News Releases

  1. ODA And OSU Extension Kick Off 2021 Ohio Victory Gardens Program

    REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio – It’s time to get your hands dirty and start growing! The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) and OSU Extension Offices are kicking off the second year of the Victory Gardens Program. Due to high demand, the program is expanding to include 25 counties, up from 10 counties last year. Approximately 8,300 seed packets will be available free to the public to get people planting. “We have seen a revived passion for planting through our Victory Gardens Program, which has expanded to 15 additional counties this year,” said Dorothy Pelanda, Director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture. “Our Ohio Victory Gardens are meant to be enjoyed by everyone, from urban apartment dwellers, to those living in the country, and everyone in between. We...
  2. (Photo: Getty Images)

    Hoping to start a meat-processing plant? Here’s some help

    COLUMBUS, Ohio—Entrepreneurs wanting to start a meat-processing business in Ohio may be encouraged by the hearty demand, but there’s a whole lot more to consider. What type of meat will the business process? Pork, beef, chicken? Want to sell the meat out of state or just in Ohio? What about employees? Will there be enough workers to staff the facility?  “It’s overwhelming,” said Lyda Garcia, an assistant professor of meat science and Extension meat specialist with The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).  “The meat industry is a complex system. There are so many hurdles you have to jump over and loops you have to jump through. At any point, any of them can be a problem.”...
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    Chow Line: COVID-19 quarantine weight gain

    Both my wife and I have packed on several pounds since the beginning of quarantine. Do you have any tips on how to help us change out of our quarantine diet and habits to get these pounds off? First, you need to know that you and your wife aren’t the only ones who have gained weight in the past year related to the COVID-19 quarantine. In fact, many consumers have found themselves turning to unhealthy habits to cope with stress related to the pandemic.  For example, health professionals have found that many people nationwide have gained weight during quarantine. A study published March 22 in the journal JAMA Network Open found that participants gained an average of 1.5 pounds per month during quarantine. The study suggests that as people stayed home parked in...
  4. Mike Rowe of mikeroweWORKS

    Ohio State ATI to pilot mikeroweWORKS Work Ethic Certification

    WOOSTER, Ohio – The Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute is one of the first post-secondary schools nationwide selected to pilot a work ethic certification based on the mikeroweWORKS Foundation’s work ethic curriculum. It is the first and only institution in Ohio to offer the certification. The certification is accredited by NC3, the National Coalition of Certification Centers, which has partnered with Koch Industries and the Charles Koch Foundation to expand the program across the U.S.  Known as the MRW Work Ethic Certification, the program is an extension of the mikeroweWORKS Foundation’s S.W.E.A.T. Pledge and examines the importance of work ethic, personal responsibility, delayed gratification, and a positive attitude. Students who...
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    Dandelions back in full swing on farms

    COLUMBUS, Ohio—As farmers prepare fields for planting, chances are they’ll meet up with dandelions.  The weed is making a comeback in Ohio after decades of thinning out.  The resurgence of dandelions in Ohio has been occurring over the last couple of years, said Mark Loux, a weed specialist with The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). Dandelions can create deep, strong roots, and they’re extremely adaptable to herbicides, making them tough to get rid of.  “It doesn’t matter which herbicide you use, you can’t just beat it over the head if you let it go for a few years,” Loux said.  For a gardener, dandelions and weeds in general are a nuisance. For a farmer...
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    Chow Line: Sweet potato fries are a healthy, delicious option

    I’ve got a huge sack of sweet potatoes, but besides baking, how else can I prepare them? First, it’s important to note that sweet potatoes are healthy vegetables that are full of fiber, potassium, and vitamins A and C. Potassium is an essential mineral and electrolyte that people need as part of a healthy, balanced diet. Potassium is vital because it regulate your body’s fluid balance and controls the electrical activity of your heart and other muscles. It also serves several other functions in the human body. It lowers blood pressure, decreases the risk of stroke, supports bone-mineral density, protects against loss of muscle mass, and reduces the formation of kidney stones. Consuming a high-potassium diet has been linked to a lower risk of death from...
  7. Fertilizer spraying in farm field

    Time of the essence for pesticide and fertilizer applicator recertification

    COLUMBUS—Ohio growers with private applicator licenses have had fewer seats and opportunities to recertify in pesticides or fertilizers because of COVID-19 meeting restrictions.  On Thursday, March 25, they can accomplish one or both in live online webinars offered by OSU Extension, the outreach arm of The Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. Private pesticide recertification will begin at 8:45 a.m. on March 25 and fertilizer recertification will begin at 1:30 p.m. the same day.  “Both webinars will be conducted live and growers must participate actively in the online sessions to receive recertification credit,” said Mary Ann Rose, director of the pesticide safety education program at Ohio State....
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    Chow Line: Cooking corned beef safely

    In honor of St. Patrick’s Day this year, I’m making corned beef. It’s my first time making it–do you have any tips on how to do so safely?  Corned beef, just like any other raw meat or poultry item, should be handled with care to lessen the potential for foodborne illnesses. That starts the moment you purchase the meat in the grocery store or butcher shop and bring it home. Uncooked whole corned beef is typically sold wrapped in packaging that still contains the salt brine with spices used to cure or pickle the beef. Be sure to check the sell-by date on the package of the meat and store it unopened in the refrigerator for no more than 5 to 7 days from that date. If you purchase corned beef with a use-by date, make sure to cook it by that date, advises...
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    Health care and weather distressing farmers

    COLUMBUS, Ohio—Weather was a major source of stress for farmers in 2019 when unrelenting rain kept some from being able to plant.  But perhaps more surprising was that health care costs weighed as heavily on their minds as businesses costs and profit margins that year, according to a survey done by The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). One in three farmers in the survey reported major stress from farm economic conditions—land prices, production costs, and commodity prices—and paying for health care. “Ohio farmers told us they were experiencing distress, and it wasn’t just because of the prices and economics of agriculture. It was also struggles over health insurance or events that...
  10. Chow Line: Raw or cooked vegetables?

    Is it healthier to eat vegetables raw or cooked? Well, that depends on which vegetables you are talking about. While most vegetables are better eaten raw, there are a few you could cook instead to gain more health benefits, said Beth Stefura, a family and consumer sciences educator with Ohio State University Extension. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). “Cooking some vegetables releases nutrients that your body can more easily absorb,” she writes in Vegetables That Are Healthier Cooked, a blog post at the Live Healthy Live Well website.  The site, which can be found at livehealthyosu.com, is a free information resource that offers science-based consumer...

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