ODA Warning about unsolicited seeds from China

Press Release from the Ohio Department of Agriculture


Media Contact: Katie Boyer, 614.563.6974katie.boyer@agri.ohio.gov

ODA Asks Public to Not Plant any Unsolicited Packages of Seeds
The Packets Contain Unknown Seeds & Often Feature Chinese Writing
REYNOLDSBURG, OH (July 27, 2020) – The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) has been notified that several Ohio residents have received unsolicited packages in the mail containing seeds that appear to have originated from China. The types of seeds in the packages are currently unknown and may contain invasive plant species. Similar seed packets have been received recently in several other locations across the United States.
If you receive a package of this type, please DO NOT plant these seeds. If they are in sealed packaging, do not open the sealed package. You can report the seeds to ODA online here or you may contact the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Anti-smuggling Hotline by calling 800-877-3835 or by emailing SITC.Mail@aphis.usda.gov. Also, if possible, please retain the original packaging, as that information may be useful to trade compliance officers as they work through this issue.
Unsolicited seeds could be invasive species, contain noxious weeds, could introduce diseases to local plants, or could be harmful to livestock. Invasive species and noxious weeds can displace native plants and increase costs of food production. ODA and APHIS work hard to prevent the introduction of invasive species and protect Ohio agriculture. All foreign seeds shipped to the United States should have a phytosanitary certificate which guarantees the seeds meet important requirements.
We will have the latest information regarding this investigation on our website.

Farm Science Review will be a virtual show in 2020

Farm Science Review will be a virtual show in 2020

Published on July 14, 2020

For the first time in its nearly 60-year history, The Ohio State University’s Farm Science Review, scheduled for Sept. 22 to Sept. 24, will not be held in-person. Instead, a virtual show will be implemented for 2020.

The farm show, sponsored by Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), annually attracts over 100,000 visitors from all over the United States and Canada to the show site in London, Ohio.

“We are committed to delivering a robust and innovative virtual show in support of agriculture during this pandemic,” said Cathann A. Kress, vice president and dean of CFAES.

“Throughout its history, the Farm Science Review has been at the forefront of showcasing the future of agriculture,” she said. “While it may look different in 2020, we will continue to meet the needs of our growers and partners through access to exhibitors, virtual demonstrations, and education about the most recent advancements in agricultural production.”

The three-day event normally allows agricultural producers to peruse 4,000 product lines from 600 commercial exhibitors, view field demonstrations, and learn the latest in agricultural production. Popular educational programs feature specialists from The Ohio State University, Central State University, and other land-grant institutions.

“Due to the rapidly changing conditions in the spread of COVID-19 across the U.S., the decision was made to hold a virtual show,” said Nick Zachrich, Farm Science Review manager. “We have worked diligently to plan for another incredible show demonstrating the newest developments in equipment, research, and application to support agricultural production.”

Current conditions are not conducive to hosting an in-person event. “With our multigenerational audience, we determined a need to prioritize everyone’s health and ensure that we are doing our part to contain the spread of the virus during this global pandemic,” he said.

While extremely disappointing for everyone involved, Zachrich said that Farm Science Review management and its executive committee believe this is the right decision to keep visitors, exhibitors, partners, and staff safe.

In addition, the State of Ohio Responsible Restart guidelines currently limit mass gatherings. There is little reason to anticipate changes in the next two months that would provide for the ability to meet Farm Science Review’s daily in-person attendance of between 35,000 to 50,000 visitors.

“We understood early on that regardless of the number of cases, the show would have to take a drastically different approach in order to meet the health and safety requirements for COVID-19, such as physical distancing and sanitization,” Zachrich said. “While we would have liked to wait until closer to the event to make a decision, we felt compelled to let suppliers, exhibitors, and partners know so they can begin to plan for a virtual show.”

More information will be shared in the forthcoming weeks about the 2020 virtual Farm Science Review program and how to engage. Visit fsr.osu.edu for ongoing updates.

All media inquiries should be directed to Sherrie Whaley, CFAES media relations coordinator, whaley.3@osu.edu, 614-292-2137 or 614-582-6111.

Life Skills Grade Days – Save the Date!

Sewing Grade Day will be Tuesday, August 18th. If you plan to do in person, you will be scheduled a time on that day. In person judging will take place between 9am-9pm depending on schedule. If you would like to do a phone interview, you will need to drop off your sewing project, book, video of you in the outfit or 4 pictures from all 4 sides, and give us your phone number to call on Monday August 17th between 4-8pm at the Merchants building at the Fair.

Food and Nutrition and all other Life Skills Projects Grade Day will be Wednesday, August 19th. Food and Nutrition plans to judge between 9am-2pm, and all other projects 9am-9pm depending on schedule. If you plan to do in person, you will be scheduled a time on that day. If you would like a phone interview, you will need to drop off your project, include a trifold or poster of your project (Portfolio only for Food and Nutrition), and phone number to call on Tuesday August 18th between 4-8pm at the Merchants building at the Fair.

More information will follow including your scheduled time once we know who all plans to be judged, and judges confirm times.