The 40th Mass Sheep and Woolcraft Fair

CN-MR-3-FortiethMassby Laura Rodley

Showing lambs, fleece, sweaters, yarn — the family-friendly 40th Sheep and Woolcraft Fair had it all.

Each year, 4-H members learn that positivity, striving for perfection and hard work gains results at the fair, which was held at Cummington Fairgrounds in Massachusetts over Memorial Day weekend. Proceeds benefited Massachusetts 4-H Clubs. [Read more…]

Vermont sugarmakers report a range of results

CN-MR-2-VermontSugar1by Bethany M. Dunbar

Vermont sugarmakers are reporting a range of results from the season this spring, with some saying they made half a crop, some saying three-fourths, and some saying production was average. Even so, because so many more people are sugaring and others who have always sugared have added more taps, Vermont’s maple production is steadily climbing.

“You virtually have eight times the syrup that was produced 10 years ago,” said Henry Marckres of the Vermont Agency of Agriculture. [Read more…]

From tobacco to cattle

CM-MR-2-Ridgecrest2by Sally Colby

When Mark Bray was growing up in North Carolina, he and his grandmother made a deal: they saved some discarded flue-cured tobacco, sold it, and split the profit.

“That got me a little bit of money,” said Mark, who also had a small plot of tobacco of his own. “When you’re in the seventh grade, that’s the most money you can ever imagine having. But I wanted a calf so bad that I saved my money and bought a heifer.” [Read more…]

Mob grazing

CM-MR-2-Mobgrazing2by Karl H. Kazaks

Recently the NRCS hosted a seminar on the soil health and production benefits of mob grazing. Over 400 people from around the country joined to listen to Doug Peterson, Missouri’s State Soil Health Specialist (and past State Grazing Specialist), speak about the practice.

Peterson, who farms in northern Missouri said in many parts of the country soils have been degraded. [Read more…]