and exports, but we
must do more for mid-sized opera-
tions. The 2014 Farm Bill will expand
support for beginning farmers and
new market opportunities for all pro-
ducers.
“Finally, the data illustrate the
strength of diversity in crop produc-
tion, markets, people and land use
across the agricultural sector. While
the aging nature of the farming popu-
lation is a concern, we are hopeful
that as we attract and retain the next
generation of talent into rural
America, this trend can also be
reversed.”
Salute to Agriculture - Paulding County Progress - March 19, 2014 - 17
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Cooper’s Lefevre Farms wins poultry environmental stewardship award
FORT RECOVERY – The U.S. Poultry
& Egg Association recognized Cooper
Farms’ contract turkey growers, Tom and
Lisa Lefevre, with the Family Farm
Environmental Excellence Award, North
Central Region. The award, which recog-
nizes exemplary environmental steward-
ship by family farmers engaged in poultry
and egg production, was presented in
January at the International Poultry Expo, a
part of the 2014 International Production
and Processing Expo in Atlanta.
“Tom and Lisa are absolutely perfect
examples of what being a turkey grower is
all about,” said Bill Staugler, Cooper Farms
turkey growout manager. “Anyone who
knows the Lefevres, has seen that Tom has
constant dedication doing things the right
way for the animals, as well as the land,
water and community.”
The Lefevre family started growing tom
turkeys for Cooper Farms well over a
decade ago, after raising turkeys on their
own for many years prior. Lefevres are one
of Cooper Farms’ largest growers, with a
total of 12 barns in three different loca-
tions, which house the turkeys from five
weeks of age to their market age of just
under 21 weeks.
“The Lefevres epitomize the reality of
the modern family farm,” said Terry
Wehrkamp, Cooper Farms director of live
production. “They are up early and to bed
late, working hard on their livestock and
poultry operations and other sideline ven-
tures. They are truly resourceful, efficient,
care deeply about the environment, their
animals and their place within the commu-
nity. But, family comes first for the
Lefevres and having fun, while they are
doing what they love, comes naturally.”
The Lefevres go above and beyond in all
that they do, and environmental steward-
ship is no exception. Projects such as the
creation of a comprehensive nutrient man-
agement plan through the USDA’s
Department of Natural Resources
Conservation Service, proper manure
application with routine manure and soil
sampling, construction of retention ponds
which capture runoff water and irrigate
water in the summer month and installation
of specialized waterways and filter strips to
reduce soil erosion and much more.
In September 2013, the Lefevres were
recognized at a 2013 Environmental
Stewardship Award winner at the Ohio
Livestock Coalition Annual Meeting, simi-
larly recognizing their many accomplish-
ments as a family farm which protects
Ohio’s land, air and water quality.
“We are very proud to see the hard work
of one of our excellent growers acknowl-
edged on this national level,” said
Wehrkamp. “We have always known that
we have partnered with some amazing farm
families to raise our animals to market, and
the Lefevres are a shining example of that.
Their dedication to being great farmers is
exemplified by
this award and
it is truly a
deserved
honor.”
18 - March 19, 2014 - Paulding County Progress, Salute to Agriculture
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Ag technology is featured at
National Farmers Convention
WISCONSIN DELLS, Wis. – At the
National Farmers Convention 2014 in
Wisconsin Dells, Wis., agriculture tech-
nology came on the scene in three major
ways.
Cattle marketers from Nexus
Marketing introduced a new smartphone
app featuring a reverse break-even pro-
duction cost calculator that easily helps
producers identify what they can pay for
feeders. The smartphone and tablet appli-
cation also features fed cattle cost of gain
and compound interest calculators, as
well as futures prices and weather.
The role of cloud and mobile comput-
ing in agriculture was featured in the
opening session of the organization’s
annual ag business meeting. Presenters
from Farmeron spoke about how cloud
computing will become the new alterna-
tive to personal computers and on-prem-
ise software for farmers.
Dave Saunders, Farmeron vice
president for business development,
talked about the changing role of
technology on ag operations.
He said farmer cloud computing
will become the norm for producers,
because of the benefits of continual
software updates, automatic backups
of files, data sharing and analytics.
“Smartphones and tablets have
overtaken laptops and desktops in
popularity, therefore applications are
supplanting PC software as the go-to
solution for producers,” said
Saunders.
Ag apps are growing fast and that
means massive implications for work-
flow and processes, Saunders said.
Sharing data derived from herd
management software, soil sensors
and other sensing devices can deliver
real-time information directly to pro-
ducers’ smartphones and tablets. And
that right in the field and barn, right
now approach will become the norm
in the industry.
BouMatic’s Kelsey Fink focused
on overall industry trends toward
automation and robotics in dairy-
ing. She outlined issues today’s
dairy producers face, including
animal management, markets and
labor management, along with
social media and consumer
issues.
Salute to Agriculture - Paulding County Progress - March 19, 2014 - 19
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• Broadened the National Farmers Market
Directory to include CSAs, on-farm stores
and food hubs. This information will help
small and mid-sized producers find new mar-
ket opportunities. USDA will begin collecting
data to update the directory for the 2014 sea-
son this spring.
FOOD SAFETY
• Launched pilot projects in five states to
help small and mid-sized farmers achieve
Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) certifica-
tion. GAP certification indicates farmers have
met food safety standards required by many
retail buyers. Under these pilot programs,
small and mid-sized producers will be able to
share the costs and fees associated with the
certification process as a group. Group GAP
efforts are being developed in partnership
with small and mid-sized producer groups in
Michigan, Wisconsin, Montana, Pennsylvania
and Missouri.
EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES AND
OUTREACH
• Created a Learning Guide Series for small
and mid-sized producers to help them navi-
gate available USDA resources, available on
the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food
website. The first in this series will be for
n USDA
Continued from Page 9
small and mid-sized livestock and poultry
producers. Additional Learning Guides will
be released later this year. USDA field staff
and StrikeForce teams will increase outreach
to small and mid-sized producers using the
Learning Guides.
• Launched Small Scale Solutions for Your
Farm, a series of educational resources
designed for both small livestock and fruit and
vegetable producers. This includes tips on
simple management activities such as planting
cover crops to complex structural practices
such as animal waste management systems or
innovative irrigation devices
2014 FARM BILL
The recently signed 2014 Farm Bill pro-
vides USDA with more direct resources to
support small and mid-sized farmers, includ-
ing:
• Beginning Farmer and Rancher
Development Program (BFRDP), which pro-
vides grants to organizations that train, edu-
cate and provide outreach and technical assis-
tance to new and beginning farmers on pro-
duction, marketing, business management,
legal strategies and other topics critical to run-
ning a successful operation. The 2014 Farm
Bill provides $100 million total to BFRDP
over the next five years.
• Value-Added Producer Grant Program
was modified to allow USDA to better target
small and mid-sized family farms, beginning
and socially disadvantaged farmers, and veter-
ans. The 2014 Farm Bill provides $63 million
over the next five years.
• Farmers Market and Local Food
Promotion Program is expanded to support
both direct-to-consumer opportunities and
other supply chain projects such as food hubs.
The 2014 Farm Bill provides $30 million
annually.
USDA FY2015 BUDGET PROPOSAL
USDA released its FY2015 Budget, which
includes additional resources to help small
and mid-sized farmers and ranchers, includ-
ing:
• $2.5 million to provide food safety train-
ing to owners and operators of small farms,
small food processors, and small fruit and
vegetable vendors affected by Food Safety
Modernization Act.
• $3 million for Small, Socially
Disadvantaged Producers Grants Program to
ensure historically underprivileged rural
Americans have opportunities for cooperative
development.
• $2.5 million for a new Food and
Agriculture Resilience Program for Military
Veterans (FARM-Vets) that promotes
research, education, and extension activity for
veterans.
• $11 million for the Value-Added Producer
Grants Program. The 2014 Farm Bill provides
an additional $63 million in mandatory fund-
ing that is available until expended.
• $2.5 million in funding for the National
Agricultural Statistics Service to conduct a
survey on land ownership and farm financial
characteristics. This supports an
Administration priority that will provide addi-
tional demographic data related to small and
beginning farmers and ranchers.
• $1.2 million for the Office of Advocacy
and Outreach to carry out these responsibili-
ties and the provisions of the 2014 Farm Bill
related to outreach to beginning, small, and
socially disadvantaged farmers, and ranchers,
including veterans, and rural communities.
• $25.7 million for Departmental
Administration to maintain critical support
activities and oversight for the Department,
including management of small and disadvan-
taged business utilization programs.
20 - March 19, 2014 - Paulding County Progress, Salute to Agriculture
SAFETY TIPS
Some safety tips for growers when working with
grain bins and silos include:
• Stay out of the grain bin if possible.
• Never enter a grain bin when the unloading equip-
ment is on, even if the grain isn’t flowing.
• Never enter a grain bin alone. If entry into the bin
is necessary, always have at least one observer outside
the bin, and make sure all augers are turned off. One
person is to enter the bin and the others should remain
outside in case an emergency occurs. Always use a
body harness with a lifeline secured to the outside of
the bin.
• Wear an N-95 respirator when working around the
grain, as it keeps 95 percent of the dust and other pol-
lutants from the grain from entering into the worker’s
lungs.
• Don’t enter a bin that has automatic unloading
equipment without first locking out power to the equip-
ment.
• Be cautious around out-of-condition grain, includ-
ing grain caked to walls. Dangers result from molds,
blocked flow, cavities, crusting and grain avalanches.
• Lock doors, gates and discharge chutes of any grain
storage units.
• Keep kids out of grain wagons, carts and semi beds.
• Block ladders and egress points (for example a lad-
der guard) to limit kids’ access.
n GRAIN BIN
Continued from Page 10
“The bottom line is that the private well owner is
ultimately responsible for the quality of their drink-
ing water, but, surprisingly, many people are not
aware of the basic guidelines for testing their
water.”
Many well owners don’t even think about testing
their well water unless they suspect a problem,
Treyens said.
“But some things that present a health risk have
no odor, taste or appearance,” he said. “A great
example is arsenic, which can occur in groundwater
naturally in some areas.
“You may not notice that arsenic is in the water,
but if you ingest it over a long enough period of
time at a high enough level, the damage may be
done.”
Treyens said the Well Water Interpretation Tool
and the other information offered on the website
will be a real benefit to private well owners.
“This resource will help demystify the whole
process of testing your well water,” he said. “Most
people don’t really know what to test for, how to get
a test or how to interpret the results when they get
them back.
“People can be paralyzed by not knowing what to
do. This website walks you through the process in a
way you can easily understand.”
n WELL OWNERS
Continued from Page 13
Treyens said he hopes word of mouth by people
who use the tool will help others become more
aware of it. He said he’s also pleased that OSU
Extension is such a big part of the project.
“At the National Ground Water Association, we
often partner with Extension across the country
because the organization works with people who are
hard to reach, in this case the rural landowner,” he
said.
The project was funded in part by a research and
development grant from the Ohio Water
Development Authority.

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