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Thom Mueller Named 2012 Ontario Forage Master

November 6, 2012, Ottawa - Thom Mueller has been named the Ontario Forage Master for 2012.

Thom Mueller participated in the 25th Annual Ontario Forage Masters Competition in Guelph, where he had the opportunity to present innovative ideas and forage management techniques to peers and visitors. Pickseed Canada, SGS Agri-Food Laboratories, the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, and the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) sponsored the competition.

"Forages represent the largest crop, by acreage, in Ontario and the Forage Masters competition helps focus on the benefits this forage crop offers to livestock producers, and also on the soil build benefits to the land. Certainly these forage benefits were brought into sharp focus this year due to the drought. Pickseed is pleased to be a sponsor of the Ontario Forage Masters Competition both for the field judging and forage quality part of this competition and from my perspective the public speaking portion of this competition, where the winners at the county level have the opportunity to present how forages help them in their farming operation. As a member of the judging panel, it was great to hear such passion about forages and the true benefits they bring to these producers." said Peter Craig, Vice President, Eastern Agriculture Division, Pickseed Canada.

"All the finalists were excellent speakers as well as having demonstrated outstanding forage production, making the judging extremely challenging this year", says Joan McKinlay, President of OSCIA. "Thom was selected from a group of outstanding participants. On behalf of Ontario Soil and Crop we congratulate Thom and wish him all the best in the American Forage and Grassland Council competition as the 2012 Ontario Forage Master".

Following the announcement, Thom Mueller, who represents Ottawa/Carleton, expressed his thanks. "I'm honored to have been chosen for the award. To help achieve consistent profitability, we try to maximize our use of home grown forages. Do the little things right, and the big picture will fall into place." Thom's wife Wilma commented on the Forage Master competition to say "It was a pleasure to meet other producers from across the province and to share ideas on farming."

Thom is a graduate of the University of Guelph with a B.Sc. in Agri. Business. The family farm is owned and operated by Thom & his wife Wilma. They currently milk 85 cows and grow 120 acres of alfalfa, an integral part of their operation. "High quality forage can add a great deal to the farm's bottom line." Mueller stated.

Thom now qualifies to compete in the 2013 American Forage and Grassland Council's Forage Spokesperson Competition to be held January 6-9, 2013 at the Cincinnati Marriott River Center, Covington Kentucky U.S.A. "I look forward to learning more about the forage industry in the upcoming year." stated Thom, with respect to the American Forage and Grassland Spokesperson competition.

Forages are the foundation behind dairy rations and forage quality affects herd health and production performance. The Mueller family realizes that forages provide many economic and environmental benefits in a good crop rotation. "A high level of production is reached by putting our focus on growing and producing top quality forages," stated Thom. "We strive to achieve higher quality and consistency each year by reviewing and implementing the things that work well for us."