Ohio sheep industry poised for a larger national role

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The nation’s sheep industry is facing some significant political challenges in the coming years, according to Roger High, with the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association.“We have the potential to lose 50% of our national sheep flock due to H-2A and the environmentalists in coming years,” High said. “Politics will play a huge role in the livestock industry in the next few years.”The Department of Labor is in process of proposing massive changes to procedures for H-2A Foreign Labor Certification program. The politics surrounding the H-2A, farm labor and immigration could mean significant and detrimental changes to western livestock operations that account for a majority of the nation’s sheep.Those same ranches also face a tremendous set of challenges from the always-changing political whims of the Federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) that controls a vast amount of the grazing lands in the West.“You can’t do anything else productive on that BLM land out there,” High said. “The only benefit to the American consumer on that land is to raise sheep and cattle and there are groups of people out there who don’t want us to use it.”These two issues are a source of great concern for western sheep producers. At the same time, Ohio has seen an increase in sheep numbers.“We had a 1% growth in the national sheep industry in 2014. Of that 35,000 head in national growth, 3,000 were in Ohio and that doesn’t include the Amish because they don’t do statistics. We have so much potential with markets here in the East,” High said. “I think we have three growth areas here in Ohio. The non-traditional sheep marketing to ethic groups will continue to grow, the Amish are really getting into sheep and the other big area is with club lambs because there are so many youth involved. It is exciting to be involved with something like what we are seeing in Ohio right now with sheep.”last_img read more

Engineering a greener future

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Ajay Shah and Mary WicksMany people associate bridges or electrical circuits with engineering; however, the field is much broader. According to livescience.com, “engineering is the application of science and math to solve problems” and engineers are “instrument in making those innovations available to the world.” In today’s world, in which companies and consumers want greener, more sustainable processes and products, engineers are developing new ways to process organic wastes and agricultural feedstocks in order to create bio-based products.As our understanding of the molecular structure of organic materials grows, engineers are developing technologies that use the knowledge generated. For example, a biological engineer may work to optimize biological processes to produce ethanol via fermentation or biogas via anaerobic digestion for bioenergy. Chemical engineers may focus on creating more sustainable products, such as bio-plastics from waste materials, rather than petroleum, or bio-materials that decompose after use. Other engineers may use genetic engineering methods to make crops that are more resistant to disease or environmental challenges, such as drought. Learn moreThe “Advanced BioSystems Workshop: Bioprocessing to Commercialization” features a pre-workshop tour, followed the next day by speakers from industry, research, and others to share ideas and experiences in bioprocessing technologies and bio-based products. On Sept. 9, 2019, attendees will tour Cargill’s bioprocessing plant in Sidney and then enjoy a barbeque and chance to network. On Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019 the workshop will be held at the Shelby Oaks Golf Course in Sidney and will provide attendees an opportunity to learn more.The workshop will kick off with keynote speaker, Zia Abdullah, who leads the biomass program at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL). He will provide an overview on current and future opportunities and challenges in bioprocessing. Kenneth Heater with METSS Corporation will share an industry perspective on the challenges faced in developing commercially viable bio-based products and processes.Three speakers from industry will provide insights to product development and commercialization. Kevin Jarrel with Modular Genetics will discuss their process for using fermentation to convert crude glycerin, a byproduct of biodiesel production, to a surfactant. Then, Daniel Derr with NATSURFACT will discuss his company’s process for converting soybean oil to a biosurfactant. To wrap up the day, Patrick Heist, co-owner of Ferm Solutions and the Wilderness Trail Distillery, will share how he grew tiny microbes into two large, successful bioprocessing companies.There will also be time for networking and to hear from Ajay Shah, a researcher at Ohio State University. He will discuss the importance of working with industry to ensure that research addresses real-world needs. Barry McGraw with the Ohio Soybean Council will provide growers’ perspectives on bio-based products.The workshop is open to everyone. Registration, which includes the networking event, is $50 on or before Aug. 27 and $60 after that date. A special student rate of $25 is available, but registrations must be received on or before Aug. 27. For program and registration details, including online registration, see the links at probe.osu.edu or contact Mary Wicks at wicks.14@osu.edu or 330-202-3533.The workshop and networking event are made possible through support of the Ohio Soybean Council, which seeks to expand the development of soy-based products and technologies, improving the profitability of Ohio’s soybean farmers. Dr. Ajay Shah is an Associate Professor and Mary H. Wicks is a Program Coordinator in the Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering of The Ohio State University. E-mail: shah.971@osu.edu; wicks.14@osu.edu. Phone: (330)202-3533. This column is provided by the OSU Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, OSU Extension, Ohio Agricultural Research & Development Center, and the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.last_img read more

Heating Degree Days Drop Again in 2017

first_imgWe’ve had some beautiful cool weather here in Atlanta this spring. It’s about 50°F outdoors as I write this, one week into the month of May. The high yesterday was only about 70°F.We’re getting a few more heating degree days (HDD) in the middle of May. (Heating degree days are really just another way at looking at temperature, which I explained in more detail in a look at the fundamentals of degree days.) We occasionally pick up some HDD even in July and August. But it’s the winter HDD that matter for heating — and that give us a clue about the climate.Below is a graph showing the heating degree days for Atlanta over the past ten years. Aspen’s long-term average is about 9,000 HDD. This year they got 7,165 through April. Now, weather ain’t climate, so you can’t look at one year or even two or three and draw long-term conclusions about climate. Since 2010, however, they sure have had a lot of mild winters in Aspen. That’s great for heating bills, not so great for skiing. Our average number of heating degree days is about 3,000. This year, at less than 2,000, we’re at about two-thirds our average. Since the polar vortex of 2014 (remember that?), we’ve been down every year.It’s not just us either. This was a banner year for snow out West. I got an email recently about a couple of ski resorts in the Sierra Nevada that will keep the lifts running into the summer. But the temperatures were higher this winter, and the heating degree days lower. Here’s a look at 21 years of heating degree days for Aspen. RELATED ARTICLESCalculating Heating Degree DaysChoosing a Base Temperature for Degree DaysAll About Climate ZonesHow to Perform a Heat-Loss Calculation — Part 1How to Perform a Heat-Loss Calculation — Part 2 Of course, this has nothing to do with our atmosphere hitting the 400 parts per million level of carbon dioxide. Right? That climate change stuff is just a theory. Allison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is a speaker, writer, building science consultant, and the author of the Energy Vanguard Blog. You can follow him on Twitter at @EnergyVanguard.last_img read more

Gajapati’s royal scion joins BJD

first_imgKalyani Devi, scion of the erstwhile royal family of Paralakhemundi in Gajapati district of Odisha, joined the ruling Biju Janata Dal on Tuesday. She was inducted into the party at the residence of Chief Minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik in Bhubaneswar.Her joining the BJD will strengthen the party in Gajapati district and Berhampur parliamentary constituency, said sources. The BJD might consider fielding her as its candidate from Paralakhemundi Assembly seat or Berhampur parliamentary constituency, the sources said.Ms. Devi’s family had been politically active from before Independence. She is the daughter of former Congress MP from Berhampur, Gopinath Gajapati, who was a member of the ninth and 10th Lok Sabha. He later joined the BJD in 2009.Her grandfather Krushna Chandra Gajapati (1892-1974)played a key role in the formation of Odisha State on linguistic basis and is revered throughout the State. He was the first prime minister of Odisha before Independence and a member of the Constituent Assembly of India. The present day Gajapati district, carved out of Ganjam district, is named after him.“The family of Ms. Devi is well-known for its tradition of social service and her induction will surely strengthen the party organisation,” said BJD’s Gajapati district president Pradeep Nayak. Ms. Devi expressed her gratitude towards Mr. Patnaik for her induction into the BJD and the support extended towards the treatment of her ailing father.last_img read more