Next generation looks to robotic milking at Kooser Farms, LLC

CM-MR-3-Next generation 1by Jon M. Casey
At the open house and farm tour at the Center for Dairy Excellence, Joe Kooser was sharing his thoughts about his family farm’s upgrade to a robotic milking facility, featuring two, DeLaval VMS™ Robotic Milking systems. Joe explained to friends gathered nearby that his being able to attend this day’s events without worrying about the cows is one of the reasons that prompted him and his father Steve to switch to a robotic system after using a pipeline milking system for more than four decades.

Today, Joe and Steve are able to milk upwards of 120 cows. At the same time, they can do fieldwork as well as have free time to attend events. [Read more…]

Charlie Drumheller tests strip grazing on switchgrass

CM-MR-2-Charlie Drumheller 2by Karl H. Kazaks
SWOOPE, VA — With the abundance of pasture forage available this year thanks to mild temperatures and abundant rainfall, the availability of summer grazing resources may not be on the top of every grazier’s mind.
But warm season grasses can be a good investment even when your fescue and other cool-season stands are thriving (not to mention insurance against hot droughty summers). Not only can warm season grasses be harvested for hay at times when hay equipment isn’t in as high demand, but there are other ways to utilize warm season grasses — such as for energy and bedding. [Read more…]

Blue and gold forever

CEWM-MR-2-Blue and gold 2by Steve Wagner
Ignite the Night, an FFA event, was appropriately named. The function at the Sheraton in Harrisburg, PA was further described as the 10th annual Blue and Gold Ball for FFA alumni. Besides alumni, a look around the ballroom would reveal the presence of two of the three Pennsylvania dairy princesses. Long time hog farmer and recent chicken farmer Chris Hoffman displayed one of his hidden talents as a program emcee and disc jockey. [Read more…]

Stockpiled pasture — seeing is believing

CEW-MR-Stock piled pasture1DEANSBORO, NY — Just as squirrels salt away nuts for winter, farmers are also learning to store stockpile forage for late season harvest. This topic took center stage as 50 farmers from New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Ontario, Canada descended on the Bishopp Family Farm in Deansboro, NY to see the art and science behind stockpiling pasture and how to efficiently graze with this cost-saving practice. [Read more…]

Jahnke’s Hemlock Valley Dairy Farm ~ Working together for success

CE-MR-3-Hemlock Valley4by Elizabeth A. Tomlin
The sign on the front of the main barn, facing highway 28 in Milford, NY, says it all.
“Hemlock Valley Farm, the Jahnke’s – working together” the sign proclaims.

Jahnkes received the sign as a gift in the early ‘90s.
“The working together motto is one that we always fall back on when things get ‘testy’,” remarks Matt Jahnke. “I believe that is our biggest strength and it’s why we are so successful; it’s our ability to work together not only as business partners, but as a family.” [Read more…]