Southwest Shredded Chicken

Did you know that using a crock-pot to cook dinner, won’t heat up your house during these summer months?  Check out this yummy Southwest Shredded Chicken recipe that is sure to be a crowd pleaser and won’t heat up your entire house!

For more recipes like this one, check out


USDA is conducting vaccine drops to combat wildlife rabies in Ohio

MEDIA ADVISORY: USDA is conducting vaccine drops to combat wildlife rabies in Ohio and surrounding states
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s, Wildlife Services, in cooperation with the Ohio Department of Health and several local county health departments in Ohio, will begin distributing oral rabies vaccine (ORV) baits for wildlife in parts of eastern Ohio and surrounding states this month. ORV baits have been distributed in Ohio through aerial drops and by hand since 1997 in partnership with state and local public health agencies and others as part of the USDA National Rabies Management Program. This effort seeks to prevent the westward movement of the rabies virus most often spread by raccoons by creating a barrier along the Appalachian Mountains from the Canadian border to Alabama.

ORV baits are distributed using fixed-wing airplanes and helicopters, or from vehicles on the ground. The project is based out of North Lima, OH and will take place in early to mid-August. Approximately 888,000 baits will be distributed by fixed wing airplanes in rural areas of eastern Ohio, western Pennsylvania, and the panhandle of West Virginia, including over 700,000 baits in Ohio alone. From approximately August 11-20, 2020, ORV bait distribution by fixed wing airplanes will include large rural portions of Ashtabula, Carroll, Columbiana, Jefferson, Mahoning, Stark, Trumbull, and Tuscarawas, and parts of Belmont, Geauga, Harrison, Lake, Monroe, and Portage counties. Baits also will be dispersed by helicopter in urban and suburban areas of eastern Ohio during the first week of August, including Courtland, Warren, Youngstown, Alliance, Canton and New Philadelphia. Lastly, staff will distribute baits by vehicle in a number of towns, including Ashtabula, Conneaut, East Palestine and Hubbard.

The vaccine distribution campaign in Ohio will use an ORV bait called ONRAB. The vaccine, which is contained in a blister pack, is covered in a waxy green coating that has a sugar-vanilla smell. The odor attracts targeted wild animals, such as raccoons, who eat the baits and are then vaccinated against rabies. ONRAB has been safely distributed in parts of Ohio since 2012 as part of ongoing field trials to evaluate the safety and immune effects of the ORV bait in raccoons and skunks. The vaccine baits have been proven safe in many species of animals, including domestic dogs and cats. Humans and pets cannot get rabies from contact with the baits. If found, leave the baits undisturbed. If a person has contact with a bait, immediately rinse the contact area with warm water and soap. Do not attempt to remove a bait from an animal’s mouth, as you could be bitten. Ingesting the bait will not harm your pet. If your pet has eaten several baits, the pet may experience vomiting or diarrhea that is self-limiting. For photos of the vaccination baits, please visit this Photo Gallery.

Rabies is caused by a virus that infects the central nervous system in mammals and represents a serious public health concern. If exposures to the virus are not treated it is almost always fatal. Costs associated with detection, prevention and control of rabies exceed $600 million annually in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 90 percent of reported rabies cases in the U.S. are in wildlife. People are urged not to make contact with or feed wildlife and to keep pet rabies vaccinations current.
For more information about the National Rabies Management Program, visit:
Photo of ONRAB bait. # #

LPA Contact: Tanya Espinosa, 301/851-4092
Local Contact: Jeff Raines, 330/618-0373

GAP’s Training (Good Agricultural Practices)

OSU Fruit and Vegetable Safety Team has scheduled two online GAPs training webinars for August (13th and 27th).  Registration is required but the trainings are free and participants will get a certificate of completion at the end of the training.  Registration is online and can be found at

NCR-SARE Announces 2021 Call for Partnership Grant Proposals

The 2021 North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (NCR-SARE) Partnership Grant Program Call for Proposals is now available online at Program.

NCR-SARE’s Partnership Grant program is intended to foster cooperation between agriculture professionals and small groups of farmers and ranchers to catalyze on-farm research, demonstration, and education activities related to sustainable agriculture.

Individual grants are limited to $40,000. NCR-SARE expects to fund about 14 projects in the twelve-state North Central Region with this call. A total of approximately $560,000 is available for this program.
NCR-SARE will be accepting online submissions for the Partnership Grant Program. More information about the online submission system can be found in the call for proposals. The deadline for Partnership Program proposals is October 22, 2020 at 4pm CDT.

NCR-SARE administers each of its grant programs with specific goals, audiences, and timelines. Funding considerations are based on how well the applicant presents the problem being addressed, its relevance to sustainable agriculture in the 12-state North Central region, farmer-rancher engagement in the project, and how well it aligns with NCR-SARE’s goals.

Funding decisions are made by a regional Administrative Council (AC), with review from a Technical Committee. The Administrative Council is a collection of producers, university representatives, nonprofit group interests, Extension and NRCS people, other government employees, and agribusiness representatives. This group sets research priorities and recommends projects for funding.

Each state in SARE’s North Central Region has one or more State Sustainable Agriculture Coordinators who can provide information and assistance to potential grant applicants. Interested applicants can find their State Sustainable Agriculture Coordinator online at

For questions or additional information regarding the Partnership Grant Program, contact Beth Nelson or Rob Myers at or

Farmer and Kansas State University Extension educator, Tom Buller (far right), received an NCR-SARE Partnership Program grant in 2018 to work with vegetable producers on minimal tillage techniques for managing weeds. Buller noted that the research information from this grant led to another grant to share information about weed control.

“The NCR-SARE Partnership grant created lasting interactions between local farmers and K-State Research and Extension to help with weed management in vegetable production systems.”
– Tom Buller.

Enjoying Local Foods

With summer in full swing, enjoying local foods as part of a healthy eating style doesn’t have to be hard.  Here are some tips to help us choose foods that are grown locally in a garden or farm near you!  For more tips, check out

ODA Asks Ohioans to Send in Unsolicited Seeds

The Public Should Report the Seeds and Submit the Packages to USDA

REYNOLDSBURG, OH (July 30, 2020) – After increasing reports of Ohio citizens receiving packages of unsolicited seeds in the mail, the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) is again urging the public to report and submit any unsolicited seed packets to ODA. In partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Plant Protection and Quarantine Office, ODA is working to investigate the number of seed packets sent to Ohio, what type of seeds they are, and where they were mailed from.

The USDA-APHIS and ODA are asking Ohioans who have received these unsolicited packages not to open, plant, or throw them away. Instead, citizens should report receiving seeds here and then submit the packages to USDA using one of the following methods:

  1. If possible, place the materials including the seeds, original packaging material and your contact information in a resealable plastic bag and mail them to USDA-APHIS at the following address:

8995 East Main Street, Building 23
Reynoldsburg, OH 43068


2. Place the materials including the seeds, original packaging material and your contact information in a resealable plastic bag and drop them off at your county’s OSU Extension Office during business hours. You can find the nearest extension office here: Please note that extension facilities may have COVID-19 specific signage detailing procedures such as wearing a facial covering that must be followed.

Unsolicited seeds could be invasive species, contain noxious weeds, could introduce diseases to local plants, or could be harmful to livestock. Invasive species and noxious weeds can displace native plants and increase costs of food production. All foreign seeds shipped to the United States should have a phytosanitary certificate which guarantees the seeds meet important requirements.

We will have the latest information regarding this investigation on our website.



If you are in Clermont County and have received these mystery seeds, please reach out to me at or 513-732-7070. These seeds need to go to ODA in Reynoldsburg and I can help make that happen. Office information can be found at

ODA Asks Public to Not Plant any Unsolicited Packages of Seeds

The Packets Contain Unknown Seeds & Often Feature Chinese Writing

REYNOLDSBURG, OH (July 27, 2020) – The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) has been notified that several Ohio residents have received unsolicited packages in the mail containing seeds that appear to have originated from China. The types of seeds in the packages are currently unknown and may contain invasive plant species. Similar seed packets have been received recently in several other locations across the United States.

If you receive a package of this type, please DO NOT plant these seeds. If they are in sealed packaging, do not open the sealed package. You can report the seeds to ODA online here or you may contact the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Anti-smuggling Hotline by calling 800-877-3835 or by emailing Also, if possible, please retain the original packaging, as that information may be useful to trade compliance officers as they work through this issue.

Unsolicited seeds could be invasive species, contain noxious weeds, could introduce diseases to local plants, or could be harmful to livestock. Invasive species and noxious weeds can displace native plants and increase costs of food production. ODA and APHIS work hard to prevent the introduction of invasive species and protect Ohio agriculture. All foreign seeds shipped to the United States should have a phytosanitary certificate which guarantees the seeds meet important requirements.

We will have the latest information regarding this investigation on our website.


Attached are two examples of the unsolicited seed packets that can be used by the media. 


Farm Science Review will be a Virtual Show in 2020

FSR boy and manFor the first time in its nearly 60-year history, The Ohio State University’s Farm Science Review, scheduled for Sept. 22 to Sept. 24, will not be held in-person. Instead, a virtual show will be implemented for 2020.

The farm show, sponsored by Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), annually attracts over 100,000 visitors from all over the United States and
Canada to the show site in London, Ohio.

“We are committed to delivering a robust and innovative virtual show in support of agriculture during this pandemic,” said Cathann A. Kress, vice president and dean of CFAES.
“Throughout its history, the Farm Science Review has been at the forefront of showcasing the future of agriculture,” she said. “While it may look different in 2020, we will continue to meet the needs of our growers and partners through access to exhibitors, virtual demonstrations, and education about the most recent advancements in agricultural production.”

The three-day event normally allows agricultural producers to peruse 4,000 product lines from 600 commercial exhibitors, view field demonstrations, and learn the latest in agricultural production. Popular educational programs feature specialists from The Ohio State University, Central State University, and other land-grant institutions.

“Due to the rapidly changing conditions in the spread of COVID-19 across the U.S., the decision was made to hold a virtual show,” said Nick Zachrich, Farm Science Review manager. “We have worked diligently to plan for another incredible show demonstrating the newest developments in equipment, research, and application to support agricultural production.” Current conditions are not conducive to hosting an in-person event. “With our multigenerational audience, we determined a need to prioritize everyone’s health and ensure that we are doing our part to contain the spread of the virus during this global pandemic,” he said. While extremely disappointing for everyone involved, Zachrich said that Farm Science Review management and its executive committee believe this is the right decision to keep visitors, exhibitors, partners, and staff safe.

In addition, the State of Ohio Responsible Restart guidelines currently limit mass gatherings. There is little reason to anticipate changes in the next two months that would provide for the ability to meet Farm Science Review’s daily in-person attendance of between 35,000 to 50,000 visitors. “We understood early on that regardless of the number of cases, the show would have to take a drastically different approach in order to meet the health and safety requirements for COVID19, such as physical distancing and sanitization,” Zachrich said. “While we would have liked to wait until closer to the event to make a decision, we felt compelled to let suppliers, exhibitors, and partners know so they can begin to plan for a virtual show.”

More information will be shared in the forthcoming weeks about the 2020 virtual Farm Science Review program and how to engage. Visit for ongoing updates.

A Tasty Twist on a Traditional Salsa

For a fun tasty twist on traditional salsa, try this refreshing fruit salsa served with cinnamon sugar chips. Too hot to bake?  Try serving it with low-fat cinnamon graham crackers instead!  For more recipes check out Celebrate Your Plate.


What Can Central Appalachia Learn from Mondragon and Worker Cooperative Collaboratives?

The Mondragon Cooperative Corporation, a system of worker-owned cooperatives in the Basque region of Spain, founded its first enterprise in 1956, a time when the region was experiencing an economic crisis. Today, Mondragon’s network of manufacturing, financial, retail, and other firms is recognized as one of the most important models for worker-owned co-ops in the world. What can Central Appalachia learn from this story?

Join the Appalachia Cooperates Initiative to learn about the Mondragon Cooperative Corporation model, ways the model might be applied in Appalachia, and the opportunities and challenges to worker-ownership in Central Appalachia.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020
10am – 11am
No cost, but registration is required.
Register at

Information flyer


Michael Alden Peck is a co-founder/executive director of 1worker1vote, a mission and movement non-profit building national and global networks of hybrid, shared ownership, regional and municipal ecosystems starting with unionized worker-owned cooperative businesses to overcome structural inequalities of opportunity, mobility, and income. Michael served as the International Delegate (USA) for the Mondragon Cooperative Corporation from 1999-2019 and currently serves on the Blue Green Alliance corporate advisory board and as board secretary for the American Sustainable Business Council.

Amanda Marple is program director of education and outreach for the West Virginia University Center for Resilient Communities. Amanda holds an MA in Geography and conducts action research focused on cooperative enterprises as an alternative means of grassroots economic organizing. Amanda is a founder of FIRSTHAND Co-op, a fair trade coffee company in the heart of Appalachia.

The Appalachia Cooperates Initiative is a learning network connecting cooperative, community, business, and

economic developers and advocates in Central Appalachia. To learn more about the Initiative, connect with us directly by emailing!