5 stories farmers read this week: Jan. 2, 2016

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5 stories collage for Jan. 2, 2016

Here are the top 5 stories farmers read this week:

1. There IS a Santa Claus

Santa Claus lives in Middlefield, Ohio. Well, Bill Dieterle lives in Middlefield, Ohio, but he’s been Santa for 35 years now. His Hideaway Hollow serves as a place for seriously ill and dying children and their families can come to feed reindeer and visit the North Pole village’s general store, elf quarters and more.

Dieterle says it’s all about the kids. Many children ask to see Santa as a final Christmas wish, and he makes sure that happens any time of year. So far, 107,000 children have visited him.

2. Feeding livestock and managing forage waste

According to Mark Landefeld, Ohio State University Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Educator, more stored forage will be needed this year. Good management practices and proper planning are crucial for reducing the amount of forage loss.

Unrolling large round bales, separating livestock and limiting hay feed are some ideas for cutting down on forage loss.

3. Ohio’s soil and water program to transfer to ag department

As of Jan. 1, the Ohio Division of Soil and Water Resources is a part of the Ohio Department of Agriculture. The Division of Soil and Water Resources was formally part of the Department of Natural Resources.

The change will increase efficiency among the state agencies, according to Mike Bailey, chief of the ODNR Division of Soil and Water Resources.

4. Part II: Tips for keeping New Year’s resolutions for your farm

No matter what kind of New Year’s resolutions you’re making, it can be difficult to stick to it after the newness of the year fades. Online columnist Ivory Harlow offers additional help for making your resolutions last throughout the year.

Harlow’s Part I can be read here. It deals with creating goals, developing a plan of action of action and making the first step toward a successful new year on the farm.

5. Funding, experts available to help farmers transition to organic

The Organic Transition Assistance Program is offering funding to Pennsylvania farmers who are making the transition to organic production. Each producer wanting to make the switch will have a transition team to help with specific needs.

Applications for the program will be available in spring 2016.

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Katie Woods grew up in Columbiana, Ohio. Katie likes reading, writing, enjoying the outdoors and DIY projects.

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