Hocking/Vinton Grazing School

Grazing Workshop Series

 Hocking SWCD, Vinton SWCD, Ohio State University Extension, Natural Resources Conservation Service and Ohio Department of Agriculture will be hosting a comprehensive educational opportunity for grazers.  This workshop series will begin the evening of February 20th at the Olde Dutch Restaurant, located at 12791 St. Rt. 664 Logan, OH  43138.  The buffet will be available on your own prior to the meeting, which will be from 6 – 8p.m. in the conference room.  Topics to be covered that evening include: The Basics of Management Intensive Grazing (MIG), Soil Fertility and The Economics of Grazing.  Following this workshop, a series of 6 pasture walks will be scheduled throughout the summer in both Hocking and Vinton counties.  These evening workshops will showcase a variety of grazing and conservation practices local producers are utilizing.  There is no charge for the workshop but reservations are required.  If you plan to attend or have questions please contact the Hocking SWCD at (740) 385 – 3016 or the Vinton SWCD at (740) 596 – 5676 before February 16th.




Tuesday, February 20th

(tentative agenda)


5:00-6:00        Dinner – Olde Dutch Buffet (on your own)


6:00-6:10        Welcome


6:10-6:40         What is MIG


6:40-7:10        Pasture Soil Fertility


7:10-7:40        Economics of Grazing


7:40-8:00        Outline Grazing Series Workshops Throughout the Summer

2017 Farm Science Review

In a couple short weeks it will be time for Farm Science Review, one of my favorite things in Extension.

Each year I get a little more involved with this event and this year I am all in.   My first year I attended for a day as I had never been there and really enjoyed it so last year I was able to grab a piece of ground at the Gwynne Conservation Area up the road for a deer plot presentation as well as talk about parasites in small ruminants on the main grounds.

This year my schedule will be:

  • Tuesday – At the Gwynne all day,  talking Deer Plots mid-day
  • Wednesday – At the main grounds, talking Equine Internal Parasite Management at 10am.
  • Thursday I get to speak back at the Gywnne on a really cool project idea I had that myself and a bunch of educator buddies of mine developed that is particularly useful for Hocking County residents – A new demonstration area that will show different forages to try for Year-Round Grazing.

There was a 1.1 acre of ground that had been neglected that was planted in warm season perennial bunch grasses, like prairie grasses

Some bunch grasses present but also a ton of weeds

The spot was managed with herbicides with the best quarter acre saved of perennial grasses to show them off and the rest of the plot was planted with other forage types.  We will have quarter acre plots of the following:

  1. Warm Season Annuals
  2. Overwintered Stockpiled Forage
  3. Cool Season Perennials
  4. Warm Season Perennials

Baby oats that will grow into a forage that can be fed into the winter


Stop by this new grazing demonstration area if you get a chance.  Shuttles will take you back and forth from each event location.


Hocking County 2017 Ag Days

Ag Days will be held at the Hocking County Fairgrounds on the weekend of April 8th and 9th.   Extension will have several events, programs and presentations during the festival.

First up is the Pie Baking Contest

Do you have what it takes to take down the CHAMP????

2016 Champ Anna


Do you have what it takes?

The Hocking County 4-H Youth Board will hold a Pie Bake-Off on Saturday, April 8 as part of Ag Days. Pies should be brought to the Youth Center, located on the Hocking County Fairgrounds before 9:15 AM on April 8. Judging begins at 9:30 AM with 1st, 2nd and 3rd places being awarded. All pies must be in a disposable container. The winning pies will be auctioned at 10 AM.  All types of pies will be accepted. Please call OSU Extension at 740-385-3222 for more information. All pies/proceeds benefit the Hocking Co. Youth Board.


Two other events on Saturday at Ag Days are:

  • Hocking County Farm Bureau  Workers Comp credits are available by attending a two hour presentation in the Soil and Water Room from 10 – Noon
    • First Hour 10 – 11 “Updates on The Veterinary Feed Directive”
    • Second Hour 11-12 Ag Safety.
    • Anyone can attend either or both hours,  for full credit for Farm Bureau, both hours need attended.
  • Pollinators for Vegetables – For kids of all ages
    • 1 – 2pm,  at the Children’s Education Garden.   We will be planting some seeds for both veggies and pollinators and have some pollinator seed packets to hand out as well.


Hoping that we do not have a blizzard for Ag Days like last year!!  Looking forward to seeing everyone there.

Save The Date!! “Tick Prevention” at Hocking Valley Community Hospital 4/3/17 at 6pm

With spring upcoming and people starting to head back outdoors it is time to think about protection from ticks.  Ticks are a major vector of many diseases affecting humans, companion animals and livestock and the prevalence of these diseases has been rapidly increasing over the last decade.  On Monday, April 3rd at 6pm at Hocking Valley Community Hospital I will discuss tick diseases, identification and prevention methods.  The class is free and open to the public.

How to identify which tick is important,  different ticks carry different diseases and all ticks carry more than one disease.


Source: Tickencounter.org


We will discuss lifecycles.

Source: CDC


And go over how to protect yourself, your family, your pets and your livestock.   Ticks are tough to repel, many of the most common products are ineffective.

We will discuss what works and what does not work.


Space is limited to about 20-25 and classes at HVCH generally fill up.  The class is free so bring your friends and your questions.

Contact information:

Class instructor is Tim McDermott, DVM from OSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Office. Call (740) 380-8336 or email ljohnston@hvch.org to RSVP.


Fun Projects at Logan Hocking High School

I want to thank Andrew DeLong,  Agricultural Education teacher at Logan Hocking High School, for inviting me to come speak to some of his students this past Thursday.  I had a tremendous time and wanted to share some fun projects we are working on at the school and let you know what we are planning.

A fun presentation I have done in the past is a gross dissection class of a system.  The best one to start with is the cardiopulmonary system as pretty much all the mammal species have the exact same system, just different sizes.  Mr. DeLong was able to source the perfect specimens, two full cardiopulmonary systems from swine.  Pigs are a lot like people.  The organs are near the same size and we use pig heart valves as replacement for defective human valves.

After a short classroom discussion on heart sounds, anatomy and the circulation pathway, it was out onto the shop floor.

We had two tongues, two complete systems from larynx to diaphragm and microscope stations with different things to look at really close.

Then it was time to glove up and get in with it.  The kids were knowledgeable and full of questions.  The future looks bright at LHHS.

Talking to Mr. DeLong with have some ideas for future programs that will be fun.  I will keep you all in the loop.


The other fun thing we have started planning for is using the greenhouse to grow vegetable starts for The Urban Farm at Southeast Ohio Regional Kitchen.

The greenhouse is huge and has a ton of cool projects going on in every nook and cranny.  One really interesting thing is the aquaculture experiment where fish swim and create a nutrient rich water that then feeds plants without the need for soil.  I have an interest in aquaculture and Extension has some researchers working on developing this further.  I look forward to working with Mr. DeLong on this project.

Fish in the tub, plants in the tubing.


Lots of fun things to do.   I am looking forward to partnering with Logan Hocking High School on lots more fun projects.

Save The Date! Update on the Veterinary Feed Directive Wednesday January 11th, 7pm

Changes will soon occur to hundreds of antimicrobial applications for livestock by the end of the year.   These changes will add the need for Veterinary oversight on how medically important antibiotics can be used in food and water in livestock.

A presentation on the basics of what the Veterinary Feed Directive rules will be going forward and how it will impact local producers will be held at the Youth Center at the Hocking County Fairgrounds on Wednesday January 11th at 7pm.


Eastern Agricultural Research Station 50-Year Celebration and Field Day – October 2nd, 2016

A while back in December of last year I did a post about the research farm that is in my Extension region called the Eastern Agricultural Research Station,  nicknamed EARS.


EARS is turning 50 years old and they are inviting everyone to come out for a free field day and tours of the facility including experts talking about what research projects they are working on.  It will be Sunday October 2nd, from 2 – 5 pm.   I cannot make it due to a family event unfortunately, but I get to go out there all the time.  I highly recommend if you have the free time and are looking to do something  fun you take a drive over to Belle Valley to see this really neat place.



Click here for a printable PDF flyer to share or take with you. –> 2016eastern50yearcelebration-ears



Southeastern Ohio Hay Day – June 23rd

On Thursday  June 23rd  from  4 -8:30 pm  at the Eastern Agricultural Research Station Ohio State Extension will host Hay Day.  This event is FREE and open to the public.  A broad range of Hay production topics including mowing, tedding, raking and baling hay will be discussed with an emphasis on wrapping bales for storage.


The event is FREE and dinner is included if you reserve by June 9th for planning purposes.  I will be there so say “Hi” if you see me.

CLICK HERE for PDF of Registration —–>hay day 2016

Zika Virus in Ohio

A topic that I have been getting questions on and is a currently making headlines globally is about the Zika virus.  I will attempt to provide as much information as possible as it relates to Zika virus here in Ohio.

Here is a map of the United States with laboratory-confirmed  Zika virus infections. (Data as of May 4th, 2016, Source – CDC)


Ohio as of 5/4/16 has 12 confirmed cases of Zika virus, none of which was contracted locally, all of which were contracted via travel.

Currently, per the CDC, Zika virus disease and Zika virus congenital infection are nationally notifiable conditions.

The Ohio State University experts have done a great job of keeping us Educators in the loop and pertinent on the progress of this disease.

Volume 20, Issue 2 of PEP-Talk:

Zika Virus Special issue.

This issue of PEP-talk summarizes information about the potential Zika virus threat to Ohioans that was presented at an April 26, 2016 conference sponsored by the Ohio Department of Health.  Credit to the authors:

Mary Ann Rose, Program Director;  Chrissy Kaminski, Program Coordinator;  Adam Ziadeh, Program Assistant; Chad Kramer, Program Assistant

 The Disease and Current Status in Ohio

The disease is primarily spread through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. The illness is mild in most people, lasting for several days to a week with most common symptoms including one or more of these: fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis. As many as 80% of those infected do not realize they have the disease. However, if infected during pregnancy, the disease may cause microcephaly, a very serious birth defect, and more rarely, severe effects may occur in adults. Currently there is no treatment or vaccine for the virus. As of April 26, 2016 there were no local mosquito-transmitted cases of Zika in the continental U.S., but there had been approximately 380 travel-related cases, with 12 of those cases in Ohio. In addition to mosquito transmission, the virus can be transmitted by men to sexual partners, and by blood transfusion.
Full Printable PDF of research findings———>The Disease and Current Status in Ohio – ZIKA
Knowledge of the disease, mosquito types, and transmission are important.  Keep up on your repellants and make smart choices.  Contact me if you have any more questions about this disease.