Native warm season grass benefits: forage, hay, biofuel, wildlife

CEW-MR-1-Native grassesby Tamara Scully
Native warm season grasses are playing a growing role in pasture management. These multi-use grasses are a primary way of establishing and maintaining wildlife habitat, are used for biofuel, and are being promoted for use under drought conditions. Recent research at the University of Tennessee’s Center for Grasslands Management has demonstrated that native warm season grasses are a viable and profitable alternative for grazing and forage systems in the Northeastern United States. [Read more…]

Connolly brothers: Dairy and more

CN-MR-2-Connolly 1by Tamara Scully

At Connolly Brothers Dairy Farm, in Temple, NH, the three Connolly brothers have returned home to the dairy farm. Determined to grow the dairy business, expand farm operations, and continue the second-generation farm, brothers Chris, Mike and Patrick — along wife wives Jennifer, Cindi, and Jill — have a returned to the 100 acre home farm. Their parents began dairying when the boys were young. [Read more…]

FDA ruling on antibiotics in animal feed

by George Looby, DVM

For decades there has been a strong difference of opinion among various vested groups regarding the merits of adding antibiotics to animal feeds for the purpose of increasing feed efficiency and minimizing the effects of possible low grade infections especially in young growing animals. Animal scientists and those engaged in food animal production have long held that the economic benefits of feed additives outweigh any possible adverse effects to the consumer. Many consumers on the other hand view the use of antimicrobials in animal feed as leading to increased microbial resistance to those important antibiotics used on a regular basis in human medicine, leading to greater resistance. [Read more…]

What farmers can learn from mommy bloggers

CM-MR-3-What farmers 3by Sally Colby
The phrase ‘mommy bloggers unite’ will probably never be uttered because they’re a group that’s already as united as they could be. But who are mommy bloggers, and why should farmers care about what they think? [Read more…]

Savvy farmers communicate with customers and seek feedback

CEW-MR-1-Seek feedback6785by Sanne Kure-Jensen

Savvy businesspeople know that happy customers return and spend more money. Smart farmers ask loyal CSA, farmers market and restaurant customers what they liked. Smart businesspeople seek customer suggestions for the future.

Engaged customers are loyal customers. Always greet your customers personally at CSA pickups, farmers markets and on deliveries. Ask customers their opinions and take their advice when you can. Make them feel that your improvements or changes were their idea. It does not matter who gets the credit for a great idea. [Read more…]