I hope this email finds you home relaxing after a long harvest. Although there is still some corn in the fields, progress has been made this week. As I write this newsletter, I hear the sound of a combine shelling corn in the background. Driving through Union County today, I did see a couple soybean fields as we headed towards Columbus on State Route 31. Today was the Master Gardener Volunteers County Coordinator Annual Conference held at The Ohio State University. Our new Hardin County Master Gardener President Dave McPheron made the trip with me to find out what is expected out of county Master Gardener groups across the state as they put on educational programs about horticulture related topics.
The next big local Extension event for Agriculture and Natural Resources is the Agriculture Hall of Fame Banquet which will be held Tuesday, December 3 at St. John’s U.C.C. in Kenton. The banquet will start at 6:30 pm and honor four sets of inductees this year who have made a significant impact on Hardin County Agriculture. The committee is pleased to announce the 2013 inductees: Franklin Garmon, Laurie Laird, Rex & Joan Sullinger, and Bernard & Virginia Williams. Shannon (Wilcox) Donnelly will be the keynote speaker. Tickets are available for $12 from the Extension office until November 25, or you can get them from committee members Andrew Flinn, Robert McBride, John Messmer, Kerry Oberlitner, Paul Ralston, Don Spar, Luke Underwood, Robert Wood, and Mark Badertscher. The committee is currently seeking sponsors for this year’s banquet, so let me know I you would like to help honor these individuals as a sponsor. See the attached news release to read more about this year’s Ag Hall of Fame inductees.
Another exciting thing happening in the county is the new Tractor Supply Store in Kenton which will be opening this coming week. Stop by and say hello to new store manager Ben Smith when you are in the area. I have included other information for you to read below regarding upcoming sheep webinars, agriculture and community development grants for Hardin County, VanScoy Farm video, Ohio Beef School dates, and an ag research opportunity for young farmers.
Ethnic Marketing of Lamb and Mutton – University of Maine Cooperative Extension Service Webinars – November 19, 26 & December 3, 10
This free, 4-part webinar series will provide sheep producers with the necessary skills to effectively market sheep/lamb meat to ethnic communities in their respective market areas. The series includes four live webinars, associated readings, activities, assignments, and group discussions. Session 1 – Ethnic Market Background, Session 2 – Understanding the Ethnic Consumer, Session 3 – Understanding & Evaluating Your Market Options, and Session 4 – Your Marketing Plan. Go to http://umaine.edu/livestock/sheep/ethnic-marketing-of-lamb-and-mutton to find out more and pre-register for these informative programs on your home computer.
Donations for Programs from Monsanto
The Monsanto Fund’s “America’s Farmers Grow Communities” program annually offers local 4-H programs in 1,271 counties in 39 states the opportunity to receive $2,500 in unrestricted funding if they are designated as a recipient by a participating farmer. Clubs are encouraged to reach out and persuade local farmers to register. Online voting is open August 1 through November 30. Currently there are four Hardin County programs listed on the website that could potentially benefit from one of these grants, two of which are related to OSU Extension with the Hardin County Fair and the Hardin County 4-H Horse Council .Check out http://www.americasfarmers.com/growcommunities to find out more information about how you can help these and other local projects.
VanScoy Farm Video on YouTube
Farmers are getting older and there are fewer people waiting to take their place. So going forward, who will grow our food? On the VanScoy Farm, in Hardin County, Bill VanScoy looks into the future of his family farm. Go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v-bGzS9IfpQ to see this excellent video put together by Farm Bureau. The VanScoy family operates a local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) operation to market their produce direct to customers in the central Ohio region.
Ohio Beef School – January 28, 2014, February 18 and March 11
Dates for this winter’s Ohio Beef School sessions have been set. Similar to recent years, the schools will be evening sessions hosted in a variety of sites around Ohio. Dates of the three school sessions are January 28, 2014, February 18 and March 11. The theme for this year’s school is simply, “Calf x Weight x Price – Expense = Profit”. During each session, multiple components of that equation will be explored. The specific topics and speakers will be announced soon.
Ag Research Opportunity for Young Farmers – John Mattingly – AgMetrics Research & Consulting
AgMetrics is an ag research company that is looking for young farmers to learn about opinions regarding farm lenders and how younger farmers select farm lenders. The interviews are confidential and strictly for market research purposes. No one will be selling any products or services. Those interviewed will be provided $250 as a token of appreciation for their time.
Specifically, they are seeking to talk with the following types of farmers:
– 35 years of age or under
– Gross annual sales of farm products of $250,000 or under
– Own 51% or more of their farming operation
– They do not and anyone in their family does not work for a farm lender or other financial institution
John is scheduled to be in the local area on Tuesday, November 19th. If there are any farmers that meet the above requirements who might be interested, they could contact him directly by phone (636-677-3984) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). For background information and further details, go to www.agmetrics.com.
Mark A. Badertscher
Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator
OSU Extension Hardin County
1021 W. Lima Street, Suite 103, Kenton, OH 43326