Safe Use of Heat Lamps and Barn Monitoring System

Jason Hartschuh, Dairy Management and Precision Livestock, Field Specialist

During the winter lambing and kidding seasons, ensuring that lambs and kids get up and dry as fast as possible is critical for survivability and thus operation success. As producers, we can assist with this process by providing a warm area by offering supplemental heat and reducing barn draft while the young are still wet. For many operations, a heating system is part of their lamb and kid survival strategy with the lower critical temperature for lambs and kids being 50°F. Below this temperature lambs and kids are chilled and either need additional energy or supplemental heat. Unfortunately, heating systems add risk to our livestock barns. Any system has at least a minimal increase in fire risk. Especially the most common way of adding heat with heat lamps over deep bedded straw.

When using heat lamps there are some best management practices to keep in mind. Read more of this article by clicking on the link:

Ohio 4-H Animal Science Virtual Judging Contest

Introducing… The second annual Ohio 4-H Animal Sciences Virtual Judging Contest.
How would you like to participate in a judging contest and gain judging experience from your phone?
The contest begins this Thursday via Facebook. Each week a class will be posted on Facebook with a link to fill out your information and placing selections. It is open to participants of all ages and states. The species will include cattle, swine, sheep, and goats.
The rules are simple:
  • -It is 100% FREE
  • -Participate each week before results are posted
  • -The contest is open to all ages
  • -Results will be posted at the beginning of each week
  • -The contest will run for 6 weeks
Division champions will be selected and are divided as follows:
  • -Novice (0-7)
  • -Junior (8-11)
  • -Intermediate (12-14)
  • -Senior (15-18)
  • -Advanced (19+)
Check out for additional species and resources.
Participate every week for a chance to be named the Ohio 4-H Animal Sciences Virtual Judging Champion!

All About Sheep & Goats – Zoom Webinars

Thursday, February 2nd: Sheep/Goat Nutrition
Nutrition best practices, how nutrition impacts meat quality

Wednesday, February 8th: Sheep/Goat Health
Protecting animal health at home and at the fair, common disease ID, and more!

Thursday, February 23rd:Sheep/Goat Handling and Welfare
Animal handling and welfare at home and at the fair, impact of handling and stress on meat quality

Flyer with complete details: Youth Small Ruminant Project Webinar 2023

All About Beef Webinars

Thursday, December 8th : Beef Cattle Nutrition
Nutrition best practices, how nutrition impacts meat quality

Wednesday, December 14th : Beef Cattle Health
Protecting animal health at home and at the fair, common disease ID, and more!

Monday, December 19th : Beef Cattle Handling and Welfare
Animal handling and welfare at home and at the fair, impact of handling and stress of meat quality


2023 Market Steer Announcements

Ohio State Fair Steer Registration

  • Interested in showing your market steer at the Ohio State Fair? 2023 State Fair Market Beef Registration DNA sample kits and EID tags are available from the Extension Office. All samples must be received at the Ohio State Fair by January 15, 2023

Market Steer Tag-in & Weigh-in for 2023

  • Mandatory tag-in for 2023 Market Steers to be taken to the Washington County Fair will be Saturday, December 10 from 8-9:30 AM at the NFO Building on SR 339 near Waterford.

New rule for the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association’s BEST program, BVD testing required

A new rule regarding Bovine Viral Diarrhea (BVD) persistent infection (PI) status will be applied to the 2022-23 Ohio Cattlemen’s Association’s (OCA) Beef Exhibitor Show Total (BEST) program. All cattle (BEST and non-BEST) (in-state and out-of-state) must have a negative BVD test to exhibit at any OCA BEST sanctioned show.

BVD is a respiratory and reproductive virus that wreaks havoc on cattle’s immune systems and their ability to bore calves. It can be passed on to calves at birth and has variable symptoms. The key to ensuring the health of a herd is to spot the signs of BVD early and cut off contact between healthy and infected livestock.

Like declaring a breed at the first sanctioned show, proof of a negative BVD PI test MUST be provided at the next BEST sanctioned show immediately following the first BEST show the animal attended, whether or not you plan to exhibit cattle at the show. Failure to do so will result in the animal being dropped from the BEST point standings and the program. Additionally, any showmanship points garnered with the animal will be forfeited.

A BVD PI test is a one-time test good for the life of the animal. Schedule the BVD PI test with enough lead time to receive the test results prior to a BEST show. A lead time of at least two weeks is recommended prior to the first show. If purchasing show animals, ask your seller if the animal has had a BVD PI test.

Acceptable tests include and are limited to: Immunohistochemistry (IHC) on skin, Antigen-capture ELISA (ACE) on serum (blood test) or skin, Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) on whole blood, serum or skin. Animals must be individually tested and individually identified. Pooled testing is acceptable only if documentation is provided that the animal was specifically included in the pool and that the pool contained no more than seven animals.

The OCA BEST Committee will be working with local jackpot shows and county cattlemen’s associations to offer BVD testing ahead of the BEST show season to reduce the cost of the test for exhibitors and to streamline BEST check-in procedures. More information on these tests is available at or by calling the OCA office at 614-873-6736. If unable to attend one of the pre-season testing opportunities, your local veterinarian may perform one of the approved BVD tests.

For more information on testing, refer to the complete BVD rule included within the OCA BEST rules for 2022-2023 and available on the OCA website

2022 Small Ruminant Production Field Day to be Held on Oct. 8

This program is designed for new or established ruminant livestock producers who have a small herd of beef cattle or goats, or a flock of sheep. OSU Extension educators and state specialists will present on topics every ruminant livestock producer needs to know, such as grazing and nutrition, livestock marketing, facilities, and housing. After lunch, those who have an interest in sheep or goats will visit the Small Ruminant Research Unit in Wooster, while those focused on beef cattle will remain at the ATI Beef Center. Afternoon training sessions will be species-specific with hands-on training in animal care and handling, basic animal health, livestock evaluation, and more.

The field day will be held on Oct. 8 (9am-3pm) at the Ohio State ATI Beef Center in Apple Creek. Limited to 40 attendees; cost is $30 per person. Agenda and registration info is available at Contact Brady Campbell (, assistant professor, small ruminant Extension specialist or Garth Ruff (, OSU Extension field specialist, beef cattle with questions.

Waterford Hog Exhibitor Letter

The following information was emailed to all hog exhibitors on August 10, 2022.


August 10, 2022

Dear Waterford Market Hog Exhibitor:

BUYER INVITATIONS: Personally contact buyers and business people in your area. Last years buyers are listed in the Junior Fair Guide. For new buyers – call the Extension Office 740-376-7431 with name of business, name of contact person, and mailing address. We will send them a new buyer’s packet.

 HOG ARRIVAL & WEIGH IN: Hogs will be weighed at the Waterford Fairgrounds on Wednesday, August 17. Please note the following schedule:

  • 5:00 – 6:00 pm: Last Name A thru G
  • 6:00 – 7:00 pm: Last Name H thru L
  • 7:00 – 8:00 pm: Last Name M thru Z

Only one exhibitor and one parent will be permitted to help move the hog from the trailer, through weigh-in and on to the hog pen. Only 1(one) trip through the scales – no exceptions. Hogs not making grade weight (220 – 280 lbs.) or not meeting quality standards will not be eligible to be sold at the fair. At least one person is needed to follow the hog to the scales and report the name and tag number to the record keepers and then take the hog to its assigned pen.

 HOG ARRIVAL – NEW for 2022: If you know for sure which hog you are bringing, and it will not be over or under weight, you can bring your hog and pen it on Wednesday between 9:00 am – 3:00 pm. All hogs penned early will be weighed after the last trailer is unloaded on Wednesday evening. It will still be the exhibitor’s responsibility to bring the hog to the scales. This option is being added to help with trailer congestion.

EAR TAGS: All hogs must have a Washington County Identification Tag in ear. Your hog must have clean ear tags and you must know your tag number. Families with more than one exhibitor must have the hog they tagged in and designated for each 4-H/FFA member in the family. No changes at weigh-in.

 HOG PICTURES:  Will NOT be taken at the fair again this year. Families are encouraged to take pictures at home and have them printed on 5 X 7 or 8 X 10 and framed. Option 1: Exhibitor will take pictures prior to coming to fair. Option 2: Exhibitor can take their pictures with the fair banner on Thursday from 11am to 6pm.  Exhibitor must provide a 5 X 7 Color Photo to the buyer at the Hog sale.

 DRUG USE NOTIFICATION FORM (DUNF): This will be an online form for 2022. The link is now live and must be completed before Check-in at the Waterford Fair. If you have two hogs tagged for the fair, complete a DUNF for both hogs! You will get an email confirmation after the DUNF is submitted. –

 WATERFORD COMMUNITY FAIR Ractopamine (Paylean) Affidavit: This will be an online form for 2022. The link is now live and must be completed before Check-in at the Waterford Fair.  –

EXHIBITOR NUMBERS: will be handed out along with safety pins at check-in. These must be worn during showmanship and market classes.

MEMBERSHIP TICKETS: All exhibitors are required to have a fair membership ticket ($12). This amount will be deducted from your hog check. Do not pick up your ticket from anyone but Lisa Campbell. You will be given your fair pass at check-in.

EXHIBITING: Market hog exhibitors who will not be exhibiting at Waterford, contact Chris Campbell at 740-984-4646 as soon as possible.

 SHOWS ON FRIDAY: The shows will start promptly at 8 a.m. It is important to be there and ready at that time. Exhibitors must show their own animal. Senior Showmanship is first followed by intermediate and junior divisions. Market classes, determined by weight, will immediately follow showmanship classes. All exhibitors must show in both showmanship and market classes to be eligible to sell.

 HOG PEN AREA: During the hog show, exhibitors 13 and under are permitted to have one parent in the hog barn.  Over 13 exhibitors- no parents permitted

 BUYERS GIFTS: Rather than providing gifts to buyers, we encourage you visit the buyer’s place of business or mail them a thank you card after the sale. Buyers appreciate your thoughtfulness, but they can be overwhelmed with gifts during the sale and trying to transport them home.

CHECKS: Checks will be mailed to you following the fair. They cannot be picked up at fair office.

SALE COMMISSION: 4% will be deducted from checks for upkeep and other sale related expenses.

ABUSE: Anyone abusing any animal, drenching, or injecting any foreign substance into an animal will not be eligible to sell and will be asked to leave the grounds.

 THANK YOU POSTER CONTEST: Posters will be judged at the fair and must be in place by Thursday evening of the fair. Judging is based on originality, neatness & creativity on relaying a “Thank You” message to the buyers. Awards will be 1st $15; 2nd $10; & 3rd $5 the awards are sponsored by Isner Trucking. Please list exhibitor’s name & age on front of poster. Everyone is required to display a poster.

It is your responsibility to read and practice the rules for the fair. The Junior Fair Activities Guide and each fairs senior fair book have this information. Junior Fair Activity Guides are available at the Ohio State University Extension Office.


Chris Campbell Hog Committee – Waterford Community Fair

Mitch Schott, President – Waterford Community Fair

Bruce Zimmer, Extension Educator, 4-H Youth Development

Pen Set up/Tear down at County Fair – Attendance Required

All 2022 Livestock members showing animals at the Washington County Fair are required to attend Pen Set up or tear down at the Washington County Fairgrounds.
– Members whose last name falls between letters A to L will need to attend Pen set up on Aug. 14 at 3pm.
– Members whose last name falls between letters M to Z need to attend Pen tear down on Sept. 11 at 3pm.
Sign out sheets will be provided when set up or tear down is complete. Any junior exhibitor not signing out will forfeit 20% of their total sales.

Contacting Livestock Sale Buyers

Connecting with buyers prior to the fair is an important part of selling your animal at local fairs. Here are a few quotes from some of your local peers how they connect with buyers and encourage them to attend our sales.

  •     “I would start this process by creating a flyer stating my name, age, market animal(s), fair and sale information, and a little more about myself. I then would go out to local businesses and hand out the flyers and invite them to the sale. I would also contact past buyers and invite them back to the sale.”
  •     “I have always delivered “buyer flyers” which includes a little bit about me and my animal. I make sure to include the time of the sale and where it’s at. I put a picture of my animals and me on the front of the flyer. Then I deliver them to potential buyers.”
  •     I am planning to show and sell my lambs at the local fair. I will drop off letters and talk to potential buyers inviting them to the fair.”
  •     I would contact potential buyers for my market animal by going to businesses and informing the buyers about my projects. I would give them a firm handshake and include a flyer that includes the date and times of the sale.”

Let’s walk through some basics on contacting buyers by reviewing the How, Who, What and Tips to Consider.

How: Personal Invitation with Buyers:

  •     Face to Face Visits
  •     Letters
  •     Cards
  •     Phone Call
  •     Email (used for follow-up)
  •     Social Media (used for follow-up)

Who: Make a list of potential buyers your family has contact with or does business with:

  •     Stores and businesses your family patronizes
  •     Family members/friends of the family
  •     Find out who has bought in the past
  •     Try to invite TWO new buyers each year
  •     Give new buyer name/address to the OSU Extension Office to receive an Official Invitation to the sale with entry pass

What: Put together an invitation to the sale

  •     Provide information about you, your parents and your project
  •     Ask them to “support the sale” not to “purchase your animal”
  •     Include pictures if possible

Tips to Consider:

  •     It’s the BID and not the buy that counts! It takes 3-4 buyers to bid on your animal. Obtaining one buyer isn’t enough!
  •     After you have sold your animal, do not ask to buy it back from the buyer!
  •     Personally thank your buyer and those that bid
  •     Buyer’s Gifts – Rather than providing gifts to buyers, we encourage you visit the buyer’s place of business or mail them a thank you card after the sale. Buyers appreciate your thoughtfulness, but they can be overwhelmed with gifts during the sale and trying to transport them home.