Buckeye Dairy News : Volume 1 Issue 3

  1. August 28 Deadline for Coronavirus Food Assistance Program Fast Approaching

    Dianne Shoemaker, Extension Farm Management Specialist, Ohio State University Extension

    2020 has not turned out as anyone expected, and the dairy industry received no exceptions. Good milk prices quickly reversed course, and what seemed to be improving prices did not materialize in on-farm milk checks. The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program was developed to provide farms that have been buffeted by these unforeseen, uncontrollable, and on-going circumstances some cash flow assistance.

    The intent of this program is to directly assist farms impacted by the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak. Sign-up began at your local FSA (Farm Service Agency) office on Tuesday, May 26 and continues through August 28, 2020. FSA offices currently work with clients via email, fax, and phone by appointment. 

    The major assistance available to dairy farms is based on milk sold (or documented as dumped at the direction of the cooperative or processor) in January, February, and March. Additional assistance is available based on cull cows, and younger animals sold for beef between January 15 and April 15. Farms can choose which categories they would like to apply for.

    The Farm Service Agency especially welcomes farms who may not have participated in a program before to learn more about and apply for this program designed to support US food production.  More information about the program can be found here: https://www.farmers.gov/cfap including an on-line application as well as a link to find your local county Farm Service Agency office.

    More detailed information about how the CFAP program works for dairy farms can be found in the previous issue of Buckeye Dairy News here: https://dairy.osu.edu/newsletter/buckeye-dairy-news/volume-22-issue-3/economic-assistance-available-dairy-farms

  2. Managing Stress

    Chris Zoller 
    Extension Agent, Tuscarawas County 
    Steve Schumacher 
    Extension Agent, Belmont County

    Many dairy farmers across Ohio have been experiencing elevated stress levels for the past several months as a result of lower than expected milk prices, crop and weather concerns, and uncertainty about the future. What can be done about this? The following paragraphs will help you understand what stress is and some tips you can use to better manage it.

    What is stress? It's a part of life. To a certain degree stress is positive because it keeps you active and productive in meeting the goals of your farm business. However, too much stress can have a negative impact on you, your family, your employees, and the long-term success of your business. In addition to the stresses that nonfarm individuals and families face, farm families face additional stresses. These include: weather, variable crop and livestock prices, large debt loads, long work hours, and equipment repairs. These and other factors combine to make agriculture one of the top 10 most stressful occupations in the United States. In fact, a recent study by the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety examined 130 occupations and found that laborers and farm owners had the highest rate of deaths due to stress related conditions like heart and artery disease, hypertension, and ulcers.

    What are the signs of stress? Signs and symptoms can be divided into several categories including physical, emotional, and behavioral. Common symptoms in these categories include headaches, rising blood pressure, frustration, depression, low self-esteem, difficulty sleeping, and verbal or physical abuse.

    How can you manage the stress of farm life? There are several things you can do to help manage the day-to-day stresses. We realize sometimes these are easier said than done, but select one or two and commit to using them. Below are some examples:

    • Accept the fact that your occupation is stressful
    • Spend 15 minutes of each day planning your agenda for the day
    • Use "to do" lists and prioritize the items on the list
    • Maintain a positive attitude and associate with others who share that attitude
    • Spend time with your family - do activities everyone enjoys
    • Occasionally get away from the farm for a few days or a week
    • Clarify responsibilities for each of the members of your farm
    • Set reasonable goals for yourself
    • Become involved in a social group
    • Meet with other farmers once a month for breakfast or lunch to share ideas
    • Discuss your problems and concerns with family, professionals or a trusted friend
    • Make time for a hobby you most enjoy
    • Involve professionals and other dairy farmers in the planning and goal setting of your business (i.e., veterinarian, lender, nutritionist, etc).
    • Accept that change has and will continue to occur in the dairy industry and be willing to adapt and consider opportunities in or outside the dairy business
    • Implement control systems in your business to monitor activities (i.e., maintain accurate, up-to-date records and refer to them when making decisions)
  3. COBA/Select Sires Annual Meeting Series

    Columbus, OH COBA/Select Sires is once again sponsoring a series of Management Seminars during its 1998 Annual Meeting Series. Topics to be discussed are:

    • Where will your farm fit tomorrow? to be presented in Districts 1, 2, 3N and 8N by Dr. Normand St-Pierre, Extension Dairy Specialist, The Ohio State University,
    • Understanding the estrus cycle  What better way to get cows bred to be presented in Districts 3S, 4, 7 and 8S by Dr. Bill Beal, Professor of Animal Sciences, Virginia Tech, and,
    • Restructuring dairy farms for the future by Dr. K. Larry Smith, Professor, Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University, in Districts 5, 6, 9 and 10.

    Meetings will be held at the following locations in Ohio: 
    Monday, February 23: 
    Athens, Ohio University Inn 
    Brookeville, Robs Restaurant

    Tuesday, February 24 
    New Bremen, American Legion Hall 
    Sugarcreek, Dutch Valley Restaurant

    Wednesday, February 25 
    Marion, Gateway Smorgasboard 
    Lancaster, Fairfield Co. Extension Office

    Thursday, February 26 
    Napoleon, Paramount Inn 
    Wilmington, Staceys Restaurant 
    Middlefield, Grandview Inn

    Friday, February 27 
    Smithville, The Barn Restaurant 
    N. Georgetown, American Legion Hall

    Please make your reservation by calling COBA/Select Sires at (800) 837-2621. 

  4. NOBA District Membership Meetings

    Tiffin, OH Two dairy companies and two land-grant universities are cooperating to present Competitive Dairying in 2005 and Beyond at the NOBA/CRI district membership meetings, to be held January 26 through 30, 1998, in Ohio.

    Presenters will include Normand St-Pierre, The Ohio State University; Stuart Johnson, Ohio DHI (Dairy Herd Improvement); and Dr. Ivan Mao, Michigan State University. Each presenter will discuss critical success factors for dairies and specific strategies to increase profitability in a competitive dairy industry.

    Meetings will be held at five Ohio locations:

    Monday, January 26 
    Smithville, The Barn Restaurant

    Tuesday, January 27 
    Sugar Creek, Dutch Valley Restaurant

    Wednesday, January 28 
    Delaware, The Delaware Hotel

    Thursday, January 29 
    Wapakoneta, Holiday Inn

    Friday, January 30 
    Tiffin, T.J. Willies