Archive for May, 2014

Organic Livestock and Poultry Health Series Provides Comprehensive and Convenient Education for Veterinarians and Other Livestock Professionals

Thursday, May 15th, 2014
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 15, 2014
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Contact:
Jeffrey D. Workman, PhD, Veterinary Extension, Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, The Ohio State University, (614) 292-9453, workman.45@osu.edu
Renee Hunt, Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association, (614) 421-2022, renee@oeffa.org
An upcoming educational series will give veterinarians and other livestock professionals the opportunity to gain new knowledge and expand services offered by providing important information on working with certified organic livestock and poultry.
The series is being offered by Veterinary Extension at The Ohio State University and the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) and includes both webinars and in-person workshops.

“The objective of this educational series is to help veterinarians and their clients design best herd health management practices that comply with federal and state regulations and organic standards when considering the health and well-being of the animal,” said Ohio State University Assistant Professor and Extension Veterinarian Dr. Gustavo M. Schuenemann.

As part of this series, participants will learn how to perform an on-farm risk assessment, or audit, to identify and rank risk factors associated with herd health and performance. “This audit will be a valuable service they can offer clients—certified organic or otherwise,” said Schuenemann.

The educational series will also demystify the organic standards, and clarify the requirements for individual animals to obtain and maintain their organic status. “Understanding the certification process will benefit everyone—the animal, the farmer, the service provider, and the consumer,” said OEFFA Organic Certification Program Manager Julia Barton.

Demand for organic products continues to increase, including organic meat, poultry, dairy, and fiber. Ohio ranks second for the number of dairy farmers that produce milk for Organic Valley, for example. Approximately 270 Ohio farms are certified organic livestock and poultry operations.

The series will cover the following topics:

  • Transition cow management, emphasizing calving-related disease prevention and on-farm risk assessment
  • Organic standards for livestock, allowed inputs, and the certification process
  • Management of somatic cell counts and mastitis control
  • Parasite management and control
  • Pain management, regulatory medicine, and science-based treatments
  • Organic poultry flock health
  • Nutrition-related diseases
  • On-farm health audits to assess herd risk factors
  • Defining, monitoring, and recordkeeping of health events
Free events currently scheduled include:
  • CSI for Dairy: On-Farm Audits to Assess Risk Webinar—Monday, June 23, 1 p.m. EDT
  • Certified Organic Dairy Tour and Workshop—Thursday, June 26, 1 p.m. EDT at Pleasantview Farm in Circleville, OH
  • Certified Organic Livestock Standards Webinar—Thursday, July 10, 1 p.m. EDT
  • Organic Livestock Inputs Webinar—Wednesday, October 1, 1 p.m. EDT
Veterinary Continuing Education (CE) credits will be granted on an “hour for hour” basis.

In addition, veterinarians and other agriculture professionals that work with poultry and livestock can join a network to share ideas and find answers to questions. “Their work will be strengthened as this network bridges the gaps between educators, certifiers, farmers, and veterinarians,” said Eric Pawlowski, OEFFA Sustainable Agriculture Educator.

This series is made possible with funding from the North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education’s (NCR-SARE) Professional Development Program.

For more details, or to register for scheduled events, go to www.oeffa.org or http://vet.osu.edu/extension, call (614) 421-2022 Ext. 209, or email education@oeffa.org.

Solar Electric Workshop Scheduled for June: Farmers and Others Can Learn How to Design and Install Photovoltaic Systems

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014
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For Immediate Release: May 13, 2014
Contact: Milo Petruziello, (614) 421-2022 Ext. 206, milo@oeffa.org

Columbus, OH—The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association and Jay and Annie Warmke of Blue Rock Station will be offering a five-day solar electric workshop designed for people who want to make their farm, home, or business energy independent, or who are looking to start their own business installing photovoltaic (PV) systems.

The workshop will be held Monday, June 16 through Friday, June 20 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. at OEFFA’s offices in the Lumbermens Building at 41 Croswell Rd., Columbus, OH.

“During previous courses, we’ve helped many people to enter a new career field or gain the skills necessary to design and install their own PV system,” said instructor Jay Warmke. Jay is the author of numerous textbooks on the subject, teaches renewable energy classes at Central Ohio Technical College, and serves as vice president of Green Energy Ohio. He and his wife Annie put this knowledge into practice at Blue Rock Station, a 38 acre educational center which is home to Ohio’s first Earthship and a 6kW solar array.

During this training course, participants will learn how to design and install photovoltaic systems through lectures and hands-on labs. They will learn with a working PV system, dismantling and reinstalling it, troubleshooting, and testing its proper operation. The class will also learn how to integrate a working wind turbine into the PV system. As part of the class, registrants can nominate a site to serve as a “real world” model; one site will be selected and together the class will evaluate, size, and design a system for that site. At the end of the week, participants will have the opportunity to sit for an internationally recognized certification Level 1 examination offered by the Electronic Technicians Association (ETA).

“Many farmers and homesteaders are looking for a way to be energy independent and reduce their reliance on polluting fossil fuels. With prices for PV systems falling and demand on the rise, systems are becoming economical for nearly every home or farm,” said OEFFA program assistant Milo Petruziello. “Finding qualified personnel to install and maintain systems remains a challenge, however. We hope this course will give people the tools they need to harness the power of the sun.”

The cost of the workshop is $930 for OEFFA members and $970 for non-members. The cost includes ETA fees, an installation toolkit, and a course workbook. Lunch is provided on each class day.

Pre-registration is required. Space is limited. Register at www.oeffa.org by Wednesday, June 11. To register by mail, send a check made out to OEFFA along with the names of all attendees, addresses, phone numbers, and emails to OEFFA Solar Workshop, 41 Croswell Rd., Columbus, OH 43214.

For more information, or to register by phone, please contact Milo Petruziello at (614) 421-2022 Ext. 206 or milo@oeffa.org. For more information about Blue Rock Station, call (740) 674-4300 or go to www.bluerockstation.com.

Free Public Tour Series Features Ohio’s Organic and Sustainable Farms: 2014 Guide Now Available

Thursday, May 8th, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 8, 2014
Contact:
Lauren Ketcham, Communications Coordinator, (614) 421-2022 Ext. 203, lauren@oeffa.org
Eric Pawlowski, Sustainable Agriculture Educator, (614) 421-2022 Ext. 209, eric@oeffa.org
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The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) has announced th farm tours and workshops that will be included in the 2014 Ohio Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series, featuring free public tours of some of Ohio’s finest sustainable and organic farms.
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OEFFA has offered these tours for more than 30 years, providing unique opportunities for growers, educators, and conscientious eaters to learn about sustainable food and farm products in a real world setting from farmers with years of practical experience.
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“Consumer demand for fresh, locally produced food and farm products continues to grow, along with the desire to understand how food gets from the field to the dinner table. Farmers know all the dirt and this summer, they’re sharing that knowledge about how sustainably produced food is grown,” said Lauren Ketcham, OEFFA’s Communications Coordinator. “The tours are also designed to help farmers and gardeners learn from each other so they can improve their production and marketing techniques and grow their operations.”
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Fifteen tours, six workshops, and a farm to table dinner are being sponsored by OEFFA and will be held between June 7 and November 14. The 2014 farm tour and workshop series is promoted in cooperation with the Ohio State University Sustainable Agriculture Team, who is sponsoring additional tours. In total, the series features 21 farms, four university research center tours, six educational workshops, a film screening, and a benefit dinner.
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OEFFA’s tours and workshops are:
For additional information and a complete list of all farm tours, including dates, times, farm descriptions, and driving directions, click here.