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Prime rib and camaraderie found at Shelby County Cattlemen’s Banquet
Fat Tuesday means a variety of things to different people. As the last day prior to Lent, many cultures have developed celebratory traditions to mark the day before six weeks of a more somber lifestyle.  If you happen to be in New Orleans, that day is the time of the greatest festivities of Mardi Gras. Extravagant parades, open street partying and other eye opening activities await tourists and natives.

In western Ohio, a more recent yearly tradition includes a phenomenal (Texas-sized) prime rib dinner with all of the trimmings, an ample supply of liquid refreshments, gambling with a purpose, lots of door prizes and plenty of camaraderie; amongst those who endure a wide range of weather elements to care for their cattle. Rumor has it that one should expect beads and a parade as part of this year’s get together.

The 2013 Shelby County Cattlemen’s Assoc. Banquet on Feb. 12 also features a special “members only” cash prize drawing as an incentive to join the beef-oriented organization (only $15). The event is slated for next Tuesday, at the Houston Community Center, located at 5005 Russia-Houston Road in the suburbs of Houston, Ohio (that’s right, not Texas). The affair has grown in popularity, in part because of the sumptuous feast offered for a mere $20, if reserved by Saturday. A limited number of tickets will be available at the door on a first come, first serve basis. Please email for a reservation or call 937-726-0478 for your opportunity to not only chow down, but also hear from two esteemed speakers.

Sam Sutherly, president of the Ohio Cattlemen’s Assoc., leads off with news from the state group and beyond. As a cattleman in Miami County with a 200 cow-calf operation with a cash grain operation and family interest in a small elevator, Sutherly is well aware of many of the challenges beef farmers and ranchers experience on a daily basis.

Next up is the “ol’ baloney” man as he has described himself to voters in west central Ohio. The Honorable Jim Buchy, a member of the Ohio House of Representatives, plans to share some of his practical perspectives of state government. No stranger to critics, Buchy was once named as a proud member of the “Caveman Caucus”, a conservative faction of state elected officials. He eagerly speaks about his involvement in making elected and appointed individuals responsible to taxpayers. Participants in this rural Fat Tuesday activity are encouraged to not only question the keynote speaker, but to also contribute insight for him to utilize in his job.  
More information is available at 
A number of outstanding workshops were promoted recently in the Jan. 29-Feb. 13 edition of the CORN Newsletter, an online publication of the Ohio State University Extension Agronomy Team and state specialists at OSU and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC). They include:

•Intensive Soybean Workshop, Shelby County; Feb. 7; 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.; Call 937-498-7239 or e-mail
•Spring Nitrogen Decisions for High Yield Wheat, Findlay; Feb. 13; 10 a.m. – noon;

Call 419-422-3851 or e-mail  
•Introductory & Advanced Agronomy Workshops, OARDC, Wooster; Feb. 19 & 20;

9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day; Call 614-292-4077 or e-mail

•Advanced Corn Production Workshop, Findlay; Feb. 26; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Call 419-422-3851 or e-mail
Go to the Agronomic Crops Network website at for complete agendas and more registration information.