Solar, Beef, and Hemp Programs Planned

Brooke Beam, PhD

Agriculture and Natural Resources/Community Development Extension Educator

Ohio State University Extension, Highland County

February 11, 2020


The next two weeks are full of exciting programs to attend. Mark your calendars for the programs outlined below and plan to attend.

On Monday, February 17, 2020, Dr. Gustavo Schuenemann, a professor at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, will teach a calving workshop at Union Stock Yards beginning at 6 P.M. Dr. Schuenemann will bring a mechanical cow, which will allow for participants to receive hands-on experience. Space is limited so that all participants will be able to receive hands-on training. RSVP to the Highland County Extension Office at 937-393-1918 to reserve your seat.

On Tuesday, February 18, 2020, Peggy Kirk Hall and Eric Romich, OSU Extension Specialists in agriculture law and solar energy respectively, will help landowners who are considering leasing land for future solar projects by teaching the basics of solar leasing. The program will be held in the Large Meeting Room of the Highland County Administration Building at 9:30 A.M. Topics included in this presentation include solar development trends, converting farmland to solar production, and key considerations to weigh before signing lease agreements for solar energy production.

On Monday, February 24, 2020, several workshops will be offered at the Ag is Everyone’s Business Breakfast. Specific to the Ag is Everyone’s Business Breakfast, there will be a beef workshop, hemp workshop, and a business round table.

For the beef workshop, Dr. Lyda Garcia, Assistant Professor for the Department of Animal Sciences at The Ohio State University, will lead an in-depth program on meat science and the beef industry. Dr. Garcia is responsible for teaching undergraduate courses in meat science, including introduction to meat science, harvest and fabrication, process meats, and meat carcass evaluation. Samples of steak from several kinds of production practices will be provided  to participants in this workshop.

Jim Belt, Ohio Department of Agriculture’s hemp inspector, will teach a workshop on hemp in Ohio. This workshop is designed to guide farmers who are interested in growing hemp through the application process, what considerations they need to evaluate before entering the hemp industry, and the regulations specific to Ohio.

The third workshop available to attend at the Ag is Everyone’s Business Breakfast is a business roundtable. This roundtable will include updates on the Willowbrook Solar Farm Project by Mike Volpe, Vice President of Open Road Renewables. Other panelists will include elected officials. Other topics relevant to agriculture production in Highland County will be discussed as well.

Tickets to the Ag is Everyone’s Business Breakfast are available through the Highland County Chamber of Commerce, 937-393-1111. For more information about any of the programs outlined above, contact the Ohio State University Extension, Highland County office at 937-393-1918.


Hemp Informational Meeting

September 3, 2019


David Dugan

Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources

and Community Development

Hemp Informational Meeting


The HOT TOPIC right now in this area is HEMP.  With the plots in the ground near the Adams County Airport, we do have something to see.  This crop was planted way past the normal date for the crop to mature, however it will give us something to start with.

There have been lots of questions about growing hemp in Ohio. Those questions are wide open.  Some want to know about actual production, some want to know about markets, some want to know about the budgets, some want to know about the permits, and on and on.  As I said a week or so ago in this column, there are many more questions than there are answers.  

Here are some of the questions that I can answer.  First of all there are no pesticides labeled at this time.  Second, hemp can be grown for CBD oils, grain or fiber.  Third it is not marijuana.

Do you want more answers?  If you answered yes, here is the opportunity to ask and hopefully get more answers than I provided above.  I have scheduled an informational meeting for Tuesday, October 1, 2019 at the Ohio Valley Career and Technical Center on Lloyd Road in the cafeteria.  The program will begin at 6:30 p.m.  Due to this being new to everyone, I have no idea how many may want to attend.  Space is limited to 150 people.  For that reason you will be required to PRE-REGISTER by Friday, September 27 by calling the OSU Extension Office by 4:00 p.m.  The number is 544-2339.

The meeting will feature Dr. Bob Pearce from the University of Kentucky.  Dr. Pearce has been to Adams County a number of times over the years.  Dr. Pearce and I have done tobacco research together and he has headed up the GAP trainings for most of the tobacco growers in recent years.  Dr. Pearce is still a tobacco specialist, but he is also heading up the Hemp Program at the University of Kentucky.  Dr. Pearce will discuss the research done in recent years at UK in producing hemp.  Planting rates, fertilizer rates, weed control and much more.

The second part of the program will feature David Miran, Executive Director of the Hemp Program with the Ohio Department of Agriculture.  David will cover rulemaking and licensure requirements for producing hemp in Ohio.

This should be a very informative meeting and a great opportunity to ask questions and get some answers.  I stress some answers because we do not have all of the answers just yet.  Keep in mind extension is involved in research and then we relay information to farmers.  It will take a few years to get up to speed on some of the issues that farmers will face with this crop that has not been legal in Ohio for several decades.  This meeting will give everyone a start to build on.

With that said, again, I have no idea how many people to plan for so pre-registration is a must.  Showing up to a full room and not being able to get in to see or hear would not be good, so please call ahead.  Register by 4:00 on Friday, September 27.  Call the OSU Extension office at 544-2339.