2022 Lamb and Wine Field Night

Dr. Brady Campbell, Assistant Professor, OSU State Small Ruminant Extension Specialist
Christine Gelley, OSU Extension Educator ANR, Noble County
Dr. Maria Smith, Viticulture Outreach Specialist

Shepherds, viticulturists, and foodies alike are welcome to join us for an evening in the vineyard to discuss how sheep and grapes can be compatible in vineyards and how lamb & wine can be compatible in the dining room. An introduction to grape production and challenges along with demonstrations of vineyard grazing, lamb preparation, wine tasting, and dinner will be included with registration for this event. The meal will consist of 4-5 cuts of lamb prepared during the live cooking demonstration, 5 Ohio grown wines, sides, and a dessert. The cost to attend this event is just $30 per person, payable to The Ohio State University, by October 15, 2022. Be sure to register quickly as registration is limited.

The event will be held at The Ohio State University South Centers: 1864 Shyville Road, Piketon, OH 45661 from 2:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Participants are encouraged to register online at https://go.osu.edu/lambandwine2022You may also view the event flyer here and register using the QR code included. 

Questions about the structure of the course may be directed to OSU State Small Ruminant Extension Specialist – Dr. Brady Campbell at campbell.1279@osu.edu or (330) 263-5563 or Dr. Maria Smith, Viticulture Outreach Specialist at smith.12720@osu.edu or (330) 263-3825. Questions about the payment process may be directed to Noble County ANR Educator – Christine Gelley at gelley.2@osu.edu or (740) 305-3173.

We look forward to seeing each of you at this years event!

2022 Organic Farming Conference

Organic Farming Conference Committee

The Seventh Organic Farming Conference will be held at The Event Center in Mt. Hope, Ohio on November 10 & 11, 2022.

It has been over 50 years that then U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz said these unsympathetic words, “Before we go back to organic agriculture in this country somebody must decide which 50 million Americans we are going to let starve or go hungry.” Butz served as Secretary of Agriculture under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford from 1971-1976. Butz obviously wasn’t an admirer of small-scale or organic farming. His mantra was “get big or get out” and plant commodity crops (corn, soybeans, cotton) from “fencerow to fencerow.” To promote his agricultural economist mindset, Butz dismantled many New Deal-era agricultural programs that attempted to control production. Butz resigned in 1976 when he was overheard telling a vulgar racial joke. In 1981 he pleaded guilty to tax evasion charges and was sentenced to five years in prison. All but 30 days of the term were suspended. Butz’s thinking on organics may have been on par with his other failings. We need to remember a lot has transpired in the 50 years since he made his unflattering remarks on organics, which was at the time when organic farming was much more on the fringe and far from mainstream. Continue reading

Protecting Your Flock from Disease

Eastern Alliance for Production Katahdins (EAPK) Communications Committee – Roxanne Newton
(Previously published online with EAPK: September 11, 2022)

Disease Triangle

Disease is present in every flock and can reside in the animals, soil, air, and water. Producers don’t often talk about illnesses affecting their sheep because they don’t want the stigma of disease to reflect negatively on their flock. But producers shouldn’t have to deal with the problem alone. Let’s accept the fact that disease is inevitable, remove the stigma, and learn how we can prevent or mitigate disease transmission in our flocks.

Disease is defined as “a condition of the living animal that impairs normal functioning and is typically manifested by distinguishing signs and symptoms.” Unfortunately, sheep can’t tell us how they feel or what symptoms they’re experiencing so it often becomes a guessing game for both producers and their veterinarians. Since healthy sheep are resistant to many of the pathogens already present on their own farm, they often don’t get clinically ill unless they are under stress. Previous exposure to these pathogens prepares Continue reading

The Many Faces of Forage Testing

Mike Rankin, Hay and Forage Grower Managing Editor
(Previously published in Hay & Forage Grower: September 6, 2022)

As you read through this piece provided by Mike Rankin, think to yourself, “where do small ruminant producers fall?”

(Image Source: Hay & Forage Grower)

If you grow or harvest forage, develop forage products, sell stuff to people who grow forage, educate people who grow forage, do research for people who grow forage, or just buy forage, then consider yourself a card-carrying member of the forage industry.

Wherever you fit into this unique band of brothers and sisters often helps form your opinions on a variety of forage topics and issues. Sometimes, those opinions differ. I could pick any number of topics to demonstrate this, but let’s focus on forage testing and analysis. First, some full disclosure on my part. Continue reading

Hay Cost is Not Always Indicative of Value

Mike Rankin, Hay and Forage Grower Managing Editor
(Previously published in Hay & Forage Grower: August 30, 2022)

Hay comes in a variety of types, shapes, and prices. It’s relatively easy to count bales and determine tonnage for inventory purposes. Similarly, it’s also not difficult to calculate winter feed needs based on livestock numbers and the duration of time that hay will be fed.

But is there more to it than that?

Heather Gessner, a livestock business management field specialist with South Dakota State University Extension, says the pertinent question to ask is “Do I have enough bales to create a balanced ration that meets the nutritional requirements of my [livestock] through each stage of production?”

To answer the livestock specialist’s question, forage samples need to be taken and analyzed for quality. This is then matched to livestock nutritional needs at their various stages of production.

“Because feed costs for Continue reading

A Checklist for Fall Pasture Renovation

Amber Friedrichsen, Hay and Forage Grower 2021 and 2022 editorial intern
(Previously published in Hay & Forage Grower: August 30, 2021)

Similar to an old house that needs repair, an underperforming forage stand may need a renovation. Instead of cement foundations, blueprints, and constructions plans, though, a new seeding requires healthy soil, pest management, and an effective planting method.

Amanda Grev, a pasture and forage specialist with University of Maryland Extension, says mid-August to mid-September is the optimum time to renovate forage stands in her state. Although this window varies by region, producers across the country can implement similar strategies to ensure an effective transformation.

Test soil
Inadequate pH levels and nutrient deficiencies can hinder seedling establishment and stand persistence. Grev notes low soil pH is detrimental to root growth and development, and phosphorous is especially important for young plants to thrive. Therefore, it is essential to sample soil prior to pasture renovation and apply lime and fertilizer according to test results and recommendations.

Control weeds
Eliminate weeds before planting to prevent Continue reading