5 stories farmers read this week: March 19, 2016

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5 stories collage March 19, 2016

FarmandDairy.com’s top stories this week were:

1. New donor steps up for Columbiana County Fair

After one of the donors for the new Columbiana County Fair grandstand backed out in January, another donor has stepped forward.

The family of G. Allen Dickey, founder of D.W. Dickey and Son, and Hilltop Energy, announced its donation of $300,000 March 10. The donation is in the same amount as the original donor.

2. Felumlees work to build next generation of beef producers

The future of Ohio’s beef industry is very important to Licking County cattleman Dave Felumlee. He’s chairman of the Ohio Beef Expo Junior Show and has two children who show Angus cattle across the country.

The Felumlee family farm started out as a dairy farm in the 1960s, but by 2001 had switched over to all beef. Today, he’s focused on growing the Expo and instilling a sense of responsibility and commitment in the show cattle business.

3. How to write a farm business plan

No matter how long you’ve been farming or what the size of your operation is, creating a business plan for your farm can help you envision your farm in the future.

&nOnline columnist Ivory Harlow gives pointers for what information to include in your farm’s business plan, such as your farm’s mission and goals as well as financial and management components. She also offers online business plan tools to help you create your farm’s plan.

4. Family Roots Farm is working to be everything in maple industry

If you had told the Hervey family 15 years ago that they would one day be known across North America as the top maple sugar producer in the world, they probably wouldn’t have believed you. However, that’s the honor the family carries today after it won first place at the 2015 North American Maple Syrup Council international conference.

On their Brooke County, West Virginia, farm, the Herveys have upgraded their maple syrup-producing skills from 15 years ago. They once made maple syrup in the family kitchen, but today they make it in their newly-constructed sugar shack.

5. Tour gives look at miscanthus potential

When giant miscanthus made its Northeast Ohio debut in 2011, many farmers didn’t know what it was.

Ashtabula County Extension hosted a tour March 11 to explain what miscanthus is and how it can be used. The tall, grass plant is grown in areas of poor soil and is used for biofuel or in bio-based products. However, there isn’t enough acreage in northeast Ohio and northwest Pennsylvania, so Aloterra Energy uses miscanthus to create natural absorbents and bio-based packaging products.

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