OSU Extension to Host Two Northwest Ohio Farm Transition Programs

by: Eric Richer, OSU Extension Fulton County & Sarah Noggle, OSU Extension Paulding County

Are you interested in starting the conversation for a successful farm transition to the next generation?  OSU Extension in Northwest Ohio is holding two separate but identical farm transition meetings to assist farmers in navigating the farm transition process.

The first night will focus on the senior generation (all are invited) including estate and Medicaid planning, communication through the process, farm financial affairs and vision/management transition. The second night will focus on the next generation (all are invited) including entity formation and use in transition planning, a recap of wills & trusts, accounting implications like capital gains, gifting and share valuation, and committing to the process. Local legal and accounting professionals will be teaching sessions along with local county Extension educators.  For either program location, the cost is $20 per farm entity for both nights and including refreshments and materials.

In Fulton County, the 2-night program will be held at the Robert Fulton Ag Center, 8770 State Route 108, Wauseon, OH 43567 on January 28th and February 11th from 6:30-9:00 pm. If you are interested in the Fulton County program, download the registration form at www.go.osu.edu/fultonagprograms2020 or visit www.fulton.osu.edu. Pre-registration closes Friday, January 24th.

In Paulding County, the 2-night program will be held at the Paulding County Extension Office, 503 Fairgrounds Drive, Paulding, OH 45879 on February 20th and 27th from 6:30-9:00 pm. If you are interested in the Paulding County program, visit www.paulding.osu.edu for registration details. Pre-registration closes February 6.

Planning for the Future of Your Farm Program Planned in Tuscarawas Country

by: Chris Zoller, Extension Educator, ANR

A two-evening “Planning for the Future of Your Farm” program will be held February 12 and 19 from 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm each evening.  The program will be held at the Village of Tuscarawas Community Center on Cherry Street in Tuscarawas.

David Marrison, OSU Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Coshocton County, will discuss developing the next generation of managers, family communications, providing income for multiple generations, keeping your farm competitive, and preparing for the unexpected.  These topics will be discussed the evening of February 12.

The evening of February 19 will feature Peggy Hall, Attorney and OSU Extension Ag Law Specialist, and Robert Moore, Attorney, Wright and Moore Law.  Peggy and Robert will discuss farm business structures, estate and transfer strategies, trusts, life insurance, tax planning, and much more.

Registration for the program is $25 per person or $35 per family.  Please make your check payable to OSU Extension-Tuscarawas County, 419 16th St. SW, New Philadelphia, OH 44663.  Please RSVP by February 5.  Questions may be directed to Chris Zoller at 330-339-2337 or zoller.1@osu.edu.

 

Farm Succession Workshop to be held in Kenton, Ohio

by: Jeff Stachler, Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Educator

A two-day workshop about Farm Transition / Succession is planned for February 3 and 25, 2020.  Participants must attend both days.  The workshop will be held at Mid-Ohio Energy conference room which is located at 1210 Lima Street, Kenton, OH 43326.  Each day the program runs from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm with registration at 9:30 am.

One of Extension’s most knowledgeable individuals regarding Farm Transition is David Marrison from Coshocton County.  On the first Day of the workshop David will discuss about the Key questions to answer when planning for the future of the family farm business, Providing income for multiple generations and developing the next generation of farm managers, Retirement strategies, and much more.

The speakers for the second day are Robert Moore of Wright and Moore Law Co. and Peggy Hall, OSU Field Specialist for Agriculture and Resource Law.  They will focus on topics such as Analyzing risk in today’s world, Estate and transfer strategies, Buy/sell agreements, Tax implications of estate and transition planning, and much more.

Cost of the program is $30 per person made payable to OSU Extension – Hardin County.  It is preferred that you send in your registration fee prior to the program to the following address:  1021 W. Lima Street, Suite 103, Kenton, OH 43326.  If you have questions about registering feel free to call the Hardin County Extension Office at 419-674-2297 or e-mail Jeff Stachler (stachler.1@osu.edu).

 

Ohio Farm Custom Rate Survey 2020

Barry Ward, Leader, Production Business Management, OSU Extension, Agriculture & Natural Resources

 A large number of Ohio farmers hire machinery operations and other farm related work to be completed by others. This is often due to lack of proper equipment, lack of time or lack of expertise for a particular operation.  Many farm business owners do not own equipment for every possible job that they may encounter in the course of operating a farm and may, instead of purchasing the equipment needed, seek out someone with the proper tools necessary to complete the job. This farm work completed by others is often referred to as “custom farm work” or more simply “custom work”. A “custom rate” is the amount agreed upon by both parties to be paid by the custom work customer to the custom work provider.

Custom farming providers and customers often negotiate an agreeable custom farming machinery rate by utilizing Extension surveys results as a starting point. Ohio State University Extension collects surveys and publishes survey results from the Ohio Farm Custom Survey every other year. This year we are updating our published custom farm rates for Ohio.

We need your assistance in securing up-to-date information about farm custom work rates, machinery and building rental rates and hired labor costs in Ohio.

This year we have an online survey set up that anyone can access. We would ask that you  respond even if you know only a few rates.  We want information on actual rates, either what you paid to hire custom work or what you charged if you perform custom work. Custom Rates should include all ownership costs of implement & tractor (if needed), operator labor, fuel and lube. If fuel is not included in your custom rate charge there is a place on the survey to indicate this.

 You may access the survey at: ohio farm custom rates survey 2020

Or: https://osu.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_7WN0eNQz3VO41nv

The deadline to complete the survey is March 31, 2020.

 

Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Soybean Council Energy Study: Understanding the Impact of Demand Charges & Power Factor in Agriculture

Farmers have long explored options to provide energy savings associated with their agricultural operations. Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Soybean Council have partnered to provide research-based data driven tools to help Ohio farmers assess and navigate various energy infrastructure investment options for their farm. Specifically, the project team is interested in learning more about your experience and interest in implementing energy management strategies such as peak demand reduction, power factor correction, and/or the integration of solar generation systems to reduce electricity costs on your farm.

Farmers with commercial rate structures that charge for peak demand and poor power factor can implement equipment and management strategies to reduce electricity costs, thus increasing long-term profitability. However, very little is known about the economic feasibility of investing in equipment to reduce peak electric demand charges in agriculture. To determine the economic feasibility of implementing energy management strategies it is important to simultaneously study the real costs of installing new equipment, ongoing risks, challenges, as well as understanding how these improvements will influence the calculations of a farms electric bill a comprehensive manner.

If you are an Ohio farmer and interested in participating, you may click the survey link below to participate in this voluntary study. The survey will take less than 5 minutes and is designed to determine the overall level of interest in implementing energy management strategies such as peak demand reduction, power factor correction, the integration of solar generation systems to reduce electricity costs on your farm and to identify individuals who have experience with on-farm energy management strategies to summarize benefits and challenges. This project will provide our research team with data to identify actionable recommendations that will inform future Extension outreach and education programs.

If you have additional questions regarding this study please contact Eric Romich, Ohio State University Extension Field Specialist, at 419-294-4931 or by e-mail at: (romich.2@osu.edu).

Survey Link: https://osu.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_4MaQn34JafSQlQ9

OSU Extension to Host 7th Annual East Ohio Women in Agriculture Conference

Ohio State University (OSU) Extension, the outreach arm of the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) will host the 7th Annual East Ohio Women in Agriculture Conference.  This year’s conference convenes on Thursday, March 19 from 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at the RG Drage Career Technical Center, 2800 Richville Drive SE in Massillon.  All women and young women (high school age) who are interested in, involved in, or want to become involved with food, agricultural, or natural resources production or small business are encouraged and welcomed to attend.

The conference program features an agency/vendor fair and eighteen educational breakout sessions presented by OSU Extension educators, producers and partner agencies.  Sessions focus around five themes: Business & Finance, Plants & Animals, Communication, Home & Family and Special Interest (areas of specific interest to attendees).  Farm and Dairy Editor, Rebecca Miller is the conference featured keynote speaker. Her presentation will engage and enlighten participants on “Clinging to context in a noisy world: don’t lose sight of your “why”.

Interested individuals can register for the conference on-line at go.osu.edu/eowia2020.  Cost of the conference is $55 for adult participants and $30 for students.  Conference fee includes conference participation, continental breakfast, lunch and conference handouts.   Deadline for registration is Thursday, March 12.

Registered participants, community organizations or businesses interested in sponsorships and/or securing an informational or vendor table can do so from the registration page or contact 1-740-264-2212 to obtain more information.  A list of sponsorship opportunities is also available from the registration page.

Stay connected with the Ohio Women in Agriculture Learning Network on Facebook @OHwomeninag or subscribe to the Ohio Women in Agriculture blogsite at http://u.osu.edu/ohwomeninag/

2020 Central Ohio Agronomy School

by: John Barker, OSU Extension Educator

“The Nuts & Bolts About Corn & Soybean Production”

The 2020 Central Ohio Agronomy School will be held on Monday evenings, beginning on Monday,  February 10 through Monday March 9, from 6:30 –9:00 p.m. in the conference room of the Ag Services Building, 1025 Harcourt Rd. Mt. Vernon, Ohio 43050.   This five-week program will provide the attendees with the most comprehensive, up-to-date crop production and agricultural technology information available today.  This school is designed with everyone in mind; part-time or full-time producer, beginner or CCA agronomist.  Within each subject area we will teach the basic concepts and progress to the most advanced agronomic principles.

Topics include:

February 10   – Bruce Ackley, OSU Weed Science.

Weed Identification with Live Plants at Various Growth Stages.

Palmer, Waterhemp, Pigweed, Marestail, Various Grasses and more!

Dr. Mark Loux, OSU Weed Science

Developing a Multi-Year Herbicide Program for Tough to Control Weeds

Weed control update for 2020

February 17   – Dr. Scott Shearer, OSU Chair, Food, Agriculture and Biological Engineering

                                    Field Compaction Research

  – Dr. Elizabeth Hawkins, Field Specialist, OSU Extension

              2019 On-farm Research Results

February 24   – Ben Brown, OSU College of Food, Agriculture, & Environmental Sciences

                                    Farming & Marketing in an Uncertain World

Peggy Hall OSU Agricultural & Resource Law Program

“Hot” Agricultural Law Topics

March 2         – Glen Arnold, Field Specialist, OSU Extension

                                     Is Manure Right for You?

– Dr. Jeff Stachler, OSU Extension – Auglaize County

                                    Weed Seeds in Manure. 

 March 9         – Marne Tichenell, Wildlife Specialist, OSU Extension

Wildlife Damage in Field Crops

Aaron Wilson, Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center

                                    How Weather is Affecting our Farming Operations

2018 Weather Outlook

This school will provide:

14 continuing education credits (CEU’s) for Certified Crop Advisors,

C.M. 2, I.P.M. 6.5, N.M 2, P.D. 1.5,  S&W 2.0.

8 hours of Commercial Pesticide Credits

Core – 2 hrs., 2a – .5 hrs., 2c – 2 hrs., 2d –.5 hrs., 9 – .5 hrs., 10c – .5 hrs., 15 – 2 hrs.

8 hours of Private Pesticide Recertification Credits

Core – 2 hrs.,  Cat 1- 2.5 hrs., Cat 2 – .5 hrs., Cat 6 – .5hrs., Cat 7 – .5 hrs., Cat 15 – 2 hrs.

Registration costs vary due to CUE credits and pesticide applicator credits.

This program is sponsored by The Ohio State University Extension, Advantage Ag & Equipment, B&B Farm Service, Central Ohio Farmers CO-OP, Channel, Clark Seeds, Cubbage Electric, Farmcredit, First-Knox National Bank, and Seed Consultants.

For more information contact the OSU Extension Office in Knox County (740-397-0401).  The following links will provide more information for this program.  http://u.osu.edu/knoxcountyag/ or https://knox.osu.edu/

 

OSU Extension to Offer Lunch and Learn Webinars

By: Chris Bruynis, Extension Educator

In the age of multi-tasking and convenience, OSU Extension is offering a lunch and learn webinar series for farmers. We have arranged for eight topic and speakers to provide a webinar every Wednesday starting on Wednesday, February 5, 2020 and concluding March 25, 2020. Join us for eight consecutive Wednesdays for this educational series starting at 11:45 am and lasting 1.5 hours. Learn important risk management information during this lunch and learn series from top industry, private sector, and university experts important to the success of farm businesses in 2020 and beyond.

The topics that will be covered include:

February 5:         Using Financial Statements/Ratios to Make Informed Financial Decisions

February 12:      Farm Law 101: Leasing and Financing Agreements

February 19:      Grain Contracts and Markets: What to Use When

February 26:      Where to Start with Workers Compensation Benefits

March 4:             Meeting with a Lender: What Numbers are Important

March 11:           Estate Planning: What are the Tools and Options

March 18:           Grain Marketing Strategies for 2020

March 25:           Tips for Recruiting, Hiring, and Retaining Farm Business Employees

Farmers interested in participating should register at http://go.osu.edu/fm2020 by January 31, 2020.  At this website you can access detailed information on the speakers and the learning objectives for each session. There is also a registration link for the webinar at this site. The cost for all eight topics is $25 per registration and must be paid with credit card at time of registration.

Any question can be directed to Chris Bruynis or Marianne Guthrie at 740-702-3200 or email bruynis.1@osu.edu. We hope this program series will be beneficial to your farm business, whether you attend all the topic presentations or just some of them.

Precision University: Combating Compaction

by: Amanda Douridas, Extension Educator

The fall of 2018 and spring of 2019 created some less than ideal conditions for field work leaving many farmers concerned with field compaction. This concern is justified as compaction can significantly reduce yields. Compaction has been a concern for many years as equipment size grows, increasing axle weight.

Researchers have been conducting on-farm trials comparing farming practices to uncover ways farmers can reduce compaction. Comparisons include tires and tracks, equipment size and tillage practices. At the 2020 Precision University, OSU Extension has invited in some of the leading experts from across North America on compaction research and management.

Featured Speakers include:
Dr. Scott Shearer -The Ohio State University
Dr. Ian McDonald -Ontario Ministry of Agriculture
Dr. Mark Hanna -Iowa State University
Dr. Jason Warren -Oklahoma State University

We have also moved the event to the Champion Center at the Clark County Fairgrounds outside Springfield. This facility allows us to feature equipment demonstrations in a heated environment and enables exhibitors to display the latest in technology from their companies. We’re excited to get our hands dirty with some compaction demonstrations involving different types of equipment!

Details including online registration and hotel information can be found at go.osu.edu/precisionu. The registration deadline is January 3 and the cost to attend is $50. This includes breakfast, lunch and giveaways.

Sponsors and exhibitors include Camso, Soucy, Green Field Ag, Capstan Ag, Apple Farm Service, Precision Ag Reviews, Ag Info Tech, Mosaic, and Agro Chem.

Change Your Employee Recruitment and Interview Mindset

by: Rory Lewandowski, Extension Educator Wayne County

Originally written for Dairy Excel column for the 10-31-19 Farm and Dairy

Labor is an important component of any farm operation.  Beyond just checking the box that a certain task has been completed, farm profitability often turns on how well a task was completed, the attention to detail and protocol.  Improving employee recruiting and interviewing skills increases the chance of hiring the right employee for your farm situation.  For many farms, employee recruitment, interviewing and hiring requires a mindset adjustment.

How do you attract dependable farm employees? What is your goal and objective when you hire a farm employee?  I once heard Bernie Erven, professor emeritus of The Ohio State University, and human resource management specialist, say that too many farms do not manage the employee recruitment and interview process.  Desperate for labor, the only job requirement seemed to be that the person could walk and breathe.  Interview questions consisted of “Have you worked on a farm before? and Do you want the job?”  A management mindset involves developing a recruitment strategy and a process to find employees that are the right fit for your farm.  Donald Cooper, an international management consultant, says that businesses become what they hire.  If your goal is high performance and excellence, you need to recruit and hire above average, high quality persons.

Employee recruitment starts before there is a job vacancy.  Effective recruitment has both an outward and an inward focus.  An outward focus is about developing relationships with persons, organizations and institutions that could provide a contact or recommend a potential employee to the farm.  Some examples include FFA chapters/advisors, career centers, and farm service persons such as veterinarians, feed and equipment dealers, technicians and ag lenders.  In Wayne and surrounding counties, OSU-ATI is an obvious source of potential farm employees.  If you run into someone with the potential to be a good employee, even if you currently don’t have a vacancy, at least collect contact information.  Some farms may even create a temporary position for the person.  Inward recruitment focus is about building a reputation as a great place to work.  If someone were to drive around the county and ask the question, who is the best farm to work for, would the questioner hear the name of you or your farm?

The next important piece in recruitment and interviewing is the job description. Job descriptions guide the interviewing and hiring process.  Specific information included in a job description includes a job title, a short summary of the major job responsibilities, the qualifications for the job including knowledge, education and/or experience necessary, the specific job duties/tasks along with the frequency with which each needs to be performed, who supervises the job and/or supervisory requirements of the job and finally, something about the expectations for hours and weekly or monthly work schedule.

The job description, when well written, helps to provide a prepared list of questions for the employee candidate interview.  Questions should provide the candidate with the opportunity to talk about their skills, knowledge, experience, and personal attributes that match the job description.  According to Bob Milligan of Dairy Strategies, the interview should be designed to determine the qualifications of the candidate, their fit for not only the job requirements but also their fit within the culture of your farm.  The interview should be structured so that the farm owner or manager is promoting the farm and the position in a positive light so that the candidate is likely to accept the job if it is offered to them.

Ask questions that provide you with information about the candidate’s knowledge, ability and attitudes.  Examples of these type of questions are; what are two practices in the milking parlor that can improve milk quality?  Describe an equipment related problem you have solved in the past year.  How did you go about solving it?  I read an article by the founder of a company called Ag Hires entitled “Top 3 Interview Questions Every Farm Should Ask”.  They are: 1. In your past jobs, of the various tasks, roles and projects, what have you enjoyed doing the most and what have you enjoyed the least?  2. What is your superpower; what is it that you are naturally good at and bring to the table wherever you work?  3. If we spoke to your co-workers and managers and asked them what’s it like to work with you, how would they describe you?

These questions are designed to learn what the candidate is passionate about, what they enjoy, what they have a natural tendency toward, and how they interact with others.  Quoting that article, “farm managers have a tendency to place too much emphasis on someone’s work history and not enough emphasis on whether the person is the right fit for the farm.  Smart people with the right attitude, motivation and natural tendencies that align with the farm culture will get up to speed quickly.”

Every farm hire is an important hire.  Farm managers with employee recruitment and interviewing skills increase the rate of successful hires.