The Van Wert County Courthouse

Friday, Oct. 7, 2022

Crestview’s FFA seniors were among those who helped host last week’s Cows and Plows event at the Van Wert County Fairgrounds. The FFA members had many duties during the day. Some took a group of students to each station around the fairgrounds, some helped presenters set up and present, and some stayed in the Jr. Fair Building and got lunch for fourth grade students from Crestview, Lincolnview, Van Wert and St. Mary’s. Two students took pictures throughout the day. Not only did fourth grade students from Crestview, Lincolnview and St. Mary’s learn different things about animals, farming, and soil, but the senior helpers also learned some things they did not know. Cows and Plows was sponsored by the Van Wert County Soil and Water Conservation District. Photo submitted

POSTED: 10/06/22 at 3:43 am. FILED UNDER: Farm, News

VW independent staff/submitted information

Ohio State University Extension and The Nature Conservancy are partnering for the second year in a row to provide a self-paced tour of farms around northwest Ohio, including Van Wert and Paulding counties, utilizing soil health-promoting practices.

In addition to showcasing practices in Ohio, this year’s tour will also include tour stops in northeast Indiana and southeast Michigan and also new this year will be the addition of virtual tour stops. These virtual stops will also showcase soil health-promoting practices but will not require attendees to leave the comfort of their homes. Videos, pictures, and write-ups of the practices will paint a picture for participants while being accessible 24/7 during the course of the Soil Health Tour.

This map shows the various stops along the OSU Extension Health Soil Tour.

The tour will open at 8 a.m. Monday, September 19, and will close at 5 p.m. Wednesday, September 28. Paulding County will be hosting an event to close out the self-paced Soil Health Tour at the OSU Extension Office in Paulding from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, September 29.

Along with a guest speaker, farmers who provided sites on the tour will be invited to speak with attendees about their practices and answer any questions that may have come up during the ten-day tour.

Call the Paulding County Extension Office or visit to register for this meeting. Dinner will be provided with a $10 registration fee. Registration is required to attend the Wrap-Up Event, but not required for the tour.

Soil Health is becoming an increasingly important topic within agriculture, and there are many different practices and methods that can be used to promote it. This tour is designed to showcase what local farmers are doing on their farms and how these practices have affected the health of their soils and their farming operations.

The speaker for the Soil Health Event, Hans Schmitz, is an agronomist for Indiana’s Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative (CCSI). At this event, he will be speaking on Soil Health and Climate Interactions.


POSTED: 09/12/22 at 3:43 am. FILED UNDER: Farm, News

VW independent staff/submitted information

PAULDING — In addition to being one of the most labor-intensive professions, farming is also considered one of the most dangerous jobs in the U.S. Rushing the job to save time can be extremely hazardous – even deadly – when farming near electrical equipment.

Farmers are reminded to be especially cautious around power lines during harvest time. Photo submitted

Every year, Paulding Putnam Electric Cooperative, along with North Western Electric Cooperative, Tricounty REC, and Midwest Electric see collisions where tractors and other farming equipment accidentally collide with utility poles and power lines, causing injuries and power outages. These dangerous accidents can be avoided by looking up and planning ahead when operating large farm machinery.

While preparing for harvest season, area farmers should keep the following safety tips in mind:

  • Maintain a 10-foot clearance around all utility equipment in all directions.
  • It can be tough to estimate distance when raising augers or the bed of a grain truck. Use a spotter and deployed flags to maintain safe distances from power lines and other electrical equipment when working in the field.
  • Always lower equipment extensions, portable augers, or elevators to their lowest possible level, under 14 feet, before moving or transporting them. Wind, uneven ground, shifting weight, or other conditions can cause you to lose control of equipment and make contact with power lines.

POSTED: 09/10/22 at 12:14 am. FILED UNDER: Farm, News

VW independent staff/submitted information

Mark your calendars for Mercer Landmark’s First Annual AGrow Expo on Saturday, September 10. This all-day event includes a full morning and afternoon packed with a series of educational breakout sessions for local farmers and an evening full of food, family and fun to celebrate agriculture in our communities.

Mercer Landmark’s Agrow Expo will held in Latty September 10. Photo submitted

The AGrow Expo will be held at Mercer Landmark’s new Latty Agronomy facility,one mile east of Ohio 127 on Ohio 613 in Paulding County. Local farmers and community members will be able to come learn, network and enjoy tours of the new 24-acre site development. You can learn more about the Latty expansion project here.

The daytime portion of The AGrow Expo includes breakfast and/or lunch, and will focus on a variety of educational topics. Local farmers will have the opportunity to learn more about sustainable agriculture and farming practices that will minimize risk and maximize return on their farms. This includes:

– Keynote address from Mercer Landmark CEO Heath Barnes
– Breakout Sessions covering topics such as:


POSTED: 08/24/22 at 12:08 pm. FILED UNDER: Farm

Crestview FFA members Katy Williamson, Emma Wells, Kate Leeth, Abby Detrich, Dakota Parrish and Avery Figley attended the 94th annual FFA State Convention held May 5-6 in Columbus. Before leaving they stopped at Pioneer Seed in Scott to learn about the different types of seeds and how they are made. They also visited the Ohio State University of Food, Agriculture, and Environmental Sciences and were given a tour by one of the students. At the convention, the members were taught different leadership skills and learned how to strive for success. While at the convention Katy Williamson and Emily Grelauch earned their State Degrees. Avery Figley/special to the VW independent

POSTED: 05/12/22 at 12:24 pm. FILED UNDER: Farm

VW independent staff and submitted information

The recipients of the 2022 Farm Focus Inc. scholarships are Brooke Bockey, Hanna Scaggs, Evan Bowersock and Kathryn Williamson.

Bockey and Scaggs were each awarded $1,000 while Bowersock and Williamson each received $500.

Bockey is a 2019 Spencerville High School graduate and is attending Ohio State University, main campus. She is an animal science major and plans to continue her education to pursue a career in veterinary medicine.

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

Bowersock will be a 2022 graduate of Lincolnview High school. He plans to attend Wright State University, Lake Campus in the fall and will major in agriculture.

Williamson will be a 2022 graduate of Crestview High school and plans to attend Wright State University, Lake Campus in the fall, majoring in animal science.

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: 04/26/22 at 2:11 pm. FILED UNDER: Farm

The Crestview FFA Chapter recently held its 86th banquet and hundreds of members and guests gathered together to celebrate the achievements members made throughout the year. During the banquet there were many awards given, based on the worth ethic along with the placing of the members in multiple CDEs throughout the year. Along with their placings, members who received their State and American degrees. The degrees take record keeping, community service, and other qualifications which make them go above and beyond. This year’s banquet meal was prepared and served by Gibsons Barnyard BBQ. Photo submitted

POSTED: 04/04/22 at 10:50 am. FILED UNDER: Farm

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 three 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 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. Applications are available through high school guidance counselors or FFA instructors.

Applications are also available at the OSU Van Wert County Extension office at 1055 South Washington Street, or via email, Scholarship applications are 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 April 1 to the OSU Van Wert County Extension Office.

POSTED: 03/01/22 at 9:54 am. FILED UNDER: Farm

Submitted information

The Van Wert Soil and Water Conservation District is offering one $1,000 scholarship to a student studying agriculture, natural resources or closely related fields at any Ohio college or university during the 2021-2022 academic year.

The recipient of the scholarship need to have completed their freshman year in college, and must be a Van Wert County resident.

The Scholarship Committee of the Soil and Water Conservation District will review the applications and announce recipients in June. Scholarship money will be sent directly to the recipient’s college or university at the beginning of the academic year.

Criteria for determining the recipient will be area of study, grades, activities, leadership, and commitment to conservation practices. The Soil and Water Conservation District reserves the right to refuse any applications not meeting requirements.

Scholarship applications are available at the Soil and Water Conservation District office, 1185 Professional Drive, Van Wert, online at or via e-mail,

Applications and two reference forms need to be received at the office by May 5.

POSTED: 02/08/22 at 4:40 am. FILED UNDER: Farm, News

Submitted information

COLUMBUS — The U.S. Department of Agriculture will begin issuing additional payments the week of December 13, 2021, for dairy producers who enrolled in 2020 and 2021 coverage through the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC). USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) updated the feed cost calculation by using 100 percent premium alfalfa hay rather than 50 percent premium hay in determining the monthly margin, which means an additional $8,097,362 for dairy producers in Ohio. Payments will be retroactive to Jan. 1, 2020. Dairy operations with 2020 and 2021 contracts will be paid automatically for the applicable months.

“Updating feed cost calculations for DMC to include 100 percent premium hay will help producers to receive more payments,” FSA Acting State Executive Director VanHoose said. “This update builds on other efforts of the Biden-Harris Administration to improve DMC and other key USDA dairy programs.”

In addition to updating the feed cost, USDA announced other dairy-related updates, including the start of the 2022 DMC signup as well as the new Supplemental DMC. Both will run from December 13, 2021, to February 18, 2022. DMC is an important safety-net program. So far in 2021, DMC payments have triggered for January through October for more than $1 billion.

To learn more or to participate in DMC, producers should contact their local USDA Service Center. To determine the appropriate level of DMC coverage for a specific dairy operation, producers can also use the online dairy decision tool. Service Center staff continue to work with agricultural producers via phone, email and other digital tools.

Because of the pandemic, some USDA Service Centers are open to limited visitors. Producers should contact their Service Center to set up an in-person or phone appointment. Additionally, more information related to USDA’s response and relief for producers can be found at

POSTED: 12/10/21 at 10:19 am. FILED UNDER: Farm