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AG News Archives for 2016-01

Winter Livestock Banquets

Hardin County has a rich tradition of active livestock commodity group organizations. There are organizations for each of the major livestock species, and these groups have royalty and scholarship opportunities to recognize the youth of the county. In addition, each livestock organization has directors that plan and lead activities for their membership throughout the year. Besides promoting the youth of the county who have livestock, each group provides programs and activities for the adult producers to help promote their respective species.
One of the most common programs offered to livestock producers during the winter months in Hardin County are the livestock banquets. Most of the banquets have a speaker or entertainment as part of the program, along with a meal and often door prizes sponsored by the generous donations of local agribusinesses and individuals. Most of the livestock banquets have been ongoing events for many years, with the exception of the Horse Banquet, which was new last year.
This year’s Horse Banquet will kick-off the winter banquet season on February 27. The banquet will recognize the equine industry, including the youth and adults who work with horses in the county. It will be held at the Kenton Moose Lodge starting at 6:30 pm.
The Sheep Improvement Association will be holding their annual Lamb Banquet on March 5. This event will be at St. John’s United Church of Christ in Kenton starting at 6:30 pm, and will feature different cuts of lamb on the menu.
Two livestock banquets are being held on March 12. The Dairy Service Unit will be holding their Dairy Banquet at the Plaza Inn Restaurant in Mt. Victory starting at 12:00 noon. This banquet will feature dairy products as part of the menu. The Pork Producers will also hold their annual Pork Banquet on March 12 starting at 6:30 pm. It will be held at St. John’s United Church of Christ in Kenton.
The Cattle Producers will wrap up the livestock banquets by holding their annual Beef Banquet March 26. This event will be held at the Community Building on the fairgrounds, starting at 6:00 pm. Tickets for the horse or livestock commodity banquets can be obtained from each organization’s directors or from the Hardin County Extension office, located at 1021 W Lima Street in Kenton. Get your tickets soon for your family to be able to enjoy these wonderful events that bring together the agricultural community.
For more information about this year’s livestock banquets, contact OSU Extension or visit the Hardin County OSU Extension web site at hardin.osu.edu, the Hardin County OSU Extension Facebook page, or call Mark Badertscher, Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator at 419-674-2297.


Become an OSU Master Gardner

Do you have an interest in gardening, want to improve your skills, and at the same time, enjoy sharing your knowledge with others? The Hardin County OSU Extension Master Gardeners will partner with Allen County OSU Extension Master Gardeners to host a Master Gardener Volunteer training course for new Master Gardener Volunteers this spring. 
The classes will begin March 8 and end April 26, with participation in an all-day Master Gardener Seminar, ‘The Art of Gardening’ on March 19.  The classes will meet at OSU-Lima on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6:00-9:00 pm. There will be an orientation to the Master Gardener Volunteer program that will take place in Hardin County for local residents.  The cost for the course is $150, which includes a Master Gardener Volunteer manual, course handouts, and class refreshments.  The fee also covers expenses to bring in guest speakers who are experts in their fields.  Prospective Master Gardener Volunteers will also need to get fingerprinted for a background check at their own expense.
The Ohio State University Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program provides intensive training in horticulture to interested Ohio residents who then volunteer their time assisting with educational programs and activities for Ohio residents through their local Ohio State University Extension county office.  Volunteers are not required to have gardening skills or knowledge; but a passion for learning about gardening and sharing this knowledge with others is a must!
Working with county Extension personnel and a local Volunteer Coordinator, Master Gardener Volunteers provide such educational services to their communities as: answering gardening questions from the public; conducting plant clinics; gardening activities with children, senior citizens, or disabled persons; beautifying the community; developing community or demonstration gardens; and other horticultural activities.
For more information about the Hardin County OSU Extension Master Gardener Volunteers, visit their Facebook page.  Go to mastergardener.osu.edu to find out more about OSU Extension Master Gardener Volunteers.  You can also call the Hardin County Extension office at (419) 674-2297 or email Dave McPheron (plantman12@windstream.net) for more information and to obtain an enrollment form.


Winter Farm Safety

Winter eventually arrived bringing daily cold temperatures. Farmers have outdoor tasks that need to be done regardless of the weather or temperatures. Livestock producers have to feed and care for animals and the grain farmer has to check or load stored grain. Wood may need to be cut for fuel. 


Prolonged exposure to cold, wet, and windy conditions can be dangerous. In these conditions, farmers are at a higher risk for many injuries, such as frostbite, overexertion, muscle strain, falls, or heart attack. Kent McGuire, Ohio State University Extension Ag Safety and Health Coordinator, recommends the following guidelines for farmers while working in winter conditions.


Wear appropriate clothing for weather conditions. Even a simple task may take longer than planned so prepare for cold conditions. Remove or replace wet or damp clothing as soon as possible, including gloves. If possible, perform work during the warmest part of the day and take frequent short breaks in a warm dry area to allow the body to rest and warm up.


Keep travel paths free from ice and snow. Be observant to areas such as water troughs or leaking roofs/gutters that may allow water to accumulate and freeze in walking areas. Stretch your muscles before you begin to shovel snow or remove ice.  Do not overload the shovel, and take frequent breaks to stretch your back. Bend your knees and let your legs do the lifting. Avoid twisting motions which can lead to pulled muscles.


When walking on an icy or snow covered area, take short steps and walk at a slower pace to be able to react quickly to slips. Keep hands out of pockets when walking to reduce the risk of falling or losing your balance while walking on ice or snow. Use 3 points of contact when mounting or dismounting equipment (one hand/two feet or two hands/one foot contact). Be aware of potentially slick ground conditions when dismounting equipment.


Be aware of vision transitions moving from outdoor to indoor environments. Wear sunglasses to reduce glare and protect your eyes from ultraviolet rays being reflected from snowy surfaces. Remember that visibility can be reduced to near zero in the immediate area during snow removal operations such as plowing, sweeping, and snow blowing. Utilize a visual reference point to stay on course and avoid any potential hazards. Use caution with gas powered equipment. Dangerous carbon monoxide can be generated by gas-powered equipment as well as alternative heating sources. Use these items only in well-ventilated areas.


Watch for signs of frostbite: loss of feeling and white or pale appearance in fingers, toes, ear lobes or nose tip. Also, watch for signs of hypothermia: uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness and apparent exhaustion. If symptoms of hypothermia are detected, seek a warm location, remove any wet clothing and warm the center of the body first. Get medical attention as soon as possible for both frostbite and hypothermia.


Farm activities do not stop just because of the cold. However, just as the farmer takes care of their livestock during the cold, they also need to take precautions to protect themselves. 


Details Released About Ohio Beef Cattle School

The OSU Extension Beef Team has announced the details for the 2016 OhioBeef Cattle School. The Hardin County Extension office will serve as a host site for this winter’s series. The dates for the school are Tuesday, January 19 and continue on February 2 and February 16, and will start each evening at 7:00 p.m. Each session will last about two hours. The beef cattle industry is quickly evolving. Are you prepared to keep pace with it? We plan explore that evolution with three fast paced, forward thinking sessions being planned for the 2016 Ohio Beef Cattle School webinar series.
On January 19, the focus will be squarely on the markets and marketing including outlook, and risk management. Dr. Derrell Peel, Oklahoma State University Extension Livestock Marketing Specialist, will kick off the program with his insight into the beef cattle markets . . . where they’ve been, where they may be going, and how they will get there. Peel will discuss the factors that have pressured the market and suggest if and when they will subside, and to what level they might recover. Sam Roberts of Producers Livestock will also join the broadcast on the 19th and offer suggestions on market risk management and capturing profitable pricing opportunities in the coming year.
During the second session on February 2, the attention will turn back to the basics in an effort to bust some myths that may be negatively affecting our bottom line. Members of the OSU Extension Beef Team will take turns addressing some of the management questions and comments we’ve received during Beef School sessions over the years. This will be a fast paced look at a variety of profit centered concepts including calving windows, genetic choices, breeding management, crossbreeding and economic traits that will be the most meaningful in
coming years.
The series will conclude on February 16 with a focus squarely on the end product. Dr. Lyda Garcia, Assistant Professor of Meat Sciences at The Ohio State University, will discuss enhancing end product values from a point of view through the live animal.
If you would like to attend any of these Ohio Beef Cattle School presentations, please call the Hardin County Extension office at 419-674-2297 or email Mark Badertscher at badertscher.4@osu.edu to RSVP so that preparations can be made to accommodate the number of people interested in attending. These webinar programs are sponsored locally by Farm Credit Mid-America, with an office in Bellefontaine. Refreshments will be provided to those who attend.



Riverdale FFA Members Honored

The Riverdale FFA chapter held a ceremony recently for their first and second year members. Their were ten 8th graders that earned their Discovery degree. Kayla Dement, Michael Greeno, Cameron Herringshaw, Caleb Letherwood, Josh Lentz, Caleb McCoy, Justin Messmer, Hunter Shane, Blake Vanderpool , and Jazlynn Woodriff. There were nine freshmen that got their green hand degree. Creed Blakley, Ray Carey, Adrian Digby, Miles Frey, Justin Hartman, Josh Leopold, Derek McCloud, Alexis Shoemaker, and Jacob Tackett. Our Chapter President Kohlten Shane gave a inspirational speech to our Discovery and Green hand members. The FFA creed was recited by three of our discovery members, Cameron Herringshaw, Caled Leatherwood, and Hunter Shane. After the ceremony we enjoyed cookies and punch and mingled with each other.
Updates about the Riverdale FFA Chapter can be found on their website, riverdaleoh.theaet.com


Kenton FFA Hosts Members For Monthly Meeting

The January meeting was a success! Fellow FFA members had to put their speed to the test when families raced to win the scavenger hunt, followed by many other games which every member had a chance to win. Members got to play their all time favorite camp games and put their skills and speed to the test. After all the fun, members sat down and had a meal with each other and had a chance to unwind.


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