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The Real Dirt on Farming

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Breaking New Ground

April 29, 2014 | By Seth Teter

We recently came across two out-of-the-ordinary Ohio businesses that show there is plenty of opportunity for new ideas down on the farm.

Getting pigs to fly

How Ohio became a hub for international farm animal travel Somewhere in-between’s vision of same-day delivery and the airline industry’s perks to attract frequent fliers, an Ohio businessman is putting his mind to an age-old question. How do you move a herd of cattle across an ocean?

It’s a bit of a twist on a longstanding enterprise. Livestock that were originally brought to the country by European settlers have been improved by centuries of selective breeding. Now, as countries around the world look to bolster their domestic food supplies, they are looking to benefit from the work done on American farms.

“The world comes to the United States for two main things in animal agriculture – that’s genetics and health,” said John Surber of Feed the World, LLC in Clinton County.

He started the business, which can ship horses, pigs, cattle and other livestock to global customers, after realizing the opportunity that the nearby Wilmington Air Park provided. The less time animals spend in transit, he figured, the less they would be exposed to stress. Livestock put on a boat may take days to reach a destination halfway around the world. Surber wants to get them there in hours. He notes that the nearly 7,000 pigs he has shipped have each arrived safe and sound. Read More...

South Dakota Pigs Ship to Brazil

February 2013

First Shipment by plane to Russia

October 2012

Feed The Word and Premier Solutions are very excited to host the visit of China DDG Delegation to Sabina. Watch for details and photos from this October event.

American's Heartland Episode 803

Segment on Surber Farms starts ~ minute 8

Meet an Ohio farm family whose work focuses on agriculture at home and abroad. The Surber farm family takes a comprehensive approach in turning out agricultural products. Not only will you find them in the field growing corn, wheat and soybeans, they also run a feed company and raise hogs for customers overseas.

Watch 803 on PBS. See more from America's Heartland.


President Gee Visits Feed The World Facility

July 2012

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Working Every Day at Doing What is Right

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  • The Environment
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  • Animal Nutrition& Animal Health
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French Tourists Visit Facility

We hosted French tourists through the Hornbeam and Clinton Barn on September 28, 2011.

Media Advisory:

Representatives Rosenberger, Butler, and Local Leaders to Tour Sabina Livestock Export Facility

SABINA— State Representatives Cliff Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) and Jim Butler (R-Oakwood), along with local community leaders will tour John Surber’s new livestock export facility in Sabina this Friday, July 22nd.  The focus of the tour and subsequent discussions will be centered on the economic potential of the facility for the surrounding areas, and the state of Ohio as a whole.

Who:                    Representative Cliff Rosenberger (R-Clarksville), Representative Jim Butler

(R-Oakwood), John Surber, local community leaders

Where:               292 North Howard Street, Sabina-the administrative offices for the export facility

When:                 The tour will begin on Friday, July 22nd at 10:00 a.m.

Click here to view some photos.

Hog farmers have provided nearly 65,000 pounds of pork, or 325,000 meals, to Ohio families

COLUMBUS – Ohio’s hog farmers recently reached a new milestone in their statewide effort to combat hunger in Ohio. However, after the results of a new USDA study were released this week, it is clear there is still a long way to go to ensure that no Ohioan has to worry where their next meal will come from.

Since September 2009, 12 Ohio hog farmers have donated nearly 65,000 pounds, or 325,000 meals, valued at more than $174,000. The effort, Pork Power: Partnering to Fight Hunger in Ohio, is a partnership between the Ohio Pork Producers Council (OPPC), the Ohio Association of Second Harvest Foodbanks (OASHF), the Ohio Association of Meat Processors (OAMP) and the Ohio Corn Marketing Program.  READ MORE...

OMS Speakers Celebrate National Pork Month with Open Barn Event

More than 150 people, including county commissioners and township trustees, showed up Oct. 16 for an Open Barn event at the Clinton County, Ohio, farm of OMS speakers John and Connie Surber. With the help of the Ohio Pork Producers Council, the Surbers invited their neighbors and community leaders in a three county area to take a look inside a new breed-to-wean barn they had just finished building.

The Surbers gave tours of the new barn and described the steps they have taken to provide the highest standards of care for their animals and to run an operation that is environmentally safe for the community. They also showed a video of their Operation Main Street presentation and celebrated National Pork Month by treating everyone to a pork loin sandwich.


10/1/2010 2:25:00 PM - Featured at

Local Hog Farmers Celebrate Pork Month by Telling Their Stories Online

October is National Pork Month, which is dedicated to celebrating and enjoying the world’s most widely consumed meat — pork — and the Ohio hog farmers, like the John and Connie Surber family of Sabina, who produce it.

With 3,700 hog farms in the state, Ohio ranks ninth in the nation for pork production. These farms have a tremendous impact, creating over 10,860 jobs that generate $1.3 billion influence on the economy in the Buckeye state.

“On our family farm, we work each day to provide a safe and wholesome product for our consumers,” said John. “We do this by caring for our animals, the environment and supporting our local community.”

Eager to share their story, and help others better understand and learn about their farm, the Surbers worked with the Ohio Pork Producers Council to create a video about what pigs eat on today’s farms, rather than ‘slop’ feeding like the past, which is featured at To learn more about the Surber family, and to get their favorite ham loaf recipe, visit

To illustrate their commitment, the Surbers practice responsible pork production, participate in quality assurance programs and acknowledge responsible producer initiatives. One program they are involved in is called “We Care,” which was introduced by the Ohio Pork Producers Council and the National Pork Board.

This program involves farm families, like the Surbers, committing to six guiding principles that include: produce safe food; safeguard natural resources in all industry practices; provide a work environment that is safe and consistent with the industry’s other ethical principles; contribute to a better quality of life in communities; protect and promote animal well-being; and ensure practices to protect public health.

“These principles define who we are and what the pork industry’s values are,” said Connie. “At our farm, we want our consumers to understand that we are doing the right thing to provide safe food by caring for our animals and the environment.”