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Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

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Rain barrel workshop
Bring a buddy and learn how to save water and money by building your own rain barrel at a workshop sponsored by the Ottawa Soil and Water Conservation District and Schedel Arboretum & Gardens.

The workshop will be held May 3 at 6:30 p.m. at Schedel, located at 19255 W. Portage River South Rd., Elmore. No power tools are needed but the process requires two sets of hands for assembly of the 55-gallon barrel. Staff may be available to assist those who cannot bring a friend to help.

The event will also include a presentation by Bench’s Greenhouse, of Elmore, and participants will have the opportunity to enjoy a leisurely walk through the gardens.

The cost is $70 per rain barrel assembled. Seats are limited to 20 rain barrels, so early registration is suggested. To register, call the Ottawa Soil & Water Conservation District at 419-898-1595 by April 26.


Pork topic of monthly forum
As meat lovers continue to debate the most valuable fare, Randy Brown, a hog farmer from Ohio’s Wyandot County, will discuss the latest trends and issues surrounding the food and pork industry at the monthly Northwest Ohio Ag-Business Breakfast Forum March 15 from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the Agricultural Incubator Foundation in Bowling Green.

The program begins at 8 a.m. with informal networking hosted by CIFT. Brown, co-operator of Maken Bacon Farm in Morral, Ohio, will discuss how U.S. producers have become one of the world’s largest pork exporters and how these opportunities impact the Ohio farm economy in terms of jobs and economic development. A strong emphasis on general farm production will also be discussed, as Brown will address how modern pork production practices are helping farmers achieve higher food production standards.

The Northwest Ohio Ag-Business Breakfast Forum is an educational networking opportunity that offers information on current issues, trends and programs available to the agricultural community and those who support its advancement. Farmers, agribusiness owners and supporters of Ohio’s agricultural economy are encouraged to join CIFT on the third Thursday every month for this forum.

The cost is $10 per person (cash or check at the door), which includes breakfast and informal networking opportunities. Walk-ins are welcome, but guests are encouraged to reserve a seat in advance by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

The Agricultural Incubator Foundation is located at 13737 Middleton Pike (SR 582) in Bowling Green.


Country Crew elects officers
Members of The Country crew 4-H Club met Feb. 19 to elect officers for 2012.

Officers include Kurt Baumgartner, president; Katy Avers, vice president; Camryn Bench, secretary; Grace Weirich, treasurer; Leah Bench, news reporter; Lexey Holub, historian; Derek Benner, sergeant-at-arms; Kevin Baumgartner, Clover Bud Jr. advisor; Jonny Braun, technology leader; Laura Luckey, health leader; Hannah Gardner, safety leader; Sarah Blausey, environmental leader and Ross Weirich, recreation leader. 

The Country Crew 4-H Club is currently accepting new members. The club meets at I Scream on Your Left in Elmore. For more information, contact Jill Bench at 419-862-3596.

Ebola outbreak

Are you worried about the possible Ebola outbreak in the United States?
494665400 [{"id":"22","title":"Yes, there are already cases in the U.S.","votes":"4","pct":16.67,"type":"x","order":"1","resources":[]},{"id":"23","title":"Yes, we should quarantine people traveling from Africa who enter the U.S.","votes":"17","pct":70.83,"type":"x","order":"2","resources":[]},{"id":"24","title":"No, the government has it under control.","votes":"3","pct":12.5,"type":"x","order":"3","resources":[]}] ["#194e84","#3b6b9c","#1f242a","#37414a","#60bb22","#f2babb"] sbar 160 160 /component/communitypolls/vote/10-ebola No answer selected. Please try again. Thank you for your vote. Answers Votes ...