Archive for July, 2010

>Ohio – Education reform grant finalist

>A possible return of our tax dollars to the state

Ohio is among the 18 state finalists in the “Race for the Top” with funding of 4.35 billion dollars. Tennessee and Delaware, first round winners, have been awarded 600 million dollars. Regionally, Montgomery County schools stand to receive approximately 4 million dollars. How much do Darke County schools anticipate receiving?

“Race to the Top” ignores bricks, mortar and the age of school buildings. Instead it rewards states that tie teacher evaluation to student performance. The education overhaul includes tougher standards for teachers to receive tenure while making it easier for them to lose it. The competition has already convinced 29 states to adopt common learning standards for language and math.

We have always supported school levies for brick and mortar issues even though in our own profession, ranging from universities to the smallest rural hospitals, we have seen absolutely no correlation between the physical facility and the quality of care given at the professional level.

Recently we have seen numerous new schools built in west central Ohio. The questions we have for educators: Have student test scores and graduation rates improved? Has the number of students going to and graduating from college increased? Have the new schools retained old industries and attracted new while decreasing the unemployment rate?

How have Darke County schools participated in our state effort to regain our tax dollars contained in the “Race for the Top” program? Did they send in the required application? Without such an application, none of these precious tax dollars will return to Darke County.

Our observations in medicine, agriculture, business and even athletics, are that those not eagerly racing for the top are usually sinking to the bottom. We do not think any industry will be attracted to a community where the race for the top does not include the educational system.

Charles E. Reier MD, Rebecca A. Reier

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>"They didn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know."

>Mercer County residents are not buying the governor’s solutions. Click image for Mark Bruce’s video.

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>Here There and Everywhere (Darke County Extension)

>This week has been a great learning experience for me, so I figured I should pass along as much as I can remember. I started this week in a bean field in Preble County, Tuesday I traveled a few hours north to the Allen/Hardin County border, Thursday, I traveled north to Custar for the Field Crops Field Day; and Friday learned about dragline application of manure.

Looking back, the week seems to be a blur. Therefore I’m going to blur all of the events together into something that makes a little more sense. Let’s start out with nutrient management. Tuesday I learned from Glen Arnold (OSU Extension), that in his research trials, swine and dairy manure top dressed onto wheat in the spring produced the same yields as an application of urea. Manure application method did not impact yield, so knifing manure in with a tank or dragline and, in one study, surface application produced the same yields in wheat. The benefit of draglining manure is time. It only takes one hour to cover 6 acres, where hauling a tank may only cover 2 to 3 acres an hour. Of course, with increased efficiency, there is a cost and draglining can cost more than using a tank.

On to Custar, Ohio, for the Field Crops Field Day at the NW OARDC station. The morning started with some updates on the station and this growing season’s weather conditions. The wagons rolled to our first stop to hear from Bruce Clevenger, from Defiance County. Bruce spoke mostly of profitability in soybeans. The comment that struck me was that since 2007, costs for seed, fertilizer, and land have increased by almost 50%. However, the cash price for soybeans has not increased and is still around $9.50. To summarize his research, Bruce put together a list of “higher returns on investments” and “lower returns on investments”. The investments that pay the most in soybeans are correcting soil pH, drainage, selecting disease resistant varieties, soil fertility and using IPM. Lower returns come from pesticide applications at low incidence of disease or insects and foliar fertilization.

Speaking of fertilization, I heard from Robert Mullen about many topics he is researching. Two of the main components of his talk, which might apply to Darke County, are starter fertilizer for side dressed corn and manganese application to soybeans. Mullen stated that starter fertilizer in corn that will be side dressed can increase yield potential and prolong the time for side dress application. There has been a lot of discussion about applying manganese to Roundup Ready soybeans. According to Mullen the thought is that the Roundup Ready gene inhibits the ability of soybeans to take up manganese. From his and other research, Mullen said the gene is probably not at fault, but dry soil conditions and low test levels of manganese in the soil are the more likely cause. “High clay soils with high organic matter are more likely to see deficiency”, said Mullen. A simple soil test before planting beans can tell you if your beans are at risk.

To continue with the hot topic of soybeans at the field day, I heard from and worked with Ann Dorrance, OSU Soybean Pathologist. She covered a broad range of topics, including some updates on seed treatments for soybeans. Ann found, in a foliar fungicide trial, that out of 28 applications to different fields only 3 of those producers recovered their money. She pushed selecting resistant varieties and crop rotation as a means to minimize the impacts of disease. I took some time to work with Ann and some of her research interns after the field day was over. In a small study, while doing stand counts, Ann found phythophthora, bacterial blight and downy mildew. This was proof that diseases were out there, but in the study only one of those diseases was causing stand loss, and that was only on susceptible varieties.

While we are talking about diseases, I took a trip down to Preble County on Monday. While scouting a field for weeds and diseases, I stumbled upon a soybean plant that had classic symptoms of sudden death syndrome (SDS). I shipped the sample off to Ann and her lab confirmed it was SDS. In 200 acres of soybeans I found the one plant that was infected. I saved some leaves from the plant which show the symptoms very well. If you are interested in seeing the leaves, or want to discuss any of these topics in depth, call OSU Extension, Darke County, at 937-548-5215, and ask for me. I look forward to another interesting week, that will include my talk on Tuesday, at 6:00pm, here at OSU Extension, about giant ragweed and marestail control in soybean.

Justin Petrosino, Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources, OSU Extension, Darke County, Top of Ohio EERA

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>Bunco 4 Boobies – Women Rolling 4 A Cure

>On Sunday, March 21st, we had (what we are hoping to be) our 1st Annual Bunco 4 Boobies fundraiser at Longfellow’s Restaurant for Kelly Fourman,  The Cancer Association of Darke County, and the Fight Against Breast Cancer.  It was a huge success as women all across the area and even neighboring counties came to support, honor, and remember those women in our lives who are fighting against Breast Cancer.

The idea of the fundraiser came about when Kelly Fourman, a member of an Arcanum area Bunco Group was diagnosed with Breast Cancer.   Bunco is a mindless dice game that has brought so many women together in our area, so we thought it would be a great chance to raise money for the awareness and the fight against Breast Cancer and our way of letting Kelly know we love her, support her and we will fight with her.

The day started with great fellowship as all the women joined in wearing Pink and got ready to Roll 4 a Cure!  As the games started, there were sponsored tables in memory and in honor of our loved ones; there were tons of door prizes sponsored from local area businesses and home franchises and there were raffles for larger prizes such as a Dell Mini Netbook and a Fitness Package donated by Good Samaritan North.

We are proud to announce that for our 1st annual Bunco 4 Boobies – we were able to hand over a check for $3,200 to The Cancer Association of Darke County. We hope we can continue this every March. Be sure to look for information!! [In picture: Missy Pohl, Jessica Artz, a guy named Warren of CADC, Karin Baker, Kelly Fourman]

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>GHS cheerleaders to hold Car Wash at Kentucky Fried Chicken – Saturday 7/31

>The GHS cheerleaders will be having a car wash at Kentucky Fried Chicken on July 31, from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. They will be accepting donations and with your donation you will receive a coupon for a free drink and 1 side item with Purchase of a DOUBLICIOUS Sandwich at KFC that day. Please come out and have your car washed and support the Greenville Cheerleaders.

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>Former State Rep Bob Netzley passes away

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photo credit: rightohio.com

Bob Netzley, of Laura, served 40 years in the Ohio House – longer than any other representative. Current House Republican Leader Bill Batchelder issued this statement on Netzley’s passing:

Ohio lost one of its greatest legislators in the history of the state when Bob Netzley of Miami County passed away last evening. Having served longer than any other member of the General Assembly (40 years), Bob Netzley served with unparallel courage, total dedication to the philosophy of conservatism and an unbending adherence to the principals upon which this republic was founded. He was, in all of his service, one who could have joined the founders of this nation in courage integrity and adherence to principle. We shall not see his like again.

Dayton Daily News also has several funny anecdotes from Netzley’s career in this article.

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>Greenville Farmers Market – Saturday

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Saturday, July 31, 9am to 1pm at the Darke County Courthouse

Market Vendors: Nancy Armstrong *new vendor* – jewelry and fused glass; Francis Byers- produce; Woodsview Alpaca Farm – Michelle Dircksen – alpaca yarn and products; Brent Miller Farms- Brent Miller *new vendor* – sweet corn and maple syrup; Retro Attitudes- Hellen Mayo *new vendor* – handmade jewelry; Cindy’s Desserts – Cindy Bright – baked goods; Baby Bling- Sarah Royer – handmade baby accessories and laundry soap; Art Junction- Ann Willis *new vendor* – clay pottery and painted furniture; Yappy Treats-Brenda McDonald – doggie treats; Janet’s Broadway Bakery – Janet Wideman – baked goods and breads; Wolfe’s Produce-Kurt, Ann, Nathan and Benjamen Wolfe – produce and baked goods; Rhoadeside Noodles and More- Keith and Marlene Rhoades – noodles and angel food cakes; EAT Food for Life – Scott Smith – organic products; Communal Table – fresh herbs by Bev Hughes organic produce by Mary Brumbaugh. And: A table for your extra produce or items that you would like to bring to the market but don’t have the time to set up. We sell your product for you. Just bring it to the market by 9am.

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