CALDWELL, Ohio â Wayne Shriver is not only the man responsible for the daily operations of the Eastern Ohio Resource and Development Center (EORDC). Heâs also the owner of one of the stateâs most successful cow-calf operations, which earned him the first-ever Ohio Cattlemenâs Association (OCA) Commercial Producer of the Year Award. Created to improve the beef and sheep industries in Ohioâs Appalachian plateau, EORDC is one of 11 outlying branches of the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC). Shriver has been the branch manager since 1996. âOur willingness to change has been key to our success,â said Wayne, who runs the 400-cow Shriver Farms with his wife, Krista, and their sons, Heath and Ethan. âWe also work very closely with the cattle industry and groups that specialize in different aspects of production. Communication and cooperation are essential.â Shriver received the award âwhich was sponsored by the weekly newspaperFarm and Dairyâ Jan. 25 during OCAâs annual banquet in Dublin, Ohio. âIt's nice when one of our own is recognized for his personal activities," said Ken Scaife, assistant to the director for field operations at OARDC. âResearch and outreach efforts at the branch have grown significantly under Wayneâs leadership.Â He gives 100 percent to serving the cattle industry at OARDC, and in his own cattle operation.â Improving the genetic makeup of his herd has been one of the decisive changes implemented by Shriver. Artificial insemination has provided him with superior bulls, ensuring herd health and quality. A strategic weaning plan has taken care of the rest. âWe wean the animals on pasture and also house them in open pasture to reduce stress,â Wayne explained. âThanks to our plan, sickness and death loss has been almost completely eliminated.â Shriver Farms is a good example of how OARDC research and assistance from Ohio State University Extension benefit livestock operations in the state. âResearch has given us a lot of direction and has challenged to see where we are and where we can be,â Shriver pointed out. âStress, for example, is a big factor on poor carcass performance. We rely heavily on research to deal with this problem.â The Shrivers own more than 1,000 acres of pastures and lease 3,000 additional acres in the rolling hills of Guernsey and Noble counties. Cows are rotated through the pastures along with a flock of 400 sheep, which take care of multiflora rose and reduce brush-hogging.Â âWhat I tell beef producers is that, no matter how small their operations are, they should manage them with a large-scale mentality,â Shriver said. âThey also need to take a close look at research on production and forage and be in touch with others in the industry.â At his daytime job at EORDC, Shriver oversees nearly 2,100 acres and 400 cows. Research projects at the branch include forage management, grazing rotation, breeding technologies and animal health.Â And there is also, of course, the annual Ohio Bull Test âa program of OARDC, OSU Extension and OCA that continues to provide commercial beef producers from Ohio and other states with quality herd sires for increased productivity and profitability. This year, 115 of the 151 bulls that participated in the test will be auctioned. âWe are going to have a really good sale this year,â Shriver said. âWe have a great set of bulls and are expecting buyers who know what the industry needs and know where to get it.â Prospective buyers who are unable to attend the auction can purchase bulls from remote sale sites located in three OSU Extension offices âCarroll, Knox and Shelby countiesâ and the OSU Extension South District Office in Jackson. There, buyers can watch the bulls on videotape, listen to the sale and place bids over the telephone. EORDC is located on 16870 Township Road 126, Caldwell, Ohio. For additional information about the Ohio Bull Test, contact Shriver at (740) 732-4275 or beef cattle Extension associate Justin Lahmers at (614) 873-6736. You can also log on to http://bulltest.osu.edu. OARDC and OSU Extension are part of Ohio Stateâs College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.