From the Heart

In trying times, where do you turn?

Farmers are some of the most humble, down to earth people I know and they thrive on being able to feed the country. The stresses these farmers and farm families are enduring and hard on everyone involved. While they know that they work in a business where risks are always present due to weather, they sometimes need support and encouragement to work through their own mental and physical stress and even fatigue during these times.  Most of the farmers live on the land they farm and don’t have the chance to get away from these stresses. Most of us that work, work at a place that when it gets stressful, we get to leave for the day.  Farmers, on the other hand, don’t usually have this option.  They live, sleep and breathe their occupation.

There are so many decisions that farmers are making today into what this generation knows as uncharted territory.  They are worried about wet weather, how will I feed my livestock and where will my income come from?  Maybe you are a farmer reading this or maybe the farm wife, the neighbor, the family member or an agribusiness person, but one thing is for sure farmers are the heartbeat of many communities.  This week in the CORN newsletter, I am asking you who are reading it to take into account some steps outside your normal routine.

1. Slow down and breathe – farmer, farm family or other – we live in such a fast-paced world.  There are decisions that are being made that effect so many people.  We are truly all in this together.  We need to be kind and a friend at all times.

2. Take five minutes to take care of yourself. Depression and anxiety are real and you may seem like you can’t even put one foot in front of the other today. Let me tell you something, you are valuable, you are needed and it will be okay.  Maybe not okay in the sense that you think or the direction or path that was in your “Plan A” but you will be okay.

3. Give a smile, hello, nod or wave to another human being.  Remember it takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile.

4.  If you feel these families need some extra help, reach out to your local Extension Office and they will help point you in the right direction.

The CORN newsletter is full of information to help in the decision process.  No, it’s not all rainbows and unicorns – it is real-life decisions. Farmers, this week as you are reading the articles, remember these few things. Write down your options (the pros and cons). Talk with your local Extension Educator or call them out for a farm visit. We, at OSU Extension, are here for you. We care about you even if you have never stepped foot into our office. Our service to you is free.

Additionally, as you read through the articles, think about your options. When it comes to questions on prevent plant acres contact your insurance agent. Don’t just assume they know your plans. This newsletter contains recommendations based on agronomic principals and potential considerations from an agricultural production perspective. If the management will be applied to crop insured acres you should check any impact that the management change will have on current or future insurance payments and eligibility.

Please share this information in any way possible – forward the email, tweet the post #FarmLivesMatter, share to your non-farm friends, Snapchat it to your kids, post on Instagram, print it off and drop it at church or even the local grocery store. The agriculture community is powerful and has many opinions, stresses, and directions.  Some people have no clue what is going on in an agriculture world, share with them.

Lastly, I am asking the community to check on your farmer neighbors and their families. Drop into the farm to check on the farmer and family. Bring them dinner but don’t just drop it off actually share some time with that family. They may come up with every excuse that the house is not clean or I am too busy. Maybe even drag them to your house for dinner. They may not want you there but they need you there as their support system.  Getting a vacation from the farm is probably what many families are eliminating due to financial pressures, but human interaction is one powerful value. While a simple was to check in text message don’t work in these situations.  They need your empathy not your sympathy. Go old school and play the board game, shut down the social media and have a conversation.  These things only cost your time. Did you ever think about giving back to those people who help feed the world?

Have a great week – Potentially more to come this week – Sarah Noggle, Editor CORN Newsletter

You can find more at https://agcrops.osu.edu/newsletter/corn-newsletter/201919/heart

Lady Landowners Leaving the Legacy

Author: Amanda Douridas, Champaign County Extension Educator

Land is an important investment. One that is often passed down through generations. Farmland needs to be monitored and cared for to maintain the value and sustainability if it is to be enjoyed and profitable for future generations. Nearly 50% of landowners in Ohio are female. If you fall into this statistic and want to learn more about your land, farming and conservation practices and how to successfully pass it on to the next generation, this program is for you!

Farming has changed dramatically over the last several decades. The thought of trying to understand it all can be overwhelming, especially if not actively farming. This series is designed to help female landowners understand critical conservation and farm management issues related to owning land. It will provide participants with the knowledge, skills and confidence to talk with tenants about farming and conservation practices used on their land. The farm management portion will provide an understanding of passing land on to the next generation and help establish fair rental rates by looking at current farm budgets.

The series runs every other Thursday, June 14 through August 23 from 9:00-11:30 in the Champaign County Community Center Auditorium in Urbana, Ohio. It is $50 for the series. If you are only able to attend a couple of session, it is $10 per session but there is a lot of value in getting to know other participants in the series and talking with them each week. The registration flyer can be found at http://go.osu.edu/agevents. For questions or more information, please contact Amanda Douridas at 937-484-1526 or Douridas.9@osu.edu. Please register by June 4. The detailed agenda is below.

June 14- Building Soil Structure

  • Introductions
  • Soil Structure Discussion and Demo
  • Tillage Methods and Compaction (includes three demonstrations)
  • Soil Coverage Discussion and Demo

June 28- Implementing Conservation

  • Conservation Activity
  • Aquifer Demonstration
  • Watershed Maps of Participants Farms
  • Explanation of Conservation Practices

July 12- Value of the Land Beyond the Dollar

  • Land Value Diagram
  • Landowner/Tenant Relationship Panel
  • Wildlife Habitat Programs

July 26- Transition and Succession Planning

  • Peggy Hall and Wright Moore Law Firm

Aug 9- Leasing and Budgets

  • Good Leasing Contracts
  • Hunting Leases
  • Overview of Commodity Budgets

Aug 23- Farm Visit

Some activities developed by Women, Food and Agriculture Network for its Women Caring for the Land program.

Weekend Annie’s Project at Salt Fork State Park

Six amazing women are now graduates of Annie’s Project after this weekend’s retreat at Salt Fork State Park lodge. The weekend’s topics covered farm business mission statements and goals, collaborating with lenders, liability insurance, grain marketing, succession planning, transferring non-titled property (the sentimental family heirlooms), legal liability, and more. Be on the look-out for an Annie’s Project near you, or call your local Extension Office to express you interest in bringing a program to your county!

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Annie’s Project East Retreat Agenda

Registration will remain open for the Annie’s Project East Retreat until next Wednesday, January 24. Please register online: Annie’s Project East Retreat Registration  This retreat will be from Friday, January 26 at 4:00 pm until Sunday, January 28 at 11:00 am at the Salt Fork State Park Lodge and Conference Center.

 

Negotiating and Staying Connected with Women in Ag

Last week I had the pleasure of spending the afternoon with sixteen women from Coshocton and nearby counties at our “Ladies on the Land” program. This was designed for women landowners and women tenants and covered leasing and negotiating.

One portion of the workshop included “Peggy and Emily’s Top Ten Negotiating Tips for Farmland Leasing.” I developed this list with my colleague Peggy Hall, OSU Extension Ag Law Field Specialist, based on her experiences as an attorney and other Extension resources. Here is a peek into our top ten list:

  1. Schedule a yearly meeting to discuss the leasing relationship and maintain communication throughout the year.
  2. Know your land’s capabilities. Ask your tenant to provide regular updates to inform you about its productivity.
  3. Identify your level of risk aversion and whether you’re willing to share risk.
  4. Identify and share your objectives for the land – investment and otherwise.
  5. Know your tenant’s financial position and recognize the tenant’s need for profitability.
  6. Consider the services your tenant can provide as points of negotiation.
  7. Use questioning (instead of demanding) to your advantage.
  8. Leave room for negotiation.
  9. Always have the goal of finding win/win solutions to any challenges.
  10. Put points of agreement in writing as soon as you reach them.

There are two more opportunities approaching quickly for Women in Agriculture. Be sure to register soon for the East Ohio Women in Agriculture dinner at Raven’s Glenn Winery on November 14 from 6:00-8:30 pm. This is an evening especially for networking with women in our area who are involved in agriculture as producers and/or supporters. The program for the evening is “Take Control: clear the clutter, manage your time, and prioritize your tasks.” You can get more details and register at Women in Ag Dinner. Cost for the evening is $25 and registration deadline is November 8.

The second upcoming program is an Annie’s Project Retreat December 1-3 at Salt Fork State Park Lodge and Conference Center in east central Ohio. Annie’s Project provides education and a support network to enhance business skills of women involved in all aspects of agriculture.

We’ve held four different classes of Annie’s Project here in Coshocton County and have over 70 women who are graduates of this program- more than any other county in Ohio. This is a tremendous way to connect with other women and learn about the local resources available to assist with managing all the risks associated with the agricultural life.

Annie’s Project fosters problem solving, record keeping, and decision-making skills in farm women. Women will receive training in five areas of agricultural risk management: financial, marketing, production, legal, and human resources.

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 and details can be found at Annie’s Project East. Sponsors of the program include Farm Credit and Nationwide.

Today I’ll leave you with this quote from Luke Roberts, “Conflict is good in a negotiation process… it’s the clash of two ideas, which then, all being well, produces a third idea.”