Sparrow Soap and how it grew

CN-MR-3-GOATSOAP4by George Looby, DVM

Billy goats are the butt of many farm-related jokes, but without their services, many enterprises using goats and their by-products would quietly disappear from the scene. Bucks are usually relegated to the farthest corner of the farm, but here at Kingdom Kids Family Farm, they are housed in a barn (aptly named Man Cave), located directly behind the main barn. For those unfamiliar with goats, bucks emit a unique odor during the breeding season which most people rank somewhere between unacceptable to intolerable. This characteristic stands in stark contrast to the product produced by farm owner Michelle Lyon and her partner Sue Barry. Since 2011, they have been manufacturing cosmetic soap using goat milk as a critical ingredient. [Read more…]

Our Family Farms

CN-MR-3-FamilyFarm2by Laura Rodley

Our Family Farms is a co-owned cooperative, comprising four farms stretching from Leyden, at the northern edge of Massachusetts, to Shelburne, across 10 miles of fertile land. This land supports 400 cows, collectively of prize-winning stock, that produce high-quality hormone rBST-free milk. Its office is based in Greenfield, MA.

Warren Facey is the owner of Bree-Z-Knoll in Leyden, executive director of Massachusetts Association of Dairy Farmers and a 40-year Farm Bureau member. He is also on the Franklin County Board of Directors and a lifelong observer of farms. “In 1985 there was a big exodus. It’s been going on ever since,” he said. [Read more…]

A perfect pest — Palmer Amaranth, a new threat to Pennsylvania agriculture

CM-MR-3-Palmerby Steve Wagner

Woody Sigmin of Memphis, TN is very vocal about Palmer Amaranth, a species of pigweed recently introduced to Pennsylvania agriculture.

“I’m from the Mississippi delta, and believe me, you do not want this plant on your farm!” he said while riding in a canopied wagon with three dozen attendees during the 2014 Farming for Success seminar at Penn State’s research station in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

Pigweed is not grown in these trial fields, but samples have been brought in. “It’s unbelievable. It is horrible, it is terrible,” Sigmin said. “We have to rotate completely different crops just trying to clean out that one weed.” [Read more…]

From the rodeo ring to the pasture

CW-MR-3-Jim Brown344by Kelly Gallagher

After only a minute of conversation, it becomes clear that Jim Brown — a beef cattle farmer who works a 95-acre plot of land in Seneca Falls, NY with his wife, Elsie — loves his herd. For Brown, caring for his Charolais cattle goes far beyond providing them with essentials like food and medical attention. He makes it a point to get to know each of his 30 cows individually, and he works hands-on with them as much as possible. The result? Thirty happy cows, and a farmer who truly enjoys what he does.

Brown insists that he has no favorite breed of cattle. When asked why he currently keeps Charolais, he has a ready response. “When the neighbor calls up at 3 a.m. to tell me, ‘Your cows are in my corn!’, the Charolais are easy to see in the dark!” he jokes, referring to the Charolais’ white coat. [Read more…]