Dairy Calf Management Workshop to be held on March 8, 2016

by:  Rory Lewandowski, Extension Educator Wayne County

OSU Extension Wayne County is hosting a Dairy Calf Management Workshop on Tuesday March 8 from 9:00 am until 3:00 pm. The workshop consists of morning classroom sessions and an afternoon on-farm session. Raising dairy heifer calves to freshen at 22 to 24 months of age requires good management that maintains calf health. Each dairy heifer represents a two-year investment before any economic returns are realized. In these times of low milk prices, volatile market conditions and high feed prices, dairy producers and managers need to evaluate their calf rearing program and make sure that it is effective and efficient.

The purpose of the dairy calf management workshop is to help participants:

  • Improve the growth efficiency of dairy heifer calves
  • Foster sound health of calves through management of their feeding and housing programs along with a prescribed vaccination program
  • Improve the financial understanding and implications of raising dairy heifer calves
  • Review the pros and cons of various rearing systems
  • See an example of a local dairy calf rearing system

The workshop will begin with registration and refreshments at 9:00 am at the Wayne Presbyterian Church located at 7152 Burbank Rd (SR 83) Wooster at the intersection of SR 83 and Jentes Roads. The program will begin at 9:30 am. Morning topics include: Feeding, Housing Options/systems, Costs of Raising Heifers and Developing a Vaccination Program for Heifer Calves. A hot lunch will be provided at noon. The afternoon session will take place at the Virgil Gasser dairy farm located at 3093 E Pleasant Home Rd, Creston OH 44217. At the Gasser farm participants will see an automated calf feeding system and hear about the farms calf raising program.

The cost of the program is $25/person or $40 /farm (2 persons). Checks can be made payable to “OSU Extension”. The cost includes refreshments, lunch, and program handout materials. Pre-registration is required and the workshop limit is 32 persons. Registration deadline is Tuesday, March 1. Registrations can be sent to: Rory Lewandowski, OSU Extension Wayne County, 428 West Liberty Street, Wooster OH 44691.   A brochure that includes more details about the topics and a registration form is available on the Wayne County Extension web site at: http://go.osu.edu/calfmgmtworkshop .  For more information contact Rory Lewandowski at the Wayne County Extension office at 330-264-8722 or via email at: lewandowski.11@osu.edu.

Ohio State University Extension Announces Two Upcoming Conferences to Help Small Farm Owners

by Tony Nye, OSU Extension Educator, Clinton County Agriculture and Natural Resources

The agricultural landscape of today is very different than it was 20 – 25 years ago. Farms today are getting fewer in number and the ones that are left are growing in acreage. However, as the Small Farm Program Coordinator for Ohio State University Extension I continue to see a huge interest in small farm production.

The “Small Farmer” is a term used for individuals who are practicing agriculture on a small amount of acreage, usually with less than 100 acres. These farmers are many times new to agriculture and are looking to begin a different lifestyle.

Since 2005, we at Ohio State have tried addressing producer needs for small farm production. Our two main efforts include an eight week Small Farm College and the second is through Small Farm Conferences.

This month I want to highlight our two conferences in March and April 2016, which will be sponsored by OSU Extension’s Small Farm Program. These conferences are designed for small farm owners who want to learn more about how to make their farms work better for them or expand their operations, or those new to agriculture who are looking for ways to utilize acreage. Land owners can attend workshops and presentations on these issues and more during the two conferences: “Opening Doors to Success” and “Living Your Small Farm Dream”.

The two conferences, combined with a trade show, are set up to help participants learn tips, techniques and methods for diversifying their opportunities into successful new enterprises and markets as a way to improve economic growth and development on their farms.

Through the conferences, we try to give participants a smorgasbord of ideas that may interest them and opportunities to learn in-depth about an issue, gain resources, and study how to finance a new venture. Although similar in content, the two conferences are not set up to contain the same sessions nor are they located in the same location.

The “Opening Doors to Success” Conference and Trade Show will be held March 11-12, 2016 at the Wilmington College Campus Boyd Cultural Arts Center, Wilmington, Ohio. This conference will kick off Friday afternoon with two really neat hands-on workshops focusing on Meat Goat Production and Water Management and Irrigation Techniques.

The Meat Goat Management program will be presented by Dr. Richard Browning, Tennessee State University and Dr. Maria L. Leite-Browning of Alabama A & M University. Both Richard and Maria are widely known across the country for their meat goat research and expertise in meat goat production. They will provide training on artificial insemination in meat goats, FAMACHA eyelid scoring training for the treatment and control of Haemonchus contortus (Barber’s Pole worm) in goats and sheep, criteria for culling, keeping, and purchasing breeding stock for genetic improvement in commercial or seedstock meat goat operations.

Micro Irrigation Essentials and Management will be taught by OSU Horticulture specialist, Brad Bergefurd. He will cover such topics as evapotranspiration, ground-based and remote moisture sensing, deficit irrigation, micro-irrigation, irrigation scheduling, fertigation basics, irrigation planning resources, and more.

On Saturday, the conference will feature 25-plus sessions from Ohio State University and industry experts as well as a trade show for small farmers that will offer information that can benefit a variety of growers.

The “Living Your Small Farm Dream”, Conference and Trade Show will be held April 2, 2016 at the Shisler Conference Center on the Ohio State University Campus in Wooster, Ohio. Participants at this conference will be able to choose from more than 25 sessions from Ohio State and industry experts as well as question producer speakers on issues related to small farms.

OSU Extension is the outreach arm of Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. The overall goal of these events and the mission of the OSU Small Farms Program is to provide a greater understanding of production practices, economics of land-use choices, assessment of personal and natural resources, marketing alternatives, and the identification of sources of assistance.

I encourage you to attend both conferences as they will not cover all the same speakers or topics. We try to keep the two conferences different so we can reach more producers and help them with their operation needs.

Some of the topics (Subject to Change) we plan to cover at the two conferences are:

  • Women in Agriculture
  • Goat production
  • Poultry production
  • Farm Business Planning
  • Artisan Cheese Making
  • Direct marketing
  • Organics
  • Starting a business
  • Hand Sprayer Calibration
  • Legal issues for small farms
  • Soil basics
  • Fertility Management
  • High tunnels
  • Beekeeping
  • Vegetable and fruit production
  • Financing/loans
  • Estate Planning

For more information about these two conferences, please visit http://agnr.osu.edu/small-farm-programs or contact Tony Nye at (937) 382-0901 or nye.1@osu.edu.