“It Meats Today’s Change”

I was helping my son write his “Why do you want to be the Brown County Swine Ambassador?” question. I started ruffling through my old 4-H and junior fair files; yes, I still have some of my old applications. Which actually came in handy as examples for him. He did comment that our Ohio Achievement Awards Application was easier than his. It allowed me to take a quick trip around the block and remember my time as county fair and industry (sheep and beef) queens . Yes, we were called queens and males were not part of the industry royalty at that time. As I sat in my office chair reading my Ohio Queen of Beef speech, “It Meats Today’s Change” (printed on a dot matrix printer with a bad pinhead), it was still quite fitting for today’s cattle industry. So I thought I would share it with you in all its 25 year old glory.

It Meats Today’s Change-qbz70s

Even though I did not win the Ohio Queen of Beef in 1993, I was 2nd Runner Up and use my pewter bowl on my desk everyday. Both are a nice reminder that agriculture is ever changing but the goals, principals and standards remain the same. Twenty-five years later we are still focusing on genetics and nutrition to provide a more efficient yield and production techniques to “meat today’s change.” As you do your part to “meat today’s change”, think about the things you have done in the past to make your mark on the ever changing population. Set your goals to “meat” the lifestyle, values, and health of your family and to help others through education and support.

Women in Agriculture Dinners coming to a county near you!

Are you looking to take more control of your life?

  • Clear the clutter
  • Manage your time
  • Prioritize your tasks

In order to keep our East Ohio Women in Agriculture community more connected between conferences, you are invited to join us for one of three Women in Agriculture Fall Dinner Programs. The first will be September 28, 2017 in Wilmot, OH.

Join us for an evening of networking, idea sharing and delicious food.

During the “Take Control!” program you will identify your top time wasters and problem areas. Then we’ll all gain perspective and tools for prioritizing.

More details to follow on the other locations and times in October (Carroll/Harrison Counties area) and November (Coshocton/Tuscarawas Counties area). The “Take Control” program will be the same at all three dinners.

Download a program flyer here: Holmes-Stark Fall Dinner – Program flyer

Hands-On with Tractor Operation and Safety

Empowerment can be an overused word, but last week I was able to witness this as I watched a group of women gain more confidence around agricultural machinery. Twenty-one women from eight eastern Ohio counties met for a Hands-On Tractor Night hosted at JD Equipment in Zanesville.

Dee Jepsen is the leader for The Ohio State University Agricultural Health and Safety Program.  You can learn more about the program at:  agsafety.osu.edu . Jepsen shared several statistics about agriculture, and specifically tractor safety, that may be surprising to you. From 2004-2013, the number of fatalities on Ohio farms is on the decrease. With the exception of 2010, fatalities have decreased each year since 2006. In 2006 there were 27 fatalities and only 11 in both 2012 and 2013. I say “only,” but I am sure that the families of those who died would see the statistics differently. There were a total of 168 deaths in that ten-year period. Even one is too many.

Most fatalities occurred within three months of the year: May, July and October. These are the three times during the year when tractors are used most often. May is planting season, July is small grain harvest and hay making, and October is harvest for corn and soybeans. Tractors, by far, cause the most fatalities on farms. Of the 168 deaths, 75 of them resulted from a tractor accident. And of the tractor accidents, 67% of them were from rollovers.

In eastern Ohio especially, the need to use Rollover Protective Structures (ROPS) correctly is critical. According to the Great Plains Center for Agricultural Health, 1 in 10 operators overturns a tractor in his or her lifetime, and 80% of them involve experienced operators. In order to use ROPS correctly, the operator must make sure that the ROPS bar is extended and secure. The other crucial piece of the formula is wearing a seat belt. This system of a ROPS and seat belt has never failed.

Jepsen also reminded the women that one seat means one rider. Typically those extra riders on tractors are children. The age distribution of fatalities shows that 29 young people between 1-20 years old were killed in farm accidents from 2004-2013. Those numbers drop for those between 21-40 years old, but then they begin to increase. There were 47 fatalities for people under 40 years old and also 47 deaths for 41-60 year olds. However, there were 67 fatalities for farmers over 61 years of age. As reaction times slow, accidents increase.

One final thought that Jepsen shared with the group is the “3 E’s.” These are education, engineering and enforcement. She applauded the women for educating themselves about tractors – from parts ID to operation to safety. Equipment manufacturers are constantly researching ways to engineer safety features for tractors to assist operators. Farming is exempt from many of the regulations that industries have, but enforcement does not just mean laws. Farm women often have a unique opportunity to encourage farm safety practices for both young and old on the family farm.

I was so pleased to work with JD Equipment in Zanesville for the program. Heather Dunmire, Alicia Shafer, and Christyn Kurt were all extremely knowledgeable and helpful for the women. Participants were challenged with identifying 20 parts of a tractor for their ice breaker activity as they arrived. Then they were given the opportunity to drive a zero turn mower and both remove and install a loader on a compact tractor.

Today I’ll leave you with this quote from Eleanor Evert, “For safety is not a gadget but a state of mind.”

 

USDA Women in Agriculture Newsletter

US Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue writes to Women in Agriculture in the latest USDA Women in Agriculture newsletter.

Highlighted items:

  • Dear Women in Agriculture
  • About the USDA Women in Agriculture (WIA) Initiative
  • Three Pillars of the Initiatives
  • Farm Service Agency County Committee Elections; Opportunities for Women in Ag at USDA
  • Women and the Census of Agriculture
  • Attention All Female Veterans!

Be safe while having fun in the sun!

Image result for sun safety images

It was a great day last Friday! Sun was out, temperature was near 90 degrees, so a perfect day to go lay in the pool and enjoy! Yes, I took a play afternoon and enjoyed the sun and company at a friend’s pool. I lathered up with sunscreen, had my insulated tumbler filled with water and a floating mat was waiting for me. Ahh! This was the life for a few hours. Rotating like a hot dog rotisserie on the floating mat periodically. Then it was time to move on to the next adventure. I left the pool and realized my front side was perfectly tan but my backside looked like a lobster. Sunscreen worked on the front but needed a higher SPF for the less exposed backside.

It is that time of year to make sure not to overexpose ourselves to the sun while working or playing. OSU Extension, Family and Consumer Sciences has many great resources on sun safety. One such item includes following the below guidelines from the American Cancer Society for prevention measures. Our FCS colleagues also have programs to teach the community about sun safety as well as conducting derma scans.

  • Limit UV exposure
  • Stay in the shade
  • Protect your skin with clothing
  • Wear a hat
  • Use sunscreen
  • Wear sunglasses
  • Avoid tanning beds and sunlamps
  • Protect children from the sun
  • A word about sunlight and vitamin D
  • Check for abnormal moles and have them removed
  • Genetic counseling and testing

The OSU Ag Safety program has information on “Sun Exposure (Protect Your Skin)”  offered through the Small Farm and Gardening Safety and Health Series.

Enjoy the summer and sun but don’t have too much sun!