Deadline Approaching for USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, Additional crops and livestock have been added to the eligible list.

August 28, 2020

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Deadline Approaching for USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

CFAP Application Deadline is Sept. 11

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) reminds farmers and ranchers that the deadline to apply for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) is Sept. 11, 2020. This program provides direct relief to producers who faced price declines and additional marketing costs due to COVID-19.

Over 160 commodities are eligible for CFAP, including certain non-specialty crops, livestock, dairy, wool, specialty crops, eggs, aquaculture, and nursery crops and cut flowers. All eligible commodities, payment rates, and calculations can be found on

FSA offers several options for farmers and ranchers to apply for CFAP, including a call center where employees can answer your questions and help you get started on your application. Customers seeking one-on-one support with the CFAP application process can call 877-508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee ready to offer general assistance. This is a recommended first step before a producer engages the team at the FSA county office at their local USDA Service Center.

With only two weeks before the deadline, now is the time to check out the resources on and contact the call center or your local office for your last-minute questions.

Producers have several options for applying to the CFAP program by the Sept. 11 deadline:

  • Using an online portal, accessible at gov/cfap. This allows producers with secure USDA login credentials, known as eAuthentication, to certify eligible commodities online, digitally sign applications, and submit directly to the local USDA Service Center.
  • Completing the application form using our CFAP Application Generator and Payment Calculator found at gov/cfap. This Excel workbook allows customers to input information specific to their operation to determine estimated payments and populate the application form, which can be printed, then signed, and submitted to their local USDA Service Center.
  • Downloading the AD-3114 application form from gov/cfap and manually completing the form to submit to the local USDA Service Center by mail, electronically, or by hand delivery to an office drop box. In some limited cases, the office may be open for in-person business by appointment. Visit to check the status of your local office.

USDA Service Centers can also work with producers to complete and securely transmit digitally signed applications through two commercially available tools: Box and OneSpan. Producers who are interested in digitally signing their applications should notify their local service centers when calling to discuss the CFAP application process. You can learn more about these solutions at

All other eligibility forms, such as those related to adjusted gross income and payment information, can be downloaded from For existing FSA customers, these documents are likely already on file.

All USDA Service Centers are open for business, including some that are open to visitors to conduct business in person by appointment only. All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct business with FSA, Natural Resources Conservation Service or any other Service Center agency should call ahead and schedule an appointment. Service Centers that are open for appointments will pre-screen visitors based on health concerns or recent travel, and visitors must adhere to social distancing guidelines. Visitors are also required to wear a face covering during their appointment. Our program delivery staff will be in the office, and they will be working with our producers in the office, by phone and using online tools. More information can be found at

Please contact your local FSA Office.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).

Fall Fruit Research Updates and Live Q&A Featuring Brambles (Blackberries and Raspberries), Grapes, Hardy Figs, and Hardy Kiwis

Join us for timely fruit research updates for your farm and garden, and to get your questions answered by experts from The Ohio State University. This FREE, online-only event will feature several video presentations recorded from the OSU South Centers research fields, as well as live question and answer segments. The event will take place from 10-11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 using the Zoom meeting platform.

When registering, you can submit questions you would like answered during the event. To register, visit Be sure to include an email address that your monitor regularly, as this will be the method we use to send you the link to join the event.

This event is made possible via funding by a Specialty Crop Block Grant from USDA through Ohio Department of Agriculture and by a Viticulture Extension grant from Ohio Grape Industries Committee.

Click here for the flyer and more information: Fruit Q A 2020

Forest and wildlife history and future challenges

Our next Virtual A DAY in the WOODS program “Forest and wildlife history and future challenges”  will be offered as a Zoom webinar on September 11 from 10 am to 11:30 am.

The live program will feature two live presentations on forest and wildlife history.   Two additional presentations focusing on future challenges to forests and wildlife will be available for viewing in advance. All four presenters will be available for a live question and answer session during the live event.

For program details and to register visit:

In case you missed it,  we now have 22 tree identification videos available at: . These short videos each feature a tree species and focus on identification characteristics.  A new video will be launched on Facebook on Treemendous Tuesday’s at



Soil & Water recruiting candidates for the Board of Supervisors


The Board is actively seeking interested, conservation-minded leaders to continue the mission of promoting conservation of natural resources through local leadership, education and technical assistance.  The Supervisors, elected by county residents and landowners, help chart the course for soil and water conservation and natural resources management in Licking County.  The Board also provides supervision to the District Administrator, oversight of fiscal decisions and technical expertise.  Information on programs and services can be found here:

The Board is composed of representatives from agricultural and urban backgrounds, educators and technical experts serving a three-year term as unpaid public officials.  The two Board members elected will begin their service term on January 1, 2021.

 2020 Board members:

Ron Thompson, Chair

John Wagy, Vice Chair

Bill Goodman, Secretary/Treasurer

Seth Dobbelaer, Fiscal Agent

Mamie Hollenback, Member

The Board meets monthly at the Agricultural Service Center, 771 East Main Street, Newark, Ohio 43055 typically on the second Wednesday of the month at 4:30 pm.  The public is welcome via zoom for the remainder of 2020, so please join us for an upcoming meeting to learn about our organization.

 The deadline for submitting a Candidate Information Form is September 11, 2020.

If you have any questions regarding the becoming a candidate or the election process, please contact Kristy Hawthorne at 740-670-5330 or

Planning to Open Agritourism for Fall and Christmas Seasons

by: Eric Barrett, Rob Leeds, Peggy Hall, Dee Jepsen, Lisa Pfeifer & Brad Bergefurd

In big or small ways, COVID-19 has impacted aspects of farming and agribusiness. Safety, health, and wellness have become necessary concerns for all farm operations. Inviting the public to an agricultural operation for activities requires farm businesses to take additional safety measures for employees and customers. Agritourism is unique in that the activities offered by farms are enjoyed by the greater community in a managed, mostly outdoor environment.

Beyond agriculture, the pandemic has been especially difficult for businesses that focus on entertainment and related activities where large groups of people congregate. To the public, agritourism may seem similar to fairs and festivals. But agritourism is quite different. Agritourism farms are operated over a series of weeks and even months. Many have been operating pick-your-own activities and farm market/produce stands throughout the pandemic. Agritourism farms engage in emergency planning (i.e. – These farms are well staffed and have adopted effective tools over the years to manage all types of customer situations. Their livelihood depends on their ability to manage crowds and keep customers safe.

Agritourism operations need to go above and beyond to plan for safe operations of their farms during the pandemic. This is not only important for public safety; it is important for the future of the farm business. Additionally, customers may see well-planned safety measures as a reason to visit the farm during these challenging times.

As operations begin putting together COVID-19 safety plans for their fall and Christmas seasons it is important that the farm communicates and develops a working relationship with the local health department. The local health department is the entity that is charged with protecting the health of the community and ensuring that the standards outlined in the Responsible RestartOhio orders are met. When making the first call to the local health department, farms should have an outline prepared for the preliminary discussion. For Example, be able to explain What activities will happen, and the plan for disinfecting high touch areas of the farm. Some preliminary guidance is available that relates to agritourism farms. This includes:

Consumer, Retail, Services and Entertainment

Restaurants, Bars, and Banquet & Catering Facilities/Services

Ohio K-12 Schools (As it relates to operating school tours)

Child Care (As it relates to operating school tours)

Local departments may also have additional resources and insights that will help put together a plan to allow farms to keep their guests safe and address situations that may arise during the season. The earlier you can meet with them the more help they can provide. Help them get familiar with your operation and how its operated. Talk to them about keeping your guests safe while sustaining the farm. This year our guests will be looking for fun and safe activities, working with our local partners will be one way we can show our commitment to safety.

Additional resources including printable posters for safety related practices can be found at

OSU Extension Bulletin Forthcoming

OSU Extension has prepared a guidance bulletin to help farms develop their plans. The guide is based on publications from the state of Ohio, the CDC and others. The guide is in the final stage of the approval process and will be available in the coming days. This guide can be used to develop opening plans or update existing plans for agritourism operations.

The guidance bulletin will be posted here on the Ohio Ag Manager website. To watch for updates on the guide, we encourage farms to subscribe to our Ohio Ag Manager Blog at

Do you have the invasive tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus) growing on your property?

Have you noticed extremely fast growing trees along the edges of woods, in fence rows or even in your landscaping.  If these trees have leaves similar to a walnut tree and might be producing reddish colored winged seeds, somewhat like maples, then it is time to investigate what type of trees they really are.  Ailanthus trees, also known as tree-of-heaven, are seen throughout the county and are an invasive specie that needs to be removed.  Be careful, it is not as easy as just cutting them off at the ground.  Left untreated, the roots from these cut trees are capable of producing dozens of new trees.  The following link is the fact sheet from Ohio State providing information on Ailanthus: Controlling Non-Native Invasive Plants in Ohio Forests_ Ailanthus _ Ohioline

Farm Science Review 2020: Online and free

Published on August 5, 2020

COLUMBUS, Ohio—Farm Science Review will come to you on your laptop or smartphone this year, and for free, you can watch livestreamed talks and recorded videos featuring the latest farm equipment and research to pique your curiosity.

From Sept. 22–24, people from across the Midwest and the world can learn tips for increasing farm profits and growing crops from soybeans to hemp.

Beginning in September, virtual visitors can find out about the show’s offerings by going to and clicking on an image of the show’s site. Within that image, people can click on the various icons to find the schedules for talks and demos they’re most interested in, such as field demonstrations or “Ask the Expert” talks.

Among the livestreamed talks will be Ask the Expert presentations that feature the advice of staff from The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES)on various topics in agriculture. Viewers will enter the talks through a Zoom meeting link and be able to post their questions in chat boxes. If you miss any, you can check back after the talks to watch the recordings.

“It will be even easier this year to benefit from the show’s valuable advice that can help farmers improve their businesses,” said Nick Zachrich, manager of Farm Science Review, which is hosted by CFAES.

“Whether farm operators have questions on finances, insurance protection, or which new tool fits their needs, resources will be available through Farm Science Review online.”

The virtual format is a first for Farm Science Review, held annually for nearly 60 years.

Topics for talks at FSR this year include the risks of transmitting COVID-19 to your animals, the prospects of U.S. agricultural exports abroad, increasing profits from small grains by planting double crops, climate trends, managing cash flow on the farm, farm stress, and rental rates on agricultural land.

Looking for a job in agriculture? For the second time this year, FSR will include a career fair. Before the Sept. 22 event, which will be from 10 a.m. to noon, anyone can view videos and other content from prospective employers to know what those employers are seeking and schedule live chats with company representatives.

Presentations on raising backyard chickens, starting a flock of sheep, and growing blackberries and other specialty crops could spark some inspiration.

Other major attractions at this year’s show will include online field demonstrations that will show how various types of farm equipment boost the efficiency of fertilizing, harvesting a field, or performing other tasks. Viewers can catch a close-up view of the machinery, which, on site, they’d normally have to see from several yards away.

“With many events canceled and disruptions across the industry because of the pandemic, Farm Science Review aims to provide as many solutions as possible,” Zachrich said.

“A showcase of equipment, other products, services, and education will help address limitations that have surfaced in recent months.”

The annual talk given by agricultural economists in CFAES will focus on supply chains in food and agriculture. Many of those supply chains were tested earlier this year when the nation’s major meat processors closed down temporarily because so many of their employees had COVID-19.

Ty Higgins, director of media relations for the Ohio Farm Bureau, will moderate the talk, which will include Ben Brown, Ian Sheldon, and Zoë Plakias, all agricultural economists with CFAES.

If you require an accommodation, such as live captioning or interpretation, to participate in this event, please email

Requests made 10 business days prior to the event will typically allow the university enough time to provide seamless access. But after that, the university will make every effort to meet requests.

For more information about the format or offerings in this year’s show, visit

Pasture-Finished Beef Production Online Workshops

Pasture-Finished Beef Production Online Workshops

 Three concurrent sessions, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm Eastern Time each day:

August 11:

Pasture-finished Beef Production Overview              Greg Halich, University of Kentucky

Forages and Grazing Management                             John Fike, Virginia Tech

August 12:

Cattle Selection and Winter Management                  Ed Rayburn, West Virginia University

Marketing and Processing                                           Kenny Burdine and Greg Halich, Univ. KY

August 13:

Producer Panel

Putting it All Together – Systems Approach             Greg Halich and Ed Rayburn

 No Cost but need to REGISTER at:

“Legal Considerations for Woodland Owners”

Our Fourth Virtual A DAY in the WOODS program “Legal Considerations for Woodland Owners”  will be offered as a Zoom webinar on August 14 from 10 am to 11:30 am.

Topics covered include:

10:00 AM-Welcome virtual A DAY in the WOODS and Zoom orientation- Dave Apsley and Julie Strawser, OSU Extension

10:05 AM-Timber Theft and Trespass in Ohio – James S. Savage, Esq. and Mark Rickey, Service Forester, ODNR-Division of Forestry

10:45 AM-Ohio Fence Line Law, recreational user laws and other issues facing Ohio woodland owners-Peggy Kirk Hall, Associate Professor, Agricultural & Resource Law, Ohio State University Extension

11:15 AM Question and answer session


For more information and to register visit:


Also in case you missed it, we now have 17 TREE ID Clips available on YouTube.  These 2-4 minute videos each feature a tree species and focus on identification characteristics.  We are launching a new video each week on Facebook on Treemendous Tuesday’s at



Agritourism webinar presents opportunities, trends, and legal issues for agritourism

From:  Peggy Kirk Hall

It wasn’t that long ago that “agritourism” was an unfamiliar term to in the agricultural community.  But agritourism has been on the rise in the U.S. and agritourism income tripled between 2002 and 2017.  Many farmers and ranchers are now familiar with the economic benefits agritourism presents.   Along with the agritourism industry’s continued growth and prospects, however, has been an evolution of laws and legal issues.

Join me with OSU Extension Educators Eric Barrett and Rob Leeds on August 19, 2020 for a free webinar on “The Evolution of Agritourism:  Current Legal Issues and Future Trends,” hosted by the National Agricultural Law Center.  We’ll examine opportunities in agritourism today and the legal challenges agritourism faces from COVID-19 and other anticipated legal issues.   Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • What’s new and hot:  agritourism marketing trends and opportunities
  • In the courts:  litigation against agritourism operations
  • COVID-19:  legal issues for agritourism
  • What may come:  anticipated legal challenges for the future
  • How to deal with it:  thoughts on  managing agritourism legal risk

Additional information and a registration link for the webinar are available at    If you can’t make the live webinar, visit the same page later for a recorded version.

This webinar and the Ohio Ag Law Blog are supported by the USDA’s National Agricultural Library.