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  • THE TAO OF DAIRY | OEFFA News
    s munched the roots die a process that fixes nitrogen in the soil and restores the land Taylor notes that Hall and Dix aren t so much dairy farmers as they are grass farmers It s the same process by which the buffalo created the six feet of rich topsoil in the Great Plains Taylor says Carbon in the soil allows it to take water in during a deluge and keep water during a drought It fixes nitrogen in the soil and that s fertilizer so you don t have to put petrochemical fertilizer on the soil You need soil that lives Taylor continues These are things that we re just beginning to understand This is the obvious truth How could we ever think we could create a sustainable agriculture by pouring poison on the soil Grass based farms are far more sustainable than confined animal farms The flip side economically is that grass based farms tend to accommodate smaller herds and dairy cows fed grass yield less milk less input costs but less yield What makes the system work Hall says is that grass fed cows have a longer life span than confined cows eight to 10 years after maturity vs two years Conventional dairy expenses housing barn feed hauling away waste all of that is expensive and all those assets depreciate and require upkeep Hall says The conventional model is a high volume low margin business We are the opposite a low volume high margin It s not better it s just different It suits us better Hall and Dix had found success as dairy farmers by the time the Taylors approached them in 2007 about building a plant on their property and packaging their cows milk Like Hall and Dix back in the 90s the Taylors went all in committing their retirement mortgaging their house and rounding up whatever financial support they could to build the creamery With Warren Taylor s vast experience designing and building dairy operations the challenge was scaling this one down He sourced used equipment from around the country and created a Rube Goldbergian system in a metal clad structure that s remarkably small practical and pristine When they ran the first production line in 2008 Warren and a plant manager operated the equipment Victoria managed the books and a friend or two pitched in Warren spent the first two years almost entirely on the road Victoria says evangelizing for Snowville s superior product by offering samples at farmers markets in Ohio and at Whole Foods stores that began carrying it He was the primary delivery driver as well Three years later Snowville is growing having doubled production in 2010 and seeking 50 percent growth in 2011 The operation employs 20 mostly young and college educated people who manage the office and run production including a couple of newly minted Ohio University engineering grads who help keep Taylor s machinery humming They re a very diverse group Victoria Taylor says of the team

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?p=397 (2016-02-17)
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  • Can-do crowd | OEFFA News
    the right idea For Schmidhammer 56 and Seabrook 46 two of 16 children Nos 5 and 15 canning has long been a way of life I started canning when I was very young Seabrook said By fifth grade I was canning on my own To help feed her five children she said she puts up about 800 jars of food a year She grows much of the produce herself On a recent evening a half dozen students gathered in the newly opened two story space created and furnished primarily from repurposed materials Pale green and deep purple walls are accented with a corrugated aluminum ceiling Two four burner drop in stoves a multitude of stainless steel sinks and rollaway counters make up the kitchen A separate section includes two wood tables cabinets filled with assorted dishes and shelves packed with jars of jams and jellies The class started with a lesson from Seabrook about the history and basics of canning and samples of what the students would be making dilly beans and bread and butter pickles Most of the students had never canned before and those who had hadn t done so with any regularity Some had signed up in search of fun others were simply looking to try something new Pat Vandermark said she tired of her little garden in Westerville so she started renting one of the community garden plots at the Glass Rooster Cannery along with daughter in law Amanda Vandermark who joined her for the class I wanted to do the whole thing Pat said of the plot where she grows lettuces snap peas kohlrabi and cabbage Now I m learning to put everything up Carla Conkey of Westerville meanwhile wanted to learn to can so she can help her mother sell her hot fudge sauce After the students tasted what they would be making Seabrook divided them into two groups One sliced cucumbers and onions for the pickles the other packed green beans tightly into jars followed by fresh dill garlic and a sliver of chili pepper Halfway through the evening the groups switched so all could try their hand at each recipe Next came the making of the brine which filled the kitchen with the smells of vinegar sugar garlic and spices For the beans the brine was a mix of salt and vinegar for the pickles sugar and spices The students filled the jars with brine then carefully wiped the rims and attached the lids Some of the lids popped as they were attached but Seabrook explained that the sound didn t necessarily mean the jars had been safely processed They had to go into a bath of boiling water Seabrook also teaches classes in pressure canning a more complicated process necessary for safe canning of low acid foods The processing part of canning is what scares most home canning beginners experts say I think the biggest misconception is that canning is so complicated that s it s hard to do well or

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?p=394 (2016-02-17)
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  • Congress Eyes More Funding Cuts for Successful Farm Programs | OEFFA News
    the western Lake Erie watershed and some others across the state and they make Ohio certainly a key state when it comes to environmental protection There s also talk in Congress of denying funding for President Obama s Know Your Farmer Know Your Food Initiative which is supposed to strengthen local and regional food systems although some point out that the USDA program does not have specific funding It s one of many debates underway in an effort to reduce the federal budget deficit Wise says these programs have allowed small growers to do things that are important to local communities and the environment He thinks the funding is money well spent The bang for the buck has been positive and that should be the objective of government outlay to get the benefits to outweigh the costs I think these programs have been shown to do that in the past The proposed farm program cuts are between 20 percent and 30 percent which some contend are disproportionately higher than other spending cuts Mary Kuhlman Public News Service OH Post navigation Sen Brown hears local farmers concerns on tour Can do crowd Archives Select Month February 2016 January 2016 December 2015

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?p=391 (2016-02-17)
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  • Sustainable Agriculture in the News | OEFFA News | Page 9
    USDA farm subsidy programs renewable energy understanding local food systems and more during ongoing sessions held across the U S The first session is this fall in Washington D C Participants will be surveyed before the first session to set the eighth month long agenda to suit their needs said NFU Education Director Maria Miller Participants will get to choose the site and date of one of the sessions Harvest Sun Farm is a certified organic farm raising fresh fruits and vegetables for two farmers markets in Sidney and Columbus restaurants and several small wholesale accounts The Eschmeyers hope to start operating a Community Supported Agriculture CSA program next year where patrons would pay a fee to receive fresh fruits and vegetables from their farm each week The couple who bought Jeff s grandparents farm in 2008 see participating in the Beginning Farmer Institute as an opportunity to learn The pair are high school sweethearts and the fifth generation of the Eschmeyer family to own the farm We are new and we face a lot of challenges and decisions On top of growing stuff you have all the business stuff too Jeff Eschmeyer said We saw it as an opportunity to gain insight from others who have been doing it awhile and network with others going through some of the same challenges and struggles we are The first session will include officials who influence USDA farm program decisions The couple will be able to learn about how USDA programs affect them They intend to inquire about what types of policies are being considered to encourage more people to go into farming and those for organic farmers like themselves With the average age of the U S farmer being 58 we need to create a new generation of farmers because there is not a huge backlog of people getting into the business Jeff Eschmeyer said Many organic farming programs are being cut by USDA he added The current farm bill contains a program to help new farmers save money to acquire capital but the program was never funded he said Deb Eschmeyer said it will be nice to network with other young beginning farmers at the national level We re just excited to do it she said Our first meeting is this fall and we get to meet everybody The Beginning Farmer Institute will provide participants with a better working knowledge of the tools available to help them succeed Miller said NFU expects to be actively involved with these participants after they return to their farms Miller said We ask that they become an inspiration or mentor to others in their area and become involved in local boards Others chosen to participate in the Beginning Farmer Institute hail from Wisconsin Rhode Island Montana Connecticut and Colorado They include grain farmers a rancher a CSA operator and an organic farm The Eschmeyers stood out in the application process because of their ability to make things happen their drive and motivation Miller said Finding locally grown food Two area organic farms Harvest Sun Farm 5601 Lock Two Road New Knoxville and Oakview Farms 443 Canal St New Bremen are listed on the Good Earth Guide to Organic and Ecological Farms Gardens and Related Businesses by the Ohio Ecological Food Farm Association OEFFA Products available at Harvest Sun Farms include green beans beets broccoli brussels sprouts cauliflower cabbage carrots chard collards corn cucumbers edamame eggplant squash decorative gourds kale kohlrabi fennel leeks garlic greens okra onions peppers potatoes pumpkins radishes raspberries scallions spinach strawberries sweet potatoes tomatoes turnips and a variety of herbs Products available at Oakview Farm include food grade soybeans corn for feed and spelt an old variety of wheat Ohio summers are a time to enjoy the bounty of fresh garden vegetables ripe off the vine berries and orchard harvests bursting with flavor the OEFFA says The Good Earth Guide includes information on more than 315 farms and businesses that sell directly to the public including more than 150 certified organic farms and businesses and more than 70 community supported agriculture CSA programs Farming organically typically means using techniques that grow food in harmony with nature and not using synthetic chemicals or fertilizers The directory identifies locations of farms to go to for locally grown vegetables fruits herbs honey maple syrup dairy products grass fed beef pork and lamb free range chicken and eggs fiber flour and grains cut flowers plants hay and straw seed and feed and other local farm products Each farm listing includes a name and contact information products sold a farm description and whether the farm is certified organic Both the print and online versions include tools that make it easy to search the listings for a specific product farm or farmer by county or by sales method Additionally the online version includes locations and maps for where the farm s products are sold Federal cuts to agriculture budget will harm natural resources June 19 2011 Sustainable Agriculture in the News Lauren Carol Goland The Columbus Dispatch editorials June 9 2011 Given the country s fiscal situation agriculture spending will have to take its share of cuts Farm Programs Under Scrutiny Columbus Dispatch 6 1 11 However the targeting of particular programs is troubling Budget cuts recently approved by the U S House Appropriations Committee make a second round of massive cuts to conservation extension research renewable energy and rural development programs Any short term savings will be at the expense of critically important soil and water resources These programs provide crucial benefits to us all farmer and consumer by helping farmers address key resource concerns comply with regulations and protect soil and farmland to provide lasting food security Pressure to produce food and fuel is increasing and voluntary programs to help farmers adopt sustainable farming practices are needed now more than ever Working lands conservation programs such as the Environmental Quality Incentives Program EQIP and Conservation Stewardship Program CSP improve soil air and water quality on farms Innovative programs such as the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program SARE and the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service ATTRA are providing farmers with the information support and incentives needed to profitably steward the land The demand for these programs routinely exceeds the funds available Reducing or in some cases eliminating these programs altogether is short sighted Read this editorial at The Columbus Dispatch Swainway Urban Farm June 19 2011 Farm Tours OEFFA in the News Sustainable Agriculture in the News Lauren Hounds in the Kitchen June 7 2011 Innovative Compact Sustainable Friendly Swainway Urban Farm is a new model for growing Settled on a large lot in Clintonville Ohio Joseph Swainway and partner Jess Billings of Jess Bee Natural lip balm fame have a half acre empire dedicated to growing edibles in an earth friendly way Their farm grew out of a desire to provide themselves with healthy fresh food As their interest deepened their garden grew to the point of being able to give and sell the excess to friends and family Soon restaurants came calling and Swainway Urban Farm was born In 2011 the farm applied for and received Organic status by the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association straw bale compost bed urban composted soil Minimizing garden inputs is one goal of the farm Joseph maintains several large compost heaps designed to produce rich organic matter to return to the soil Part of the motivation for growing edible mushrooms was to use the spent mushroom beds in the compost The enzymes found in the mushroom compost closes the loop as these nutrients are unavailable from traditional plant compost The farm was also founded to be an educational resource for home growers and healthy eaters Jess and Joseph are eager to share gardening and cooking advice at their Clintonville Farmer s Market stand They are participants in the Clintonville Farmer s Market children s program where kids visit and help work on the farm On August 7 from 2 4 pm the farm will be open for an OEFFA Farm Tour watering in greenhouse at swainway Joseph and Jess gave intern Keara and I a tour in mid April The farm was in the midst of seedling production Heirloom seed starts grew under artificial light and then were transfered to the large greenhouse They were transplanted into four inch pots for selling at the Clintonville Farmer s Market and Clintonville Community Market Joseph and Jess also grow a wide variety of produce for restaurant chefs and farmer s market shoppers From early spring through the fall the farm provides radish kale and pea shoots Shitake mushrooms have been a popular item for years and this spring Joseph debuted oyster mushrooms Lettuces herbs greens tomatoes carrots and more are available seasonally Keara had this to say about visiting Swainway Rachel introduced me to two amazing hard working farmers Jess and Joseph They live in an urban area and yet are still driven to have the most sustainable lifestyle possible I was in awe of their backyard as they used every inch they could for gardening purposes Never before had I thought that such comprehensive farming was possible in urban Columbus Seeing how they went about it I could tell they put an enormous amount of work into their extensive garden Jesse and Joseph obviously care deeply about a healthy lifestyle for themselves as well as the Earth Witnessing how they live makes me want to let everyone know that even though you might live on a street by a busy city with long rows of houses adjoining your house doesn t mean that you can t have a significant farm in your backyard For more information visit Hounds in the Kitchen Life on the farm attracts green spirited entrepreneurs June 19 2011 Sustainable Agriculture in the News Lauren Rob Reuteman CNBC com April 26 2011 A growing interest in small scale agriculture is beginning to reverse a decades long flight from the farm For nearly 70 years the number of U S farms has been declining while the average age of farmers has been rising it s now 57 years old according to the most recent USDA survey A University of Vermont project found that about 70 percent of the nation s private farm and ranchland will change hands over the next 20 years and up to 25 percent of farmers and ranchers will retire Generation after generation of farmers were making less and less money and were not encouraging their children to farm says Lindsey Lusher Shute a young vegetable famer in Tivoli N Y who is a board member with the National Young Farmers Coalition The number of young farmers has steadily decreased says Shute There were 6 million American farmers in 1910 In the 2007 USDA agriculture census there are 2 million and 119 000 of them are under the age of 36 But new interest in organic farming farmers markets and restaurants purchasing directly from farmers is turning that trend around says Shute Family farms through more local purchasing are able to make a profit and a living Young people are seeing this as a very rewarding lifestyle and career For the first time in a long time young people are interested after decades of farming not being a very desirable career Farmers growing super high volume vegetables can do quite well on one acre plots she said The most recent USDA agriculture census backs up some of Shute s assertions From 2002 to 2007 the number of farms increased 4 percent and the new farmers are younger with an average age of 48 And in one big way their farms are very different They re half the size of the past Farms founded since 2003 are an average of 201 acres compared to the overall farm average of 418 acres It s like the craft brewing industry where once there were only three big brewers in the country says Dawn Thilmany an agricultural economics professor at Colorado State University who received one of the new Beginning Farmer grants People all over started these hole in the wall breweries that built up into regional forces It s the same model Microfarms are like microbreweries Consumers tired of tasteless tomatoes and wary of mad cow or e coli scares have shown a willingness to spend more for healthier organic fare at farmers markets and natural grocery chains like Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe s Many restaurants are boasting more localized food sources And a new influx of young farmers are disillusioned by a dour urban economy and eager for a lifestyle that promises a measure of independence and at least for now a good living Fuelling that trend is Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack s 2010 clarion call for 100 000 new farmers and loan programs that start to put money where his mouth is Last October the U S Department of Agriculture announced recipients of 18 million in 2010 Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program grants These beginning farmer project awards are an important first step toward realizing Vilsack s goal says Ferd Hoefner policy director for the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition Beginning farmers face a range of challenges to successful start up including access to credit access to land access to markets and technical assistance Thilmany says CSU partnered with land grant universities in Washington Oregon Idaho Utah New Mexico and Nevada to secure a 750 000 grant to offer short courses for people who want to get into farming It s the best received extension program we ve put on in 20 years Thilmany said We help them develop business plans and do followup mentoring placing them with established farmers It used to be families passing on information generationally Now people with non agricultural backgrounds can benefit She is seeing more people in their 40s enroll in classes many without agricultural backgrounds entering farming as a second career after an early retirement or a layoff People who own or lease less than 10 acres are earning 20 000 their first year and up to 300 000 within a few years says Thilmany It s a good option in urban corridors with very high volume crops that are grown direct to chef or to farmers markets It s a model no one saw coming 20 years ago Small family farms those with annual sales of less than 250 000 made up 88 percent of U S farms in 2007 They also controlled 63 percent of the land owned but produced only 16 percent of annual agricultural output According to the USDA most small farm households typically do not rely primarily on the farm for their livelihood and get substantial off farm income from wage and salary jobs or self employment This article continues at CNBC com Also read CNBC com s complete coverage of food issues at Food Economics Organic agriculture deeply rooted in science and ecology June 18 2011 Sustainable Agriculture in the News Lauren Eliot Coleman Grist A Beacon in the Smog April 21 2011 Organic farming is often falsely represented as being unscientific However despite the popular assumption that it sprang full born from the delusions of 60s hippies it has a more extensive and scientifically respectable provenance If you look back at the first flush of notoriety in the 1940s the names most often mentioned Sir Albert Howard and J I Rodale rather than being the initiators were actually just popularizers of a groundswell of ideas that had begun to develop some 50 years earlier in the 1890s Organic intellectual and farmer Eliot Coleman with some of his produce A growing coterie of farmers landlords scientists and rural philosophers in both England and Germany had begun questioning the wisdom of the chemically based agriculture that had grown so prominent from its tiny beginning in the 1840s Advances in biological sciences during the late 19th century such as those that explained the workings of nitrogen fixation mycorrhizal association and soil microbial life supported their case Those new sciences set the stage for a deeper understanding of natural processes and offered inspiration as to how a modern biologically based agriculture might be formulated These new agriculturists were convinced that the thinking behind industrial agriculture was based upon the mistaken premise that nature is inadequate and needs to be replaced with human systems They contended that by virtue of that mistake industrial agriculture has to continually devise new crutches to solve the problems it creates increasing the quantities of chemicals stronger pesticides fungicides miticides nematicides soil sterilization etc It wouldn t be the first time in the history of science that a theory based on a false premise appeared to be momentarily valid Temporary functioning is not proof of concept For example if we had a book of the long discredited geocentric astronomy of Ptolemy which was based on the sun revolving around the earth we could still locate Jupiter in the sky tonight thanks to the many crutches devised by the Ptolemaists to prop up their misconceived system As organic agriculture has become more prominent the orthodoxy of chemical agriculture has found itself up against its own Galileo It will be interesting to see who recants Find the continuing full text of this article at Grist Ohio Means Organics Too June 8 2011 Sustainable Agriculture in the News Lauren Karma in the Kitchen June 5 2011 Ohio eaters I have important news The Kasich administration has adopted a new slogan for the Ohio Department of Agriculture ODA Ohio Means Agribusiness This decision combined with the elimination of the Office of Sustainable Agriculture concerns me as an Ohio eater and a supporter of organic and local farmers Kasich has also reduced staff in Ohio Proud Farmers Market Coordination and the Office of Farmland Preservation at the ODA All of these programs have contributed to the growing organic and local food movement in Ohio and the loss of resources could negatively

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?cat=1&paged=9 (2016-02-17)
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  • Restoration of Funding for Vital Local and Sustainable Food Programs in Ohio’s 2012-2013 Budget | OEFFA News
    700 farms and processors General Revenue Fund appropriations for the Office of Farmland Preservation were 200 000 per year for both 2010 and 2011 However Am Sub HB 153 currently seeks to slash GRF funding for the office to 72 750 per year for 2012 and 2013 The Ohio Office of Farmland Preservation protects the state s best and most productive farmlands from conversion to non agricultural uses Ohio is losing farmland at a much faster rate than other states We rank second in the nation for prime agricultural lands converted to development but only 31 st in the nation for numeric population growth Please restore GRF funding for the Office of Farmland Preservation so Ohio can preserve and protect its agricultural heritage Please restore GRF funding for the Ohio Proud program In 2010 and 2011 GRF funding for the Ohio Proud program was 196 895 per year The pending budget bill slashes Ohio Proud GRF funding to 50 000 per year for both 2012 and 2013 The Ohio Proud program markets Ohio food and agriculture products to increase sales and create jobs for food processers manufacturers growers and producers As a result every dollar spent on Ohio Proud is an investment in the state s economy Please support local farmers and food processors and Ohio s rural economies by restoring Ohio Proud s GRF funding Finally two important positions were eliminated from the Department of Agriculture earlier this year the Sustainable Agriculture Coordinator and the Farmers Markets Coordinator We respectfully request that you restore funding for these positions which are important for promoting local and sustainable food and farm products Sincerely Carol Goland Ph D Executive Director Post navigation Athens Ohio goes the distance in the local food movement FAMILY FARMERS AMPLIFY COMPLAINT AGAINST MONSANTO S GMOs REINFORCING THEIR

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?p=292 (2016-02-17)
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  • Comments to the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board | OEFFA News
    recommend removing the words according to the farm s operating procedures In sections 901 12 9 03 901 12 10 02 and 901 12 11 02 General Housing and Housing we have concerns about the language that reads Must provide a clean and safe environment this language appears as clean safe and comfortable environment in other species All three terms are highly subjective and not defined within the document What is clean or comfortable to one person may not be to someone else To give one example if a fox or hawk predates a hen in an outdoor housing system is that housing considered unsafe Despite electrified poultry netting and shelter birds are lost to predation from time to time but these housing methods should not be considered unsafe We believe that the issues of cleanliness safety and comfort are addressed more specifically elsewhere in the standards that this sentence is therefore redundant and that removing this language does not weaken the document In these same sections we are also concerned about the language that reads Environmental moisture must be managed whether birds are housed indoors or out of doors to promote flock health and welfare Humidity and rain are natural phenomenon and cannot be controlled in outdoor systems If the intent is to ensure that poultry are kept dry we would recommend the language be changed to Housing and bedding moisture must be managed to promote flock health and welfare Next in sections 901 12 9 03 901 12 10 03 and 901 12 11 03 Management we have concerns about the language that reads Environmental management must be designed to control parasite infestation rodents and non beneficial insects We would recommend this language be changed to Environmental management must seek to minimize parasite infestation rodents and non beneficial insects as it applies to the flock s housing system Parasite rodent and insect management are important but the way these issues are controlled vary greatly by housing system Some would argue that the best way to fully control these three issues is in a system without access to the outdoors By adding the words as it applies to the flock s housing system it is clear that all housing systems are acceptable and that within each system steps should be taken to minimize these issues Otherwise one could argue that outdoor systems to not control exposure to insects rodents and parasites Essentially we want to avoid comparing one housing system to another Finally although OEFFA s primary goal throughout this process has been to represent the interests of small scale diversified and organic producers and ensure that animal care standards protect and encourage all forms of animal agriculture in Ohio we also represent consumers who are growing increasingly concerned about controversial confinement practices in animal agriculture In light of this we have concerns about the house barn averaging language which appears in section 901 12 9 03 Conventional Battery Cage Systems which reads For systems installed prior to the

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?p=195 (2016-02-17)
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  • OEFFA Comments to the Livestock Care Standards Board | OEFFA News
    and time consuming process to train the thousands of livestock farmers in Ohio The OLCSB will be establishing standards and allowable practices that must be met it is up to the farmer to comply with those standards The farmer can determine after review of the standards and practices whether they require training in order to be in compliance with the standards or whether they already have the skills to comply If a farmer can comply with the standards competently it should not matter whether they have attended a training Furthermore it is unclear what is meant by training Would completing a short online course or reading a fact sheet be considered training What about learning from your father an experienced neighbor or through real life experience Would trainings be state administered or would industry offer trainings Requiring farmers to attend industry led trainings is concerning given the bias these trainings could have toward certain production practices and farmers should not be required to participate in a certain industry group if they choose not to Instead the OLCSB should recommend training for farmers and hired personnel if they are not able to meet established standards Veal Standards Veal Definition 901 12 3 02 As currently written the definition of veal is unclear and could apply to both calves raised for veal and calves raised for beef The definition should be clarified so that beef producers are not subject to two sets of standards Disabled and Distressed Livestock Standards Generally speaking what appears absent in this document is an emphasis on prevention There is currently no language in the document about responsibility of a livestock caretaker to understand why there are disabled and or distressed animals on the farm so that future problems can be minimized or avoided entirely Health 901 12 2 05 Section 3 indicates that if an animal becomes non ambulatory disabled a veterinarian must be consulted While this may well be an appropriate course of action veterinary assistance should not be required The farmer should also have the option of on farm slaughter or euthanasia Subcommittees and Academic Research As other subcommittees have begun to meet we would also like to address the request from Dr Forshey that subcommittee members provide peer reviewed scientific articles to justify their production practices Although we understand the rationale behind this request and recognize the merit of animal care standards based on science we would like to draw your attention to the bias in the scientific research that is available There simply is not the volume of scientific research on small scale diversified and organic production systems that there is for industrial livestock production Simply because research is not available does not mean that small scale pasture based and diversified production systems lack merit Moreover the role of the subcommittee members is to represent their production model and offer comment on the workability of any regulations not to produce scientific evidence In our mind this is the important role that the TRAC

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?p=147 (2016-02-17)
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  • OEFFA Comments to the Livestock Care Standards Board | OEFFA News
    Civil Penalties The burden of the penalty should be proportional to the size of the infraction and be scale appropriate to act as a deterrent The reality is that it is difficult to draft a civil penalty document that is one size fits all given the range of livestock models practiced in Ohio For example a 100 penalty for an infraction would be a deterrent for small farmers but may simply be a cost of doing business for a large laying operation that could more easily absorb the cost than invest in the farm s infrastructure to comply with the regulations As the OLCSB discussed at the July 27 meeting there is not clarity in the current draft document on how these penalties could stack up or whether penalties would be assessed per animal or per facility If penalties are based per animal then it could be inappropriately costly if there was a 1 000 assessment against a 350 000 bird facility However if penalties are based per facility a 1 000 assessment is relatively meaningless for a 350 000 bird facility but extreme and disproportionate to the small farmer with 20 chickens In cases where a minor violation has been found and the livestock producer is actively willing to work to correct the problem we would support modification to the language in the draft document that would give the department the flexibility to work with the producer to remediate the situation and or to require education and training in lieu of or in addition to monetary penalties Additionally while it may be useful to have civil penalties to address any major violations of standards generated by this board there is the potential that these types of acts will also fall under Chapter 959 of the Ohio Revised Codes Offering language to the effect that Violators may also be subject to cruelty charges if applicable may also be productive to encourage compliance and clarify potential consequences Process At the July 27 LCSB board members discussed a tentative timeline for finalizing the euthanasia standards which could involve a vote by the OLCSB on August 24 and a public hearing at the meeting on September 21 We think that holding a public hearing on the euthanasia standards after the board votes is putting the cart before the horse We acknowledge and appreciate that the OLCSB and TRAC both offer opportunities for the public to provide comment at each meeting throughout the process but so far the substance for comments has been a moving target Unless individuals attend meetings or specifically request draft documents from the board the documents are not made available publicly and the content of these documents changes frequently and dramatically To truly gain substantive feedback from the public and livestock producers the standards under consideration should be made public then the board should hold a hearing and finally the board should vote whether to approve or modify the standards In conclusion any animal care standards need to protect alternative

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?p=120 (2016-02-17)
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