by: Gigi Neal, OSU Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources- Clermont County
According to the 2012 Census of Agriculture, 30% of operators are women on the national level. In Ohio, 28% of operators are female: 31,413 women of 113,624 total operators. Ohio’s largest concentration of female farm operators is in its 10 eastern counties, which boast more than 500 women farm operators per county.
The goal of the Ohio Women in Agriculture Learning Network (OWIALN) is to help women in agriculture improve their quality of life by providing them with resources to make better business decisions, while maintaining a balance with family and personal obligations.
This national initiative is developing a new portal for education, technical assistance and support of women farmers, ranchers and producers. The OWIALN shares the same goals and collaborates on programs with the eXtension Women in Agriculture Community of Practice at extension.org/womeninag.
Join us for educational workshops, eNewsletters, webinars and more. To join the Ohio Women in Agriculture Learning Network, contact coordinators Gigi Neal at 513-732-7070 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Heather Neikirk at 330-830-7700 or email@example.com. Visit our website at clermont.osu.edu or like us at Ohio Women in Agriculture Learning Network on Facebook.
by: Gigi Neal, OSU Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources- Clermont County
Do you have a calendar that is color-coded because of all the functions that happen within your family? Then do you look at it and wonder, “How in the world am I going to manage all these items plus manage a farm?” Juggling work and home seems to be a natural state for many women, but when you add working or managing the family farm - whew! How do you make all the decisions for production, stewardship and family?
Just imagine if you had the tools to assist you and your partner in making farming decisions to help build a more successful enterprise, while balancing your life. Annie’s Project is the answer for all women wanting to strengthen their role in the agricultural business. Annie’s Project emphasizes empowering farm women to become better stewards of the land and business partners in the agricultural world through decision making and building networks.
Annie’s National Network Initiative for Educational Success (Annie’s) is a six week course founded on Risk Management Education for Farm and Ranch Women through production, financial, market, human resources and legal risks. These sessions foster problem solving, record keeping and decision-making skills in farm women. Many of the women develop a lasting camaraderie with the other class participants through conversation and discussion, which further enhances learning.
OSU Extension will offer the original A... Read More »
by David Marrison, OSU Extension
OSU Extension is asking for your assistance in securing up-to-date information about the fee to perform tasks in Ohio vineyards. Many vineyards across Ohio hire machinery operations and other vineyard related work to be completed by others. This is often due to lack of proper equipment, lack of time or lack of expertise for a particular operation. Many vineyards do not own equipment for every possible job they may encounter and may, instead of purchasing the equipment needed, seek out someone with the proper tools necessary to complete the job. To date, no survey has been conducted to analyze custom rates for vineyard work in Ohio. We are asking for your assistance in responding to this inaugural Ohio Vineyard Custom Rate Survey.
Please respond even if you only have a few rates to report. Please report for what you have paid to hire work or what you charge if you perform custom work. Custom Rates should include all ownership costs of implement & tractor (if needed), operator labor, fuel and lube. All data will be reported as averages/range in the final report. Thank you for your participation in this survey. More information can be received by calling OSU Extension-Ashtabula County at 440-576-9008 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here to access the Ohio Vineyard Custom Survey- 2015
By: Francisco A. Espinoza
In fall of 2013, Extension, through the Ag & Hort Labor Education Program, joined the Ohio Department of Health’s Agricultural Labor Camp Rules Review Committee. The Committee membership eventually had representatives from Farm Bureau, ODJFS, ODH, ABLE Legal Services, county health departments, and agricultural employers from across the state. Winter and spring Committee meetings were held, and suggested revisions were finalized by summer. The following is a summary by Nolan Stevens, J.D., Public Policy Officer for the Ohio Commission on Hispanic/Latino Affairs. To read more click here.
by: Chris Zoller, Extension Educator, ANR
A farm manager recently discussed with me concerns he was having with an employee and wanted suggestions for disciplining his employee. Following is an article written by Dr. Bernie Erven, Professor Emeritus and OSU Extension Specialist, that describes ways to effectively discipline employees.
Discipline is an unpleasant responsibility. Doing it poorly only compounds the unpleasantness. Doing it well, on the other hand, reduces employer frustration, increases employee morale, makes the firing of an employee rare, and reduces the threat of legal action by disgruntled former employees.
Effective discipline can be made a management strength. Building a reputation as a fair but tough disciplinarian is a goal with many long-run benefits.
1. Take effective preventive action to promote employee self-discipline and to minimize the frequency of disciplinary action.
2. Use effective disciplinary techniques including the hot stove rule and progressive discipline.
3. Reward supervisors and employees for their efforts to minimize disciplinary action.
Using Effective Disciplinary Techniques
The preventive actions will assure that most of your employees will require little more than their own self-discipline. No matter how effective your preventive actions may be, however, you will sometimes need to discipline.
You may follo... Read More »
By: Amanda Douridas, Extension Educator
Women in agriculture who are interested in taking a more active role in farm operations may sign up for Annie's Project, a multi-part risk-management course offered by Ohio State University Extension. The workshop is being sponsored by OSU Extension offices in Champaign, Delaware and Union counties. The six-week workshop will be held at the Union County Extension Office beginning January 15, 2014 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and running consecutive Wednesdays through February 19th.
Annie's Project is designed to strengthen women's role in modern farm enterprises. The project's namesake was a woman who grew up in a small rural community and spent her adult life learning how to be an involved, successful business partner with her husband. Annie's daughter, Ruth Hambleton, became an Extension educator in Illinois and developed the program in 2000 in honor of her mother's life experience. It is currently offered in 22 states. Annie's Project focuses on five broad aspects of risk management typical in the agricultural setting: human, financial, marketing, production and legal.
OSU Extension began offering Annie's Project in 2007, touching hundreds of lives since and inspiring women to become more active in agricultural roles. It has received wide support not only from participants, but agricultural lenders, agribusinesses, ag service providers and agricultural organizations, which have provided information, class instructors and s... Read More »
by David Marrison, Extension Educator
Milk and cheese production have been major agricultural businesses in northeast Ohio for many years. During the past decade, there has been great contraction in the number of dairy farms in the region. Looking to the future, there are many difficult issues facing continued and expanded milk production. These include generational transition, federal milk pricing, input costs, workforce, waste management, and state regulations.
In effort to understand better how these issues are playing out in northeast Ohio, a group of organizations worked together to develop a survey for dairy farms. These organizations included: OSU Extension, Geauga Growth Partnership, TeamNEO, Growth Partnership for Ashtabula County, Portage Development Board and the Youngstown-Warren Chamber of Commerce. The goal of the survey was to learn more about the concerns and attitudes of dairy farmers in Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake, Portage and Trumbull counties. It is a given that milk and feed prices are a concern of all dairy farms, so this survey attempted to look beyond the scope of these two issues.
Forty-three percent of the 189 dairy farms surveyed replied to questions about their plans, prospects and challenges. Some of the notable survey results included data that showed that over 78% of the local dairy farms plan to continue to operate during the next five years in spite of the many challenges facing dairy operations. Almost 35% percent plan on incre... Read More »
by David Marrison, OSU Extension Educator
On July 3, 2013 it was announced by the Obama administration that they will delay a crucial provision of the health-care law. One of the major components of ObamaCare was the requirement for employers to either provide health insurance or face a penalty. The insurance mandate applies to employers with 50 full-time equivalent employees and would have taken place starting January 1, 2014. If affordable insurance was not offered, than a business could face a fine up to $3,000 per employee. The enforcement of the employer mandate will now be delayed until 2015. For most Ohio farmers, this law will not apply, however many of our orchards, vineyard and related operations may have been dramatically affected by this mandate.
by: Larry Gearhardt, OSU Income Tax School Director
With the end of the school year, many students will be heading home for the summer. The additional help on the farm will be welcomed. Most times the help is free. After all, you provide free room and board, right? But there may be tax advantages, at least from a family perspective, if you “hire” your children to work in the family business.
INCOME SHIFTING: Regardless of how a business is organized, its owners may be able to shift some of their high-taxed income into tax-free or low-taxed income by employing their children. For the children’s wages to be deductible, the work done by the children must be legitimate and the wage must be reasonable for the work. The standard deduction for an individual is $6,100 in 2013. This means that your child can earn up to $6,100 before he/she incurs any tax liability. The amount that you pay your child reduces the parent’s income which is taxed at a higher rate.
ILLUSTRATION: Let’s say that Fred Farmer, who happens to be in a 33% tax bracket, hires Fred Jr. to work on the farm for the summer, and pays him $6,100. If that $6,100 had remained with Fred Farmer, he would have paid $2,013 in taxes. Instead, Fred Jr. receives the money tax-free because of his standard deduction. The family unit saves money. Even if Fred Jr. earns more than $6100, family taxes are reduced because Fred Jr.’s beginning tax rate is 10% instead of the 33% paid by his father.
CAUTION: The ta... Read More »
by: Chris Zoller, Extension Educator, ANR
I recently saw an article by Stan Moore from Michigan State University Extension that addressed the topic of leadership on farms. This is a topic many farm managers struggle with, but is one of the critical functions that all farm managers must perform well. Below is the article Moore wrote for the Michigan State University Extension News.
What does it mean to be a leader? According to John Maxwell, “leadership is influence”. Being a leader means that your influence causes people to willingly follow you. Sometimes as farm owners/managers we forget how powerful the “willingly” part of following is. Sometimes we settle for just being the boss and that can mean that people follow you only because they are required to. Employees are still following you, but are they really being as productive as they can be, and how long will they be content in this kind of job?
As a Michigan State University Extension Educator, I recently participated in a webinar on employee management, broadcast from the Outstanding Young Farmer’ Program in Canada. The program was great, and is sure to be the topic of future MSUE News articles, but it also led me to search their recorded webinars on human resource topics. I came across a great webinar by Kellie Garrett, Senior VP for Farm Credit Canada, talking about the leadership topic. During the webinar Garrett shared several excellent thoughts on increasing the effectiveness of our leadership... Read More »
Dr. Brian Roe, Associate Professor-Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics.
The Answer: a 98.7% Chance that You’ll have a Job after Graduation
You may have seen the Yahoo! News article highlighting three agricultural degrees as among the top five “College Majors That Are Useless,” which left many professionals in the agricultural sector scratching their heads, particularly recruiters and educators of students in the fields of Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics. The Yahoo! article, and several others like it, used findings from the National Association of Colleges and Employers’ (NACE) 2012 Job Outlook study, which surveyed less than 1,000 employers on their future hiring plans.
Click here to read an article that Dr. Brian Rose has written that shows there is a great need for agricultural degrees.
Issued by Gary Hoff and Carolyn J. Schimpler
Re-printed with permission from FarmDocDaily
Farmers who plan to add additional help this year may want to consider hiring veterans. There is a substantial increase in the job pool as these individuals come back into the civilian workforce. As a further incentive, you may be eligible for a generous tax credit for hiring unemployed veterans. The credit can apply to seasonal employees if they work at least 120 hours.
Recent legislation has expanded the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) to include qualified veterans who begin work after November 21, 2011, and before January 1, 2013. To qualify for the WOTC, the veteran must have been unemployed for at least four weeks in the year prior to being hired. A qualified veteran is a veteran who falls into one of the following categories.
• Unemployed for at least six months in the 1-year period ending on the hiring date
• A member of a family receiving assistance under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps) for at least three months during the 15-month period ending on the hiring date
• Entitled to compensation for a service-connected disability and hired within one year after being discharged or released from active duty
• Entitled to compensation for a service-connected disability and unemployed for at least six months in the 1-year period ending on the hiring date
The amount of the credit depends on a number of factors,... Read More »
By Dee Jepsen, State Agricultural Safety Leader, Ohio State University Extension, Department of Food, Agricultural, and Biological Engineering
Ohio farmers will continue to hire teens younger than 16 years old, now that Department of Labor has rescinded their stricter proposal to ban all contact with tractors and power-driven machinery. So what does that mean for Ohio teens looking for summer employment?
The current legislation is part of the Fair Labor Standards Act and falls under the Wage and Hour Division within the Department of Labor. This law was written nearly 45 years ago when it was determined certain tasks were dangerous for children under 16 years of age. Working with tractors greater than 20 horsepower and farm machinery were considered hazardous situations. However, there was an educational exemption put into place that would – and still does – allow students to be trained about these dangers, and then permitted to be hired. This program is commonly called the Tractor and Machinery Certification program. This is a 24-hour training class that ends with a written exam and a tractor skill test.
The current book that satisfies the educational training can be obtained through any OSU Extension county office. It is cataloged in the 4-H Family Guide, titled the National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program. While this booklet will offer the educational piece for teens to self-study, the students will still need to complete the accompanying test... Read More »
By: Chris Bruynis, Assistant Professor & Extension Educator
The agricultural industry is one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States due to a broad range of risks associated with the occupation. Risks include road travel of slow, large equipment; many moving parts and wheels; a broad range of pesticides and fertilizers that have safety requirements associated with their use; and long hours associated with spring field operations.
Research from the National Safety Council indicates that 700 farmers and ranchers die in work-related accidents annually. Additionally, agricultural industry statistics also indicate that another 120,000 agricultural workers suffer disabling injuries from work related accidents. With proper safety measures in place and followed, many of the deaths and accidents could be prevented.
Dee Jepsen, OSU Specialist reminds us what is required and recommended for agricultural equipment while traveling on public roads:
At all times, an Slow Moving Vehicle (SMV) emblem is required
Headlights and taillights are required 30 minutes after sunrise and 30 minutes before sunset
Headlights and taillights are required during day hours if inclement weather conditions exist, including fog and rain
Additional extremity lighting is required on dual-wheeled tractors
Amber flashers and turn signals are recommended at all times
Ideally towed implements should have their own reflectors, lights, and an SMV emblem. However law requires t... Read More »
Information presented above and where trade names are used, they are supplied with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by Ohio State University Extension is implied.
Ohio State University Extension embraces human diversity and is committed to ensuring that all research and related educational programs are available to clientele on a nondiscriminatory basis without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, or veteran status. This statement is in accordance with United States Civil Rights Laws and the USDA.
Keith L. Smith, Ph.D., Associate Vice President for Agricultural Administration and Director, Ohio State University Extension TDD No. 800-589-8292 ( Ohio only) or 614-292-1868