Southern Ohio Farm Show Holiday Programming Planned for Dec 23rd 

Santa and Mrs. Claus visit a local farm while admiring the holiday decorations in the area.


Brooke Beam, PhD

Agriculture and Natural Resources/Community Development Extension Educator

OSU Extension, Highland County


December 16, 2020


On the next episode of the Southern Ohio Farm Show, we have some special guests from the North Pole. Santa and Mrs. Claus stopped by a local farm when they were out looking at the festive lights in the area and they will make a guest appearance on the Southern Ohio Farm Show. The contestants in the lighting contest will also be featured in this special holiday program.

In this week’s episode, the Fairfield FFA Chapter was highlighted with their soybean field they planted as a class project. Other segments included how to care for poinsettias, information on cover crops, and how to make peanut butter cups for the holidays.

As the Ohio State University Extension offices around the state transition into a period of virtual programming, take time to explore the dozens of programs available for you to attend from the comfort of your own home. For a full listing of agriculture and natural resources Extension programming, visit If you need assistance registering for one of the programs or would like a call-in number for one of the webinars, contact our office at 937-393-1918.

While this year’s holiday celebrations may look different than they have in the past, take time to celebrate with your family in a safe manner. Whether in person or by Zoom, I hope you are all able to enjoy the holiday season and stay healthy.

Grazing Concepts that Benefit the Bird and the Herd

Application deadline for the Northern Bobwhite n Grasslands EQIP project in 30 Ohio counties is January 15, 2021.

If you think livestock and quail don’t mix, a type of managed grazing may change your mind. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service

(NRCS) is accepting applications for a program that focuses on establishing productive warm season forages to improve livestock production and provide large areas of prime habitat for ground nesting birds and other wildlife.

Ohio’s Northern Bobwhite in Grasslands project is part of a national Working Lands for Wildlife (WLFW) partnership, a collaborative approach to conserving habitat for declining species on farms and working forests. NRCS works with partners and private landowners to focus voluntary conservation efforts on working landscapes.

The Northern Bobwhite in Grasslands project is designed to help bring back the quail that were once an integral part of Ohio’s farming way of life. Leading researchers have documented the wildlife benefits of managed grazing on native summer forages, concluding that this approach enhances the habitat for the ground nesting birds while improving livestock weight gains.

Warm season grasses are beneficial to both cattle, and quail.

NRCS utilizes the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to offer technical and financial assistance to eligible livestock producers to implement conservation practices to address habitat loss without taking their land out of production. NRCS will conduct targeted restoration activities with a focus on 30 southern Ohio counties.

Individuals interested in applying for the Northern Bobwhite in Grasslands Special Project should contact their local NRCS conservationist as soon as possible. Be sure to check the status of your Service Center when you reach out to us. For offices with restrictions on in-person appointments, we are still available by phone, email, and through other digital tools. Your Service Center’s status is available at

Applications signed and submitted to NRCS by the January 15, 2021 deadline will be evaluated for fiscal year 2021 funding. Visit Ohio NRCS website under “EQIP Funding Categories” for more details. To learn more about EQIP or other technical and financial assistance available through NRCS conservation programs, visit Get Started with NRCS or contact your local USDA Service Center.

Warm season forages can be at their best in the heat of summer!

OSU Extension Beef Team to Host Winter Meetings

Garth Ruff, Beef Cattle Field Specialist, OSU Extension

Dr. Kenny Burdine, Extension livestock economist at the University of Kentucky, will focus on beef cattle market outlook for 2021.

What a year 2020 has been. Are you looking to improve herd efficiency and profitability to weather the storm? Look no further than the slate of winter programming to be offered by the OSU Extension Beef Team. Programs planned for early 2021 are designed to provide valuable information for all segments of Ohio’s beef industry.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenge to the beef industry to say the least, and the effects will continue to linger for some time. One thing we have learned this year is there continues to be need for gained efficiency and improved management within all segments of our beef cattle industry. This winter’s Ohio State Extension Beef School series will focus on both of those topics. Given current university policies regarding COVID-19, this years Beef Schools will be offered as a virtual series of programs.

What was originally planned as two on-farm face-to-face Cow-Calf Management Schools has now been redesigned as a series of 6 consecutive two hour webinar programs. While perhaps being less ‘hands-on” this webinar format now opens up the opportunity for more cattlemen throughout Ohio to participate. These presentations will occur on Monday evenings from 6 until 8 p.m. beginning on January 18, 2021. The first three evenings will be focused on producing quality forages while the final three will address reproduction and cow/calf management.

The Cow-Calf Management School series is being offered for free, and may be enrolled in as a one time package for all six programs. Find more details including registration under this registration link. Additional information will be available in the coming weeks.

In addition to the Cow-Calf School series, four additional programs focused on single topics are also scheduled.

A Cow-Calf Outlook meeting via webinar has been set for 6:30 p.m. on January 26. Dr. Kenny Burdine, Livestock Marketing Extension Specialist from the University of Kentucky will be the featured speaker. Dr. Burdine will give a market outlook for 2021 and discuss how cow and calf management plays a role in determining value at the time of marketing. Registration for this free program is available here.

The need for increased risk management for fed cattle has been highlighted by a couple of “Black Swan” events: COVID-19 and the 2019 Tyson packing plank fire. Via webinar on Feruary 24 beginning at 6 p.m., the 2021 Cattle Feeding and Management School will feature Justin White of Hudson Insurance who will present on risk management for fed cattle, specifically the Livestock Risk Protection and Livestock Gross Margin Insurance programs. To finish up the program Jason Hartschuh, OSU Extension Crawford County will discuss feedlot ventilation needs. This program will be held via webinar, pre-registration for this free program will be required.

Rounding out our winter programs will be a webinar addressing a fairly new topic for Beef Team programming. Ohio’s dairy industry is a significant contributor to beef production across the state. On March 10 at noon Allen Gahler, Extension Educator in Sandusky County will be teaching a session entitled Beef Sire Selection for the Dairy Herd, taking a look at what EPD and genetic criteria should be considered when mating beef sires to dairy cattle. The registration for this program is linked here.

Find additional detail on each of these programs on the 2021 Ohio Beef School page.

Ohio cattlemen will also enjoy the virtual Pastures for Profit series that will begin in January. Details and registration information will be available soon.

Lastly, continue to stay up to date on county based Beef Quality Assurance education opportunities. Many producers here in Ohio were certified in three years ago in 2018 and will be due for recertification in 2021. Beef Quality Assurance training dates and information as well as registration for the above mentioned programs can all be found at

Not knowing what COVID-19 has in store for this winter, we hope these virtual programs are beneficial until in-person programs can be returned sometime in 2021. We are looking forward to working with as many of you as possible in the coming year. Stay safe!

Southern Ohio Farm Show, December 16, 2020

In this episode of the Southern Ohio Farm Show:
-Pam Bennett provides tips on how to care for poinsettias;
-James Morris discusses cover crops;
-we visit with the Fairfield FFA Chapter about their soybean field; and
-Ken Ford and his son, Luke, demonstrate how to make peanut butter cups for the holidays.