The Van Wert County Courthouse

Wednesday, Jun. 19, 2024

Submitted information

REYNOLDSBURG — The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) has received a presumptive positive test result of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in an Ohio dairy cattle herd and is awaiting confirmation from the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL).

The dairy operation in Wood County received cows on March 8 from a Texas dairy, which later reported a confirmed detection of HPAI. Ohio’s animal health officials were notified when the livestock began showing clinical signs compatible with sick, lactating dairy cows in other states.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as state veterinary and public health officials, continue to investigate the emerging illness among dairy cows that is causing decreased lactation, low appetite, and other symptoms.

On Monday, March 25, state animal health officials were notified when federal agencies confirmed the detection of HPAI in dairy herds in Texas and Kansas that had cattle exhibiting these symptoms. USDA’s NVSL has since confirmed the presence of HPAI in additional dairy cattle herds in Idaho, New Mexico, and Michigan.

Federal and state agencies continue to conduct additional testing from sick animals and in unpasteurized clinical milk samples from sick animals, as well as viral genome sequencing, to assess whether HPAI or another unrelated illness may be underlying any symptoms. Clinically sick dairy cattle from affected herds range from 1%-20%, with an average of 10% of the milking herd affected. There are no confirmed reports of death loss in dairy cattle directly attributed to these detections. Most sick cows begin recovering within a few days.

According to the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease and Prevention, there is no concern about the safety of commercially pasteurized dairy products due to both federal animal health requirements and pasteurization and the public health risk associated with HPAI remains low.

ODA is working with state industry partners and federal agencies to encourage farmers and veterinarians to report cattle illnesses quickly, to monitor potential additional cases and minimize the impact and risk to farmers, farmworkers, consumers, and other animals.

Producers are urged work with their veterinarian to practice enhanced biosecurity measures and review and limit cattle movements within production systems to avoid disease spread or bringing in cattle from known disease areas or infected herds. More information on biosecurity measures can be found here. 

At this current time, no quarantines or movement restrictions on livestock are being issued by ODA. As officials continue to assess the risks of the emerging disease, and assess epidemiological information, further regulatory control actions may be implemented. If dairy producers in Ohio should see unusual clinical symptoms similar to those described, they are to contact their herd veterinarians.

For more information on the detections of HPAI in cattle, visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s website.

POSTED: 04/02/24 at 7:19 pm. FILED UNDER: Farm

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FOSTORIA — AgCredit — one of northern Ohio’s largest lenders for farmers, rural homeowners and agribusiness — announced it will distribute $22 million to its borrower-owners through its patronage program.

Each year, AgCredit’s Board of Directors reviews the cooperative’s net income and determines how much to return to the cooperative’s borrower-owners in the form of patronage. Qualified borrower-owners will receive their share during events at their local offices, through the mail or through direct deposits into their bank accounts. This is the 37th consecutive year AgCredit has distributed patronage with a total of over $444 billion returned during that time.

AgCredit officers include (from the left) Chief Operating Officer Dan Ebert, Chief Executive Officer Brian Ricker, and General Counsel John Hunter. (photo submitted) 

“Our ability to return patronage dividends to eligible borrower-owners in our territory for 37 consecutive years demonstrates the commitment of our cooperative,” said AgCredit President and CEO Brian Ricker. “I invite all AgCredit borrower-owners to stop into their local office on Thursday, April 4, 2024, to celebrate with our team. Checks will be available for pick up and refreshments will be served.”

How do patronage refunds benefit AgCredit borrower-owners? They reduce their cost of borrowing. AgCredit already offers competitive rates on loans, but on average over the past five years, the patronage program has reduced rates by an additional 1.67%. Dividends are distributed based on the amount of interest accrued on your loan with a patronage return of 20.46% for 2023. The more business you do with AgCredit, the larger your potential patronage refund!

Simply put, it pays to be a member of AgCredit.

AgCredit is a member of the nationwide Farm Credit System. For more information about the Association and its patronage dividend program, visit www.AgCredit.net

POSTED: 04/01/24 at 3:12 pm. FILED UNDER: Farm

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Farm Focus Inc. was founded in 1974 to promote agriculture in Van Wert County and the surrounding area. It is their continued mission to assist Van Wert County students through a scholarship program that will enable them to pursue a degree in an agricultural related field.

Farm Focus Inc. is offering a minimum of two scholarships ranging from $500 to $1,000 to high school seniors interested in majoring in an agricultural related program at a university, college, or technical school. In addition to seniors, full time students already enrolled in an undergraduate program in agriculture are eligible to apply. This also means that a successful applicant from previous years can reapply again this year. The applicant must be a Van Wert County resident. Minimum grade point is 2.5 on a 4.0 scale. Scholarship funds will be submitted directly to the educational institution by Farm Focus Inc. upon receipt of proof of enrollment or a copy of a tuition invoice.

Scholarship applications have been sent to all nine area high schools where Van Wert County students may be enrolled, so students should contact their guidance counselor or agricultural education/FFA instructor for an application.

The application is available at the OSU Van Wert County Extension Office, 1055 South Washington Street, Van Wert, or by email, FarmFocusScholarship@gmail.com. The scholarship application is in a PDF and Word formats and can be emailed or put on a jump drive. Questions should be emailed.

All completed applications must be emailed, mailed and postmarked or delivered in person no later than March 29 to the OSU Van Wert County Extension Office.

POSTED: 02/23/24 at 4:41 am. FILED UNDER: Farm, News

VW independent staff/submitted information

REYNOLDSBURG — The Ohio Department of Agriculture has released the official dates for the 2024 fair season, which includes Ohio’s 94 county and independent fairs and the Ohio State Fair.

The Paulding County Fair will kick off the 2024 fair season June 8-15, and the season will wrap up on October 12 with the Fairfield County Fair. In between, the Putnam County Fair will run from June 24-29, followed by the Auglaize County Fair (July 28-August 3), the Mercer County Fair (August 6-14), the Allen County Fair (August 16-24) and the Van Wert County Fair (August 27-September 2). For a complete schedule, click here.

In addition to setting and approving the dates for the independent and county fairs, ODA is responsible for helping to assure the safety of fair amusement rides, monitoring livestock shows to help assure honest competition and coordinating animal health efforts with local veterinarians.

POSTED: 12/14/23 at 4:41 am. FILED UNDER: Farm, News

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The Van Wert Soil & Water Conservation District held its 74th annual meeting by co-hosting with the Van Wert Farm Bureau at the ag banquet at Life House Church on Tuesday.

A SWCD election was held for one supervisor position on the SWCD Board of Supervisors five member board, and Dave Kemler was elected to serve a three-year term commencing January 1, 2024.

Hanna Scaggs was the SWCD scholarship recipient and Renner Family Farms was recognized by the SWCD and received the Conservation Farmer Award. The award is given to honor individuals for their conservation achievements.

Farm Bureau presented membership ag awards. The Van Wert Ag Hall of Fame Award was presented to Bruce Kennedy for his many agricultural Accomplishments.

The SWCD staff gave updates on programs and Farm Bureau went over their year in review. Ag Credit provided centerpieces of flower arrangements that were given as door prizes.

Sponsors for the evening were: Farm Bureau, the Van Wert Soil and Water Conservation District and Ag Credit.

POSTED: 08/17/23 at 3:38 am. FILED UNDER: Farm, News

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The Van Wert Farm Bureau and Soil & Water Conservation District are co-hosting their annual ag banquet at 6 p.m. Tuesday, August 15, at Life House Church in Van Wert.

The evening will begin with an election for two supervisors on the SWCD Board from 5-6 p.m., followed by dinner catered by Streetlight Catering at 6 p.m., and meeting following.

There will be no charge for the meeting this year, however you will need to RSVP by August 1. You may call the office at 419.238.9591 or email Becky at rebekkah.dowler@nacdnet.net.

POSTED: 07/14/23 at 8:46 pm. FILED UNDER: Farm, News

VW independent staff

The Van Wert County Junior Fair Coronation Committee has announced that applications are now available for 2023 Jr. Fair royalty.

King and queen candidates must be between 16-19 years of age as of January 1 of this year, and species/project royalty candidates must be between 13-19 years of age. King and queen winners will receive a $500 scholarship, with runners-up receiving $100.

Applications are online only and must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. July 10. Interviews will take place on Sunday, August 13 and winners will be crowned during the celebration Sunday event on August 20.

King/queen and species/project applications can be accessed via the Van Wert County Junior Fair Facebook page.

POSTED: 05/18/23 at 3:42 am. FILED UNDER: Farm, News

VW independent staff/submitted information

The recipients of the 2023 Farm Focus Inc. scholarships have been announced as Luke Hefflefinger and Hanna Scaggs, who were awarded $1,000 each. Emma Wells and Wyatt Friedrich awarded $500 each.

Heffelfinger will graduate from Lincolnview High School this Sunday and will attend the Ohio State University Agriculture Technical Institute (ATI) in Wooster. He plans to major in beef management and agricultural systems Management. His career goal is to return to the family farm.

Scaggs is a 2020 Lincolnview High School graduate and is completing her third year at Wright State University Lake Campus, majoring in agribusiness. Her career goal is agricultural financing and loans.

Luke Heffelfinger and Wyatt Friedrich receiving their Farm Focus Scholarship from Tony Campbell, Scholarship Chairman at the Lincolnview Awards Program held at the Marsh Foundation. Photos submitted

Friedrich will graduate from Lincolnview on Sunday. He plans to attend the Ohio State University Agriculture Technical Institute in the fall, majoring in turfgrass management.

Wells will graduate from Crestview High School May 27. She plans to attend Purdue University in the fall and major in agri-science education.

Farm Focus Inc. was founded in 1974 to promote agriculture in Van Wert County and the surrounding area. It is their continued mission to assist Van Wert County students through a scholarship program that will enable them to pursue a degree in an agricultural related field.

POSTED: 05/17/23 at 3:37 am. FILED UNDER: Farm, News

VW independent staff/submitted information

COLUMBUS — State Representatives Roy Klopfenstein (R-Haviland) and Darrell Kick (R-Loudonville) have introduced legislation that would add several federally recognized agricultural days into the Ohio Revised Code.

Recogintion of Ohio agriculture is the focus of new legislation introduced by State Representatives Darrell Kick and Roy Klopfenstein. Photo submitted

The proposed agricultural days and weeks of recognition include:

“Farmers tend to keep to themselves, but now is the time to promote different aspects of the agriculture industry throughout the year so we can inspire the next generation to pursue careers in the field,” Klopfenstein said

  • Agriculture Day, March 21
  • Farmer’s Day, October 12
  • FFA Week, the last full week of February
  • 4-H Week, the first full week of October

“Agriculture is one of the largest industries in Ohio, generating more than $100 billion to our state’s economy,” Kick said. “With over 75,000 farms, 90 percent of which are family-owned, we need to highlight the important work being done by everyday Ohioans.”

The legislation awaits committee assignment.

Klopfenstein represents the 82nd House District, serving residents of Paulding, Putnam, Van Wert, and Defiance counties. Kick is serving his fourth term in the Ohio House. He represents the 98th House District, which includes all of Coshocton and Holmes counties and eastern Knox County.

Klopfenstein is a life-long farmer and has been farming with his family in Paulding County for more than 43 years. Kick is an active, sixth-generation farmer, working on a 400-acre grain, beef and hay family farm near Loudonville.

POSTED: 05/01/23 at 3:41 am. FILED UNDER: Farm, News

Submitted information

Farm Focus Inc. was founded in 1974 to promote agriculture in Van Wert County and the surrounding area. It is their continued mission to assist Van Wert County students through a scholarship program that will enable them to pursue a degree in an agricultural related field.

Farm Focus Inc. is offering a minimum of two scholarships ranging from $500 to $1,000 to high school seniors interested in majoring in an agricultural related program at a university, college, or technical school. In addition to seniors, full time students already enrolled in an undergraduate program in agriculture are also eligible to apply. This also means that a successful applicant from previous years may reapply again this year.

The applicant must be a Van Wert County resident. The minimum grade point is 2.5 on a 4.0 scale. Scholarship funds will be submitted directly to the educational institution by Farm Focus Inc. upon receipt of proof of enrollment or a copy of a tuition invoice.

Scholarship applications have been sent to all nine area high schools where Van Wert County students may be enrolled. Students are encouraged to contact a guidance counselor or FFA instructor for a scholarship application.

The application is also available at the OSU Van Wert County Extension Office, 1055 South Washington Street, Van Wert, or by email, FarmFocusScholarship@gmail.com. The scholarship application is in a PDF file format and can be emailed or put on a jump drive. Questions should be emailed.

All completed applications must be emailed, mailed and postmarked or delivered in person no later than Friday, March 31, to the OSU Van Wert County Extension Office.

POSTED: 03/05/23 at 10:03 pm. FILED UNDER: Farm, News