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  1. CFAES soil science experts advancing Ohio’s farm taxation through CAUV

    At the heart of Ohio’s agricultural valuation lies a list of soil types, a 
    key factor in determining the Current Agricultural Use Value (CAUV) for farmland. This list, crafted by CFAES scientists working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and state agency partners, is essential for tax assessments and reflects the state’s commitment to its agricultural roots.

    The CAUV program, a significant benefit for Ohio’s farmers, ensures that farmland is taxed based on its agricultural output rather than its market value. This approach often leads to lower taxes for farmers, aligning with the program’s voluntary nature. The Ohio Department of Taxation uses a detailed formula that includes net farm income data from the past five to seven years, focusing on Ohio’s primary crops: soybeans, corn, and wheat.

    Professor Brian Slater, a CFAES soil science expert, explains that the formula involves yield tables for each soil type. The yield tables were established in 1984. Current crop yields are matched against the 1984 tables for growth by the tax department, based on a 10-year average to come to a fair CAUV. 

    Brian Slater, CFAES soil scientist“The yield potential for each soil type is scaled relative to the major crops, ensuring that the CAUV remains fair and consistent,” he said.

    A committee of CFAES researchers, who recognize the importance of soil quality in land valuation, has been instrumental in this process. The yield tables originated from county soil surveys and have evolved through collaboration with various agencies to ensure fair taxation based on the land’s physical value.

    Ohio boasts a diverse range of agricultural soils, with over 480 series and 3,521 variations, each influenced by factors such as slope, erosion, and texture. This diversity is managed through an active soil survey, part of a national cooperative effort to map soils for agricultural purposes.

    While the CAUV program primarily considers yields from corn, soybeans, and wheat, it also calculates values for woodland. The CAUV table of soil values serves as an objective measure for comparing land productivity, simplifying the process while maintaining relevance to Ohio’s farming landscape.

    This research-led approach by CFAES not only promotes fair taxation but also supports the state’s agricultural advancement by providing farmers with valuable insights into their land’s potential, fostering a sustainable and prosperous future for Ohio’s farming community. 

  2. The show will go on for farmers and Farm Science Review

    Ohio farms are known for their resilience, which also holds true for The Ohio State University Molly Caren Agricultural Center, home to CFAES’ annual Farm Science Review (FSR), after it was damaged by an EF2 tornado in the early morning hours of Feb. 28.

    The aftermath of the storm left 46 of the 62 buildings on the grounds damaged or destroyed. This included 13 universityowned buildings and 33 privately owned buildings.

    Like other local farmers impacted by the storm, the focus of the CFAES teams has been on recovery and rebuilding to ensure the show will continue as scheduled. “We are fully committed to hosting this year’s show and coming back stronger than ever, which is in our nature as a farmer-focused facility and event. This is real life for farmers, and we’re right here experiencing it, too,” said Nick Zachrich, FSR manager.

    Before hitting Madison County, the tornado ravaged South Charleston, Ohio, known for its vast farmland. Charlie Troxell, of Troxell Family Farms and a frequent FSR attendee who farms 1,800 acres with his father, Tom, and brother, Jeffrey, lost multiple buildings. Despite this setback, the Troxells remain optimistic.

    “We were fortunate. We lost the two oldest barns on the property: our original shop, which was built in the 70s and not in great repair, and the concrete containment facility,” said Charlie Troxell.

    The Troxells have spent time surveying damage, working on insurance claims, and taking inventory of the equipment, products, and supplies that were salvageable, while focusing on the silver lining.

    “We always thought it would be nice to have one big barn and one big complex for conveniences, but this made us realize that having things spread out made a difference,” he said. “Our quality-built barns withstood the storm.”

    Likewise, FSR will go on as usual, welcoming 100,000 attendees and over 500 different exhibitors to the Molly Caren Ag Center in London, Ohio, Sept. 17-19.

    For more information, visit fsr.osu.edu.

  3. New collaboration increases CFAES enrollment

    More students are pursuing agricultural-related majors at CFAES this year thanks to a new initiative committed to increasing interest in and enrollment of students interested in studying agriculture at Ohio State.

    The Buckeye Agricultural Leaders Pathways (BALP) program aims to increase undergraduate CFAES enrollment by prioritizing early admission and scholarship notification and by making sure there is additional consideration in the application review of experiences and leadership opportunities afforded to students participating in FFA and Ohio 4-H youth development, as well as skills acquired in farming experiences, said Jill Hampshire, CFAES director of undergraduate recruitment and enrollment.

    The university’s Office of Strategic Enrollment Management collaborated with CFAES to implement BALP last year with a goal to increase interest in agricultural-focused majors, many of which connect directly to STEM and foster a passion for science and technology, she said. Admitted students received enhanced communication from both the college and its departments and were invited to participate in robust visit opportunities showcasing the amazing hands-on learning that takes place in CFAES classrooms and its Waterman Agricultural and Natural Resources Laboratory.

    The result? For first-year enrollment in the agriculture-related majors that were part of this pilot, CFAES experienced a 45% increase. Across the college overall, including programs not part of the pilot, CFAES saw a 16% increase in first-year enrollment.

    “We are committed to ensuring that more young people across Ohio can attend our college and find a pathway into our workforce,” said Cathann A. Kress, Ohio State vice president of agricultural administration and CFAES dean.

    Also this year, Ohio State joined the STARS (Small Town and Rural Students) College Network, a consortium of 16 national colleges and universities committed to helping rural students enroll in, succeed at, and graduate from the college of their choice. “CFAES will be supporting the efforts of Ohio State Undergraduate Admissions to carry out this charge,” Hampshire said.

    The focus this first year will be on the 32 Ohio Appalachian counties where we see a significant number of first-generation students from economically distressed communities. Additional support on application completion and opportunities to visit campus will also take place throughout the fall, Hampshire said.

    For more on BALP, contact Hampshire at hampshire.576@osu.edu. For more information on the STARS College Network initiatives, contact Dan Pohl, Ohio State undergraduate admissions specialist, at pohl.23@osu.edu

  4. CFAES students can access Trimble Technology Labs in Columbus and Wooster

    Starting now, new ultramodern Trimble Technology Labs will give CFAES students a jump-start on using agricultural solutions hardware and software.

    Earlier this year, CFAES received a gift from Trimble to establish the labs, the largest philanthropic gift-in-kind investment to the college.

    Located both on the Columbus campus and at Ohio State ATI on the CFAES Wooster campus, the labs enhance teaching, research, and outreach activities in food and agricultural engineering, construction management, and natural resources. The labs are the first to include Trimble agricultural solutions.

    Students can use customized classroom training workstations that simulate using Trimble agricultural hardware and software such as machine guidance control and steering, and field leveling and water management systems. The workstations allow students to interact with technology in classrooms and the field.

    “The Trimble Technology Labs will become indispensable as we prepare students for the technology-driven careers of the future in agriculture, construction, and natural resources,” said Scott Shearer, professor and chair, CFAES Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering. “In addition, these labs enhance the land-grant mission of Ohio State by placing state-of-the-arts geospatial tools in the hands of researchers and Extension professionals to enhance the management of agriculture and natural resources statewide.”

    The labs support outreach programs and agricultural professional training programs to re-equip Ohio farmers and agricultural professionals in the adoption of new technologies to increase agricultural output while preserving environmental quality.

    The labs also include components of Trimble’s broad Connected Construction portfolio, which enables professionals along the project lifecycle to bring collaboration, accuracy, and repeatability to the office and the field.

    “The Trimble gift is an investment in experiential learning and practical skills training, which benefit our faculty and students and also foster innovation and progress in industries that rely on cutting-edge technologies,” said Kris Boone, assistant dean and director at Ohio State ATI. “This gift strengthens our partnership with Trimble and increases our ability to develop and deliver workforce training and credentials in the agricultural technology space.”

    The labs include a broad range of Trimble’s industry-leading geospatial and construction solutions such as the Trimble XR10 HoloLens hardhat, robotic total stations, 3D scanners, and GNSS systems. Advanced software solutions include eCognition geospatial analysis software; RealWorks scanning software; TerraFlex Advanced GIS data collection; Trimble Access field software; Trimble Business Center Infrastructure Construction edition; Tekla Structures; Tekla Structural Designer; Trimble Connect collaboration software; Estimation MEP; FieldLink Office; Quadri; SysQue; and the company’s popular 3D modeling software, SketchUp Pro and SketchUp Studio.

    Daryl Matthews, Trimble senior vice president, said, “Ohio State is an educational leader in producing innovative research and top-level graduates in agriculture and construction. In addition, we have many Ohio State alumni who work on teams across Trimble’s businesses, and we have a significant presence in Ohio with our operations. Supporting their important work by providing advanced technologies will help fuel their programs to develop professionals for the future.” 

  5. AgTech Innovation Hub awards inaugural research projects

    Five innovative research projects were awarded funding from the new AgTech Innovation Hub, a multimillion-dollar collaboration between Ohio State and Nationwide.

    First announced last fall, the AgTech Innovation Hub is facilitated by CFAES and aims to encourage the development of new solutions to help the agricultural ecosystem while better understanding, managing, and mitigating climate risk.

    Using a format similar to that of the television show “Shark Tank,” nine CFAES researchers were chosen to pitch their yearlong project ideas before a judging panel, and five were awarded funding to be completed through the hub.

    The projects that were chosen focus on drought risk reduction, mapping climate risk audiences, precision risk 

    management, studying pathogen interactions and climate risk to improve soybean establishment, and cell-permeable proteins for sustainable organic agriculture. 

    “We had so many good candidates for this first round of funding,” said Devin Fuhrman, Nationwide’s chief agriculture and sponsor relations officer. “I’m excited to see what insights their research produces and how that knowledge will help improve the agricultural ecosystem.” 

    Nationwide pledged up to $2 million in initial funding to identify and execute initiatives for the AgTech Innovation Hub and plans to provide additional future funding and resources. The hub will provide tools, resources, skills, and funding to address the changing needs of agriculture innovation to minimize climate risk and insight to accurately insure those risks. 

    This partnership builds on the collaborative that Nationwide and the Nationwide Foundation already have with CFAES, said Cathann A. Kress, Ohio State’s vice president for agricultural administration and dean of CFAES. 

    “It will challenge our students and faculty to create innovative solutions to tackle the challenges we face regarding the nexus of ecosystem sustainability, food security, and viable production agriculture,” she said. 

    For more information, visit go.osu.edu/AgTechInnovationHub

  6. Using nanobubbles to kill harmful algal blooms

    CFAES researchers are testing a new method to kill harmful algal blooms—using ozone nanobubbles.

    The results from recent trials at Lake Sylvan in South Vienna, Ohio, and at Grand Lake St. Marys in St. Marys, Ohio—both of which have a history of severe algal blooms—are promising.

    The technology being tested creates ozone and injects it into a waterway in the form of microscopic bubbles. Once in the water, the ozone can kill unwanted algae, destroy toxins, and boost oxygen levels, said Heather Raymond, director of CFAES’ Water Quality Initiative.

    “The 2021 trial at Lake Sylvan was considered a success by local lake managers since recreational advisories were not needed, as compared to years prior,” Raymond said. “Testing in August 2022 at Grand Lake St. Marys West Beach, which had a more severe bloom than Lake Sylvan, resulted in park managers also not having to issue recreational advisories, while neighboring, untreated beaches required advisories.”

    The Ohio Department of Natural Resources was pleased with these results and invited Ohio State to return for follow-up trials at West Beach this summer. Additional testing at the new mesocosm facility at The Ohio State University Stone Laboratory showed that ozone nanobubble treatment has less impact to beneficial zooplankton than traditional algaecides.

    The trials are being conducted in partnership with scientists from the University of Florida, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as part of a $1.6 million dollar grant from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The initial one year of funding was extended to three years, based on these initial, successful trials.

    The 2023 lake trials and additional experiments will help researchers understand how much ozone is needed, if the nanobubble technology also helps prevent blooms, and if there are any potential negative effects to other forms of life and the environment.

  7. Wheat in demand

    With wheat prices hitting a 14-year high this year, more Ohio farmers plan to plant more of the grain. 

    That’s according to Laura Lindsey, a CFAES field crops expert. Lindsey, a soybean and small grains specialist with OSU Extension, said she’s fielded numerous calls, emails, and Twitter messages from farmers statewide about the feasibility of planting wheat this year. Most of the wheat Ohio farmers grow is soft red winter wheat, which is planted in fall and harvested the next spring. This is the kind of wheat typically used in pastries, cakes, cereals, crackers, and cookies.

    However, while spring wheat can be planted in Ohio, Lindsey said, it doesn’t grow as well as winter wheat. And spring wheat yields are significantly lower than winter wheat yield.

    Laura Lindsey, soybean and small grains specialistWhile in Ohio we usually plant winter wheat, with the commodities market the way it is, more farmers are saying they want to try and capitalize on the record prices. However, although wheat prices are high, spring wheat is probably not the best option in 2022 due to the low yields, high input costs, and uncertainty surrounding selling the grain and its quality.”

    Wheat prices are surging globally in the wake of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, prompting farmers nationwide to consider planting more wheat. About 14% of the global wheat supply is produced in Ukraine and Russia, according to Gro Intelligence. The two countries supply nearly 30% of all wheat exports, according to the agricultural data analytics firm.

    Wheat prices are surging even higher as the conflict raises questions about Russia’s and Ukraine’s ability to continue exporting, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wheat Outlook for March.

    “U.S. prices have been particularly underpinned by this development, with quotes for hard red winter (wheat) and soft red winter (wheat) commanding the largest price increases—up more than 80% from last year—as these classes are the most directly in competition with Russian and Ukrainian wheat,” the USDA said.

    Ohio farmers are on track to harvest 610,000 acres of winter wheat this year, up 5% from the previous year, according to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service’s Ohio Field Office. 

  8. New CFAES technology offers healthier beverage processing

    Food processing companies looking for innovative new ways to preserve clean-label liquid foods without artificial preservatives have a new option thanks to technology developed at CFAES. 

    Researchers in the CFAES departments of Food Science and Technology, as well as Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering have installed and commissioned new manufacturing technology that preserves foods and beverages using wholesome, recognizable ingredients; no artificial preservatives; and reduced heat. They’re seeking food and beverage companies to join a Food Industry Consortium to begin using the technology.

    Called BaroShear MAX ultra-shear technology (UST), this method of high-pressure-based shear technology allows beverage companies to manufacture healthier beverages by reducing thermal exposure through the combined application of elevated pressure, shear technology, and controlled times and temperatures.

    The result? “Healthier beverages that consumers want that aren’t preserved using chemical additives and preservatives with names they can’t pronounce,” said V.M. “Bala” Balasubramaniam, a CFAES professor of food engineering. is laboratory—including microbiologists, chemists, and nutritionists—investigates food manufacturing technologies and works with industry to implement them.

    And it’s not just drinks that could be preserved healthier. UST can be used by food manufacturers for processing sauces, condiments, and other liquid foods, including nutritional drinks, ice cream mixes, juices, and food emulsions.

    “UST enables liquid food and beverage producers to meet the changing dietary desires of health-conscious consumers interested in minimally processed liquid foods and beverages that quench thirst and satisfy their healthy lifestyle,” he said. UST also satisfies liquid food manufacturers’ interest in developing a continuous 
    high-pressure processing method. That’s significant, considering that the batch 
    high-pressure processing industry is now estimated to be a $15 billion per year market. Balasubramaniam partnered with Pressure BioSciences Inc., a Massachusetts-based manufacturer of high-pressure-based equipment and laboratory instrumentation, on the project. They plan to create a consortium of interested food processors on industrially relevant questions before scaling up the UST into industrial practice.

    Food processors can learn about UST through a pilot-scale system at Ohio State’s Center for Clean Food Process Technology Development. Consortium members will also have first rights to nonexclusively license all new applications for commercial utilization in their own products, worldwide. To learn more about this initiative, contact Balasubramaniam at 614-292-1732 or balasubramaniam.1@osu.edu

  9. Agricultural land lost to development

    When it comes to Ohio farmland, the three metropolitan areas of Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati, not surprisingly, lead the way in land loss. A new report by CFAES takes a deep dive into the decline of Ohio farmland between the 20-year period of 2002  and 2022.

    Ani Katchova, professor and Farm Income Enhancement program chair in the CFAES Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics and graduate students Xiaoyi Fang and Rae Ju, compiled and published the report Ohio Farm Numbers, Land in Farms, and Agricultural Land Lost to Development in March.

    The counties of Cuyahoga, Franklin, and Hamilton had the largest percentages of agricultural land lost to development. Cuyahoga County experienced the largest decrease in number of farms, with the number dropping by 35%. Franklin County had one of the highest percentages of agricultural land loss to development at 93%.

    “The 2022 Census of Agriculture data shows the number of farms in Ohio declined by 2.3%, and land in farms declined by 6.4% between 2002 and 2022,” Katchova said.

    To compile their report, the Ohio State team used satellite imagery from the National Land Cover Database, which shows land of different categories and changes in land categories over time.

    “Our report provides a helpful snapshot of Ohio’s agricultural land to county and state officials, Ohio Department of Agriculture, Ohio Farm Bureau, and the agricultural industry. Ag stakeholders have been very concerned about the declining farm numbers and farmland being developed,” Katchova said. “Using these statistics, the best estimate for the agricultural land lost to development in Ohio is 180,691 acres over the last 20 years compared to the loss of 931,089 acres of land in Ohio farms during the same time period.”

    Discover more and read the full report at go.osu.edu/landlost

  10. OSU Extension works to help farmers navigate farm bill

    Farmers and producers wondering how the next U.S. farm bill could affect their farm operations and how it could impact the overall state of agriculture in Ohio can count on CFAES faculty and staff to have answers.

    CFAES Farm Financial Management and Policy Institute (FFMPI) experts are preparing to work with farmers and producers statewide upon passage of a new farm bill. FFMPI will help inform producers as they make important farm financial decisions, said David Marrison, FFMPI interim director.

    “The farm bill is crafted to create a farm safety net for farmers, which is important to Ohio farmers, who make up the largest industry in this state,” he said. “Titles that are of special interest to Ohio producers include the commodity, conservation, and crop insurance titles. It’s important for farmers to understand how potential changes in each of these programs may work and also how any changes may impact their business decisions.” 

    “Another large portion of the farm bill is reauthorization for research and outreach programs, which for land-grant universities like Ohio State, is important. With CFAES being the cornerstone college of a land-grant university, it’s important to drive the research that we are doing to help Ohio farmers,” Marrison said. 

    Marrison, who is also a CFAES professor and a farm management field specialist with OSU Extension, said an example of that work includes the guidance provided to farmers on factors to consider when deciding on the legislation’s farm safety net issues during the previous two farm bills.

    “Following the passage of the 2014 farm bill and the 2018 farm bill, we worked with Ohio farmers and producers as they worked through the decisions they had to make when choosing which Title 1 crop safety net programs to enroll in,” he said. “That was a really big decision, so we methodically walked farmers through each program to see which one would work best for each of their individual farm operations.”

    “CFAES’ new FFMPI was created last year with the goal of the integration, translation, and communication of CFAES’ farm management and ag policy presence that addresses critical farm management and policy issues affecting Ohioans,” said Dean Kress. “Our experts will continue to monitor the progress towards our next farm bill and will be actively working to educate and support Ohioans to help them anticipate potential impacts and outcomes for their agricultural businesses.” 

  11. Ohio State Agronomic Crops Team helps growers deal with problem beans

    From the moment some Ohio soybean growers first began noticing slow growth and yellowing in their plants during the beginning of the planting season this year, many immediately called Ohio State’s Agronomic Crops Team to find out why. And as the season progressed, the team received calls from even more soybean growers statewide with concerns of slow growth, poor root development and nodulation, and disease in their plants.

    Farmers knew they could turn to the Agronomic Crops Team—a multidisciplinary group composed of county Extension educators, field specialists, and state specialists trained to address farmer concerns—because of the many years the team has spent sharing research and building relationships with growers statewide, said Laura Lindsey, a CFAES soybean and small grains specialist and an Agronomic Crops Team member.

    “This year has been particularly challenging in many areas of the state,” she said. “Farmers began reporting various issues since the first soybeans were planted due to cool and wet soils that caused the slow growth and yellowing.”

    “The questions and concerns they had included chlorosis or yellowing, slow growth, poor root development and nodulation, and disease. Growers statewide faced multiple, challenging weather conditions this year with cool, wet conditions early on followed by cool, dry conditions, followed by heavy rainfall.”

    To help soybean growers, members of the Agronomic Crops Team began addressing farmers’ concerns through on-farm visits, phone calls, and Zoom meetings. Specialists on the team examined soil and plant samples to help diagnose issues such as soybean disease, abiotic stress, and soybean cyst nematode. The team also looked at weather records and other factors such as soil compaction that might harm soybeans.

    The team shared information with farmers statewide through the weekly Crop Observation and Recommendation Network (C.O.R.N.) Newsletter. And it’s not just soybeans that the C.O.R.N. Newsletter focuses on.

    “Any and all growers in all 88 Ohio counties are welcome to visit or contact their county Extension office with any questions or issues from their fields,” said Horacio Lopez-Nicora, a CFAES assistant professor of plant pathology. “We work together year-round to help answer these questions and offer farmers expert recommendations based on research and scientific methods.”

    To learn more, visit go.osu.edu/agtech

  12. Understanding barriers to conservation

    Research shows that Ohio farmers and those across the eastern Corn Belt and Great Lakes region value conservation, according to Robyn Wilson, CFAES professor of risk analysis and decision science and acting associate director of the college’s School of Environment and Natural Resources. 

    Over two-thirds of farmers surveyed report believing “good farmers” care about soil health and local waterways and should take actions that reflect a value on both profit and environmental quality. 

    “But, despite relatively high levels of belief in the importance of conservation, participation remains relatively low and static,” Wilson said. “However, we find farmers with high versus low perceived ability to act are 15 times more likely to have conservation practices in place.” 

    Wilson’s research suggests that values and intentions toward conservation aren’t translating into action due to a lack of ability to do the recommended practices or concern that the practices won’t be effective at achieving goals such as reducing nutrient loss or improving water quality. 

    Wilson hopes to better understand how to remove farmers’ motivational barriers in adopting conservation practices. 

    “We’re testing how much more likely a farmer is to engage in conservation with a thoughtful ‘if-then’ implementation plan that helps them think through getting from A to B, and how to overcome challenges they will likely face,” she said. “Most farmers are intrinsically motivated to engage in conservation.” 

    “We are assessing how to maintain this motivation when economic incentives end. We know offering financial incentives creates extrinsic motivation that can squash any intrinsic reasons to continue in the practice when the money goes away.” 

  13. Science in 60 seconds

    Ever wonder what the difference is between baking soda and baking powder?  

    Or how about the difference between shelf-stable and refrigerated juice? Have you ever questioned why foods and beverages come in different colored bottles?

    In 60 seconds or less, food scientist Brittany Towers Lewis takes complex scientific information and boils it down into understandable terms. She then posts the resulting videos on TikTok and Instagram, where 63,300 followers now learn about science from her, The Black Food Scientist.

    A graduate of CFAES, Towers Lewis started posting food science videos in 2021 to get science information out to the public in quick, relatable ways to lessen the mystery of science and to make learning about it fun.

    "Science is often perceived of as a bunch of words that most people can’t understand, but using common language makes it more approachable,” she said. “Plus, food is a great way to get the word out about science because food is relatable to everyone.”

    Brittany Towers TikTokAnother goal of her TikTok and Instagram videos is to promote the idea of careers in food science to younger people, including those in minority groups generally underrepresented in science-related careers. Food science as a career isn’t well known to many people,”

    Towers Lewis said. “I love working with middle school and high school students and seeing their eyes spark when they realize you can be in the science field and work with food at the same time.” Towers Lewis didn’t even know about food science as a career until she attended Ohio State. In fact, it was CFAES food science classes that made her realize that “food science was the career for me.” She now works as a senior manager of product development for Vital Proteins, a Chicago-based health and wellness company.

    “In the first CFAES class that I took, we made ice cream—and then got to eat it,” she said with a laugh. “Being able to translate science concepts into something that you can see, feel, and eat helps to understand the science better. You can see the scientific reaction happening while a loaf of bread is baking.” 

    Brittany TowersIt’s that excitement that Towers Lewis strives to recreate in each video she posts. And it seems to be working because she went viral on her fourth post.

    “I was surprised because I didn’t think so many people would be interested,” she said. “One of my mom’s friends is a teacher and shows the videos to her students, which I really love. Many people message me saying they wish they’d known that food science was a thing, and others send me messages simply thanking me for providing science in a digestible way.”

     

     

  14. CFAES project to improve food safety in Kenya

    The CFAES Center for Foodborne Illness Research and Prevention (CFI) has been awarded a $770,000 grant to improve food safety and prevent foodborne illnesses in Kenya. 

    The initiative is one of four new research projects announced by the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Safety, which is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development as part of Feed the Future, the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative.

    The 3.5-year project, “Chakula salama: a risk-based approach to reducing foodborne diseases and increasing production of safe foods in Kenya,” includes researchers from Ohio State, the University of Florida, the Kenya Medical Research Institute, and the University of Nairobi, all of whom will develop and test food safety interventions to support Kenya’s small-scale poultry producers.

    This work is significant considering that foodborne diseases cause an estimated  91 million illnesses and $16.7 billion in human capital losses annually in Africa, said Barbara Kowalcyk, CFI director. She is also a faculty member in the CFAES Department of Food Science and Technology, as well as the Translational Data Analytics Institute at Ohio State.

    “This project will use a systems-based approach to answer important food safety questions and build an enabling environment that fosters the implementation of risk-based approaches to food safety in Kenya and, eventually, other African countries,” she said.

    The project focuses on reducing the risk of illnesses from Salmonella and Campylobacter in poultry produced by women and youth poultry farmers. Kowalcyk, two CFI staffers, and two CFAES students traveled to Kenya in March to work with some 100 Kenyan poultry producers, with a goal of developing a roadmap for allocating resources and building capacity for Kenyans to implement food safety measures recommended by CFI.

    Our goal is to improve access to safe food and improve food security and nutrition,” Kowalcyk said. “This will have a huge impact on food in Kenya.”

    Founded as a nonprofit organization in 2006, CFI brought its 16-year record of protecting public health to CFAES in September 2019. The center has a mission to advance a more scientific, risk-based food safety system that prevents foodborne illnesses and protects public health by translating science into policy and practice. To learn more about CFI, visit  foodsafety.osu.edu.  

  15. CFAES grad’s research sheds light on farm succession planning

    CFAES is known for cultivating future agricultural leaders. Among them is Ryanna Tietje, a 2024 graduate whose undergraduate research has provided pivotal insights into the critical issue of farm succession planning.

    Guided by Margaret Jodlowski, an assistant professor in the CFAES Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics, Tietje investigated the intricate process of farm transitions. Her personal connection to the subject, stemming from her family’s farm in northwest Ohio, provided a unique perspective on the challenges faced by farming families during this critical period.

    Tietje’s research, supported by OSU Extension educators with expertise in farm succession and conducted through Extension’s Farm Financial Management and Policy Institute, focused on communication barriers, the presence of succession plans, and farms’ financial outcomes.

    “The future of our farm and my parents’ retirement required navigating emotional conversations,” Tietje explained. “My goal was to identify ways to facilitate smoother transitions for both retiring and incoming generations.”

    Jodlowski highlighted the emotional obstacles for farmers, particularly the difficulty of relinquishing control, which can impede the integration of the next generation.

    Margaret Jodlowski, assistant professor “For many farmers, their identity is deeply linked with their land, making the handover not just a practical but also an emotional challenge,” Jodlowski said.

    Tietje’s dedication led to the development of a survey that collected data from farm operators about their current succession planning, as well as their future expectations and current financial situations. This data is invaluable for Extension programming and is particularly noteworthy in Ohio, where such research has been scarce.

    David Marrison, Extension field specialist, farm management, sees Tietje’s data as a key contribution for advancing and building on the work Extension does to support farm succession efforts.

    “Ryanna’s meticulous attention to detail for Ohio farmers is impressive,” Jodlowski said. “Her primary data collection is a commendable achievement for undergraduate research.”

    With surveys from 186 farmers across 39 counties, Tietje overcame the challenge of incentivizing participation. Her research has broadened her academic scope and opened doors for her future endeavors. As a farm foundation cultivator, she presented her project at the Farm Foundation Roundtable in Hawaii, a significant academic accomplishment.

    Tietje’s story is a testament to the opportunities for undergraduate engagement within CFAES, and the importance of addressing agricultural challenges through research and education. Her work exemplifies CFAES’ commitment to educational engagement and the development of future agricultural leaders. 

  16. Agriculture Innovation Center to support value-added agriculture in northeast Ohio

    One of Ohio’s most vibrant agricultural regions will be the recipient of a “one-stop shop,” developed by CFAES to help value-added agricultural (VAA) producers set themselves up for success.

    The Northeast Ohio Agriculture Innovation Center (NEO-AIC) is the result of an almost $1 million new grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development, with matching in-kind funds of nearly $500,000 from Ohio State. The three-year investment was awarded through the USDA Agriculture Innovation Center.

    “Northeast Ohio is a great agricultural region and is home to a diversity of businesses and farms, including the highest concentration of women farmers and small and medium farms in Ohio,” said Shoshanah Inwood, CFAES program director and rural sociologist.

    The NEO-AIC will hire four new staff members, including two new Ohio State University Extension positions focused on VAA business planning and market development. The area is also home to a large Amish population who make up a substantial proportion of the region’s farms. For this reason, the NEO-AIC will bring on the first national and regional Amish and plain people community liaison to help bridge the cultural gap and provide technical assistance to this important sector of the VAA economy.

    “We found that the services available to support VAA producers are disconnected and dispersed throughout the region,” Inwood said. “By connecting the resources, promoting their availability, and cutting down on hurdles, we will make the process more efficient and be better able to support their growth, development, and economic prosperity.”

    Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown is also a proponent of the Agriculture Innovation Center.

    “When we give Ohio farm and food businesses more tools to sell their products, we can strengthen local supply chains, bring down prices, and allow small producers to better compete with large corporations,” said Brown.

    The NEO-AIC board of directors includes representatives from Ohio Farm Bureau, Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association, Ohio Proud, Ohio Produce Growers & Marketers Association, Ohio Cattlemen’s Association, Ohio Dairy Producers Association, Ohio Sheep Improvement Association, and Green Field Farms of Wooster, Ohio.

  17. Bigger than beakers

    Researchers have a new way to study Lake Erie thanks to a facility at The Ohio State University Stone Laboratory that is the first of its kind on the Great Lakes. 

    Stone Lab’s Mesocosm Facility, which opened in 2022 on South Bass Island, is the first open-air mesocosm on the Great Lakes and allows scientists to research environmental issues facing the lakes at a previously unavailable scale. Stone Lab is a part of CFAES. 

    The facility contains 15 600-gallon tanks called “mesocosms” that researchers are using to study organisms ranging from algae and bacteria to adult fish. The tanks pump in water from Lake Erie to replicate the natural environment on a larger scale than what’s possible with “microcosms” such as beakers, bottles, or fish tanks. 

    “It allows us to do research that wasn’t possible before,” said Justin Chaffin, research coordinator at Stone Lab. “We’ve been doing small-scale experiments for years, but we can’t do controlled experiments out in the lake. So, the Mesocosm Facility allows us to do research that can be better extrapolated to the natural system.” 

    He said mesocosms help eliminate artificial results that pop up in small-scale bottle experiments. 

    “It’s more exposed to the elements,” Chaffin said. “You get the natural sunlight, cloud cover, rain, wind. Everything that’s happening in the lake can influence what’s happening in the mesocosm when it’s an outdoor facility.” 

    The mesocosms can function with water flowing to and from Lake Erie, or they can serve as batch culturelike experiments. Filters are available to remove particles down to the size of a micron—one-millionth of a meter. 

    This summer, scientists used the facility to study how smallmouth bass respond to changing climate and to determine the impact federally registered algaecides have on zooplankton, small shrimplike creatures that are important food for fish. 

    Chaffin anticipates demand for the facility will grow. One goal is to equip the tanks with improved, automated instruments that monitor temperature and dissolved oxygen and report data every couple of minutes. Another goal is to create similar outdoor facilities at other field stations around the Great Lakes. 

    To learn more information, visit ohioseagrant.osu.edu.

  18. Spring, summer temps increase risk of heat illness

    Farmers, producers, and anyone who works outdoors should beware: When the weather is warmer, you’re at a higher risk for heat illness, which can come on suddenly with many people unaware they’re in danger.

    Even experienced workers are vulnerable to heat-related illness, said Dee Jepsen, state leader, OSU Extension Agricultural Safety and Health Program.

    One reason is that, often, some are unwilling to admit that heat affects them. Or they don’t recognize the symptoms.

    In fact, almost half of heat-related deaths occur on a worker’s first day on the job. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, over 70% of heat-related deaths occur during a worker’s first week.

    “There seems to be a stigma associated with being affected by heat illness,” Jepsen said. “Some of the typical responses from some as to why they’re unwilling to acknowledge the risk of heat illness include, ‘I don’t need a break,’ ‘I need to prove I can work hard,’ or I don’t usually need to drink a lot of water.”

    Signs of heat illness can include headache; nausea; weakness; dizziness; heavy sweating or hot, dry skin; elevated body temperature; thirst; and decreased urine output. Signs of a potential medical emergency include abnormal thinking or behavior, slurred speech, seizures, or loss of consciousness.

    Steps to prevent heat illness include drinking water every 20 minutes; taking breaks in shady or cool locations; wearing a wide-brimmed hat and light-colored, loosefitting breathable clothes; and monitoring oneself and others for signs of heat illness.

    “Some tips to help lessen the potential for heat illness in agricultural workers include increasing general ventilation in barns and outdoor structures or installing cooling fans and misters under tents during outdoor field work and vegetable crop activities,” Jepsen said. “Other strategies include reducing manual labor, increasing the use of mechanized systems, and taking frequent breaks during peak heat hours.” 

  19. Farm profit and success are goals of new institute

    Working on balance sheets and other financial statements might not be the most exciting task for most farmers, but it is crucial to agricultural business success.

    Another thing that Ohio farmers might soon find indispensable is the new Farm Financial Management and Policy Institute (FFMPI) recently launched by CFAES.

    The institute will address critical farm financial management and policy issues affecting Ohio producers. David Marrison, farm management field specialist with OSU Extension, will serve as the FFMPI interim director.

    “I am excited to transition into this role and to work with a team of farm management specialists to help all Ohio farm families and agribusinesses enhance their management, productivity, and profitability,” Marrison said.

    Housed within OSU Extension, the institute will tap into departments within CFAES; schools and colleges within the university such as the Moritz College of Law and the Fisher College of Business; and other universities across the country to offer research-informed knowledge and best practices in the areas of agricultural marketing, agricultural finance, agricultural production and risk management, human resources, agricultural policy, and agricultural law.

    “Today’s farmers face a multitude of challenges such as adapting to climate change; meeting consumer demands or more, higher quality food; and adjusting to the increasing costs of supplies,” said Cathann A. Kress, Ohio State vice president for agricultural administration and dean of CFAES. “We created the Farm Financial Management and Policy Institute to help Ohio farmers address these challenges and offer guidance into how to make their businesses become more profitable.”

    Each year, hundreds of U.S. farm businesses fail; some caused by poor financial management. As the agricultural industry changes and evolves, so too do OSU Extension’s offerings. Extension’s new FFMPI will integrate established programs and will develop new ones responsively to help Ohio farmers meet their business and financial goals.

    The OSU Extension Farm Office website (farmoffice.osu.edu) will serve as the landing spot for the new institute as Marrison and team work to establish resources and best practices for a variety of agricultural businesses. 

  20. How (and why) to make your farm more weather resilient

    Climate change is happening. It’s happening here. It’s happening now. 

    That’s the message Aaron Wilson, OSU Extension climate specialist, is sharing with Ohio farmers. He talks to them about how they can make their farms more resilient to weather extremes—to the warmer-than-average temperatures, unusually heavy rains, flooding, and more that Ohio is seeing from climate change.

    “It’s not a future issue,” Wilson says. “The time to prepare is right now.”

    Improving weather resilience requires adaptation, Wilson says—determining your farm’s impacts from weather extremes, then deciding what to do about them. He suggests a process from the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science’s 
    (NIACS) Adaptation Workbook:

    1.    Define your management objectives.

    2.     Assess your weather impacts and vulnerabilities.

    3.     Evaluate your management objectives, given your vulnerabilities.

    4.    Identify your adaptation tactics.

    5.     Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of your actions.

    6.     Then, based on your evaluation, return to Step 1 and repeat.

    “Adaptation is site-specific. There’s no single answer for everyone,” Wilson says. Farms will all experience weather impacts differently, depending on factors such as location, crops, and topography. So, you should base your adaptation changes on what you’re seeing at the farm level.”

    It’s a real personal thing,” Wilson says.

    Adaptation can involve practices such as drainage, irrigation, or switching to a more disease-resistant crop variety. It’s affected by finances—Can you afford to change the practice? Can you afford not to?—and by factors such as crop insurance. But a key to much of it is soil health, Wilson says. Practices such as no-till and cover crops, implemented to boost soil health, also improve weather resilience. They make crop plants hardier, reduce erosion, and slow down runoff, for instance.

    At the same time, soil health practices also improve water quality and sequester carbon, the latter helping fight climate change.

    All these things are good for crops, which can ultimately be good for profit as well, so finding those environmentally sustainable practices that are also economically profitable is a key area of building a weather-resilient farm,” Wilson says.

    “We’re trying to maintain profitability or farmers in light of, or in spite of, these increasing challenges they have throughout the year.”

    To learn more, contact Wilson at wilson.1010@osu.edu or 614-292-7930.

    Use the free NIACS Adaptation Workbook available at adaptationworkbook.org.

    Check out the Midwest Climate Hub at climatehubs.usda.gov/hubs/Midwest and its adaptation tools at climatehubs.usda.gov/hubs/northern-forests/adaptation-tools.

  21. Farm Science Review

    Get your tickets now for the greatest farm show in Ohio. Farm Science  Review runs Sept. 17-19, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday. Catch the “Talk on Friday Avenue,” visit the Career Exploration Fair, or view field demonstrations of new equipment and production practices. Ask our Student Services folks how leadership experience in FFA or 4-H offers a pathway to an Ohio State education. There’s something for everyone and resources for all. Purchase tickets for $10 online or $15 at the gate, or check for local sales locations at fsr.osu.edu.

  22. Farm to table: OSU Extension launches online Food Business Central

    Are you a baker ready to sell your home-baked goods? How about a farmer looking for value-added opportunities for crops you’ve grown or livestock you’ve raised? Or maybe you’re an entrepreneur aiming to use local agricultural products to make value-added foods?

    If so, then the new Food Business Central online course offered by OSU Extension can help equip you with the knowledge and strategies to launch a successful farm-raised or homebased food business in Ohio.

    Created by members of OSU Extension’s family and consumer sciences (FCS), the online course is designed to serve as a centralized hub to connect participants to information and resources regarding all types of food products they might want to make and sell, said Emily Marrison, OSU Extension educator, FCS, and course development team member.

    “Navigating food regulations, establishing a new business, and applying best practices for food safety can be challenges for food entrepreneurs,” she said. “Many people interested in starting a food business aren’t sure where to turn first.”

    “Additionally, this course can help you develop a food business action plan and learn what you need to start off organized, safe, compliant, and strategic.”

    The self-paced course contains 10 modules — five of which focus on Ohio food laws, food safety basics, legal startup and insurance, and marketing and economics. The other five modules focus on foods including cottage foods and baked goods, canned foods, meat, poultry, eggs, and other foods such as beverages, dairy products, syrups, and more.

    “Throughout the course, participants will consider key questions and develop action steps to take on their journey to start a food business,” Marrison said. “As food entrepreneurs complete the course, they’ll be able to complete a business plan with help from their local small business development centers.”

    The course development was partially funded through a grant from North Central Extension Risk Management Education through the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to develop resources that help farmers and ranchers effectively manage risk in their operations.

    The course costs $25, and registration is at go.osu.edu/foodbusinesscentral.

  23. Dean’s Charity Steer Show at the Ohio State Fair

    Celebrate Ohio agriculture, communities, and children at the 2023 Dean’s Charity Steer Show on Aug. 1, at the Ohio State Fair’s Voinovich Livestock and Trade Center. 

    Teams will consist of a team captain, a team champion, an experienced Ohio 4-H youth, and a steer in the show ring. 

    The event will be hosted by Dean Kress, with all proceeds benefiting Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio. The steer show is an annual event coordinated by CFAES, Telhio Credit Union, Ohio Cattlemen’s Association, and the Ohio State Fair. Ohio 4-H is CFAES’ youth development program delivered through OSU Extension. The first two charity steer shows have raised a total of $399,148. Learn more by visiting deanscharitysteershow.osu.edu

  24. Farmers’ child care needs

     

    By Shoshanna Inwood 

    Kerissa and Charlie Payne are beginning farmers raising two daughters on a central Ohio farm. By conventional measures, their livestock farm, Covey Rise, is a success. Yet, below the surface, the challenge of finding quality, affordable child care has kept their business from growing and reaching its full potential. 

    “It feels like we’re always split between keeping the kids safe on the farm, being good parents, and the needs of the farm,” Kerissa Payne said. 

    The United States has a child care crisis, yet the issue remains largely invisible in the farm sector. Farm parents are working parents who must juggle child care while working what can be one of the most dangerous and stressful jobs in America. 

    Over the past 10 years, rural researchers have interviewed farmers nationwide to understand how child care affects farm business economic viability, farm safety, farm families’ quality of life, and the future of the nation’s food supply. What we found debunks common myths that have kept child care in the shadows of farm policy debates and points to solutions that can support farm parents. 

    Myth #1: Child care is a not a problem in the farm sector. 

    Nationally, 77% of farm families with children under 18 report difficulties securing child care because of lack of affordability, availability, or quality. And 48% report that having access to affordable child care is important for maintaining and growing their farm business. 

    Myth #2: Farmers don’t need help with child care. 

    It’s a myth that farm parents want to do it all on their own and that when they need help, they have family members who can watch the children. This might work if relatives are nearby, but almost half of farmers surveyed said their own parents were too busy to help with child care, had died, or were in declining health. 

    Often, farm parents have moved away from family and friends to find affordable land, and the lack of community makes child care harder. The problem is that they cannot find or afford help.

    Myth #3: Children can just come along when doing farm work.

    While wonderful places to grow up, farms can be dangerous. Every day, 33 children are seriously injured in agricultural-related incidents, and every three days, a child dies on a farm. Almost all farm parents—97%—have worried their children could get hurt on the farm.

    Parents constantly weigh the risks and benefits of having children on the farm. One farmer planned to farm with his son but admitted he “didn’t think about a baby not being able to be out in the sun all day,” and was struggling to balance child care and farm work.

    Finding solutions

    Farmers spoke about solutions including free or affordable quality child care, before- and after-school programs, better parental leave policies for wage and self-employed workers, financial support for safe play areas on the farm, college debt relief, free college tuition, and more affordable health insurance.

    For the first time in history, the American Farm Bureau and the National Farmers Union have included child care in their policy priorities for the 2023 federal farm bill. In March, Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown introduced a marker bill for the bipartisan support to help increase access to affordable, quality rural child care.

    As one Ohio farmer put it, “If America wants farmers, farm families need help with child care.” We would do well to listen. 

  25. Diversifying Dairy

    Just a few years ago, Emily Mullen’s family was faced with a difficult decision. It was time to sell the dairy herd or make a hefty financial investment into their almost 125-year-old farm.

    Armed with real-world experience, an associate degree in dairy science from Ohio State ATI, and exposure to new ideas, Mullen got to work. Located in Wooster, Ohio, ATI is part of CFAES.

    The Mullen Dairy & Creamery, located in Okeana, now provides southwest Ohio with 25 varieties of flavored milk, cow’s milk soap and lotion, and drinkable yogurt. 

    “When I was at college, I realized I had to be different,” Mullen said. “As a society, we are entering an era where consumers care more about what goes into their food.” Mullen’s story is just one example of how CFAES graduates are putting their degrees to work, many choosing to work for their family’s farm.

    In fact, 15% of ATI graduates who entered the workforce returned to a family business, while 88% of ATI associate degree graduates reported employment within the state of Ohio, according to a 2022 CFAES graduation survey.

    Sharing about dairy farming is one of Mullen’s favorite things. 

    The 2019 graduate and former recipient of the Catalpadale Bristol Dairy Scholarship has a robust social media page dedicated to educating her customers. 

    “I have the opportunity to share a story that so few people have a chance to see firsthand. We have super-cool jobs and take that for granted.”

    Her biggest challenge was overcoming doubt.

    “Being the third of four daughters of course people told me I couldn’t farm full time. I had to push really hard to overcome that stereotype. I was fortunate my dad believed in me.”

    Mullen recently began building a new educational facility on the farm. She’s also updating operational facilities and hopes to produce ice cream soon.

    “Average is over,” Mullen said. “If you want to ensure your stakehold in this industry, you have to diversify.” 

  26. CFAES nearing completion of new greenhouse research complex

    CFAES’ new Controlled Environment Agriculture Research Complex (CEARC) is 75% complete. It’s expected to open this fall. And while that’s good news for CFAES and the scientists who’ll be working there, it’s even better news for Ohio’s big-and-getting-bigger greenhouse industry. 

    Inside the complex, research will take place in settings like those of the most advanced commercial greenhouses, says CFAES’ Chieri Kubota. That means findings from the studies will be relevant to, and can be used directly by, industry growers. Kubota is professor of controlled environment agriculture in the CFAES Department of Horticulture and Crop Science. She’s also director of CFAES’ Ohio Controlled Environment Agriculture Center.

    The state-of-the-art complex will “eliminate the technological gap between academia and industry” when it comes to performing greenhouse research, Kubota says. It will support new partnerships among CFAES, greenhouse growers, and other colleges and universities, she notes, and will give CFAES students the most up-to-date training possible for jobs in a growing industry.

    Chieri Kubota That technology will include, for instance, the most advanced type of roofing system—one that transmits the full spectrum of sunlight—energy-efficient LED lighting, carbon dioxide enrichment, microclimate heating “grow pipes,” and precision nutrient management.

    The design of the complex’s two greenhouses follows the industry standard, the Venlo type, with 23-foot-high sidewalls to ensure good light transmission and effective natural ventilation.

    Research compartments within the greenhouses will be able to support experiments on tall crops, such as tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and hemp; short-stature crops, such as strawberries, bedding plants, and potted ornamental plants; and crops grown by hydroponics, or water culture, such as leafy greens.

    The facility owes much of its cutting edge to greenhouse-related companies including GE Current, Priva, the Hawthorne G Controlled Environment Agriculture Research Complexardening Company, and Ludvig Svensson, which gifted equipment and technology to the project. Support from these partners made the “installation of modern technologies possible,” Kubota says.

    Located at CFAES’ 261-acre Waterman Agricultural and Natural Resources Laboratory on the Ohio State Columbus campus, the complex is part of a major revamping that also includes the Kunz-Brundige Franklin County Extension Building, which opened in 2019, and the Multispecies Animal Learning Center, now in planning and fundraising stages.

    Learn more at go.osu.edu/cearc

     

  27. Progress is building

    After the January groundbreaking for CFAES’ Multispecies Animal Learning Center (MALC), crews quickly cleared the old facilities and are now preparing for construction. The MALC promises to shape the future workforce in animal agriculture by preparing students for diverse careers in the industry. Imagine hands-on experiences, public engagement, and OSU Extension programs all driving industry progress toward a sustainable future in animal production.

    Plans also include construction of a new state-of-theart autonomous dairy with robotic milkers and manure sweepers, scheduled to be completed in February 2025.

    The MALC is slated to open in fall of 2025: go.osu.edu/MALC

  28. 4-H founded in Ohio

    Let the official record show, 4-H was founded in Ohio. Thanks to the efforts of Mike Turner, U.S. representative from Ohio’s 10th congressional district, the 4-H section of the Library of Congress’ Join In: Voluntary Associations in America exhibition has been corrected to reflect that the network of youth agricultural programs was founded in Clark County, Ohio, rather than what it originally read as being founded in Clark County, Iowa, according to a news release from Turner.

    In 1902, with assistance from the Ohio Agricultural Experiment Station and The Ohio State University, A.B. Graham started a rural youth program for boys and girls in Clark County to promote vocational agriculture and familiarize students with new agricultural technology. This youth program is considered the founding of 4-H.

    Ohio 4-H, the youth development arm of OSU Extension, offers 4-H programs to youth in all 88 of Ohio’s counties. As America’s largest youth development organization, Ohio 4-H, which served 130,859 members in 4-H clubs in all Ohio counties last year, emphasizes leadership and citizenship skills. Ohio youth, ages 5–19, participate in 4-H through community clubs, camps, schools, and short-term experiences. 

  29. Agricultural community steps up big for Ronald McDonald House at Dean’s Charity Steer Show

    Over $172,000 was raised at the Dean’s Charity Steer Show, held at the Ohio State Fair. 

    Local celebrities and media personalities paired with Ohio 4-H youth, along with their steers, to donate their time, raise money, and compete for bragging rights in front of a large crowd of supporters Aug. 1, in the Voinovich Livestock & Trade Center. 

    The show’s awards and awardees are as follows. 

    Best Steer: Team McSteering All Together—with crossbred steer Mook; 4-H’er Taylor Barton of Clinton County; and the McDonald’s team of Marshela McDaniel, Dan Aloi, Melissa James, and Tara Vorst. 

    Showmanship Award: Team Burrow 4 the House—with steer Joe Burrow; 4-H’er Connor Youchum of Highland County; and the NBC4 Columbus anchor team of Matt Barnes, Monica Day, McKenna King, and Kristine Varkony. 

    Best Dressed: Team CosMOOpolitans—with steer Cosmo, 4-H’er Emily Scott of Portage County, along with Tammy Roberts Myers of RE/MAX Apex, Kimberly Flaherty of Washington Prime Group, and Timothy Flaherty of Post House Creative. 

    People’s Choice: Team THE Buckeye Mood—with market heifer Tree Trunks, 4-H’er Delaney Moore of Fairfield County, along with Melissa Shivers of The Ohio State University, and journalist Tracy Townsend of WBNS-10TV. 

    Grand Champion (lead fundraiser): Huntington Green Team—with steer Olson, 4-H’er Mason Powell of Morrow County, along with Rich Porrello and Christina Brown of Huntington, and Yolanda Harris of 10TV. 

    The 4-H youth who participated in the show represented the counties and Ohio 4-H youth development programs of Clinton, Darke, Defiance, Fairfield, Highland, Morrow, Portage, Seneca, Stark, and Warren. 

    The show was hosted by Cathann A. Kress, Ohio State vice president for agricultural administration and dean of CFAES. 

    The Dean’s Charity Steer Show, which has raised $571,867 to date, is coordinated by CFAES, the Telhio Credit Union, and the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association, and is held in partnership with the Ohio Expo Center & State Fair. To learn more about the show, visit deanscharitysteershow.osu.edu

  30. Cultivating healthy kids

    The Ohio Farm to School program transforms how students and communities connect with local food producers. Growers sell fruits and vegetables directly to schools, creating jobs and strengthening the local economy. Students learn through gardening. Teachers share lessons on food, health, nutrition, and agriculture to further student wellness and promote healthier diets. Managed by OSU Extension’s family and consumer sciences and regional partners, the program has improved food purchasing and student wellness at Ohio schools.

    Learn how you can get involved: farmtoschool.osu.edu

  31. 4-H CareerNext

    Help your student prepare for success at college or in a promising career with a new program, 4-H CareerNext. This online course offers six modules for students to discover their natural talents, explore career or educational options, prep for an interview, and understand the costs/benefits of each path. An assessment at the start of the course guides the learning. Once completed, students gain access to the Ohio 4-H Pathways to the Future program, with an option to participate in the Ohio 4-H Mock Job Interview Contest. The course costs $10. Learn more and register at go.osu.edu/careernext.

  32. Cooperatives grow success

    Agricultural cooperatives bring multiple farms together for increased buying power and equitable support with packaging, distribution, and marketing. Want to learn more? Start with the CFAES Center for Cooperatives.

    Specialists at the center offer advice and assistance every step of the way. An online Co-op Mastery course explains the cooperative model, how to create a cooperative, and financial concepts for new and emerging co-ops. Use the interactive map to explore other Ohio cooperatives.

    Find the resources and support you need to get started in cooperatives: cooperatives.cfaes.ohio-state.edu

  33. The Dean’s Charity Steer Show returns to the Ohio State Fair

    We’re excited to be back!

    The Ohio State Fair is back in 2022 and along with it, the Dean’s Charity Steer Show! After a two-year pandemic hiatus, the event on Tuesday, Aug. 2, will once again benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) of Central Ohio.

    More than 900 spectators attended the inaugural 2019 event, and nearly 8,000 tuned in to watch via livestream on Facebook. Hosted by Cathann A. Kress, vice president for agricultural administration and dean of CFAES, the show raised $152,000 for RMHC.

    Central Ohio celebrity exhibitors team up with experienced 4-H members and their steers to compete in the show for bragging rights. Following the show, an auction “sale” takes place in the show ring. No actual animals trade hands. Instead, all bids and sale proceeds are donated to RMHC.

    For more information, visit deanscharitysteershow.osu.edu.

  34. The Dean’s Charity Steer Show returns to the Ohio State Fair

    Celebrate Ohio agriculture, communities, and children at the 2022 Dean’s Charity Steer Show Aug. 2 at the Ohio Expo Center and State Fair. Celebrity exhibitors will team up with media personalities, experienced Ohio 4-H youth, and a steer in the show ring.

    All proceeds will benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio. For more information, visit deanscharitysteershow. osu.edu.

  35. What’s good for your lawn can be good for the water

    Get tips for keeping lawns green and water blue in a newly revised fact sheet from CFAES.

    Called Efficient Lawn Care Practices to Help Protect Ohio’s Waterways, the fact sheet details exactly that—ways to get the most out of your fertilizer dollar, make your lawn as healthy as it can be, and prevent the runoff of nutrients that can lead to harmful algal blooms.

    What’s the best time of year to apply fertilizer? Why test your soil? What does “N-P-K” mean? Answers are in the fact sheet, whose authors are experts from CFAES and Davey Tree.

    You can read or download the fact sheet for free at go.osu.edu/greenlawncare.

  36. New on YouTube: How to have water for everyone in Ohio

    “Clean water is the backbone to any great society. You’re not going to have healthy humans without it. You’re not going to have a healthy economy without it.”

    So begins …And Water for All, a documentary film that premiered March 22, World Water Day, at a program hosted by CFAES’ Environmental Professionals Network.

    Written and directed by Ramiro Berardo, an associate professor in the CFAES School of Environment and Natural Resources, the film explores issues around water in Ohio including interviews from Toledoans who experienced the city’s 2014 water crisis, and the need to rebuild public water systems and public trust to provide affordable, safe water for Ohioans.

    Watch it at go.osu.edu/waterforall

     

     

     

  37. New publications

    Extension has two new publications of interest to farmers, available for order. Spring Frost Injury of Grapevines and Protection Methods is available in book format for $7.50, and Low-pressure Piping in Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems for Ohio is available in PDF format for download for $4.50.

    Copies of these and other OSU Extension publications are available through local OSU Extension offices and online at extensionpubs.osu.edu. Ohio residents get the best price when they order and pick up their purchases through their local Extension offices.

  38. Farm Science Review

    The 60th Farm Science Review is Sept. 20–22 with the theme, “Embracing Time and Change.” The agricultural trade show offers educational talks from experts with CFAES, which hosts the event at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center near London, Ohio.

    Presale tickets are $10 online and at Extension county offices and participating agribusinesses, or $15 at the gate. Children ages 5 and under are free. The FSR app is available for Apple and Android smartphone and tablet users, and it offers interactive maps, a schedule of events, and show information. It’ll be available by download from the Apple App Store and Google Play by searching for “FSR 2022” or by directing your mobile browser to fsr.osu.edu.

    The show hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 20–21 and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 22.

  39. Bonus Reads

    Learn the latest on crop production research via CFAES’ Knowledge Exchange.

    Discover tips on how to grow food through the Growing Franklin blog.

    Check out how to market fruit crops to Ohio wineries.

  40. Bonus Reads

    Learn tips for improving wellness through Extension’s Live Smart Ohio blog.

    Discover how to live well with arthritis by following this advice from Extension educators.

    Check out how to provide self-care for the caregiver by reading this Extension fact sheet.

  1. Title: Bonus Reads
  2. Title: Bonus Reads