2018 Wayne County Farm Financial Management School

by Rory Lewandowski, Extension Educator

A 6-evening farm financial management school (FFMS) is scheduled for Monday evenings in January and February in Wayne County beginning the evening of January 15 and running consecutively through February19.  The 2018 FFMS will focus on teaching participants how to develop and use core farm financial documents and statements.

The school will use presentations, class discussion, group work, case farm examples and hands-on activities to teach participants how to assemble and use essential farm financial documents.  Participants will learn how to put together and use financial documents to measure their current farm financial situation, track expenses and cash flow, make decisions to help improve or maintain the financial situation, and work more effectively with Ag lenders.  Topics that will be covered over the 6-week school include: mission statements, balance sheets, cost of production, family living expense, farm income statements, farm cash flow statements, enterprise budgets, benchmarking, financial standards/ratios, record keeping, and working with Ag lenders.  Each participant will receive a 3-ring binder notebook with materials and handouts from each session.

The 2018 FFMS will meet in the commissioners meeting room located in the upper level of the Wayne County Administration Building in Wooster.  A light meal will be available each evening at 6:30 pm and class instruction will begin at 7:00 pm and conclude by 9:30 pm each evening.  The registration cost is $50/person or for two people from the same farm business.  Sponsorships provided by Farm Credit Mid-America, Farmers National Bank, Wayne Savings Community Bank and Farmers State Bank are helping to cover some of the program expenses. Pre-registration is requested to the Wayne County Extension office at 330-264-8722 or by email to parker.1269@osu.edu by Thursday, January 11.


2018 Wooster Ag Outlook and Policy Meeting

by Rory Lewandowski, Extension Educator

International trade agreements and renegotiation of trade agreements, discussions on the 2018 farm bill, a new tax bill.  Each of these topics has implications for the farm economy and quite possibly for on-farm management decisions in 2018.  Get the latest information about these and other timely topics at the 2018 Ag Outlook and Policy Meeting scheduled for Wednesday, January 31 at Fisher Auditorium on the OARDC campus in Wooster.

Plan now to attend the 2018 Ag Outlook and Policy meeting and learn about the opportunities and challenges for the agricultural sector in 2018.  Pick up some tips on strategies and practices that may help you and your agricultural business.  The day begins with sign-in at 8:45 am; the program starts at 9:30 am and concludes at 3:30 pm.   Registration cost is $15/person.  Registration includes morning refreshments, noon lunch and handout materials.  Facility rental and speaker expenses are covered with thanks to sponsorships provided by Farmers National Bank, Wayne Savings Community Bank, and Farm Credit Mid-America.

Topics and presenters for the Ag Outlook and Policy Meeting include:

  • 2018 Farm Bill Policy Update: Ben Brown, Program Manager, Ohio Farm Management Program. Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics
  • International Trade Agreements and Implications for Domestic Agriculture: Ian Sheldon, Andersons Chair in Agricultural Marketing, Trade and Policy. Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics
  • Dairy Production Economics Update: Dianne Shoemaker, Extension Field Specialist, Dairy Production Economics
  • Examining the 2018 Ohio Farm Economy: Crop Budgets, Land Values and Cropland Rental Rates. Barry Ward, Extension Farm Management and Production Leader.
  • Grain Market Outlook and Grain Marketing Strategies: Jim Byrne, Byrne Investment Services
  • Farm Tax Update: David Marrison, Extension Educator, Ashtabula County

Registration deadline is January 24.  Register by contacting the Wayne County Extension office at 330-264-8722 or sending an email to parker.1269@osu.edu.  Include your name/names of those attending, phone number and email or mailing address.  An informational flyer and registration form is available on the Wayne County Extension web site at: http://go.osu.edu/AgOutlook18


New and Small Farm Courses offered

Are you a small farm landowner wondering what to do with your acreage?  Are you interested in exploring options for land uses but not sure where to turn or how to begin?  Have you considered adding an agricultural or horticultural enterprise but you just are not sure of what is required, from an equipment, labor, and/or management perspective?  Are you looking for some place to get some basic farm information?  If you or someone you know answered yes to any of these questions, then the Ohio State University New and Small Farm College program may be just what you are looking for.

The Ohio State University New and Small Farm College is an 8 session short course that will be held one night a week.  The 2018 Ohio New and Small Farm College program will be held in two locations across the state including:

The Butler County location will be held at the OSU Extension Butler County office, 1802 Princeton Road Hamilton, OH.  Classes will be held on Thursdays beginning January 18 and concluding March 8, 2018. A farm tour will be held, Saturday, March 10, 2018. Inclement weather makeup date will be March 15. For more information, contact the Butler County Extension office at 513-887-3722.

The Scioto County location will be held at the Shawnee State University – Massie Hall, 940 Second Street Portsmouth, OH.  Classes will be held on Mondays beginning January 29 and concluding March 19, 2018. A farm tour will be held Saturday, March 31, 2018.

Inclement weather makeup date: March 26. For more information, contact Scioto County Extension office at 740-354-7879.

Both college locations will start each evening at 6:00 PM with a light dinner with the nightly presentations beginning at 6:30 PM and concluding at 9:00PM. 

Topics to be covered include:

  • Getting Started (goal setting, resource inventory, business planning)
  • Appropriate Land Use
  • Where to Get Assistance
  • Natural Resource Management (soils, ponds, woodlands and wildlife)
  • Legal Issues
  • Insurance
  • Business Structure
  • Finances & Record Keeping
  • Marketing Alternatives
  • Enterprise exploration of livestock and horticulture opportunities

The cost of the course is $150 per person, $100 for an additional family member.  Each participating family will receive a small farm college notebook plus additional materials.  Registrations are now being accepted. You can register online at https://agnr.osu.edu/small-farm-programs/new-and-small-farm-college . For more details, about the course and/or a registration form, contact Tony Nye, Small Farm Program Coordinator 937-382-0901 or email at nye.1@osu.edu.

2018 Northeast Ohio Small Farm Workshop Scheduled for January 20, 2018

by David Marrison, Extension Educator

The Ashtabula County Extension office is pleased to offer the 2018 Northeast Ohio Small Farm Workshop for new, existing, and aspiring farm businesses. This workshop will be held on Saturday, January 20, 2018 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Ashtabula County Extension office located at 39 Wall Street in Jefferson, Ohio. This workshop is designed to help landowners increase profits from their small acreage. This program is open to all new or aspiring farmers, new rural landowners, small farmers, and farm families looking for new ideas.

During this workshop, participants will be challenged to develop realistic expectations for their small farm. Participants will learn how to develop a business plan for their operation. During the workshop, participants will learn more about the current opportunities in small-scale farming; how to identify the strengths & weaknesses of your farm; how to keep records and develop budgets; and how to effectively price & market your products to consumers. Learn more about farm insurance, governmental assistance, farm taxes, and ways to mitigate risk.  This workshop will provide the road map for small producers to move their hobby to a viable farm business.  Make connections to resources, information and people that will help your farm business grow!

The registration fee for this workshop is $25 per person. This includes a small farmer resource notebook, refreshments, and a hearty lunch! Reservations are requested by Friday, January 12, 2018. Space is limited to the first 35 registrants. We thank The Kellogg Insurance Company for co-sponsoring this event.  Pre-registration is required by January 12, 2018. Registration fee is $25/per person. Make checks payable to OSU Extension, and mail to Ashtabula County Extension office, 39 Wall Street, Jefferson, OH 44047. If you have any questions please call 440-576-9008.  A complete registration flyer can be obtained at: http://go.osu.edu/ne-events

Retreat Empowers Women to be Better Farm Managers

by: Amanda Douridas & Emily Adams, OSU Extension Educators

Female farmers, whether farming on their own or in a partnership, realize the importance of the business side of farming. Annie’s Project provides education and a support network to enhance business skills of women involved in all aspects of agriculture.

Annie spent her lifetime learning to be an involved farm business partner with her husband. Annie’s life experiences inspired her daughter, a university Extension agent, to create a program for women living and working in the complex, dynamic agriculture business environment. Annie’s Project fosters problem solving, record keeping, and decision-making skills in farm women.

Two weekend retreats are being offered in Ohio this winter. Women will receive training in five areas of agricultural risk management: financial, marketing, production, legal, and human resources. Most importantly women are able to network and develop relationships with other women in agriculture.

Past participants have had this to say about the program:

“I changed my mind about how to approach communication with my in-laws as business partners.”

“I have gained tools to help improve management of our farm and insight on how to communicate the resources to other members of the farm.”

“I appreciated getting to meet others with a shared interest.”

“I encourage any woman to attend one of these great programs!”

The firs retreat will be held Dec 1-3 at Salt Fork State Park Lodge and Conference Center, 14755 Cadiz Road, Lore City, OH 43755. The participant fee is $105 per person, which includes all materials and meals. Lodging is $99 per room per night with up to four people per room. Registration deadline is November 17. For questions about this program, please contact Emily Adams at adams.661@osu.edu or 740-622-2265.

The second retreat will be Feb 2-4 at Western Buckeye Christian Camp, 5455 Roeth Rd, Houston, OH 45333. The cost is $95 per person and includes all lodging, materials and meals. Please bring bedding and towels. The registration deadline is January 19. For questions about this retreat, please contact Amanda Douridas at Douridas.9@osu.edu or 937-484-1526.

Registration for both workshops can be found at: https://u.osu.edu/ohwomeninag/.


Sharpen Management Skills through Farm Management School

by: Amanda Douridas: Extension Educator

Managing your farm business is always important but the difference in just doing it and doing it well can be big during challenging times. When commodity prices are down, it is crucial to understand your balance sheet, maintain a good relationship with your lender and carefully consider budgets for next year. These topics will be covered during a 5 night Farm Management School in Urbana, Ohio beginning in December.

During the first session, learn how to properly complete your end of year balance sheet from Greg Knight with Civista Bank and Chris Bruynis, OSU Extension, will provide tips on tax issues that make the most sense for your farm business. During the next session, a panel of agricultural lenders will talk about what they would like to see from farmers before making a loan and will answer questions from the participants.

Legal issues can be very specific to agriculture and also very complicated. Peggy Kirk Hall, OSU Extension Agricultural Law Specialist, will discuss the legal issues that are most important to the class. Another complicated issue that can be difficult to make a decision on is healthcare. The fourth session will focus on the issues farmers face with healthcare and a healthcare professional will cover any changes and updates to the current system.

Lastly, Barry Ward, OSU Extension, will talk about commodity budgets for 2018 and take a look at cash flow to help you prepare for the 2018 season.

The session dates are Dec 6, 20, and Jan 3, 17 and 31. They begin at 5:30 pm with dinner and the program will run 6-8:00 pm. The cost to attend is $50 per farm and RSVPs are due Nov 27. Class space is limited so register early. Download the registration flyer at http://go.osu.edu/agevents. Childcare is available for $10 for the first child and $5 for each additional per night due day of. For questions about the program or to register with a credit card, please contact Amanda Douridas at 937-484-1526 or douridas.9@osu.edu.

Workshop Designed to Teach Women Landowners Negotiation Skills

by Tracy Turner

COSHOCTON, Ohio – Women landowners and tenants can learn the art of negotiation, drawing up lease contracts and other facets of land-lease agreements during a workshop offered by the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.

The Ladies on the Land workshop is Oct. 20 from noon to 4:30 p.m. and will be held simultaneously in two locations: at the Frontier Power Community Room, 770 South 2nd St. in Coshocton; and at the Putnam County Extension Office, 1206 East 2nd St., in Ottawa.

The event is targeted toward female landowners and renters, said Emily Adams, an Ohio State University Extension educator and co-organizer of the event. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of CFAES. The goal of the workshop, she said, is to provide women landowners with the confidence, skills and resources necessary to successfully interact with tenants and also help both tenants and landowners develop and negotiate land-lease arrangements.

“Some women will find themselves in a situation where they haven’t been the primary landowners, but with the death of their parents or husband or other life experiences, they now are,” Adams said. “This will help them learn how to talk to tenants about what goes into a lease, how to feel confident in their abilities as a manger of their properties and to give them the tools they need to have those tough conversations.

“They may not have had the prior experience in negotiating tenant or land-lease agreements, so this workshop can help them understand the leasing process and what expectations they should have of their tenants from a land stewardship and economic standpoint.”

Statewide, some 31,413 women are reported as principal operators of farms. Combined, those farms cover some 3.8 million acres and contribute $230 million in economic impact, according to the 2012 U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Census of Agriculture.

The workshop will focus on:

  • The risks of leasing
  • Verbal leases versus written leases
  • The nuts and bolts of a lease
  • Communications with your tenant
  • The negotiation process and negotiation skills
  • Factors that affect the rental rate

Registration is $20 and includes lunch and any handouts. Information is available at u.osu.edu/ohwomeninag/or by calling Adams at 740-622-2265 or Beth Scheckelhoff at 419-592-0806. The registration deadline is Oct. 13.

OSU Extension to offer Ag Lender Workshops

By: Wm. Bruce Clevenger, Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Defiance County

Ohio State University Extension has scheduled three seminars in Ohio for Agricultural Lenders. The dates are Tuesday, October 24th at the OSU Extension Champaign County Community Center Auditorium in Urbana, Ohio; Friday, October 27th at the OARDC Fisher Auditorium in Wooster, Ohio; and  Monday, October 30th at the Putnam County Educational Service Center in Ottawa, Ohio;  These seminars are excellent professional development opportunities for Lenders, Farm Service Agency personnel, county Extension Educators and others to learn about OSU Extension research, outreach programs and current agricultural topics of interest across the state.

2017 Featured Speakers

All three 2017 Ag Lender Seminar locations will feature…

  • Barry Ward, OSU Extension, Assistant Professor, Leader Production Business Management – Examining Land Values, Rents, Crop Input Costs & Margins – 2018
  • Carl Zulauf, Ph.D., OSU Emeritus – Outlook for the 2018 Farm Bill

Additional 2017 Speakers by location:

Urbana, OH – October 24th

  • Grain Market Outlook & Strategies the Farm CEO and Lender Should Know Together, Jim Byrne, Byrne Investment Services
  • Clemens Food Group Hog Processing, Coldwater MI., Dan Groff, Director of Hog Supply, Clemens Food Group
  • USDA Farm Service Agency Update, Darin Leach, FSA Champaign County
  • Fertilizer Applicator Cert Survey Results, Amanda Douridas, OSU Extension

Wooster, OH – October 27th

  • Grain Market Outlook & Strategies the Farm CEO and Lender Should Know Together, Jim Byrne, Byrne Investment Services
  • Looking for Profitability: Managing Dairy Production Costs, Diane Shoemaker, Field Specialist, Dairy Prod. Econ., OSU Extension
  • Clemens Food Group Hog Processing, Coldwater MI., Dewey Shaffer, Growth & Business Div. Coord. Country View Family Farms – Procurement Div. of the Clemens Food Group
  • Water Quality Regulations & Manure Management Considerations, Rory Lewandowski, OSU Extension Educator

Ottawa, OH – October 30th

  • Grain and Livestock Outlook, Chris Hurt, PhD, Purdue University, Professor of Ag Economics
  • Current Ag Law Topics, Peggy Hall, J.D. Ohio State University Extension Field Specialist, Assistant Professor and Director, Ag & Resource Law
  • Clemens Food Group Hog Processing, Coldwater MI., Dan Groff, Director of Hog Supply, Clemens Food Group
  • USDA Farm Service Agency Update, David Drake, Chief, USDA, FSA Ohio State Office

The registration cost to attend one of the Ag Lender Seminars is $65.00 and the registration deadline is one week prior to the seminar you are attending. Payments can be made by check by mail or by credit card (by phone only to 419-782-4771). Registration forms are available online at: https://u.osu.edu/aglenderseminars/

Registration questions can be directed to OSU Extension Defiance County 419-782-4771 or email clevenger.10@osu.edu

East Ohio Women in Agriculture Conference is March 24

Female farmers, growers and those women interested in becoming farm operators can learn more about the industry during a conference offered by Ohio State University Extension, which is the outreach arm of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.

The East Ohio Women in Agriculture Conference is March 24 from 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. at the R.G. Drage Career Technical Center, 2800 Richville Drive Southwest, in Massillon. The event is targeted toward women, including those of high school age, who are interested in, involved in or want to become involved in food, agricultural or natural resources production or small business, said Heather Neikirk, an OSU Extension educator and co-organizer of the conference.


“Ohio women in agriculture are paving the way for the future,” Neikirk said. “As Extension educators and agricultural professionals, it is our mission to ensure that these women and young women have access to the tools and opportunities necessary to learn, grow, connect, inspire and empower themselves and one another to meet the challenge of producing food, fuel and fiber for a global population.”

Statewide, some 31,413 women are reported as principal operators of farms. Combined, those farms cover some 3.8 million acres and contribute $230 million in economic impact, according to the 2012 U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Census of Agriculture.

The conference will include remarks by Marlene Eick, co-founder and client lead of Herdmark Media, a Wooster, Ohio-based agricultural media company. Educators with OSU Extension as well as industry experts will conduct the conference sessions. The sessions will include:

  • Five Legal Things You Should Know about Farmland Leases
  • Equine Dental
  • Renewable Energy Development in Ohio Agriculture
  • Beekeeping Basics
  • Season Extension Techniques for Your Farm
  • Assigning Farm Tasks for Children
  • Forage Identification and Hay Selection
  • Cut Flowers for Income
  • Farmer’s Market Basics

The conference will also feature a special session led by the Ohio FFA for high school-aged participants.

Registration is $55, or $30 for students, which includes lunch and a continental breakfast. Information is available at regonline.com/womeninageast or by calling 740-622-2265. The registration deadline is March 17.

Additionally, on March 25 from 8 a.m. to 3:45 p.m., also at the R.G. Drage Center, a “Living the Small Farm Dream” Small Farms Conference will take place. Participants can register for this and the East Ohio Women in Agriculture conference at a reduced rate if attending both. For more information, visit agnr.osu.edu/small-farm-programs.

For more information on the Women in Agriculture conference, contact Neikirk at 330-832-9856, ext. 3476, or neikirk.2@osu.edu. More information about women in agriculture can also be found at the Ohio Women in Agriculture blog at https://u.osu.edu/ohwomeninag


Northeast Ohio Small Farm Conference to be held on March 25 in Massillon

by Rory Lewandowski, Wayne County Extension Educator

The 2017 Northeast Ohio “Living Your Small Farm Dream” small farm conference will be held on Saturday, March 25 at the RG Drage Career Center in Massillon located at 2800 Richville Dr. SW Massillon, 44646.  The conference is a program of the OSU Extension Small Farm Program and will provide farm owners and landowners with the opportunity to learn more about skills useful on a small farm, how to make their small farms work better, expand their operations, or gather ideas on how to utilize rural acreage.

Participants will choose from more than 25 different sessions offered over 4 breakout sessions during the day.  General topic tracks include horticulture production, livestock and aquaculture, small farm management, natural resources, marketing and selling.  Presenters include OSU Extension specialists and educators as well as USDA agency personnel, and area farmer entrepreneurs.  The trade show represents industries, businesses, services and organizations that provide products or services utilized on a small farm or rural property.

A sampling of some of the topics that will be covered at the conference includes:

  • Chainsaw Safety, Maintenance and Operation
  • Raising sheep and goats
  • Grass-fed Beef Production
  • Fruit tree pruning
  • Hobby Maple Syrup Production
  • Fruit Tree and Small Fruit Disease Management and Prevention
  • Micro Greens Production
  • Vegetable Production and Season Extension with Tunnels
  • Using and calibrating hand held sprayers on the farm
  • Growing Shitake mushrooms
  • Selling eggs, poultry, produce and cottage foods
  • Marketing Meat Goats
  • Renting and Leasing Farmland
  • Renewable Energy
  • Small Farm Tax Issues
  • Aquaculture Opportunities
  • Vegetable Disease Diagnostics

The Chainsaw Safety, Maintenance and Operation topic as well as the Vegetable Production and Season Extension with Tunnels are both super sessions that extend over two break-out session time periods.  The vegetable production and season extension with tunnels session will actually start at the OARDC high tunnels in Wooster and then move to the RG Drage Center for the in-door portion of the session.  Participants may elect to do only the Wooster part, only the RG Drage Center part or both parts of this topic.

The conference begins with registration at 8:00 am, and an opening general session at 9:00 am.  The conference concludes at approximately 3:45 pm following the final breakout session.  Registration cost is $60 per person, which includes lunch and morning refreshments.  The registration deadline is March 17.  For those who are interested in attending both the Women in Agriculture conference (http://agnr.osu.edu/events/east-ohio-women-agriculture-conference-0) at the same location on March 24 plus the small farm conference on March 25 there is a discounted registration fee of $100 to attend both conferences.  Student discounts are also available.

A conference brochure and registration form along with descriptions of all the breakout sessions as well as on-line registration is available on the OSU Extension Small Farm Program web site at: http://agnr.osu.edu/small-farm-programs .  Questions can also be directed to the Wayne County Extension office at 330-264-8722.