Amanda Douridas1, Mary Griffith1, Edwin Lentz1, Mary Ann Rose1, John Schoenhals2

1Ohio State University Extension, Ohio, United States

2Pioneer, Ohio, United States



Ohio residents have been calling for changes in agricultural practices since harmful algal blooms have disrupted recreational use of lakes and drinking water supplies in the Western Lake Erie Basin. These blooms are a result of phosphorus (P) loading into waterways from a number of sources, including agriculture fertilizer and manure use on fields. P loss only accounts for about 0.49  lb/A  but  equates  to  roughly  2  million  pounds  of  P  each  year  being dumped into the Basin. Regulations have been put in place to educate farmers on  nutrient  management  and  reduce  nutrient  losses.  Three  tools  have  been updated and developed to help farmers reduce P losses: 1.) Updated Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations, 2.) Updated Ohio Phosphorus Risk Index tool, 3.) Field Application Resource Monitor. These tools address the source, rate and timing of nutrient applications. The cost of implementing these practices varies  from  farm  to  farm.  Some  farms  may  see  no  change  to  their  budgets where other farms may see an increase in expenses.


Amanda Douridas currently serves as the Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Educator in Champaign County where she focuses programs and research on farm management and agronomy. Champaign County is located in west central Ohio, USA and is primarily an agricultural county. According to the 2012 Census of Agriculture, 190,000 acres are in farmland and the market value of agricultural products sold is around $130,414,000. 873 farms average 218 acres. The average value of products sold per farm is $149,386 and the average net farm income is $56,258. Douridas received her B.S. and M.S. from The Ohio State University.


Kathy Bruynis1, David Dugan2

1Ohio State University Extension, Hillsboro, Ohio, United States

2Ohio State University, West Union, Ohio, United States



The number of new farmers was down 20 percent between the 2007 and 2012 according to the United States Census. Additionally, the average age of the principal operating increased from 57.1 to 58.3 years. For agriculture in the United States to remain an efficient and sustainable industry there must be strong support comprised of a capable work force.

Agricultural Reality was patterned after the Real World, Real Money (RMRW) program.  Agricultural Reality has an education emphasis to provide youth with a realistic perspective of production agriculture. Agriculture Reality provides an experiential learning activity to eleventh grade vocational agriculture students from seven school districts in three Appalachian counties of Southern Ohio. These lessons and experiences help enhance the decision-making skills that can impact their financial well-being as well as career choices.

The primary educational objectives of this program are to increase the participant’s awareness of the economic ideologies involved in operating a farm and to increase student’s knowledge of agricultural careers. Prior to an all-day simulation, students are presented with information at their respective schools on the importance of proper recordkeeping, record keeping techniques and their importance in managing an agricultural enterprise. The simulation activity is an activity where students are assigned a 300-acre farm to manage, purchase equipment, livestock and chattels.

The students are awarded start-up capital based upon their grade point averages. During the simulation, students interact with local agricultural business representatives to help them better understand actual costs and what decisions are required to have a profitable operation. To make the simulation realistic and educational, students are able to interact with local business leaders such as:  implement dealerships, stockyards, Soil and Water Conversation Districts, insurance companies, local banks, county Auditors, auto dealerships, seeds dealers, USDA/FSA, USDA/NRCS, Farm Credit Services Agencies, Southern Ohio Agricultural Community & Development Foundation, and Extension Educators from Adams, Brown, and Highland Counties.

Over 600 youth participated in Agricultural Reality since its inception in 2005. Evaluations are completed at the end of the simulation prior to student returning back to their respective schools. Evaluations indicate very favorable responses to the program. Results indicate that 96% of the respondents increased their knowledge of accepted agricultural business practices involved with production agriculture. In the most recent program, ninety-one percent of the respondents felt an increase in their knowledge relating to agricultural careers and 64% of the respondents felt they would be involved in agricultural production in the future based on their experience in Agricultural Reality. Students responding to the evaluation gave overall program a rating of 4.5 on a 5-point Likert scale (1= poor, 5 = excellent). Numerous positive comments were noted throughout the program and documented on the evaluation. The program is currently being updated to include modern production practices and economic situations so it can be expanded into additional counties.


Kathy Bruynis was raised on a family dairy, beef and grain farm in South Central Ohio, USA. After receiving her Associates Degree in Applied Science, Kathy continued her education receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology while providing management support to the family farm business. Kathy earned her Master’s Degree in Business Administration. She is currently employed with Ohio State University Extension as an Area Leader and Extension Educator. She focuses on youth education and community engagement.


Mandy Bowling

Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association, Mandy.bowling@tfga.com.au



Being an island state, Tasmania is free of many pests and diseases. There is, however, an increased risk of pests and diseases entering into Tasmania as tourism and trade continue to increase. Implementing farm biosecurity practices is therefore more important than ever to ensure Tasmanian farmers and produce are protected from pests and diseases.

To gain an understanding of the current attitudes and uptake of farm biosecurity in Tasmania, a short pilot survey was conducted. The survey was conducted both online and at Agfest 2018 (Tasmanian agricultural field day) by the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association. Questions asked included:

  • Do you currently have a biosecurity plan?
  • On a scale of 1 to 5, how would you rate your on-farm biosecurity knowledge? (1 being no knowledge and 5 being very knowledgeable)
  • How much do you agree with the following statement: Farm biosecurity is important (Strongly agree, agree, neither agree nor disagree, disagree, strongly disagree)

A total of 44 participants responded to the survey, with 18 at Agfest and 26 online respondents. Responses were counted and collated and a percentage calculated. Upon analysis, 45.2% producers responded that they have a biosecurity plan in place, while 54.8% did not. When asked to rate their knowledge of farm biosecurity from 1 to 5, the majority rated themselves at 3 and 4, with 22.5% and 37.5% respectively. The majority of respondents also rated biosecurity importance highly, with 53.5% strongly agreeing with the statement that farm biosecurity is important, while 11.6% strongly disagreed that it is important.

Overall, there was some variation in farmer biosecurity uptake, knowledge and perceived importance. Variation between producers is not surprising, with previous research identifying four different producer farm biosecurity groups ranging from those with high farm biosecurity to low. Attitudes and farm biosecurity uptake in Tasmania also seem to be varied and understanding the reasons why some producers are not actively undertaking farm biosecurity is vital to improving farm biosecurity. From these results it could be assumed that to help producers implement farm biosecurity, it may be more of a case of demonstrating how rather than why, with producers already believing it is important.

It is important to note, that the results of the survey may be swayed towards producers that believe farm biosecurity is important. This survey was a voluntary survey and it is likely that those who already believe farm biosecurity is important would want to participate over those that are not interested. As a result of this, the numbers of producers with farm biosecurity plans may be even lower in the general population, as well as the rating of farm biosecurity knowledge and importance. A more detailed understanding of attitudes of farmers through a more comprehensive survey is needed. It is also important to gain an understanding of differences between small land holders and commercial farmers as well as between farming enterprises. This can then be used to improve farm biosecurity uptake on farms and protect Tasmanian agriculture from pests and diseases.


Mandy is a Farm Biosecurity Officer with the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association (TFGA). She completed a Bachelor of Animal Science (Honours) in Adelaide, South Australia and is in the progress of completeing a PhD. TFGA is working closely with Biosecurity Tasmania on a Farm Biosecurity Engagement Project funded by the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE). The project aims to improve farm biosecurity knowledge and uptake in Tasmanian farmers, regular on farm visitors and the wider community.


Paul Goeringer1, Tiffany Lashmet2, Olivia Kuykendall1

1University Of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, United States

2Texas A&M Agrilife Extension, College Station, Texas, United States



Legal Defenses and Impact on Agricultural Operations  2017 has been a year of development in right-to-farm laws and potentially limiting how these defenses protect farms in the United States.  A right-to-farm law is a nuisance defense law that has been enacted in all 50 states.  If a farm meets the requirements in the law, then the farm gains a defense to nuisance claims.  Right-to-farm laws were developed in the 1980s by state governments as a way to limit some of the impacts of urbanization in many rural areas.  As residents moved in next door to farming operations, many of these new neighbors had limited experience with agriculture and were not expecting the impact living next to a working farm could have on their lives.  Right-to-farm laws provide a defense to those qualifying farms who face nuisance suits.  Today right-to-farm laws have been in the news in the United States more than normal.  Producers have seen recent court decisions that potentially limit these laws in some states, decisions that protect the changing nature of American agriculture, and finally state legislatures getting involved to expand these protections.  In Alaska, North Carolina, and Iowa, court decisions potentially limit the types of agricultural operations that the right-to-farm law defense would apply too.  At the same time, the North Carolina General Assembly acted to change the reach of the court decision in that state.  In Pennsylvania and Georgia, courts have interpreted the respective state right-to-farm defenses to protect a changing face of American farms.  This poster would fall under the Roles of Government.  The poster would highlight recent court decisions and how these wide-ranging of decisions could impact agriculture on a state level in the United States and strategies that states have taken to move these laws to protect the changing face of agriculture.


Paul Goeringer specializes in legal risk management as it relates to agriculture. Prior to coming to the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Paul worked at the University of Arkansas where his legal research was focused in the areas of environmental compliance, right-to-farm laws, agricultural leasing laws, contracting issues, federal farm program compliance, recreational use and agritourism issues, and estate planning issues in agriculture. Through this research Paul developed educational materials to better help Arkansas’s agricultural producers understand and manage legal risks in their operations. Since joining the Policy Center, Paul has worked with county extension educators to begin to fill the void in the areas of agricultural leasing and legal issues in estate planning. Paul is also looking at modifying his existing research in the areas of environmental compliance, right-to-farm laws, and federal farm program compliance to benefit Maryland’s farmers. Paul is a graduate of Oklahoma State University with a B.S. in Agricultural Economics, the University of Oklahoma with a Juris Doctorate, and the University of Arkansas with an LL.M. in Agricultural Law and an M.S. in Agricultural Economics. Paul is licensed to practice law in Oklahoma and is a member of the Oklahoma Bar Association, the American Agricultural Law Association, the Southern Agricultural Economics Association, and the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.


Chris Bruynis1, Kathy Bruynis1

1OSU Extension, Chillicothe, Ohio, United States



As fewer of our government officials have personal connections to agriculture, the need to educate them on the different production practices, industry issues, and innovative solutions continues to increase. As part of a statewide U.S. Congressional Aide event, local OSU Extension Area Leaders jointly developed a tour for US Congress agricultural aides serving their area. The goal was to showcase as many facets of OSU Extension programming happening in the congressional district. The OSU Educators started by asking the congressional aides both in Washington DC and in the local field offices to see what they were interested in learning while visiting the congressional district. Having a voice in the tour provided buy in from the aides as well as added value to them.

Extension clientele were contacted to make arrangements for the tour stops. They were instructed that the tour would be a low key, informal event that provides an opportunity for them to discuss issues affecting agriculture and OSU Extension’s response while showcasing their agricultural business. Clientele were also instructed on the Smith Lever Act and Hatch Act and encouraged to mention the importance of funding these at the federal level. Clientele stated they benefited through the discussion of critical issues while showcasing their home or business.

Since extension funding comes from county, state and federal levels in Ohio, we also took advantage to use these tours as a chance to connect local political leaders and our congressional aides during an invitation only luncheon. This networking lunch allowed a meaningful dialogue to occur among the congressional aides, local political leaders, farmers and 4-H members.

Feedback from the congressional aides indicated the tour was very beneficial in helping them understand the scope of agriculture and the policy need as well as the reach of OSU Extension in the local community. Feedback received included:

  • “On my tour, I came to realize just how technologically-advanced the modern farm has become, and how farmers have evolved to meet changing times, in an increasingly global and interconnected landscape.”
  • “I was grateful to have productive discussions on agricultural trade with both affected farmers and Ohio State’s academic experts. I learned that international markets for America’s crop exports take time to establish, but can be shut off far more quickly, and we should take pause to consider potential negative downstream impacts on farmers as we conduct trade policy.”
  • “I learned more on the critical services that Ohio State Extension provides to the community. The role of helping farmers be more productively, educating the next generation of farmers, and facilitating programs that help the average person, like the short-term food pantry program I was able to tour in Pike County.”

Local clientele and political leaders were also grateful to build a relationship with congressional aides and have continued to communicate with them following the tour. This successful program has occurred in for the past four years and plans are being made for 2019.


Chris Bruynis was raised on a family dairy, beef and grain farm in Southwestern, Ohio, USA. After receiving his Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture Economics and Business Administration at Wilmington College, he returned to the family farm as a managing partner. After ten years, he left the family farm to earn his Master’s Degree in Agricultural Economics and his Doctorate Degree in Human and Community Resource Development at The Ohio State University. Currently, he is employed with Ohio State University Extension, as an Associate Professor, Area Leader, and Extension Educator teaching farm and agri-business management topics. He focuses on teaching management principles, farm finance, farm taxes, transition planning, and business leadership skills.


C.M. Leddin1, K.F. Smith2, K. Giri3

1Agriculture Victoria, 703-709 Raglan Pde., Warrnambool, Vic., 3280, Australia

2The University of Melbourne, c/- 915 Mt. Napier Rd., Hamilton, Vic., 3300, Australia

3Agriculture Victoria, 5 Ring Rd., Bundoora, Vic., 3083, Australia



Grazed perennial ryegrass-based pasture is an important component of diets of dairy cows in south-eastern Australia with farmers having to make decisions on which cultivar is most profitable for their business.  Plot trials are often used to estimate the relative merit of new pasture cultivars and are conducted in several ways.  The most accurate of these is to cut, weigh and oven-dry a sample from a known area and scale to kilograms of dry matter per hectare (kg DM/ha).  However, this is destructive and labour-intensive.  Ground-based and aerial sensors offer potential to automate and reduce measurement time.  Active optical sensor technologies, such as GreenseekerTM, measure reflectance of near infrared and visible red light and calculate vegetation indices such as the normalised difference vegetation index (NDVI).  The NDVI has been shown to be correlated to pasture biomass, particularly when combined with height due to saturation of NDVI at pasture masses >2,000 kg DM/ha.

A short-term study comparing NDVI and height measurements to pasture DM yield was conducted on an existing cultivar evaluation trial which tested 31 perennial ryegrass cultivars in 4 replicates.  On 6 occasions between August and May, plots (5.0×0.8m) were measured with a GreenseekerTM to obtain NDVI values and a rising plate meter to measure height prior to destructive biomass assessment.  The destructive measurement involved mowing a 5.0×0.5m strip to a simulated grazing height of 5cm, weighing clippings and sampling for DM determination.  Average NDVI and height measurements (NDVI x height) considered as a metric for each cultivar were compared to the average mown DM yield (DMY, kg DM/ha).  This metric was significantly (P<0.05) correlated to DMY in each harvest.  The strength of correlations varied from moderate (r=0.43) in August (winter) to strong (r>0.80) in the 3 harvests in spring and autumn.  In August, water lying in the paddock may have affected the NDVI readings.  The harvests with the highest correlation occurred when pastures were actively growing.  Interestingly, in two harvests (December and May), NDVI was more highly correlated to DMY than when NDVI was combined with height.  In contrast to all other harvests which had moderate to strong correlation between height and DMY, there was no correlation between height and DMY in December (r=0.02) suggesting an issue with the reliability of measuring compressed height on summer pastures.  In May, the correlation between NDVI and DMY (r=0.94) was stronger than between DMY and height (r=0.81) due to favourable conditions for accurate measurement of NDVI (actively growing pasture and average DMY for each cultivar <1000 kg DM/ha).  The lack of correlation in December may be addressed using technology such as ultrasonic sensors to measure height.

When all harvests were combined into a simple linear regression, there was a significant (P<0.001) correlation between DMY and (NDVI x height), with 87.5% of variation in DMY accounted for.  Further work, assessing the adequacy of the regression model, and cross-validation analysis to test the ability to predict DMY from NDVI and height across seasons is required prior to scaling up to a paddock level.


Clare has worked as an agricultural scientist for the State Government of Victoria, Australia for almost 20 years. Her work has taken her across Victoria and to Vietnam, and from the study of wool fibres to farming systems. She has completed a Master of Agriculture at the University of Melbourne which investigated the efficiency of grain supplementation in pasture-based dairy production systems. Her more recent work has involved analysing the impact of on-farm changes and innovation on the profitability of dairy farm systems. She has recently been instrumental in the development of Australia’s first forage value index, which helps Australian dairy farmers and their advisors make informed decisions when selecting perennial ryegrass cultivars.



The objective of the International Farm Management Association is to further the knowledge and understanding of farm business management and to exchange ideas and information about farm management theory and practice throughout the world. The IFMA is a non profit-making organisation and currently the Association has members in over 50 countries.

Congress Managers

Please contact the team at Conference Design with any questions regarding the Congress.

Photography Credits

Tourism Tasmania, Barnbougle Dunes, Ray Joyce, Health Holden, Graham Freeman, Joe Shemesh, Glenn Gibson, Hobart City Council, Nick Osborne, National Trust Tasmania, Dale Baldwin, Brian Dullaghan, Rob Burnett, Alistair Bett, Alice Bennett, Wai Nang Poon, Chris Crerar, Kathy Leahy, Flow Mountain Bike, Tasmanian Parks & Wildlife Service, James Bowden, Masaaki Aihara, Sean Feennessy, Bruce Irwin, Liz Knox