Growing a dairy farm from scratch

CN-MR-4-BrooksFarm1by Sally Colby

It isn’t every day that young people decide they want to farm, and for those who do, it’s tough to start with nothing but experience. Having a strong desire for a life in agriculture might help, but purchasing a farm can be a prohibitively expensive proposition.

Nathaniel Brooks, of Canaan, Maine, says he’s always wanted to be a dairy farmer, and through Maine Farmlink, a program of Maine Farmland Trust, his dream is becoming a reality.

“We started discussing it in early 2011,” said Brooks as he talked about his relationship with Mike and Betsy Holt, the farm owners who connected with Brooks through FarmLink. “The Holts wanted to give a young guy some help getting started.” Brooks added that he grew up just a few miles from the Holts, and they already knew him — a bonus for both sides. [Read more…]

More in common than not

CM-MR-3-CzechVisitors2by Sally Colby

In early 2013, Joy Hess, the herdsman for her family’s JoBo Holstein Farm, decided it would be a good idea to start a Facebook page for the farm. Nearly every evening, Joy posts photos and tidbits of information about the farm, including new calves, planting and harvest, cow management, general dairy farm life and the accomplishments of the youngest family members at shows and sales.

Joy is somewhat surprised that more than 1,000 followers are interested in what happens on the family farm, but not as surprised as when she was contacted by someone in the Czech Republic expressing interest in visiting the farm as part of a farm tour. [Read more…]

NYS Police host clinic for farm equipment usage on New York State roads

CEW-MR-1-NYS police2by Elizabeth A. Tomlin

Farmers from around New York attended an informative meeting addressing farm equipment and New York State updated traffic safety laws, during a clinic held at Al and Linda LaRue’s Farm Shop Facility in Charlton, Saratoga County.

Trooper Christine Bornmann of the New York State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit informed attendees about the use of farm tractors and implements and towing of farm wagons on New York State roads. Large farm truck information was also discussed. [Read more…]

NYS Dairy Princess offers heartfelt encouragement to “get involved”

CEW-DY-MR-2-NYS DP 1cby Kara Lynn Dunn

An invited guest at the 2014 Belleville Henderson FFA Annual Awards Banquet in Belleville, NY, New York State Dairy Princess Casey Porter offered a moving presentation that spoke about the impact of the Christian, agricultural and local communities on her life following the July 30, 2013 accident in which her dad was run over by a cattle truck.

“I was getting ready to leave for the St. Lawrence County Fair to practice my dairy judging skills when my mom phoned to say my father had been in a terrible accident,” Casey told the FFA students, their parents and families, and community members in the southern Jefferson County farming community. [Read more…]