Not your typical bovine

CN-MR-3-Not your 1by Laura Rodley

High in the hills of Hawley, MA sits Tregellys Fiber Farm, where Andrea Phillips of Cap Hill Tibetan Yak Farm in Little Compton, RI purchased her main yak bull Target as a calf, almost six years ago. She’s checked every year since to see if a female has been born. This year she hit the jackpot with a three week old thigh-high female whose grandmother is a Jersey.

Indeed, the Jersey behaved like a grandmother, protectively standing by the calf as she waited to be picked up. Her “dzomo” — half yak, half cow mother — waited behind the fence. No bellowing nor bleating arose; yaks only grunt, and that came later. [Read more…]

What makes a successful farmers market?

CN-MR-2-What makes 1by Sanne Kure-Jensen

Thriving farmers markets have loyal customers and great vendors. The customers spend money, return regularly and bring friends. Successful vendors bring great products, friendly smiles and the right pricing, week after week.

During a Farmers Market Manager Conference held in Rhode Island, a brainstorming session revealed contribution to a successful market and what may be holding it back. [Read more…]

Learning the hard way: Protect your business from theft

CMN-MR-1-Learning 1by Emily Enger

When Jason and Amy Ladd received a phone call from a young stranger who confessed his friend had stolen from their business, they were floored. The Ladd’s own Lucky Ladd Farms, a petting farm in Eagleville, TN. The alleged robber was their 19 year-old employee who, in the nature of the young and invincible, bragged about how she was skimming from the Ladds’ till and spent the stolen cash on flashy items like a Mustang convertible and multiple iPhones for her and her friends. Eventually, one of her friends was bothered enough to say something. [Read more…]

Principles of bio-security

CM-MR-2-Principles 2by Steve Wagner

Dr. Ernest Hovingh describes himself as ‘a James Herriot kind of man.’ Herriot was a veterinarian in the UK’s Yorkshire Dales who wrote a series of bestselling books about his practice nearly 40 years ago. Dairy cows are where Hovingh has spent the past 20 years of his life. “But,” he explains, “I also work on the bio-security aspect of things.” Hovingh honed in on infectious disease for his presentation at Penn-Ag’s Pork Expo and Poultry Progress Day at Shady Maple in East Earl, PA. [Read more…]

Diversifying milk

CM-MR-2-Diversifying 1by Tamara Scully

Western Pennsylvania’s Windy Ridge Dairy is, in many ways, a typical small dairy farm. But in just as many ways, it isn’t. Lindsay Fischer, along with her mother Chris Fischer, milk 40 head of registered Jersey cows at the family’s dairy, just north of Pittsburgh. Her father Steve, along with her brother Matt, both work full-time off of the farm, but do all of the field work. The family is busy both on-farm and off. [Read more…]