Licking County Agricultural Hall of Fame Breakfast

This is the 25th anniversary of the Licking County Agricultural Hall of Fame. We will have a breakfast banquet on March 29th at 7:30 a.m. to induct 2 new members. This year’s inductees are Rodney Kissell and Timothy Reichert. If you would like to join our celebration, the fee for this catered meal is $10 payable in advance. Please call the Licking County Extension office by March 20th at 740-670-5315 for details. Click on the following link for the flyer. AG HOF Hall of Fame Breakfast Flyer 03.29.19 Text only-1sa6yz7

Grafting – Make your own apple trees

Did you know nearly all apple trees are produced by grafting a desired variety to a hardy rootstock? Come and join the fun of making your own apple trees! Start your backyard orchard or add some new trees. Learn about different types of grafting and then make your own tree or trees using a simple effective technique. We will have rootstock and scion wood (the piece that determines the variety) for you to use. You are also welcome to bring your own scion wood if you have a tree that produces a variety you want. The workshop will be on Thursday, March 28th starting at 7:00 p.m.  Limited space is available. The workshop will take place in the large conference room of the Licking County Extension /Ag Services Building at 771 E. Main St., Newark, OH. The cost is $15 and includes making one tree. Additional trees can be made for $4 each.  See flyer for registration details. grafting flyer-u7psaz

Final Pesticide and Fertilizer Recertification Opportunity in Licking County

We will offer one final opportunity to complete your re-certification requirements for private pesticide applicator and private or commercial fertilizer applicator.  All categories will be covered.  The cost will be $35 and will include handouts and food.  (This fee is in addition to the $30 fee that The Ohio Department of Agriculture charges for the renewal.) Please RSVP by calling 740-670-5315  or email

  • Thursday, March 21st, 6-9 p.m. for pesticide and 9-10 p.m. for fertilizer.  Farm Services Building (Extension Office)  771 East Main St., Newark, OH 43055

Breeding Soundness Exams for Bulls offered locally

Dr. Stout from Legends Land Reproductive Services has offered to provide a local option for having a breeding soundness exam on your bull.  The article below was published this month in the Ohio Beef Team Newsletter and does a great job of explaining the importance of having this exam.  Click this link for the flyer and contact information for this exam. LL_Breeding Soundness Exams -2kempal

Calves = Very Valuable; Bulls Deemed “Satisfactory Potential Breeders” = Priceless!

– John F. Grimes, OSU Extension Beef Coordinator and Stan Smith, OSU Extension PA, Fairfield County

Perhaps to the inexperienced, or uniformed, it sounds simple enough: purchase bull; put bull with cows; calves appear in ~ 283 days; collect calves 205 days later; sell calves for good prices! Well maybe it should be that simple, but . . . I think most Ohio cattlemen will agree it is not!

When considering all of the traits of importance to today’s cattleman, a primary focus of any cow-calf producer must be getting a live calf on the ground. That starts with fertility. While both the male and female contribute to the herd’s level of fertility and its ultimate productivity, the herd sire is the more important component. An individual cow with poor fertility will certainly affect one potential calf a year. However, the bull affects every potential calf in most Ohio beef herds or breeding pastures.

A Breeding Soundness Examination (BSE) performed by an accredited veterinarian is a necessary management tool for improving herd fertility levels. Through a BSE, a bull is given a physical, and a semen evaluation to determine his status as a satisfactory potential breeder on the date the procedure is done. The physical examination portion of the test can include the evaluation of body condition, feet and legs, eyes, and the organs of the reproductive system. The semen evaluation looks at characteristics such as sperm motility, % normal cells, and % primary and secondary abnormalities. The typical cost for a BSE may fall in the $50-$60 range.

In spite of the obvious benefits of a BSE, a minority of producers actually semen check their bulls prior to use. Results from the U.S.D.A.’s 2007-08 National Animal Health Monitoring System study indicated that semen tests were used by only 44.1% of all operations surveyed. The survey results varied greatly depending on herd size as 21.1% of the herds with 1-49 cows used a semen check. The percentage using a semen check increased steadily as cow numbers increased, yet the final group of 200 cows or more still only used the check in 62.3% of the herds. For the operations that did not use a semen check, the top two reasons for not using this technology were Labor/Time at 34.4% and Cost at 25.2%. The validity of this reasoning is questionable, at best.

While virgin bulls may be obvious candidates for a BSE, many producers mistakenly assume a mature bull that has previously sired calves will remain a satisfactory breeder throughout his lifetime. This is simply not true as illness, injuries or perhaps even extreme winter weather – much like Ohio has experienced since last fall – can result in a change in status as a potential breeder. Regardless of age and source of a potential herd sire, make sure a bull has been tested prior to use in a breeding season, being certain he has the ability to settle the females he is exposed to in a timely fashion.

Often times during past editions of Ohio Beef Cattle Schools, or as written in the weekly Ohio BEEF Cattle newsletter, there has been much discussion about the importance of short breeding seasons where most of the cows and heifers conceive on the first service. Certainly a number of issues can affect how long it takes to get the entire herd settled. Regardless, one obvious advantage of a tight breeding season is the opportunity to manage and market the resulting calves as one consistent group. However, have you ever considered the direct ‘economic’ benefit of cows that conceive on the first cycle?

Assuming adequate nutrition is available, a good calf is likely gaining about 2.25+/- pounds a day at weaning time. As a result, if he was born 21 days later than his counterpart, he could easily weigh 40 to 50 pounds less when he goes to market as a feeder calf. When assuming feeder calves might be valued at $1.30 per pound, one missed breeding cycle could easily cost $50 to $65 for each calf that is born only one cycle late. For a cow that is two cycles late, double those numbers!

Herd health (vaccinations, etc.), cow body condition (nutrition), bull (breeding) power, bull breeding soundness and estrus synchronization programs are all factors that equate to getting cows settled early in the breeding season. Now is the time to consider the economic impact of each of these management opportunities as it relates to the harvest of your 2020 calf crop.

It is not too late to have your veterinarian evaluate your bulls for soundness before breeding season. The cost may be as little as the amount gained from settling one cow, one cycle earlier. Considering the value of feeder calves, sound beef bulls are a valuable commodity . . . but, getting live calves on the ground in a timely fashion next spring will likely still be priceless!

EDITOR’s NOTE: You will find additional information on breeding bull management in the OSU Extension Beef Team Library (linked in the header above) including Integrated Bull Management: Critical Success Factors and Bull Nutrition and Management.


Licking County Sheep Improvement Culinary Video

The Licking County Sheep Improvement Committee coordinated efforts between the C-TEC Culinary Department, C-TEC Media Department, and lamb specialist Nick Forrest to produce the following video. Nick takes you through the cuts of meat from a lamb and explains ways to use each. Toward the end of the video, Chef Mike and culinary students demonstrate the preparation of some meals using lamb. This video has been viewed by hundreds of people in multiple states. Congratulations to a job well done by all partners! Click on this link to learn about the preparation of lamb for your meals.