I hope every had a wonderful Christmas and is looking forward into beginning a new year in the coming days. Well 2018 was certainly an exciting year both in the world of agriculture and for myself on a personal note. Some highlights of my first year of really teaching and planning programs includes organizing NW Ohio Crops Day (February 9, for 2019) at the Bavarian Haus in Deshler, teaching at Farm Science Review, certifying nearly 200 producers in Beef Quality Assurance, developing the Grill Smart program, getting to further know my colleagues from across the state and the good folks here in Henry County. I look forward to continue programming, teaching, and learning with everyone once again in 2019.
Throughout the winter I will be highlighting the different Extension meetings and programs that will take place here in the county and NW corner of Ohio, so stay tuned for that information going forward. One of those meetings is a Grain Marketing Series coming in January. Speaking at the event will be OSU Extension farm management specialists and local grain marketers. Come learn how to manage risk, utilize marketing options, and develop a grain marketing strategy for the new and beyond. As a reminder the dates are the 8th, 15th, and 22nd, from 6:00 to 9:00 at Northwest State. Registrations are due to the office by January 4th.
As the cold wind blows and things (hopefully) freeze up, it is a great time to do some thinking about the future of your farming operation. As current prices for corn and soybeans look to become the status quo for some time going forward, it may be time to consider diversifying your farming operation.
Those in parts of the county where vegetables can be grown have probably seen the benefits of other enterprises as grain prices fell over the past couple of years. Other potential avenues of adding to your farm portfolio that I have worked with producers on include contract feeding beef cattle, primarily holstein steers, finishing hogs, raising some additional small grains, or even starting a hops yard. We have a tremendous amount of information and resources available regarding any enterprise that may be considered in the coming year.
Lastly, for those farmers interested in taking their finances one step farther, we have a Farm Financial Analysis Technician looking to work with those producers once again. In the first year they will be working to provide enterprise benchmarking data to Ohio farmers and then follow up the next year with a full blown farm financial analysis using technology from the FINPACK program. If are interested in this opportunity let me know immediately.
I’ll end this week with a thought from Benjamin Franklin who said “Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.” Have a great week and a happy New Year.
Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Educator
OSU Henry County Extension