Ohio State Fair Announces Ractopamine-Free Swine Show For 2020

Source: Ohio Ag Net online

It has been announced that swine exhibited at the 2020 Ohio State Fair — and a growing number of county fairs — are required to be ractopamine-free.

Recently, ractopamine-free swine production became a market specification through much of the U.S. pork packing industry. Although ractopamine (sold under the trade names Paylean or Engain for swine) is an approved product used to increase lean growth rate, it has been banned in many international pork markets. In short, ractopamine-free means that a pig has never been fed or exposed to ractopamine from the time of birth to the time of market.

In response, the Ohio Pork Council, Ohio State University Extension, Ohio Department of Agriculture, and Ohio State Fair have collaborated to put a comprehensive plan in place for a ractopamine-free swine project. Continue reading

From Across the Field – Life Skills and Working Lands

This past weekend I jumped on the invitation to work as a ring man and take bids at a showpig auction for a longtime family friend. While I don’t get to as many pig sales as I used to, I do enjoy watching 4-H youth go through the process of selecting and purchasing their projects. Some of my favorite memories revolve around analyzing and sorting livestock with my father, something we still do today when we get a chance.

If 4-Her’s here in Henry County ever have questions about livestock selection, they should consider participating in the 4-H livestock judging team. This year’s team started practice this past week, and will compete at the state contest on July 26th. In addition, to becoming better stockpersons, team members learn life skills such as decision-making, critical thinking, and public speaking. If interested in the possibility of joining the team contact the office in the next week or so. Continue reading

NW OH “Seeds for Success” Small Farms Conference & Trade Show

The 2019 NW Ohio Seeds For Success Small Farm Conference will be held on Saturday, March 16 at Northwest State Community College, located at 22600 State Route 34, Archbold Ohio.  The conference provides education and topics of interest for small farm and rural landowners.  Participants will walk away from the conference with knowledge and ideas of how to improve existing enterprises or marketing opportunities.  For those who have some acreage but don’t yet know what to do with it, the conference is an opportunity to consider possibilities, gather information and make contacts.

Continue reading

From Across the Field – FFA Week, Youth Opportunities, and Wild Weather

Happy National FFA Week! Designated a national week in 1947, the week of George Washington’s birthday, National FFA Week runs from Saturday to Saturday and gives FFA members an opportunity to educate the public about agriculture. During the week, chapters conduct a variety of activities to help others in their schools and communities learn about FFA and agricultural education.

If it weren’t for my experience in FFA, I don’t know that I’d be writing to you all today. For me FFA was instrumental in improving and developing communication, decision making, time management, and leadership skills. It was through Career Development Events, such as livestock judging and parliamentary procedure, where I honed those career and life skills. Continue reading

2018 OFMA Convention highlights

By: Matt Reese, Ohio’s Country Journal

Each January the Ohio Fair Managers Association gathers for its annual convention to discuss exhibitions in warmer days ahead.

“The purpose of the convention is to be educational and it allows directors, especially newer directors, to come and rub shoulders with other fairs around the state. That is how you learn,” said Tom Stocksdale from Wayne County who serves as the District 5 representative on the Ohio Fair Managers Association Board of Directors. “People do not really understand the number of volunteer hours that even local fairs have. If fairs had to pay for everything that happens, they couldn’t afford to operate. So much depends on volunteer hours.”

Ohio Department of Agriculture Director David Daniels was on hand this year to discuss some of the highlights expected during the upcoming Ohio fair season. Continue reading