Winter is the time to look for potential on your dairy farm

Jersey dairy freestall barn

Hello Northeast Ohio dairy farmers! This week has been a good reminder that winter is far from being over. However, our winter has been milder this year and every day we are one day closer to spring.

The winter is a great time for farmers to attend one of our many Extension programs to help them finetune their operations. Today, I would like to share information on a great ag policy outlook webinar and a farm transition workshop that will be held in Medina County at the end of this month. Stay warm.

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Ohio State University’s Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Developmental Economics (AEDE) and Ohio State University Extension will be hosting an agricultural outlook webinar Feb. 1, starting at 6:30 p.m.

Listen in the comfort of your home and learn from OSU faculty as they discuss the opportunities and challenges for the agricultural sector and interpret the impact of recent policy decisions on the agricultural sector.

The topics that will be covered along with presenters include: “Examining Land Values, Rents, Crop Input Costs and Margins” in 2016, by Barry Ward, OSU Extension Leader in Ag Production Management; “President Obama’s Clean Power Plan and Ohio,” by Brent Sohngen, OSU Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics; “The Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership: What Might it Mean for U.S. Agriculture?” by Ian Sheldon, OSU Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics; and “Grain Markets in 2016,” by Matt Roberts, OSU Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics.

The cost for this webinar is $10 per person and can be paid for with a major credit card on the webinar’s on-line registration site at This webinar is limited to 200 registrants.

Webinar log-in information will be sent to all registrants and there will be a time period available for participants to test their connections and technology.

Any questions about the webinar can directed to Chris Bruynis, OSU Extension at or 740-702-3200.

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What does it take to successfully pass on the farm business to the next generation? It takes a lot of hard work, time and communication, and the OSU Extension Farm Transition Team will be offering a series of workshops across Ohio this year to help farm families plan for the future of their farm.

Our first workshop will be held in Northeast Ohio in Medina County Jan. 21 and 28.

This workshop will help farmers assess the future of the farm business, discuss developing the next generation of managers, communicate about farm succession, review retirement planning, plan for the unexpected, consider long-term healthcare costs, understand legal considerations of farm transition, and discover ways to increase family communication.

This workshop will challenge farm families to actively plan for the future of the farm business. In between sessions, farm families will be asked to hold critical family conversations to help identify planning areas that will need work to accomplish a successful farm business transition.

The Medina workshop will be from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at A.I. Root Candle Community Room, 623 West Liberty Street, Medina. Pre-registration is required and is due by Jan. 14, so call today if you are interested in attending.

The workshop cost is $35 per person or $50 for up to two members of the same family attending together. Complete program details can be found at

For more information contact Ashley Kulhanek, Medina County Agriculture and Natural Resource Extension Educator at 330-725-4911 ext. 106 or

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To close today’s column, I would like to share a quote from Ellen Goodman who stated, “We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives… not looking for flaws, but for potential.”

Have a good and safe 2016!


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David Marrison is an associate professor and Extension educator, Agriculture & Natural Resources, Ohio State University Extension. He can be reached at 740-622-2265 or



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