June 30, 2016 - 9:38am -- lewandowski.11@...

          The annual Wayne/Ashland County dairy twilight tour is scheduled for Tuesday evening July 12 beginning at 6:00 pm.  This year's host farm is Stollers Organic Dairy located at 10451 Eby Rd., Sterling OH 44276.   The Stoller farm is a multi-generational family dairy farm so attendees can expect to see a farm with some historic background and a farm that depends upon and uses the skills of a variety of family members.  

          The Stoller family has emphasized good land stewardship and conservation practices in their farming operation.  The Stoller Organic Dairy farm has received several conservation stewardship awards including the Goodyear Conservation Award and the Ohio Livestock Coalition’s Environmental Stewardship Award.   Conservation and land stewardship practices that have been applied on the farm include: installation of a tile line to direct all silage leachate into the manure storage ponds, grass water ways, contour strips, cow lanes and stream development, nutrient management, forest stand improvement, upland wildlife habitat and riparian buffer zone management plans.

          Participants will have the opportunity to take a short wagon tour of the dairy operation that will touch on dairy cattle housing, manure management, and pasture use / management and the importance of high quality forages.  The farm has recently put in a new milking parlor system and manure storage system that attendees will be able to see.  Organic Valley, which buys the milk the farm produces, is a cooperating partner on this year’s tour and will be providing milk and cheese for tour participants.

          The tour is planned and organized by the Wayne-Ashland Dairy Service Unit and its purpose is to highlight dairy farming and the dairy industry.  A free chicken BBQ and pork dinner that also includes milk, ice-cream and pie is offered throughout the evening.  

            Another highlight of the twilight tour is the tour sponsors.  Tour sponsors make the free dinner and tour event possible.  Some of the sponsors also choose to set up an exhibit or display at the tour.  Sponsors represent the range of services, businesses and infrastructure necessary to have a vibrant dairy economy and industry such as is present in Wayne County.  There will be a wide variety and assortment of farm machinery, equipment, supplies and displays present at the tour.  At 8:00 pm the Stoller family will be interviewed and will describe their farm operation in more detail, including the how’s and why’s of organic production.

          If you are interested in or have any connection to the dairy industry plan to attend the 2016 dairy twilight tour on July 12 at the Stoller Organic Dairy farm.  For more information about the event contact the Wayne County Extension office at 330-264-8722.  An informational flyer about the dairy tour is available on the Wayne County Extension web site at: http://go.osu.edu/agwayne .