Annie’s Project Workshop Locations Announced

By:  Gigi Neal,  Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources, OSU Extension, Clermont County

Feed the livestock, go to work, run kids to their 4-H meeting and sports practice, go to your civic/church meeting, cook, clean, do the farm chores and make a thousand decisions.  Whew, what a day and that was just a portion!  Just imagine if you had the tools to assist you in making farming decisions with your partner to help build a more successful enterprise and balance life.   Annie’s Project is the answer for all women wanting to strengthen their role in the agricultural business.   Annie’s Project emphasizes empowering farm women to become better stewards of the land and business partners in the agricultural world through decision making and building networks throughout the state.   

Annie’s National Network Initiative for Educational Success (Annie’s) is a six (6) week course founded on Risk Management Education for Farm and Ranch Women through production, financial, market, human resources and legal risks.  These session’s foster problem solving, record keeping and decision-making skills in farm women.  Many of the women develop a lasting camaraderie with the other women in the class through conversation and discussion, which further enhances learning.

OSU Extension will be offering the original Annie’s Project workshops focused on the five areas of risk facing today’s farm businesses.  These workshops are tentatively scheduled in the following locations:

There also are workshops that provide in-depth instruction focused on a single area of risk scheduled in Ohio. These are called Annie’s Project Level II workshops. There is a Farm Finance Annie’s Workshop being held in:

Farm Transition, Estate, Retirement and Investment Annie’s Workshops are scheduled for:

Join Ohio Annie’s Project in celebrating the 10th Anniversary of Annie’s Project by participating in a session close to you.  Contact Chris Bruynis (740-702-3200), Gigi Neal (513-732-7070) or Christine Kendle (330-339-2337) for more information.

Visit ANNIES Project National Website at

 Read the story about Annie, the person who inspired these workshops at

2012 Drought: Yield Loss, Revenue Loss, and Harvest Price Option

By: Carl Zulauf, Professor, Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Developmental Economics, The Ohio State University

This article examines the impact of the 2012 drought on per acre revenue for corn and soybeans compared with the revenue expected in February. The article also examines the impact of crop insurance and, more specifically, the harvest price option, on per acre revenue. The harvest price option permits the insurance guarantee to be calculated using the higher of the insurance plant price determined in February for corn and soybeans or the price determined at harvest. Despite the reduction in yield caused by the drought, per acre revenue is higher in August than in February for the average U.S. acre of corn and soybeans. To emphasis, the previous statement is for the average acre of corn and soybeans; many farms will have yield declines greater than the average decline. However, the harvest price option may result in some of these farms also having August revenue greater than the February revenue. To read the article click here,%20Revenue%20Loss,%20and%20HPO.pdf.

2012 Farm Bill Debate: Multiple-Year Risk Assistance Programs

By: Carl Zulauf, Professor, Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Developmental Economics, The Ohio State University

Most farm safety net provisions in the Farm Bills passed by the full Senate and the House of Representative’s Committee on Agriculture can be classified into 3 categories: (1) enhancements to crop insurance, (2) assistance against shallow losses, and (3) assistance against losses that extend across multiple crop years. This paper focuses on the alternative proposals for multiple-year risk assistance.  To read the paper go to


Farm Management, Marketing and Economics Events at the 2012 Farm Science Review

By: Barry Ward,  Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics, Ohio State University and and Peggy Hall, Ohio State University Extension

Even though new equipment and machinery dominate the Farm Science Review each year, economics and the bottom line always play the major role in your decision making.  The Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics together with Ohio State University Extension will offer several activities, exhibits, presentations and opportunities to interact with Agricultural Economists, Farm Management Specialists and Extension Educators at this year’s Farm Science Review, September 18th through the 20th at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center near London, Ohio.

The Farm Business Office

The Farm Business Office at the Farm Science Review is located in the Francine Firebaugh Building and will give Review goers the opportunity to interact one-on-one with Ohio State University Extension Farm Management Specialists, OSU Agricultural Economists, and OSU Extension Educators.

Review goers can seek advice on various farm business and management topics including budgeting, cash rents, flexible cash rent arrangements, land purchase issues, input buying, farm transition planning, estate planning, retirement planning, farm record keeping and analysis, tax management, human resources management, risk management issues and more.

OSU Extension Enterprise Budgets will be available along with “Ohio Farm Custom Rates 2012” and “Western Ohio Cropland Values and Cash Rental Rates 2011-12”.

Ag Law Office

OSU Extension will sponsor the “Ag Law Office” to provide law education in areas important to agriculture in the Firebaugh Building located in OSU Central on Friday Avenue.

Come in and talk with our agricultural attorney, Peggy Hall, about legal issues on your farm.  Hall will have legal resources available on topics such as oil and gas leasing, farmland leases, livestock care standards, agricultural zoning and premises liability, and will show you how to locate legal information on her website. 

Hall will also provide review goers with opportunities to meet attorneys from around Ohio who practice in agricultural law.  Stop by, meet agricultural attorneys, and hear what they think about the latest legal issues affecting agriculture.

Drought and the Farm Bill – What 2012 Means for Farm Policy

Our annual Farm Science Review panel will have you thinking about the “Drought and the Farm Bill – What 2012 Means for Farm Policy”. Expect some analysis, some predictions, and probably an argument or two.  And take an opportunity to stump the panel with your perspective. The experts include OSU Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics’ Carl Zulauf, Senator Brown’s Legislative Aide, Katharine Ferguson, and moderator Matt Roberts of the Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics.  Come join their lively debate.

10-11 a.m.  Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

Tobin Building, Molly Caren Center

Sponsored by OSU Agricultural, Environmental & Development Economics

What If a Family Member Wants to Unexpectedly Exit the Family Farm Business?

By: Chris Zoller, OSU Extension Educator, ANR, Tuscarawas Country

Family businesses are complex, challenging, rewarding, and often gratifying.  Parents often desire their children to continue the business.  However, like some marriages, they don’t always work.  Finances, poor communications, personal goals, leadership styles, management philosophy, and life changes are but a few of the reasons these separations occur.

So, if you are faced with a situation such as this, what should you do?  In no particular order, below are a few items to consider in an attempt to minimize damage to the business and family structure.

Legal Counsel – there is a great likelihood that legal advice will be needed in the process of dissolving the present business relationship and organizing a new structure.  It is recommended that the same attorney not represent all parties in a situation such as this.  It makes it difficult for the attorney to fairly representing each client.  An alternative to this is to enter into mediation, if all parties agree to do so.

Financial Advice – hopefully, good financial records have been kept and accurately reflect the financial health of the business.  Good records allow for a thorough analysis of the business and can assist in evaluating potential alternatives.  How will the member who is exiting be compensated for his or her share of the business?  How quickly does this member want to receive payment?  Will land or other assets have to be sold?  If so, what impact does this have on the financial performance of the business?  This may be a good opportunity to complete a financial analysis with your Extension Educator or lender using FINPACK.

Counseling – this will be a stressful and emotional time for everyone.  There will be times when you don’t know where you are headed.  Don’t be afraid to seek professional medical counseling.  Depression and anxiety are not uncommon when going through a situation such as this and your doctor may be able to prescribe medications to assist you during this period of time.

Talk to Someone You Can Trust – talking to others privately about your situation can be helpful.  Examples include clergy, a close friend, spouse, or Extension Educator.  These folks can help provide positive reinforcement and offer advice based on their personal experiences.

Update Documents – consider things like insurance coverage, Wills, documents related to your business structure, etc.  Often times, after the business relationship is dissolved, these and other related items will need to be changed to reflect the new management structure.

Set Goals – evaluate where you want to be and where you want the business to be in the short and long-term.  What will you have to do to accomplish these goals?  Involve and seek input from all remaining family members as you compare and set personal and business goals.  Remember, goals should be: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Rewarding/Realistic, and Timed (SMART).

Maintain Relationships – it will be difficult, but every attempt should be made to maintain healthy family relationships.  There will be times when members may not or will not talk to one another and there will be hard feelings.  Do what you can to dissolve the business relationship while still maintaining the family.  

Timing the Exit – before dissolving the business relationship, consideration may want to be given to its timing.  There may be tax or other implications as to when the business relationship ends.  Consult an attorney and/or tax advisor for advice.

Dissolving a business relationship, much like a divorce, is not a fun experience, but unfortunately this may be the only alternative available.  If this is the case, do your best to maintain a positive attitude, seek professional assistance, and map out a plan for the business to continue well into the future.

Ohio State Offers New Major in Sustainability

Beginning this fall, undergraduate students at Ohio State University with an interest in sustainability can put their passion into practice by choosing a new sustainability major. The new Environment, Economy, Development and Sustainability (EEDS) major ( is being offered jointly by the Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics (AEDE) and the School of Environment and Natural Resources. Both are part of Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

Link to full story:

Ohio State Names New VP for Agricultural Administration

The Ohio State University today named alumnus Bruce McPheron vice president for agricultural administration and dean of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

McPheron is currently dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences at The Pennsylvania State University and will start his new appointment on November 1, 2012. He will succeed Bobby Moser, who has served as dean and vice president since 1991. Moser announced his retirement in September 2011. To read more about Dr. McPheron go to

Machinery Custom Rates for Silage Operations

by: Barry Ward, Leader, Production Business Management

Significant drought conditions in many parts of Ohio have led to an increased interest in harvesting corn as silage. With very few farmers owning silage-making equipment, many are looking to neighbors that do own silage harvesting-equipment or professional custom farming providers to help them meet their needs. Questions arise about custom farming rates and the data that you might use to answer your questions about “what should I pay to have my corn harvested as silage?”

Online resources are available that may help in calculating your total costs of performing a given custom operation. Some of the online resources available that may be of assistance include:
Farm Machinery Cost Estimates available at:

Machinery Economics at farmdoc:

Estimating Farm Machinery Costs

To access up-to-date custom farming rates for silage harvesting we can access the Pennsylvania 2012 Machinery Custom Rates ( or the 2012 Iowa Farm Custom Rates (

Michigan State University and the University of Kentucky publish Custom Farming Rate Guides as well. Their guides are based on averages of custom rate summaries from other states and do not utilize actual farmer/custom rate providers surveys when compiling their summaries. Nevertheless, they may be useful as you evaluate a fair custom rate for silage harvest.

Michigan State Univ.:

University of Kentucky:

There is no published information for silage harvest in the Ohio Farm Custom Rates 2012 ( or the 2012 Indiana Farm Custom Rates ( due to lack of survey responses.