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Staff Reports

Delaware Tractor Supply Hosting Semi-Annual 4-H Fundraiser

Spring Paper Clover Campaign will help send thousands of OH 4-H students to camps, conferences and youth development programs

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (Apr. 24, 2017) – Tractor Supply Company, the largest rural lifestyle retail store chain in the United States, will partner with National 4-H Council for a nationwide in-store fundraiser to send thousands of students to 4-H youth development programs, camps and leadership conferences across the country.

Between Apr. 26 and May 7, OH Tractor Supply customers can participate in the 2017 Spring Paper Clover Campaign by purchasing paper clovers — the emblem of 4-H — for $1 or more at checkout. The funds raised will be awarded as scholarships to local 4-H members wishing to attend 4-H camps and leadership conferences across the country.

Since it began in 2010, the partnership between Tractor Supply and 4-H has generated more than $10 million in essential funding. The Paper Clover fundraiser, which takes place in the spring and fall, raised nearly $900,000 during the Fall 2016 campaign. The number of scholarships distributed to students following the spring fundraiser will be determined based on the total amount raised.

“The entire team at Tractor Supply is excited for the opportunity to team up with 4-H for the eighth consecutive year of Paper Clover fundraisers,” said Christi Korzekwa, senior vice president of marketing at Tractor Supply Company. “The support of our dedicated customers and team members has made a powerful, tangible effect on the lives of many 4-H students who use 4-H programs to develop valuable life skills.”

Over the last eight years, this fundraising effort directly supported numerous county level 4-H programs. These programs have an emphasis on individual development and group dynamics through special interest groups and team challenges.

“For more than 100 years, 4-H has empowered America’s youth with the skills to lead for a lifetime,” said Jennifer Sirangelo, president and CEO, National 4-H Council. “Thanks to the partnership with Tractor Supply Company and the communities it serves, the Paper Clover promotion gives even more young people the opportunity to benefit from a 4-H experience.”

OH 4-H Clubs are encouraged to participate in-store during the event to help increase fundraising dollars and be entered into the Paper Clover Participation Sweepstakes. For more information on how to apply, members should contact their county agents or visit

About Tractor Supply Company

Founded in 1938, Tractor Supply Company is the largest rural lifestyle retail store chain in the United States. At April 1, 2017, the Company operated 1,617 Tractor Supply stores in 49 states and an e-commerce website at Tractor Supply stores are focused on supplying the lifestyle needs of recreational farmers and ranchers and others who enjoy the rural lifestyle, as well as tradesmen and small businesses. Stores are located primarily in towns outlying major metropolitan markets and in rural communities. The Company offers the following comprehensive selection of merchandise: (1) equine, livestock, pet and small animal products, including items necessary for their health, care, growth and containment; (2) hardware, truck, towing and tool products; (3) seasonal products, including heating, lawn and garden items, power equipment, gifts and toys; (4) work/recreational clothing and footwear; and (5) maintenance products for agricultural and rural use.

Tractor Supply Company also owns and operates Petsense, a small-box pet specialty supply retailer focused on meeting the needs of pet owners, primarily in small and mid-size communities, and offering a variety of pet products and services. At April 1, 2017, the Company operated 152 Petsense stores in 26 states. For more information on Petsense, visit

About 4-H

4-H, the nation’s largest youth development organization, grows confident young people who are empowered for life today and prepared for career tomorrow. 4-H programs empower nearly six million young people across the U.S. through experiences that develop critical life skills. 4-H is the youth development program of our nation’s Cooperative Extension System and USDA, and serves every county and parish in the U.S. through a network of 110 public universities and more than 3000 local Extension offices. Globally, 4-H collaborates with independent programs to empower one million youth in 50 countries. The research-backed 4-H experience grows young people who are four times more likely to contribute to their communities; two times more likely to make healthier choices; two times more likely to be civically active; and two times more likely to participate in STEM programs. Learn more about 4-H at

Farm Bureau applauds CAUV reforms proposed in House budget

Farmers encouraged to contact lawmakers

COLUMBUS, Ohio (OFBF) – Much needed reform of Ohio’s CAUV formula has been included in the Ohio House’s biennial budget proposal, which is good news for Ohio’s family farmers, according to the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation.

Farm Bureau is encouraging its members to contact their state representatives and ask them to protect and keep the Current Agricultural Use Value language throughout the budget process. Legislator contact information is at Click on Legislative Action Center.

OFBF has been advocating for the CAUV reforms in response to farmland tax increases that have exceeded 300 percent in recent years. The huge tax increases have hit farmers at a time when farm income has experienced a historic decline.

Ohioans voted to create the CAUV program in 1973 as a means of preserving farmland in the state. Under CAUV, farmland is taxed at a rate that reflects its value for agricultural purposes instead of its value as development property.

The budget proposal would address nonfarm influences from the formula that tend to artificially raise CAUV values. It would also ensure that farmers are not penalized for adopting conservation practices that protect water quality.

“Our members have said CAUV reform is their No. 1 priority,” said Yvonne Lesicko, Ohio Farm Bureau’s vice president, public policy. “Farmers need to contact their legislators, let them know how important this is and ask them to support CAUV reform.”

Farm Bureau thanks House leaders for listening to their constituents and moving this measure ahead.

Ohio Farmers Union lauds House for CAUV Reform in Budget Bill

Family Farm Group Analyzing Potential Effects – Support Not A Given

COLUMBUS – Ohio Farmers Union President Joe Logan lauded Ohio House leaders’ decision to finally take on CAUV reform via the FY 18-19 state budget.

“Fixing the broken Current Agricultural Use Value formula remains our number one issue at the state level,” said Logan. “OFU is grateful that the House has realized the urgent need for CAUV reform.”

Logan said that OFU Attorney and long-time member of the Ohio Dept. of Taxation’s Agricultural Advisory Committee, Ted Finnarn, has yet to see the actual legislative language regarding the House’s approach to CAUV.

“We’re reserving final judgement on the House’s proposal until we see the actual bill,” Logan said.

Logan also commented on the House’s decision to scrap the Kasich Administration state income tax plans.

“The Ohio House deserves praise for the independence of mind that allowed them to break out of the economic straight jacket that continued income tax cuts impose. The Governor’s proposal would require more of Ohio’s tax burden to be shifted to property taxes” Logan said.

“OFU has always supported the progressive nature of income taxes over other methods. It’s also not lost on farmers and rural residents that state cuts to local government and education have accompanied all of the income tax cuts of the prior six years,” Logan said.

Ohio Sea Grant Researchers Track Algal Toxins in Lake Erie Fish and Ohio Produce

COLUMBUS – Researchers funded by Ohio Sea Grant and the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) Harmful Algal Bloom Research Initiative (HABRI) are tracing contamination from harmful algal bloom toxins in food, specifically fish caught in Lake Erie and vegetables watered with lake water. They have so far found some toxin in their samples, but emphasize that amounts are too low to raise immediate concerns.

Drs. Stuart Ludsin, Jiyoung Lee and Jay Martin at The Ohio State University are developing and refining methods to test for microcystin, a major toxin produced by harmful algal blooms, in fish and produce.

“While we did find microcystin in these fish, they’re not at a level that impacts public health,” said Martin, professor in Ohio State’s Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering. “If anglers and the public abide by the advisories that are sent out from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, which are usually about one fish meal per week, then they’re going to be fine.”

The research team tested walleye, yellow perch and white perch, as well as lettuce, carrots and green beans during their experiments. In addition to using a technique called ELISA, which is commonly used for these types of studies, they developed a procedure to use liquid chromatography tandem-mass spectrometry with the fish samples to offer more information about both the amount and the types of toxin contamination they found.

“We’ve used that procedure to process samples from Lake Erie and Grand Lake St. Marys for the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, so the state is already benefiting from the development of this method,” said Ludsin, associate professor and co-director of Ohio State’s Aquatic Ecology Laboratory.

Lee’s lab focused on produce, testing not just how much microcystin was present in the plant samples, but also where the toxin was present: the root, the leaves, or the soil surrounding the plant.

“We found that green beans accumulate more than carrots, and both accumulate more than lettuce,” Lee, associate professor of environmental health sciences, summarized. “And then it looks like there is generally more toxin in the roots, and that makes sense because we water around the root area.”

More details on this research are available in the Winter 2016 issue of Ohio Sea Grant’s Twine Line magazine, available online at The project concludes in June and additional updates will be available as part of an annual HABRI report.

The Harmful Algal Bloom Research Initiative (HABRI), funded by the Ohio Department of Higher Education and managed by Ohio Sea Grant and the University of Toledo, connects research teams across the state and beyond to find new approaches to reducing harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie, using input from stakeholders that range from state agencies to local farmers. More information on HABRI is available at

Ohio State University’s Ohio Sea Grant College Program is part of NOAA Sea Grant, a network of 33 Sea Grant programs dedicated to the protection and sustainable use of marine and Great Lakes resources. For more information, visit

Bill to restore Ohio drinking water protection gets first hearing

Lawmakers, cities fear water contamination likely if recent change in law stands

COLUMBUS— State Reps. David Leland (D-Columbus) and Kristin Boggs (D-Columbus) will offer sponsor testimony today Tuesday, April 25 at 4 p.m. during Energy and Natural Resources Committee in the Statehouse on House Bill 29, their legislation to prevent the destruction of natural buffer zones growing around municipally owned drinking-water reservoirs throughout Ohio. The Columbus lawmakers’ legislation will repeal a provision surreptitiously included in the state’s last biennial budget that allowed residents to significantly alter those zones.

“This provision, which was inserted into the previous State Budget at the last minute without public input or participation, is a potential threat to the health and safety of residents throughout Ohio,” said Leland. “Our reservoirs are a vital source of public water for Columbus and other cities, and the strips of land encircling these reservoirs act as a natural filter that removes contaminants that would threaten our water supply. Given the drinking water issues Ohio has faced in the last couple of years, we should be doing more to protect our drinking water, not less.”

“It is of the utmost importance to protect our water supply and ensure that it remains clean and safe for our community to drink.” Boggs said. “It is simply bad policy to give a few people the power, without any oversight, to alter landscape in a way that could have a negative impact on our water quality.”

Staff Reports