UTV Farm Tour May 21, 2022

Licking County Farm Bureau invites you to bring your UTV and join us for a farm tour! Cost is $50 for one UTV and 2 passengers. Extra passengers are $10 each. Lunch is included.
Registration starts at 10:30am, Lunch served at 11am and the tour will start at 11:30am. Tour stops include: Licking Valley FFA Farm, Bowerston Shale, Toboso Ag, Cedar Hill Farm and Claylick Run Farm.
  • Licking Valley FFA – The unique school farm includes dairy feeder calves, market hogs, crops, research trials and more!  See and hear about what these students are doing.
  • Bowerston Shale – This brick manufacturing company has been a long time staple of the community but you are likely not aware of all the brick artwork that originated at this facility and can be observed across the country.  Take this opportunity to see what goes on in this off the beaten path business.
  • Toboso Ag – This recently opened family owned gravel quarry is located in Toboso, Ohio. The Boyce’s are providing everything from top soil to gravel.
  • Cedar Hill Farm – The Kreager’s are a 6th and 7th generation family farm that has implemented a number of conservation practices including pumping water 1500 feet to multiple grazing paddocks, a heavy use pad for winter feeding, and fencing for conservation and better use of resources.
  • Claylick Run Farm – David Felumlee and his family operate a progressive angus seed stock business selling cattle to farms in multiple states.  They also operate a crop enterprise and have recently added a goat venture.
Register by calling 740-452-2356 or licking@ofbf.org by May 13. Space is limited, insurance is required and all participants must sign a waiver.

Maple Bootcamp: Ohio

Maple Bootcamp: Ohio is for woodland owners looking for an annual income from their woodland or current producers looking to sharpen their skills.  This multi-day workshop will cover everything from tree identification and tree health through tapping and marketing an end product (syrup, candy etc).  There will be tours of a sugarbush that has been in operation for more than 50 years and one that takes advantage of today’s technology.  We will also tour the sugarbush that was installed on the Ohio State University Mansfield campus in 2019 and is a hub for maple research.

Registration is $150 and can be accessed here along with the agenda for the 3 days.

Ohio Pawpaw Conference Registration is now OPEN

Ohio Pawpaw Conference
May 21, 2022 ● Piketon, Ohio

Interested in learning more about pawpaw production in Ohio? Join The Ohio State University South Centers and the Ohio Pawpaw Growers Association for the 2022 Ohio Pawpaw Conference on May 21, 2022.

Gain invaluable growing and production industry intelligence needed to make informed business and production decisions. This conference will provide access to pawpaw experts and industry leaders who can deliver the most current science-based knowledge on pawpaw industry trends.

LOCATION: The Ohio State University South Centers

1864 Shyville Road

Piketon, Ohio 45661

DATE: Saturday, May 21, 2022

COST: $20 per person (includes breakfast, lunch and snacks)

Discounted Lodging

To take advantage of discounted lodging, call the Comfort Inn of Piketon at (740) 289-3000 before May 12 and mention the OSU South Centers pawpaw event. Space is limited.

Register soon, space is extremely limited:


Conference Schedule

8:30 a.m. Registration and breakfast

9:00 a.m. Welcome
9:15 a.m. What the Ohio Pawpaw Growers Association Does for You

9:30 a.m. Wondrous Wild Pawpaws: Production and Growth of Native Stands

10:30 a.m. Break

10:45 a.m. Strategic Roadmap for Pawpaws: From Principles to Practical Applications

11:45 a.m. Pawpaw Fruit Quality: Its Components, Determinants, and Importance to Growers, Processors and Consumers

12:15 p.m. Lunch and networking, view research posters and displays.,
Pawpaw taste testing in kitchen area

1:00 p.m. Wagon tours/Grafting Demonstrations

3:00 p.m. Dismissal.

Pawpaw 2022 Event Flyer

“Understory Plants in Your Woodland”

offered by A DAY in the WOODS to woodland owners and enthusiasts in SE Ohio at the Vinton Furnace State Forest on Friday, May 13th
APRIL 20, 2022
by David Apsley

Southeastern Ohio’s woodlands contain a rich assortment of plants ranging from majestic oaks to the most delicate understory herbs. The focus of the May 13 “A Day in the Woods” program will be “Understory Plants in Your Woodland.” Featured presenters are Homer Elliott – Wildlife & Natural Resources Faculty at Hocking College, Todd Hutchinson- Research Ecologist – USFS Northern Research Station, Badger Johnson – Climate Resilience Coordinator at Rural Action, and Rebecca Wood, Director of Hopewood Holistic Health. “Understory Plants in Your Woodland” is designed to help you:
-Learn to identify many of the understory plants found in SE Ohio
-Understand the ecology of these plants
-Recognize some common woodland mushrooms
-Become familiar with the many resources available to help you further understand the nutritional and medicinal value of these plants and mushrooms
-Explore understory plants and fungi at the Vinton Furnace State Forest

This program will take place at the Vinton Furnace State Forest and runs from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM. A registration fee of $12 will cover the cost of lunch and program materials. Please use one of the following methods to register by May 9th:
-Register and pay online at http://go.osu.edu/vintonswcd
-Call 740-596-5676 Vinton SWCD
-Email Dave Apsley at apsley.1@osu.edu
For brochures and more information: 2022 A DAY In the WOODS Brochure

Directions – Experimental Forest

“A Day in the Woods” and the “2nd Friday Series” are sponsored by the Education and Demonstration Subcommittee of the Vinton Furnace State Forest with support from Ohio State University Extension, ODNR-Divisions of Forestry and Wildlife, U.S. Forest Service, Vinton Soil and Water Conservation District, Central State University Extension, National Wild Turkey Federation, Pixelle Specialty Solutions, Ohio Tree Farm Committee, Ohio Forestry Association, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Hocking College, Ruffed Grouse Society, Ohio Bird Conservation Initiative, Pheasants and Quail Forever, and Ohio’s SFI Implementation Committee.

Organic Certification Cost Share Available from Farm Service Agency

by: Chris Zoller, Extension Educator, ANR in Tuscarawas County

Have you ever considered transitioning all or part of your dairy or crop enterprise to organic production?  If so, you may be interested in programs available through your local Farm Service Agency (FSA).  These include the Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP) and the Organic and Transitional Education and Certification Program (OTECP).

Organic Certification Cost Share

The Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP) provide cost share assistance to producers and handlers who are obtaining organic certification for the first time or renewing their previous certification. Organic certification is obtained through certifying agents accredited by the USDA National Organic Program.

This program provides 50 percent of a certified operation’s allowable certification costs, up to a maximum of $500.  The following categories or “scopes” are included: crops, livestock, wild crops, processing/handling, and organic program fees. Cost share is provided on a first come, first served basis, until all available funds are obligated.  This program is available until September 30, 2022.

To be eligible, a producer must have both (1) a valid organic certification for their operation at the time of application and (2) paid fees or expenses related to its initial certification or renewal for certification from a certifying agent.

Allowable costs under the OCCSP include:

  • Application fees and administrative fees
  • Inspection fees, including travel and per diem for organic inspectors
  • USDA organic certification costs
  • User fees or sale assessments
  • Postage

 Organic and Transitional Education and Certification Program

The Organic and Transitional Education and Certification Program (OTECP) provides financial assistance to producers interested in obtaining or renewing USDA organic certification.  In addition to many acronyms, there are certain terms that producers need to know the definitions.  These include certified operation, educational event, soil testing, micronutrients, transitional operation, and USDA organic certification.  These terms are defined below:

  • Certified operation – is a crop or livestock production, wild crop harvesting, or handling operation, or portion of such operation, that is certified by an accredited certifying agent.
  • Educational event – is an event, conference, training program, or workshop, that provides educational content addressing topics related to organic production and handling.
  • Soil testing – means soil testing to document micronutrient deficiencies.
  • Micronutrients – can not be used as a defoliant, herbicide, or desiccant. Those made from nitrates or chlorides are not allowed.  Deficiencies must be documented by soil or tissue testing.
  • Transitional operation – is a crop or livestock production operation that is transitioning to organic production in anticipation of obtaining USDA organic certification and has an organic system plan from a certifying agent.
  • USDA organic certification – means a determination made by a certifying agent that a production or handling operation is in compliance with the Organic Production Act of 1990.


To be eligible for OTECP, an applicant must have paid eligible costs during the program year and, at the time of application, be either a certified or a transitional operation.  Expenses that have been incurred during the program year but not paid by the applicant are not eligible for cost share assistance.  Eligibility for the OTECP is based on the date expenses are paid, rather than on the date the organic certification is effective.

Eligible Categories

Certified Organic Operations may have expenses for any combination of the following categories: crops, wild crops, livestock, handling/processing, program fees, soil testing, and educational events.

Transitional Organic Operations may have expenses for any combination of transitional operation, soil testing, and educational events.

Payment Amounts & Limitations

Eligible Applicants Category of Expenses Payment Amount
Certified operations Certification – crops 25%, up to $250
Certified operations Certification – livestock 25%, up to $250
Certified operations Certification – wild crops 25%, up to $250
Certified operations Certification – handling 25%, up to $250
Certified operations State Organic Program fees 25%, up to $250
Transitional Operations Eligible transitional expenses 75%, up to $750
Certified & Transitional Operations Educational event registration fees 75%, up to $100
Certified & Transitional Operations Soil testing 75%, up to $150

Required Documentation

In addition to dividing expenses paid by category, applicants self-certify to having either a valid organic certificate, or documentation to show a transition to organic.  Applicants must retain documentation in support of their application for three years after the date of approval.

Additional Information

If you are interested in learning more about this or other Farm Service Agency programs, contact your local FSA office.  Not sure which FSA serves your county?  Use this link (https://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app) to locate your nearest FSA office.

These OSU Extension resources may be of interest:



For Ohio specific information about the organic certification process, consult the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association: https://certification.oeffa.org/.

OSU Extension is thankful the support of USDA through the Outreach Education and Technical Assistance for Farm Service Agency Programs grant.

This article was originally published in the Farm & Dairy Newspaper on April 28, 2022. It can be accessed at: https://www.farmanddairy.com/columns/organic-certification-cost-share-available-from-farm-service-agency/715098.html

Ohio Beef Day to be held in Muskingum County

Field days have long been a great educational tool used to show farmers new technologies and management practices. OSU Extension is pleased to announce the return of a statewide Ohio Beef Cattle Field Day. It has been several years since an Ohio Beef Field Day has been held, and the program will make it reappearance in Muskingum County on Saturday July 16, 2022.

In order to see several aspects of beef cattle production this event will begin a Muskingum Livestock, 944 Malinda St. Zanesville where we will gather before departing on a multiple stop tour in the Adamsville area. The tour will depart with attendees driving their own vehicles as we caravan from one stop to the next. We recommend carpooling as much as possible due to limited parking at one of the tour stops.

The tour stops are as follows:

Michel Livestock is a diversified farm operation, where Dennis Michel manages the cattle feeding operation. On the farm, they maintain around 150 beef cows, feed nearly 700 head of cattle at any one time, and row crop farm several hundred acres of crops. The focus of this stop will be facility design and cattle receiving. Michel Livestock maintains a near continuous flow of purchased cattle into their receiving barns and markets fat cattle on a weekly basis. The Michel family also owns and operates Farm Supply Center in Zanesville, where the mix and sell feed and fertilizer.

Shirer Brothers Processing is one of several small meat processors in Muskingum County. The business recently transitioned principal operators, as Seth Scheffler has taken over operations from the Shirer family. Joining us at this stop will be Peggy Hall, Ag Law Field Specialist for OSU Extension. At this stop we will discuss the local meat industry and address any questions attendees may have regarding direct to consumer meat sales.

Our third stop will be at Hatfield Farms and Fencing operated by Wade and his son, Wesley Hatfield. From having a small herd of cattle and a fencing business, the Hatfield’s were able to grow the cattle enterprise when Wesley returned to the farm. Currently they maintain nearly 200 cows including several that calve in the fall. When it comes to raising beef cattle they have experimented with different management strategies. We will hear from the Hatfield’s as to what works well, what they would do differently, and get some tips on proper fence building techniques.

We will conclude the program at a Roger’s Auction Barn, a local landmark owned and operated by Roger and Dianne Kreis for many years. The Muskingum County Cattlemen will be preparing lunch. During lunch, representatives from the Ohio Beef Council will be highlighting some recent programming and share some insight into consumer trends. We will wrap up the day with Dr. Justin Kieffer, Clinical Veterinarian at the OSU Department of Animal Science discussing herd health updates and anaplasmosis management.

Pre-registration for the program is required and can be completed online at go.osu.edu/2022beefday by July 7. The program fee is $10 per person to cover costs. An information folder, refreshments, lunch, and Beef Quality Assurance certification will be provided to all attendees. If there are any questions regarding the program contact Garth Ruff, Beef Cattle Field Specialist at ruff.72@osu.edu or 740-305-3201. We hope to see you in Muskingum County on July 16.

Long-term care costs: what are the odds?

By Robert Moore, Attorney and Research Specialist, OSU Agricultural & Resource Law Program

There is no doubt that Long-Term Care (LTC) costs are a financial threat to many farms.  Some farmers go to great lengths to protect their farm assets from potential LTC costs.  Protection strategies include gifting assets to family members, transferring farm assets to irrevocable trusts and buying LTC insurance.  But what do the statistics say about the actual risk to farms for LTC costs?

According to the Administration for Community Living, someone turning age 65 today has an almost 70% chance of needing some type of long-term care services in their remaining years.  Due to women having longer life expectancies, predictions are that women will need an average of 3.7 years of care and men will need 2.2 years.  While one-third of today’s 65-year-olds may never need long-term care support, 20% will need it for longer than 5 years.  The following data from the ACL provides more details as to the type and length of care needed:

This table shows that of the three years of LTC needed on average, two of those years are expected to be provided at home and one year in a facility.  It is noteworthy that a majority of LTC services are typically provided at home because most people do not want to leave home for a facility, some at-home care isn’t paid for, and home care is less expensive than facility care.  Many people may think all LTC will be provided in a facility, but as the data shows, this is not usually the case.

The next important statistic is cost.  The following are costs of various LTC services from the 2021 Cost of Care Survey provided by Genworth Financial, Inc.

Nursing home costs are significantly higher than in-home services.  People may think of LTC costs in terms of nursing homes, but as discussed in the previous paragraph, the majority of LTC services are the less expensive, in-home type. So, while all LTC costs are significant, they might not be as high as commonly thought.

Let’s use this data to come up with some possible numbers for an Ohio farmer.  Assume the following:

  • A 65year-old farmer has a 67% chance of needing LTC
  • The length of that care will be around 3 years
  • 1 year of care will be unpaid inhome services
  • 1 year of care will be paid, inhome services at around $60,000/year
  • 1 year of care will be in a nursing home at around $90,000/year

Based on the above assumptions, a 65-year-old Ohioan, on average, can expect about $100,000 in LTC care costs ($60,000 + $90,000 x 67%). Keep in mind that these costs are per person and a married couple will have double these potential costs. The next question is, can the average farmer absorb LTC costs without jeopardizing the farm?  That’s a question we’ll examine in a future post in the Legal Groundwork Series.

Part 2: Long-term care costs: what are the odds?

We discussed long-term care (LTC) costs in our April 20 blog post and analyzed recent data to project that a 65-year-old Ohioan, on average, can expect about $100,000 in LTC costs, and double that for a married couple.  In this post, we continue to examine LTC costs by addressing an important question for farmers:  can the average farmer absorb this cost without jeopardizing the farm and farm assets?

First, we need to remember that any income received by the farmer could be spent on paying the LTC costs.  Farm income, land rent, social security income, and income from investments can all pay for LTC costs.  After income is used to pay for LTC care costs, non-farm assets, like savings, can be used to pay for the costs. It’s the portion of the LTC costs that income and savings cannot cover that causes farm assets to be at risk.  For example, if the farmer has $40,000 in savings, using that savings to pay LTC leaves only $60,000 of farm assets at risk.

Let’s next turn to the risk to farm assets.  While a farmer would never want to sell any farm asset to pay for LTC, their land is probably the last asset they would want sold.  Most farmers would sell grain, crops, livestock, and machinery before they would sell land.  So, if income and savings cannot pay for LTC care costs, how at risk is the land?  Data can also help us answer this question.  According to the Economic Research Service – USDA (ERS), the total amount of non-real estate, farm assets owned by farmers in the US for 2020 were as follows:

Financial Assets                                 $92,013,020,000

Inventory (crops, livestock, inputs)      $62,866,872,000

Machinery                                          $278,809,055,000

Total Non-Real Estate Farm Assets   $533,688,897,000

The ERS further estimates that there were 2.02 million farmers in the US in 2020.  So, on average, farmers owned $264,202 of non-real estate, farm assets.  If income and savings are unable to pay for LTC costs, the average farmer would have an additional $264,202 of assets to sell before needing to sell real estate.

So, what does all this data tell us?  On average, if farmers are forced to sell farm assets to pay for LTC, they will not need to sell their land.  They may need to sell crops, livestock and/or machinery to help pay for the LTC costs but the land is probably safe.  That is the good news.

The bad news is the above analysis is all based on averages.  When dealing with large numbers, averages are very useful.  We can say with some confidence that on average, a 65-year-old farmer in Ohio will spend around $100,000 on LTC.  However, the numbers cannot tell us with any certainty what a specific farmer will spend on LTC. Farmer Smith in Delaware County, Ohio might never pay any LTC costs, might pay the average of $100,000 or they might be an outlier.  An outlier is someone whose specific circumstances end up being significantly different than the average.

Being an outlier is what farmers are really concerned about regarding LTC.  We all know someone, or have heard of someone, who was in a nursing home for 10 years.  That’s close to $1 million in LTC costs.  Few farmers have the income, savings and non-real estate assets to pay for $1 million of LTC.

So, what LTC planning for farmers really ends up being is protecting against the outlier scenario that puts the land at risk.  Most 65-year-old farmers would probably sleep well at night if they knew they would only have $100,000 of LTC costs for the rest of their lives.  That amount of LTC costs is probably not going to cause a farm liquidation.  What keeps farmers up at night is the chance they will be the outlier and spend 10 years in an expensive nursing home.

The outlier scenario is important for farmers to understand as they develop their LTC strategy.  For any risk management plan, the true nature of the risk must be understood and not just presumed.  The fact is most farms can probably withstand the average LTC costs.  It is also factual that most farms cannot withstand an outlier scenario of being in a nursing home for many years.  This understanding is critical in developing a LTC plan.  That is, the LTC plan should probably seek to mitigate the risk of being an outlier, not on being average.

Fortunately, there are strategies to help mitigate the risk of losing the farm to the outlier scenario, although each of the strategies have significant drawbacks.  In future posts, we will discuss those strategies.

OSU Extension is part of the 2nd Annual Backyard Conservation Day

On Saturday, April 23rd from 10 am – 1 pm  The Licking County Soil and Water Conservation District is hosting A Backyard Conservation Day

Celebrate Earth Day and join us for a day of learning at the Ag Services Building at 771 East Main St. Newark.
◊  Explore our rain gardens, wetland, and woodlot
◊  Learn about invasive species & native plants
◊  Make nature-related crafts
◊  Purchase tree seedlings*, rain barrels, wildflower seeds, and more!
◊  Talk to our natural resource professionals about forestry, wildlife, stormwater, and more!
◊  Tour the Licking County Master Gardener’s demonstration garden
◊  Want to take the fun home? Tree seedlings, rain barrels, pond management books, and a host of conservation products will also be available for purchase!

Join OSU Extension for 2 short programs as I talk about – Understanding Soils and Fertilizers at 10:30 am and Safe Use of Pesticides at 11:30 am.
Visit all of our stations to learn about conservation in your own backyard from rain gardens to planting trees to rain barrels and more! There will also be crafts for kids, on-site demonstrations, and conservation supplies for sale.

Spring Pond Clinic and Fish Sale

Monday, May 2, 2022, from 5:30 – 7 pm at Hartford Fairgrounds Natural Resources Area, 14028 Fairgrounds Rd., Croton, OH

Licking County Soil and Water is hosting this event.

Get all your questions about ponds answered!

Learn more about where to build a pond, how to keep a pond healthy, and what you should use to stock your pond.
Steve Fender, of Fender Fish Hatchery, will address pond concerns and explain how to stock and maintain a healthy pond.  Tim Parker with the Division of Wildlife will provide information about managing wildlife around your pond as well.

Light refreshments will be available.  Let us know if you plan to attend for our planning purposes by calling 740-670-5330 or complete RSVP form.

Fish Sale order deadline is May 3rd.   Order pick-up is May 10 from 2:30–3:30 pm. Order line or from hard copy download here. Order forms will be available at the pond clinic so you can ask specific questions about what would work best in your pond.