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.

Beef, It’s a trend for 2019

Over 185 individuals received their BQA certification at the training held on January 22, 2019, at Union Stock Yards in Hillsboro, OH.

 

 

Brooke Beam, PhD

Ohio State University Extension, Highland County

Agriculture and Natural Resources/Community Development Extension Educator

January 16, 2019

In the mid-1990s, the National Cattlemen’s Association launched a marketing campaign around the slogan of “Beef, it’s what’s for dinner.” This was a slogan I heard repeatedly as a child growing up on a beef farm. This winter, however, beef is on the minds of agricultural producers and opportunities to capture marketing advantages.

One opportunity beef producers should take advantage of is to become beef quality assurance certified (BQA) to make their livestock more marketable to buyers. Quality assurance practices were developed in the 1960s when Pillsbury was developing safety and quality standards to produce food for astronauts. The same basic principles were applied in beef research studies in the early 1980s. The findings included that quality assurance practices in beef production increased the quality of the meat produced and generated a more uniform herd.  As of January 1, 2019, several large companies have decided to only purchase beef from producers that are beef quality assurance certified.

Since August of 2018, the Highland County Extension Office, in conjunction with Extension educators from Adams, Brown, and Clermont County Extension Offices, have held five BQA trainings in Hillsboro to help beef producers be prepared for the marketing change in 2019. From these five trainings, 486 beef producers from southern Ohio have received their national certification in BQA. In fact, the most recent training had such a large demand, two additional trainings have been scheduled. The next BQA training will be held on January 29, 2019, at 2 PM at United Producers, Inc., and an additional training will be held at Union Stock Yards on February 13, 2019, at 6 PM.

In addition to the BQA trainings, the Highland County Extension Office will be holding additional beef-related programming in the first quarter of 2019. On Tuesday, February 5, 2019, the Highland County Extension Office will host a live webinar of the 2019 Ohio Beef School in the Large Meeting Room of 119 Governor Foraker Place in Hillsboro. The program will begin at 7 PM and the event is free, but RSVPs are encouraged to reserve a seat. The 2019 Ohio Beef Cattle School will discuss a series of topics related to the winter management of cow herds to ensure a productive year.

Those who are interested in beef and meat production have the opportunity to tour the OSU Meat Lab 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.

For more information about any of the programs listed above, contact the Highland County Extension Office at 937-393-1918.

 

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.

 

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.

January Monthly Extension Programming – Small Business Video Production 101

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,  the next monthly extension program is for you! Join us for a hands-on workshop on video production on January 30, 2019. If you have a camera or a mobile device, bring your camera equipment with you to participate. 

Leadership Highland Health and Public Safety Day

Brooke Beam, PhD

Ohio State University Extension, Highland County

Agriculture and Natural Resources/Community Development Extension Educator

Tim Parry, Vice President of Operations at Highland District Hospital, discussed the expansion plans for the hospital and provided a walking tour of the existing facilities.

Class members of Leadership Highland participated in Health and Public Safety Day on November 14, 2018.  Participants learned about health care, safety, and the security procedures available for Highland County.

The Highland District Hospital provided breakfast for the participants of Leadership Highland and a tour of the hospital facilities. Randal Lennartz, President and CEO of Highland District Hospital, and Tim Parry, Vice President of Operations, discussed the hospital’s future plans for expansion. The expansion project will include a new cancer care unit, an expanded and remodeled surgery unit, an increased number of beds for patients, and additional parking, among other projects.

The second tour of the day was of the Highland County Sheriff’s Office and the Highland County Jail. Leadership Highland participants learned about the daily operation of the jail and the jobs assigned to the inmates. Corporal Benson, of the Highland County Sheriff’s Office, conducted the tour. After the tour of the jail, Corporal Benson provided a tour of the Sheriff’s Office and the 911 call center.

During lunch, Brooke Beam, of the Highland County Extension Office, conducted a workshop on communication strategies for businesses. Risk and crisis communication strategies were highlighted in the workshop, particularly for handling a press conference. Strategies for social media, photography, and basic video production were also discussed in the workshop.

Firemen Anderson, Sanborn, and Snyder showed the Leadership Highland participants the Jaws of Life.

Following lunch, Leadership Highland participants toured the Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire District Hillsboro facilities. Firemen Anderson, Sanborn, and Snyder provided a detailed tour of the facilities and the equipment they use on each vehicle. They showed Leadership Highland participants the water trucks, fire trucks, and ambulances.

Leadership Highland participants were able to see all of the vehicles used by the Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire District.

Jared Warner, Highland County Health Commissioner, led Leadership Highland participants on a tour of the Highland County Health Department and explained the different areas the Health Department covers. The Health Department provides immunizations, food inspections, sewage system inspections, tracks the spread of infectious diseases in the county, and maintains the birth and death records. In 2017, the Highland County Health Department tracked 289 infectious diseases, conducted 699 food inspections, conducted 1,028 sewage system inspections, and provided 3,702 immunizations. The Health Department is staffed by 13 full-time employees and a few part-time contractors.

David Bushelman, the Director of the Highland County Office of Homeland Security and the Emergency Management Agency, provided the final tour of the day. In the event of a natural disaster or a terror attack in Highland County, Bushelman would provide a plan for mitigating the threat. Bushelman operates and maintains an emergency call center that is on standby in case it would need to be used in an emergency. He also offers local emergency planning training.

Thank you to the Highland District Hospital, Highland County Sheriff’s Office, Ponderosa Steakhouse, Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire District, Highland County Health Department, and the Highland County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management for assisting with Leadership Highland’s Health and Public Safety Day. The next meeting of Leadership Highland will be held in December. For more information about Leadership Highland, contact the Highland County Extension Office at 937-393-1918.

 

Upcoming Events:

The next Highland County Monthly Extension Program will be held on December 10, 2018, at 10:00 A.M. at the Ponderosa Steakhouse in Hillsboro, Ohio. Gary Ludwig from the USDA APHIS Wildlife Services will be speaking on managing Black Vulture Predation.  Please RSVP and plan to attend.

Highland County Master Gardener Volunteers will hold their next meeting on Thursday, December 13, 2018, at 4 pm in the Large Meeting Room in the basement of 119 Governor Foraker Place, Hillsboro, OH. The plan for 2019 will be set at this meeting, as well as recording volunteer hours for 2018. There will be a holiday cookie exchange at the meeting. For more information, contact the Highland County Extension Office at 937-393-1918.

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.

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.

Upcoming Highland County Extension Programs

Brooke Beam, PhD

Ohio State University Extension, Highland County

Agriculture and Natural Resources/Community Development Extension Educator

 

As the fall harvest season ends, the Highland County Extension Office will begin to hold Monthly Extension Programming again. The next Monthly Extension Program will be held on December 10, 2018, at 10 am at Ponderosa Steakhouse. Gary Ludwig, from the USDA APHIS Wildlife Services, will be the guest speaker. Mr. Ludwig’s presentation will be Managing Black Vulture Predation. He will cover information on:

  • Black Vulture Identification and Habits
  • Fact and fiction regarding the Black Vulture’s Protected Status
  • Applying the Integrated Wildlife Damage Management (IWDM) Process to Black Vulture Problems
  • Obtaining and effectively utilizing a Federal Depredation Permit
  • The Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) as Administered by the FSA

RSVP to the Highland County Extension Office at 937-393-1918 to reserve your seat. The cost to attend this program is free; however, attendees are strongly encouraged to purchase lunch on their own at Ponderosa.

The next Beef Quality Assurance Training will be held at Union Stockyards on Tuesday, January 22, 2018. The program will start at 6:30 pm. This will be the fifth in a series of BQAs held in Hillsboro within a span of six months to certify beef producers in the safe handling and treatment of cattle. Companies, like Tyson and Wendy’s, will be requiring beef producers they are sourcing their beef products from to be BQA certified in 2019. At this point in time, BQA certification is not mandatory for beef producers, but it is strongly encouraged if you are hoping to market your beef to a company that is requiring the certification. If you were not able to attend one of the previous BQAs, consider attending this upcoming training. RSVP to the Highland County Extension Office to reserve your seat.

Dates have been announced for the 2019 Highland County fertilizer and pesticide recertifications. In 2019, there are several thousand individuals who need to recertify their fertilizer and pesticide applicator licenses. Over 100 Highland County residents will need to renew their licenses. There will be two recertifications held in Hillsboro in 2019, so all Highland County residents needing to recertify will be able to do so in Highland County. The dates for these recertifications are:

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, the cost to attend both a fertilizer and pesticide training will be $40.00.

For more information about any of the upcoming programs, contact the Highland County Extension Office at 937-393-1918.

 

Historical Restoration Assistance

Brooke Beam, PhD

Ohio State University Extension, Highland County

Agriculture and Natural Resources/Community Development Extension Educator

 

History is a vital part of our present. Without our forefathers’ efforts we would not have the historic landmarks of our communities in rural America. Last week, I attended a seminar on the National Register of Historic Places and Federal and State Historic Rehabilitation Investment Tax Credit programs. Through this seminar, I learned about several opportunities that may assist individuals in Highland County to rehabilitate historic properties for future generations to enjoy.

Currently, there are over 25 places listed on the National Register of Historic Places in Highland County, including Bell’s Opera House, Highland County Court House, and the Hillsboro Historic Business District (roughly bounded by Beech, Walnut, East, and West Streets in Hillsboro). The National Register of Historic Places is a program of the National Park Service, but is administered by each individual state.

Hillsboro Historic Business District highlighted in red, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Properties that are eligible to apply for the register need to be at least 50 years old and have retained the property’s basic historic integrity. The place should have “significance for its association with broad patterns of history, have association with the lives of person significant in our past, have architectural merit, or have the potential to yield information important in history or prehistory (archaeology),” according to the Ohio History Connection.

In order to take advantage of the Federal Historic Rehabilitation Investment Tax Credit properties must either be listed on the National Register or Historic Places or contribute to the historical significance of a registered historic district. The Federal Historic Rehabilitation Investment Tax Credit is eligible for 20 percent of rehabilitation costs of income producing properties. The Federal Historic Rehabilitation Investment Tax Credit is not competitive, meaning that if a property meets the qualifications, the owner would receive the tax credit. The State program, however, is competitive.

There are myths associated with the tax credit programs that no changes may be made to the building; however, this is not the case. “Rehabilitation is defined in the Federal regulations as the process of returning a property to a state of utility through repair or alteration, which makes possible an efficient contemporary use while preserving those portions or features of the property which are significant to its historic, architectural and cultural values,” according to the Ohio History Connection. Upgrades of functional kitchens, plumbing and lighting have been parts of previous rehabilitation projects.

There are dozens of projects throughout the state that have utilized these programs to reinvigorate their communities. Buildings in downtown Chillicothe and Wilmington have utilized the National Register of Historic Places and the historic tax credit programs to rehabilitate buildings of a variety of sizes. In Wilmington, an unused second floor of a downtown building was converted to a modern apartment, and in Chillicothe a larger building was rehabilitated into office spaces. Other projects in the state have included hotels and theatres.

For more information about the National Register of Historic Places or the Historic Tax Credit programs, contact the Ohio History Connection, State Historic Preservation Office at 614-298-2000 or visit ohiohistory.org/shpo. For other Community Development related support, call the Highland County Extension Office at 937-393-1918.

 

Extension Television Now Showing on the Hillsboro Local Access Channel

The Hillsboro Local Access Channel has begun to show Ohio State University Extension television programs on weekdays at 6:00 pm. Each of the programs are a half hour in length. The first program will be Agri-News with John Grimes and Duane Rigsby. Agri-News contains information about beef production. Additional programs will be added over the next few weeks. Other upcoming programs include Forage Focus with Christine Gelley, which covers forage and pasture related topics, and Marketing Matters with host Christie Welch, which discusses a variety of small business marketing strategies that are appropriate for any small business.

The majority of the television programs are filmed at the OSU South Centers in Piketon, Ohio, and feature Ohio State University Extension Educators and researchers. All of the shows contain research-based content that can benefit Highland County agricultural producers and businesses. If you do not receive the Local Access Channel, the videos will also be available on the Highland County Extension blog, https://u.osu.edu/osuextensionhighlandcounty/, and on YouTube at the OSU South Centers page, https://www.youtube.com/user/southcenters.

 

Upcoming Events:

The next Highland County Monthly Extension Program will be held on December 10, 2018, at 10:00 A.M. at the Ponderosa Steakhouse in Hillsboro, Ohio. More details will be coming soon, please save the date and plan to attend.

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.