Looking for a last-minute gifts for your farmer?

Brooke Beam, PhD

Agriculture and Natural Resources/Community Development Extension Educator

Ohio State University Extension, Highland County

December 19, 2019

 

Twas the weekend before Christmas and people filled the stores, yet the farmers were still completing their chores.

Unlike many industries, livestock farmers do not get any days or holidays off. Livestock needs to be fed and watered daily. Due to the nature of their livelihoods, many of the farmers on your nice list this year may appreciate useful items that can help them on the farm. Christine Gelley, Extension educator in Noble County, compiled a list of material gifts you might consider for your farmer if you are looking for last-minute ideas this year:

  • Flashlights- You can never find one when you need one, or the battery dies halfway through your project. There are so many styles to choose from: magnetic bases, hanging, minis, dual-purpose, etc. Don’t forget the extra batteries!
  • Headlamps- If you know the experience of holding the flashlight for a farmer, you’ve probably been yelled at a time or two for pointing it the wrong way. Headlamps can help you by giving them control of where the light goes and also keep two hands free while doing any job. Again, extra batteries are a must
  • Tow Straps- Can you ever have too many? Pick a set in their favorite color, the sturdy kind that can survive being pitched off the truck bed on a highway, whipping in the wind on the interstate, and survive to tow another day.
  • Shoe Goo- Farmers use everything until it is completely worn out. Shoe goo can help their favorite boots last another three months and costs a lot less than a new pair. Use a new pair of socks as the bow for this gift.
  • Snacks- The kind you can leave in the truck or tractor for six months and still eat without fear of food poisoning.
  • Caffeine- Whatever mode of delivery they like, coffee, tea, or soda pop. Keep them fueled and happy. Purchase in bulk if you can.
  • Degreaser Spray- Depending on where they get their oil and grease, get them the grease blaster product to match, they kind that is safe for hands, surfaces, and laundry too. As the wife of a tractor mechanic, I one hundred percent recommend these products.
  • A Watch- Waterproof, shatterproof, backlight options. You know they’ll be late getting back from the field or barn, maybe with a watch you’ll get a better estimate of how late that will be.
  • Touchscreen Compatible Gloves- Keep your farmer tech-savvy, even when it’s cold out.
  • Record Books- Stop by your Extension Office and pick up a farm record-keeping book, just in time for the New Year. Someone may also be there to give you ideas for other practical gifts too.

However, as we all know, the best gifts are immaterial. Spending time with your family, friends, and faithful, four-legged companions truly makes the holiday season brighter. As I finalize my holiday wrapping, I have found that my family’s nine-month-old Collie puppy has a spectacular knack as a wrapping assistant. While I may have to wrap each present multiple times in order for it to resemble a decent package, Coco and I are having a grand time in preparation for the holiday season. May you and your family have a joyful holiday season filled with good health and lasting memories.

For more information about OSU Extension programming, contact the Highland County office at 937-393-1918.

 

Upcoming Programs:

Pesticide and Fertilizer Recertification will be held on January 15, 2019. Applicators who need to renew their certifications will be mailed a letter from the Ohio Department of Agriculture in December. Registration for the recertification course is available through the OSU Extension, Highland County Office. The cost for both pesticide and fertilizer recertification training is $40, pesticide recertification only is $35, and fertilizer recertification only is $15. There is an additional licensure fee that is paid directly to the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

Exploration of International Agriculture – Ireland

Learn more about Irish agriculture and how you can implement agriculture tours on your farm. This program will include samples of Irish products. This program will be held on January 22, 2020, at 5 PM in the Large Meeting Room in the basement of the Highland County Administration Building. The cost to attend is $5.00 per person. RSVP in advance to the OSU Extension, Highland County office at 937-393-1918.

Ag is Everyone’s Business Breakfast

Hosted by the Highland County Chamber of Commerce

Date: February 24, 2019

Where: Southern State Community College

Cost: $20

Tickets can be purchased through the Highland County Chamber of Commerce at 937-393-1111.

Upcoming Fertilizer and Pesticide Recertification Trainings

Brooke Beam, PhD

Agriculture and Natural Resources/Community Development Extension Educator

Ohio State University Extension, Highland County

 

November 13, 2019

 

It is beginning to look a lot like the annual fertilizer and pesticide applicator license recertification season. Held annually, fertilizer and pesticide applicator license recertification trainings are offered to farmers and applicators through the OSU Extension offices. Licenses are valid for a period of three years, at which time the license holder must attend a recertification training.

The Highland County OSU Extension fertilizer and pesticide applicator license recertification training will be held on January 15, 2020, from noon until 4 PM, in the Large Meeting Room in the Highland County Administration Building. Attendees must register in advance through the Highland County OSU Extension office or online. The cost for the recertification training is $40 for both fertilizer and pesticide, $15 for fertilizer only, and $35 for pesticide only.

There are approximately 50 Highland County residents who need to attend the training, as their licenses are set to expire in 2020. The Ohio Department of Agriculture will send all individuals a letter to notify them that they need to renew. If you are not sure when you need to recertify, you can also call the Highland County OSU Extension office at 937-393-1918.

In addition to the training fee, there is a state license fee that is paid separately to the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Instructions for this process will also be included in the notification letters sent by the Ohio Department of Agriculture. If the date of January 15, 2020 does not fit into your schedule, additional dates will be offered in other counties.

If you have questions about the fertilizer and pesticide applicator license training programs or any upcoming OSU Extension programming contact the OSU Extension office in Highland County at 937-393-1918.

Upcoming Fertilizer and Pesticide Recertification in Highland County

Brooke Beam, Ph.D.

Ohio State University Extension, Highland County

Agriculture and Natural Resources/Community Development Extension Educator

January 29, 2019

Attendees of the first fertilizer and pesticide recertification held in Highland County on February 19, 2019.

Attendees of the first fertilizer and pesticide recertification held in Highland County on February 19, 2019.

If you have your fertilizer or pesticide license and are in need of renewing your license this year, the Highland County Extension Office has one more training scheduled for 2019. The next recertification will be held on March 4, 2019, at the Ponderosa Steakhouse Banquet Center in Hillsboro, Ohio (545 S. High Street, Hillsboro). The fertilizer recertification will begin at 10 AM. Lunch will be served from 11 AM to 11:30 AM. The pesticide recertification will begin at 11:30 AM. Lunch is included in the registration cost. The program will conclude at 2:30 PM, unless there are individuals who need additional recertification for categories 3, 4, and/or 5.

Pre-registration is required through the Highland County Extension Office. The cost of fertilizer recertification is $10.00. The cost of pesticide recertification is $35.00. If you have both a license for fertilizer and pesticide application, the cost is $40. Pre-registration and pre-payment are required prior to the recertification. Payment cannot be processed at the door. Pre-registration is open until February 28, 2019, at noon through the Highland County Extension Office. You may contact the office at 937-393-1918 or stop in (located at 119 Governor Foraker Pace, Suite 202, Hillsboro, Ohio 45133).

The training scheduled for March 4this the second fertilizer and pesticide recertification for Highland County in 2019. The other recertification was held on February 19, 2019. Nearly 70 individuals attended the first recertification training, and space is filling quickly for the second recertification.

It should be noted that this recertification is for individuals who already have obtained their fertilizer and pesticide applicator’s licenses. Individuals who are wanting to obtain their fertilizer license need to attend a three-hour fertilizer certification course. Individuals who are wanting to obtain their pesticide license can register with the Ohio Department of Agriculture and can take an exam at the Old Y Restaurant on the second Monday of every month at noon.

For more information about the fertilizer and pesticide recertification training that will be held on March 4, 2018, contact the Highland County Extension Office at 937-393-1918.

 

Upcoming Events: 

The topic of the Highland County Monthly Extension Programming for February will be Maple Syrup Production. The program will be held on February 27, 2019, at 10 AM. The program will be held at Ponderosa Steakhouse in Hillsboro and is free to attend. Attendees are encouraged to purchase lunch on their own at Ponderosa. Please RSVP to reserve your seat by calling 937-393-1918. Attendees will learn about the process of producing maple syrup and marketing.

The Highland County Extension Office will be hosting a tour of the OSU Meat Lab in Columbus, Ohio, for those who are interested in beef and meat production on March 19, 2019. The tour will coincide with the meat class on campus, so attendees will be able to see the lab on a harvesting day. The tour will be held in the morning and space is limited. Please call the Highland County Extension Office at 937-393-1918 for additional information and to reserve your place for the tour.

Video Production 101 will be held on Monday, March 25, 2019, at 6 PM at the Lynchburg Public Library in Lynchburg, OH. The topic of this program will cover the basics of video productions for beginners and will be presented by Brooke Beam. If you have a small business and would like to incorporate more videos into your marketing plans or you are interested in learning the basics of video production, this program is for you!

The topic of the Highland County Monthly Extension Programming for March will be Storytelling for Video Production. The program will be held on March 27, 2019, at 10 AM. Attendees will learn about the different kinds of documentary films and how storytelling impacts the audience’s perception of videos. The program will be held at Ponderosa Steakhouse in Hillsboro and is free to attend. Attendees are encouraged to purchase lunch on their own at Ponderosa. Please RSVP to reserve your seat by calling 937-393-1918.

 

Chocolate: Agriculture’s Valentine’s Gift

Brooke Beam, PhD

Ohio State University Extension, Highland County

Agriculture and Natural Resources/Community Development Extension Educator

Ah, chocolate, a favorite treat of millions of Americans. Decadent and rich in texture, chocolate is a versatile agricultural product that is enjoyed in numerous forms and for limitless celebrations. Did you know that in 2018 the National Retail Federation estimated that $19.6 billion was spent on Valentine’s Day celebrations? Or that chocolate represents 75 percent of the total Valentine’s candy sales annually?

Chocolate is a product of the Cacao tree, primarily grown in the Caribbean, Central America, and South America. A time-consuming process of harvesting the cacao pods, fermenting, cleaning, roasting, grinding, blending, and tempering is required before raw cacao resembles a chocolate product we could purchase at a store. Chocolate can be traced back to ancient Mayans and Olmecs of southern Mexico dating to around 1500 B.C.

Despite the long history of chocolate, it has changed drastically over the centuries of consumption. The Mayans combined chocolate with chili peppers, honey, and water. Later the Spanish and other Europeans made their own varieties of hot chocolate with sugar, cinnamon, and other additives. According to the History Channel, chocolate first arrived in North America via a Spanish ship into what is now Florida in 1641.

Despite raw cacao being grown and initially processed in the Caribbean, Central America, and South America, chocolate is produced globally. The process of refining chocolate and transforming it into a desirable product can be accomplished anywhere in the world. Americans consume nearly 18 percent of the world’s chocolate, which represents over $18 billion annually. The average American consumes 9.5 pounds of chocolate annually, which is conservative to the 20 pounds the average Swiss person consumes per year.

Although we may think of chocolate as a commercial product, it is actually an agricultural product that is formed with partnerships from thousands of American farmers. According to the World Cocoa Foundation, the majority of American chocolate manufacturers use domestically produced sugar, milk, peanuts, almonds, and sweeteners. It is estimated that U.S. chocolate manufacturers use 3 billion pounds of sugar, 653 million pounds of milk, 360 million pounds of peanuts, 43 million pounds of almonds, and 1.7 billion pounds of corn syrup sweeteners annually.

Modern chocolate production methods allow consumers the luxury of enjoying thousands of variations of chocolate delicacies. Of course, it is important to understand the finer nuances of chocolate taste testing. To some, chocolate is chocolate. However, upon careful sampling, it is possible to tell the difference between brands and production methods and savor the unique flavors of chocolate.

Key Steps for Chocolate Tasting:

  1. Visual inspection: if the chocolate has a glossy surface and even color, it indicates a bar of well-tempered chocolate. Scuffs and inconsistent appearance aren’t an indicator of poor quality, but it is less visually appealing.
  2. Smell: Chocolates have their own unique smell. Some will have traces of nuts, cream, caramel, coffee, wine, or even fruit.
  3. Sound: the texture of chocolate bars can be identified by snapping a piece of chocolate into two pieces.
  4. Palatability: Perhaps one of the more crucial steps to sampling chocolate is to resist the urge to chew and devour chocolate when you consume it. To fully experience chocolate, it is recommended to put the chocolate between your tongue and the roof of your mouth and let the chocolate melt for a short period of time. Once the chocolate has melted, feel the texture of the chocolate. Textures vary from smooth to gritty or being dry.
  5. Taste and Flavoring: Concentrate on the flavors you can taste while the chocolate is melting in your mouth. Does the flavor of the chocolate change or stay the same? Does the flavor last? Try to describe the flavor to someone else using descriptive characteristics, like sweet, fruity, or smooth.

Try these five steps to further enjoy your chocolates this Valentine’s Day. It can be an enjoyable experience to ask others to taste chocolates and see how each person tastes different flavors in the same brand of chocolate.

While cacao beans are grown in warmer climates, it is possible to craft your own chocolate-based endeavors in Ohio. Thinking outside the (chocolate) box may provide an opportunity to develop a unique small business. Do you have a niche chocolate product? Contact the Highland County Extension Office for more information about the Agricultural Marketing Team, who may be able to assist you in marketing your food products.

 

Upcoming Events:

Highland County Fertilizer and Pesticide Recertifications: 

    • February 19, 2019, Ponderosa Banquet Center, 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm Fertilizer Recertification – Private and Commercial, and 6:30 pm Pesticide Recertification (Core, 1, 2,3, 4, 5, 6) Private Applicators Only
    • March 4, 2018, Ponderosa Banquet Center, 10:00 am to 11:00 am Fertilizer Recertification – Private and Commercial, and 11:30 am Pesticide Recertification (Core, 1, 2,3, 4, 5, 6) Private Applicators Only.

Registration details will come in the mail from the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Registration for OSU Extension Pesticide and Fertilizer and your renewal application for ODA Pesticide/Fertilizer must both be completed. Meals will be included at each recertification training at Ponderosa.

The topic of the Highland County Monthly Extension Programming for February will be Maple Syrup Production. The program will be held on February 27, 2019, at 10 AM. The program will be held at Ponderosa Steakhouse in Hillsboro and is free to attend. Attendees are encouraged to purchase lunch on their own at Ponderosa. Please RSVP to reserve your seat by calling 937-393-1918. Attendees will learn about the process of producing maple syrup and marketing.

The Highland County Extension Office will be hosting a tour of the OSU Meat Lab in Columbus, Ohio, for those who are interested in beef and meat production on March 19, 2019. The tour will coincide with the meat class on campus, so attendees will be able to see the lab on a harvesting day. The tour will be held in the morning and space is limited. Please call the Highland County Extension Office at 937-393-1918 for additional information and to reserve your place for the tour.

The topic of the Highland County Monthly Extension Programming for March will be Storytelling for Video Production. The program will be held on March 27, 2019, at 10 AM. Attendees will learn about the different kinds of documentary films and how storytelling impacts the audience’s perception of videos. The program will be held at Ponderosa Steakhouse in Hillsboro and is free to attend. Attendees are encouraged to purchase lunch on their own at Ponderosa. Please RSVP to reserve your seat by calling 937-393-1918.

Winter Extension Programming

Brooke Beam, PhD

Ohio State University Extension, Highland County

Agriculture and Natural Resources/Community Development Extension Educator

February 5, 2019

Winter is a busy time for farmers and Extension Educators alike. There are several upcoming programs in Highland County and in the region that may be of interest to many farmers. For more information about any of the programs outlined below, contact the Highland County Extension Office at 937-393-1918.

  • Regional eFields Meeting at the Clinton County Extension Office–February 13, 2019, 9:00AM – 12:00PM.  Clinton County Extension Office.  This meeting is open to anyone interested in on-farm research results from this area and around the state. Go to osu.edu/eFields for more information.
  • The seventh Beef Quality Assurance Training will be held at Union Stock Yards in Hillsboro, OH, on February 13, 2019, at 6 PM. A meal will be served at 5 PM. To attend, you must RSVP in advance to Union Stock Yards (937-393-1958) or to the Highland County Extension Office (937-393-1918).
  • Highland County Fertilizer and Pesticide Recertifications: 
    • February 19, 2019, Ponderosa Banquet Center, 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm Fertilizer Recertification – Private and Commercial, and 6:30 pm Pesticide Recertification (Core, 1, 2,3, 4, 5, 6) Private Applicators Only
    • March 4, 2018, Ponderosa Banquet Center, 10:00 am to 11:00 am Fertilizer Recertification – Private and Commercial, and 11:30 am Pesticide Recertification (Core, 1, 2,3, 4, 5, 6) Private Applicators Only.

Registration details will come in the mail from the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Registration for OSU Extension Pesticide and Fertilizer and your renewal application for ODA Pesticide/Fertilizer must both be completed. Meals will be included at each recertification training at Ponderosa.

  • Ohio Intensive Soybean Management Workshop–February 19, 2019, Clinton County Extension Office, 9:00 AM – 3:30 PM, Cost $35.00, contact Clinton County Extension Office at 937-382-0901 to register. Guest speakers include Dr. Mark Loux, Extension Weed Specialist, Dr. Leah McHale, Soybean Breeding and Genetics Specialist, and Dr. Anne Dorrance, Field Crop Extension Pathologist. CCA Credits will be available for Certified Crop Advisors as well as Private and Commercial Pesticide Applicator Recertification Credits.
  • The topic of the Highland County Monthly Extension Programming for February will be Maple Syrup Production. The program will be held on February 27, 2019, at 10 AM. The program will be held at Ponderosa Steakhouse in Hillsboro and is free to attend. Attendees are encouraged to purchase lunch on their own at Ponderosa. Please RSVP to reserve your seat by calling 937-393-1918. Attendees will learn about the process of producing maple syrup and marketing.
  • Southwest Ohio Corn Growers Annual Meeting, March 12, 2019, from 9:30 AM – 1:00 PM at the Fayette County Fairgrounds. Pre-register by calling the Fayette County Extension Office 740-335-1150 by March 5, 2019. The speaker will be Ben Brown, Program Manager for Farm Management at The Ohio State University, and he will discuss the Farm Bill and farm outlook.
  • The Highland County Extension Office will be hosting a tour of the OSU Meat Lab in Columbus, Ohio, for those who are interested in beef and meat production on March 19, 2019. The tour will coincide with the meat class on campus, so attendees will be able to see the lab on a harvesting day. The tour will be held in the morning and space is limited. Please call the Highland County Extension Office at 937-393-1918 for additional information and to reserve your place for the tour.
  • Southwestern Ohio Beekeeper School will be held on Saturday, March 23, 2019, at the Oasis Conference Center in Loveland. The cost is $35 and includes a continental breakfast and buffet lunch. Classes will be offered for beginners to moderately experienced beekeepers. Vendors will be onsite to sell equipment. Registration is limited to 350 people. Registration is available online. The registration link and class descriptions can be found at osu.eduor the event page http://go.osu.edu/swohbeeschool.
  • The topic of the Highland County Monthly Extension Programming for March will be Storytelling for Video Production. The program will be held on March 27, 2019, at 10 AM. Attendees will learn about the different kinds of documentary films and how storytelling impacts the audience’s perception of videos. The program will be held at Ponderosa Steakhouse in Hillsboro and is free to attend. Attendees are encouraged to purchase lunch on their own at Ponderosa. Please RSVP to reserve your seat by calling 937-393-1918.
  • Small Farm Conference and Trade Show will be held on Friday, March 29thand Saturday, March 30th at the OSU South Centers in Piketon, Ohio.  The conference is designed for small farm owners wanting to learn more about how to make their farms work better for them. Many topics will be offered to help landowners expand their operations. Landowners can attend workshops and seminars taught by Extension professionals and industry leaders on a wide variety of agricultural enterprises.  Attendees will also get to meet various vendors at the trade show.  The trade show will be open part of the day on Friday, and all-day Saturday.  For full details, please go to osu.edu/OSUFARMConference2019.

 

Check Heat Sources for Carbon Monoxide

Brooke Beam, PhD

Ohio State University Extension, Highland County

Agriculture and Natural Resources/Community Development Extension Educator

January 29, 2018

 

With the frigid temperatures this week, many individuals have been spending their time preparing for the negative temperatures. Farmers who have livestock outside have been particularly challenged with the fluctuation of temperatures and frozen water troughs. Diesel trucks, water lines, heat sources, and other items need to be checked to ensure that they are working properly and do not have issues due to the weather. No matter your profession, carbon monoxide is a danger everyone should be aware of this winter.

As an odorless and colorless gas, carbon monoxide can cause major issues during the winter months. Carbon monoxide is produced from burning fuel, which is more frequent during the winter months when we need our furnaces to heat our homes. Checking your home, vehicle, water heater, clothes dryer and other heat sources for carbon monoxide is an important step on your winter weather checklist to prevent illness and death.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “more than 400 Americans die from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning not linked to fires, more than 20,000 visit the emergency room, and more than 4,000 are hospitalized” annually.  According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include: headaches, weakness, dizziness, nausea, shortness of breath, confusion, blurred vision, and loss of consciousness.“ Carbon monoxide poisoning can be particularly dangerous for people who are sleeping or intoxicated. People may have irreversible brain damage or even die before anyone realizes there’s a problem,” according to Mayo Clinic staff.

One way to monitor carbon monoxide levels in your home is to install a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector. According to the CDC, it is recommended to change the battery when the time changes in the spring and fall, and to replace the detector every five years in order to have accurate readings. The detector will emit a high-pitched alarm if it detects carbon monoxide in your home. Having your heating system, water heater, and other fuel-burning appliances maintained and serviced annually are also good preventative measures.

The CDC provided several other preventative tactics to keep your home carbon monoxide free:

  • “Never use a gas range or oven for heating. Using a gas range or oven for heating can cause a build up of carbon monoxide in your home, cabin, or camper.
  • Never burn charcoal indoors. Burning charcoal – red, gray, black, or white – gives off carbon monoxide.
  • Never use a portable gas camp stove indoors. Using a gas camp stove indoors can cause carbon monoxide to build up inside your home, cabin, or camper.
  • Never use a generator inside your home, basement, or garage, or less than 20 feet from any window, door, or vent” (CDC, 2018, p. 1 & 2).

It is likely southern Ohio will have more days with cold, winter weather this year. Keep these safety tips outlined above in mind to keep you and your family healthy, safe, and warm this season.

 

Upcoming Events: 

The next Monthly Extension Program will be held on Wednesday, January 30, 2019, at 10 AM at Ponderosa Steakhouse in Hillsboro, OH. The topic of this program will be on Small Business Video Production and will be presented by Brooke Beam. If you have a small business and would like to incorporate more videos into your marketing plans or you are interested in learning the basics of video production, this program is for you! If you have a camera or a mobile device, bring your camera equipment with you to participate as this will be a hands-on workshop.

On Tuesday, February 5, 2019, a live webinar of the 2019 Ohio Beef Cattle School will be held in the Large Meeting Room of 119 Governor Foraker Place, Hillsboro, OH. The program will begin at 7 P.M. The 2019 Ohio Beef Cattle School is free to attend, but RSVPs are required. The topic of the webinar is on the winter management of the cow herd to ensure a productive 2019. RSVP to the Highland County Extension Office at 937-393-1918 or via email to beam.49@osu.edu.

The Highland County Extension Office will be hosting a tour of the OSU Meat Lab in Columbus, Ohio, for those who are interested in beef and meat production on March 19, 2019. The tour will coincide with the meat class on campus, so attendees will be able to see the lab on a harvesting day. The tour will be held in the morning and space is limited. Please call the Highland County Extension Office at 937-393-1918 for additional information and to reserve your place for the tour.

Fertilizer and Pesticide Recertifications: 

February 19, 2019

Ponderosa Banquet Center, 545 S. High Street, Hillsboro, Ohio 45133

5:00 pm to 6:00 pm Fertilizer Recertification – Private and Commercial

6:30 pm Pesticide Recertification (Core, 1, 2,3, 4, 5, 6) Private Applicators Only

March 4, 2018

Ponderosa Banquet Center, 545 S. High Street, Hillsboro, Ohio 45133

10:00 am to 11:00 am Fertilizer Recertification – Private and Commercial

11:30 am Pesticide Recertification (Core, 1, 2,3, 4, 5, 6) Private Applicators Only

Registration details will come in the mail from the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Registration for OSU Extension Pesticide and Fertilizer and your renewal application for ODA Pesticide/Fertilizer must both be completed. Meals will be included at each recertification training at Ponderosa.

Leadership Highland Community Government Day

Brooke Beam, Ph.D.

Ohio State University Extension, Highland County

Agriculture and Natural Resources/Community Development Extension Educator

January 16, 2019

Participants of Leadership Highland toured the maintenance buildings at the Highland County Engineer’s Office. From left to right: Rob Holt, Mat Greene, Mike Hart, Diana Grooms, Michelle Unsworth, and Brooke Beam.

 

The participants of Leadership Highland met on January 16, 2019, for Community Government Day. The participants learned more about the infrastructure of the county government and the history of the courthouse.

Leadership Highland participants attended the Highland County Commissioners meeting. Commissioners Terry Britton and Gary Abernathy received a check from Nate Jester, manager of the Pike State Forest, for a tree removal program. Also present at the meeting were Jared Warner, from the Highland County Health Department, and Bill Fawley, Highland County Auditor.

Commissioners Gary Abernathy and Terry Britton led the Highland County Commissioners meeting on Januery 16, 2019.

The last remaining jail cell in the old jail is now used for storage of books. The other cells have been converted into modern office spaces.

Tom Parrin, the custodian of the Highland County Administrative Building and Courthouse, provided a tour of the old jail and courthouse buildings. Parrin showed the last remaining jail cell, the law library, and the circus banners that were repurposed to build the roof of the old jail building. Tom Horst provided additional historical context for the old jail building by providing detailed informational packets. Horst said that the old jail building originally cost $22,000.00 to build and the woodwork alone cost $4,000.00.

On the third floor of the old jail, participants of Leadership Highland were able to see parts of the circus poster that was repurposed to build the roof.

Judge Rocky Coss, Common Pleas judge, provided an additional tour of the courthouse and described the inner workings of the Common Pleas Court. Judge Coss showed the history and renovation of the courthouse, as well as the historical fixtures in the building. Judge Coss introduced the participants of Leadership Highland to Ike Hodson, the Clerk of the Highland County Clerk of Courts. The Clerk of Courts maintains records from court cases and also processes passports.

Judge Coss describes the history of the Common Pleas Court to the participants of Leadership Highland.

 

In the afternoon, participants met with Dean Otworth, the Highland County Engineer, and Chris Fauber, the Deputy Engineer, at the Highland County Engineer’s Office. Otworth and Fauber described the process of maintaining a budget, providing proper maintenance for the roadways, and the process of plowing the roads during the winter. Otworth and Fauber provided a tour of the vehicle maintenance building and the storage facility for the salt.

The next meeting of Leadership Highland will be in February, focusing on business and industry. For more information about Leadership Highland, contact the Highland County Extension Office at 937-393-1918 or email beam.49@osu.edu.

 

Upcoming Events: 

The next Beef Quality Assurance Training will be held at Union Stockyards on Tuesday, January 22, 2018, at 6:30 P.M. A meal will be served at 5:30 P.M. prior to the class. Please RSVP to the Highland County Extension Office at 937-393-1918.

Another Beef Quality Assurance Training will be held at United Producers Inc., at 2 P.M. on January 29, 2019. There will not be a meal included at this training. Please RSVP to the Highland County Extension Office at 927-393-1918.

The next Highland County Master Gardener Volunteer meeting will be held on Thursday, January 17, 2019, at 10 AM in the Large Meeting Room in the basement of 110 Governor Foraker Place, Hillsboro, OH.

On Tuesday, February 5, 2019, a live webinar of the 2019 Ohio Beef Cattle School will be held in the Large Meeting Room of 119 Governor Foraker Place, Hillsboro, OH. The program will begin at 7 P.M. The 2019 Ohio Beef Cattle School is free to attend, but RSVPs are required. The topic of the webinar is on the winter management of the cow herd to ensure a productive 2019. RSVP to the Highland County Extension Office at 937-393-1918 or via email to beam.49@osu.edu.

Fertilizer and Pesticide Recertifications: 

February 19, 2019

Ponderosa Banquet Center, 545 S. High Street, Hillsboro, Ohio 45133

5:00 pm to 6:00 pm Fertilizer Recertification – Private and Commercial

6:30 pm Pesticide Recertification (Core, 1, 2,3, 4, 5, 6) Private Applicators Only

March 4, 2018

Ponderosa Banquet Center, 545 S. High Street, Hillsboro, Ohio 45133

10:00 am to 11:00 am Fertilizer Recertification – Private and Commercial

11:30 am Pesticide Recertification (Core, 1, 2,3, 4, 5, 6) Private Applicators Only

Registration details will come in the mail from the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Registration for OSU Extension Pesticide and Fertilizer and your renewal application for ODA Pesticide/Fertilizer must both be completed. Meals will be included at each recertification training at Ponderosa.

Precision for Spring Planting

 

Brooke Beam, Ph.D.

Ohio State University Extension, Highland County

Agriculture and Natural Resources/Community Development Extension Educator

January 9, 2019

 

Dr. Ignacio Ciampitti, of the University of Nebraska, spoke at the Ohio State University Extension 2019 Precision University on Satellite Data and Agronomic Decisions.

As I write this column, the snow is falling outside. It is hard to believe that spring is right around the corner, but preparation for the 2019 crop season is in full swing. On Wednesday, January 9, 2019, I attended Ohio State University Extension’s Precision University: In-Season Decisions, at Beck’s Seed in London, Ohio. This program provided attendees with information about the latest technologies to incorporate into their farming operations in order to maximize efficiency and yields.

One tool to consider for the upcoming growing season is satellite imagery. Dr. Ignacio Ciampitti, from Kansas State University, spoke on the benefits of using satellite imagery for evaluating fields. Dr. Ciampitti said that satellites are not a replacement for drones (UAVs), but they do offer a wide variety of benefits. Due to the number of satellites, there are a variety of resolutions of images farmers can obtain of their fields to evaluate their farm management decisions. Some examples of satellites that generate these images include Modis, Landsat, Sentinel, and Rapid Eye. The Sentinel satellite currently provides the highest resolution for agricultural purposes.

Satellites offer the ability to “go back in time” with databases of images compiled over the course of years, stated Dr. Ciampitti.  Drones provide an image of the current situation, which for some field scouting situations is appropriate; however, in some cases, it may be better to study the field over time. Uses of satellite imagery for the agricultural industry include seasonal and temporal (across seasons) monitoring of crops, crop scouting, forecasting yields, site-specific management, and environmental factors, such as insects, said Dr. Ciampitti.

While we wait on spring, farmers can evaluate previous satellite images of their fields to identify areas of their fields that may need a special prescription. During the growing season, comparing satellite imagery from the mid-flowering stages to your yield monitor images will also provide analysis for future yield predictions.

Several satellite images are available for free, depending on what information you need to obtain from the image. For more information about technologies and information from the 2019 Precision University, contact the Highland County Extension Office at 937-393-1918.

 

Upcoming Events:

The next Beef Quality Assurance Training will be held at Union Stockyards on Tuesday, January 22, 2018, at 6:30 P.M. A meal will be served at 5:30 P.M. prior to the class. Please RSVP to the Highland County Extension Office at 937-393-1918.

Another Beef Quality Assurance Training will be held at United Producers Inc., at 2 P.M. on January 29, 2019. There will not be a meal included at this training. Please RSVP to the Highland County Extension Office at 927-393-1918.

The next Highland County Master Gardener Volunteer meeting will be held on Thursday, January 17, 2019, at 10 AM in the Large Meeting Room in the basement of 110 Governor Foraker Place, Hillsboro, OH.

On Tuesday, February 5, 2019, a live webinar of the 2019 Ohio Beef Cattle School will be held in the Large Meeting Room of 119 Governor Foraker Place, Hillsboro, OH. The program will begin at 7 P.M. The 2019 Ohio Beef Cattle School is free to attend, but RSVPs are required. The topic of the webinar is on the winter management of the cow herd to ensure a productive 2019. RSVP to the Highland County Extension Office at 937-393-1918 or via email to beam.49@osu.edu.

Fertilizer and Pesticide Recertifications:

February 19, 2019

Ponderosa Banquet Center, 545 S. High Street, Hillsboro, Ohio 45133

5:00 pm to 6:00 pm Fertilizer Recertification – Private and Commercial

6:30 pm Pesticide Recertification (Core, 1, 2,3, 4, 5, 6) Private Applicators Only

March 4, 2018

Ponderosa Banquet Center, 545 S. High Street, Hillsboro, Ohio 45133

10:00 am to 11:00 am Fertilizer Recertification – Private and Commercial

11:30 am Pesticide Recertification (Core, 1, 2,3, 4, 5, 6) Private Applicators Only

Registration details will come in the mail from the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Registration for OSU Extension Pesticide and Fertilizer and your renewal application for ODA Pesticide/Fertilizer must both be completed. Meals will be included at each recertification training at Ponderosa.

 

 

Ring in 2019

Brooke Beam, Ph.D.

Ohio State University Extension, Highland County

Agriculture and Natural Resources/Community Development Extension Educator

As 2018 comes to a close, many individuals reflect on the past year and look forward to a prosperous, healthy, and happy New Year in 2019. There are many traditions associated with the New Years celebrations across the globe. For example, did you know that Alud Lang Syne is a Scottish song?

One of my favorite traditions is to ring in the New Year with fireworks. While I enjoy fireworks displays on television, many individuals create their own backyard fireworks displays to enjoy with family and friends. Whether you enjoy the annual New Year celebrations from the comfort of your own home or by lighting your own fireworks displays, safety for both the individuals lighting the fireworks and for those watching the displays in-person are paramount to start the New Year off right.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) says that sparklers burn at 1200 °F. In comparison, water boils at 212 °F and wood burns at 575 °F. “In 2013, sparklers caused 41 percent of fireworks injuries,” according to the NFPA. More than half of fireworks-related injuries are burns, but injuries can also include contusions, lacerations, foreign object in the eye and even death, according to the NFPA and The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Hand and finger injuries account for 36 percent of fireworks injuries, followed by eye (19 percent), and head, face or ear injuries (19 percent) (NFPA, 2014).

According to Dr. Nicholas Kman and Andrea Whittaker, RN, of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, “fireworks-related injuries are the most common on New Year’s Eve and the Fourth of July.” Kman and Whittaker recommend several tips to avoid being injured by fireworks:

  • “Never lean over fireworks when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance right after lighting them.
  • If you find unexploded fireworks, leave them be. Never try to relight or handle them. Soak them with water and throw them away.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose nearby.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move away from them quickly.
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
  • After fireworks are done burning, douse with plenty of water before throwing them away to prevent a trash fire.
  • Do not experiment with homemade fireworks or fireworks made for professional displays (these will be packaged in brown paper).
  • Parents and caretakers should always closely supervise teens using fireworks.
  • Parents should not allow young children to handle or use fireworks.
  • Only use fireworks outdoors” (Kman & Whittaker, 2018, p. 1).

If you are interested in learning more about fireworks safety or would like to become a certified pyrotechnician, Rozzi Fireworks will be holding an all-day training on April 27, 2018, at the Clinton County Fairgrounds. Registration will be available on their website, www.rozzifireworks.com, in mid-March. Celebrate the New Year responsibly and have a great start to 2019! For more information about upcoming Highland County Extension programs, contact the office at 937-393-1918.

References:

National Fire Protection Association. (2014). Fireworks Fact Sheet. Retrieved from https://www.nfpa.org/-/media/Files/News-and-Research/Fire-statistics-and   reports/Fact     sheets/FireworksFactSheet.pdf.

National Fire Protection Association. (2018). Fireworks Safety Fact Sheet. Retrieved from            https://firesafety.osu.edu/posts/documents/fireworkssafetytips-july-safety-tips.pdf

Kman, N., & Whittaker, A. (2018, June 29). Fireworks safety: How you can prevent burns and injuries. Retrieved from https://wexnermedical.osu.edu/blog/firework-safety

 

Upcoming Events:

A fifth Beef Quality Assurance Training will be held at Union Stockyards on Tuesday, January 22, 2018, at 6:30 P.M. Please RSVP to the Highland County Extension Office at 937-393-1918.

The next Highland County Master Gardener Volunteer meeting will be held on Thursday, January 17, 2019, at 10 AM in the Large Meeting Room in the basement of 110 Governor Foraker Place, Hillsboro, OH.

Fertilizer and Pesticide Recertifications: 

February 19, 2019

Ponderosa Banquet Center, 545 S. High Street, Hillsboro, Ohio 45133

5:00 pm to 6:00 pm Fertilizer Recertification – Private and Commercial

6:30 pm Pesticide Recertification (Core, 1, 2,3, 4, 5, 6) Private Applicators Only

March 4, 2018

Ponderosa Banquet Center, 545 S. High Street, Hillsboro, Ohio 45133

10:00 am to 11:00 am Fertilizer Recertification – Private and Commercial

11:30 am Pesticide Recertification (Core, 1, 2,3, 4, 5, 6) Private Applicators Only

Registration details will come in the mail from the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Registration for OSU Extension Pesticide and Fertilizer and your renewal application for ODA Pesticide/Fertilizer must both be completed. Meals will be included at each recertification training at Ponderosa.

Keeping your Evergreen Green

Brooke Beam, Ph.D.

Ohio State University Extension, Highland County

Agriculture and Natural Resources/Community Development Extension Educator

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree, how lovely are thy branches. The evergreen is a prominent symbol of the holiday season, but Christmas tree branches are more lovely when they aren’t dropping pine needles into the carpet. Thankfully, one easy task will help your tree’s branches stay lovely for the rest of the season.

The tradition of decorating homes with evergreen boughs dates back to the early Romans, according to Dixie Sandborn with Michigan State University Extension. Fir trees were first used as Christmas trees around 1,000 years ago. However, the tradition became more popular after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were shown standing in front of their Christmas tree in the London News in 18461. One of Thomas Edison’s assistants developed the idea for electric Christmas tree lights in 1882, with the first sale of Christmas lights in 18902.

While individuals who are celebrating Christmas this year have many options when it comes to their trees and decorations, keeping fresh cut trees watered will help the tree stay hydrated. This will help keep the pine needles from dropping, and also keep the tree from drying excessively and becoming a fire hazard. Christmas lights should be turned off unless the tree is supervised by someone in the house in case of a fire.

Another topic you may have seen in the news related to fresh cut Christmas trees are praying mantis eggs. The eggs are attached to the branches of the evergreen trees and when the trees are brought inside in the warmth of homes, the eggs may begin to hatch. However, simply removing the branch the egg casings are attached to and leaving the branch outside will allow the eggs to hatch naturally. The egg casings are round and brown in appearance and can contain several hundred eggs in each.

Keeping your fresh cut decorations green for the holidays can be achieved with adequate water and by checking the tree for dry branches. Before bringing the greenery into your home, check the branches for any eggs or animals that may be attached to the tree. For more information on how to keep your greenery festive this season, contact the Highland County Extension Office at 937-393-1918.

 

Upcoming Events:

A fifth Beef Quality Assurance Training will be held at Union Stockyards on Tuesday, January 22, 2018, at 6:30 P.M. Please RSVP to the Highland County Extension Office at 937-393-1918.

The next Highland County Master Gardener Volunteer meeting will be held on Thursday, January 17, 2019, at 10 AM in the Large Meeting Room in the basement of 110 Governor Foraker Place, Hillsboro, OH.

Fertilizer and Pesticide Recertifications: 

February 19, 2019

Ponderosa Banquet Center, 545 S. High Street, Hillsboro, Ohio 45133

5:00 pm to 6:00 pm Fertilizer Recertification – Private and Commercial

6:30 pm Pesticide Recertification (Core, 1, 2,3, 4, 5, 6) Private Applicators Only

March 4, 2018

Ponderosa Banquet Center, 545 S. High Street, Hillsboro, Ohio 45133

10:00 am to 11:00 am Fertilizer Recertification – Private and Commercial

11:30 am Pesticide Recertification (Core, 1, 2,3, 4, 5, 6) Private Applicators Only

Registration details will come in the mail from the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Registration for OSU Extension Pesticide and Fertilizer and your renewal application for ODA Pesticide/Fertilizer must both be completed. Meals will be included at each recertification training at Ponderosa.

 

1History. 2018. History of Christmas Trees. Retrieved from  https://www.history.com/topics/christmas/history-of-christmas-trees.

2University of Illinois Extension. 2018. Christmas Tree Facts. Retrieved from:         http://extension.illinois.edu/trees/facts.cfm.