Breeding better beef

CE-MR-3-Mountain-Hollow31by Sally Colby

When Randy and Laura Rockhill purchased a large property in Madrid, NY, their intent wasn’t to start a purebred cattle operation.

“We bought it primarily for hunting,” said Randy, describing the 400-acre home farm. “We bought a few head of cattle, and went from a few cattle to over 200 head.” In addition to the home farm, the Rockhills rent an additional 500 acres for crops and pasture. [Read more…]

New crops for New Jersey

by Jane Primerano

Benjamin Franklin called New Jersey a barrel tapped at both ends: New York City and Philadelphia.

For better or worse, this is still true. Many New Jersey farmers take advantage of this by growing specialty crops for the cities’ restaurants. In addition to the lucrative tourist market, the ethnic diversity of the state is creating new markets right here.

Over the past 16 years, Dr. James E. Simon (Dr. Jim) has worked to bring in and improve new crops to suit these markets. [Read more…]

6th Annual Fiber Festival of New England features full line of diversity

CN-MR-3-FIBER-FEST-7931by Paul Burdziakowski

The sixth annual Fiber Festival of New England took place Nov. 7-8 at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, MA. The event, put together by the New England Sheep and Wool Growers Association (NESWGA) and the Eastern States Exposition, promotes the use of wool, natural fibers and other related products.

This year 168 exhibitors were onsite showcasing their carefully crafted handmade products which included clothing, blankets, yarn, raw fleeces, spinning wheels, shawl pins, Christmas ornaments and much more. Some exhibitors didn’t even need to be onsite to sell their products. For a $2 fee NESWGA members could mail in their fleece along with the date shorn, breed of animal and producer information. The fleece sale was ongoing throughout both days of the festival. In addition to the shopping opportunities there were several other activities for participants to take part in such as workshops, competitions, demonstrations, live animal displays and even a fashion show. [Read more…]

Equine Affaire 2015

CN-MR-3-EQUINE-AFFAIRE-1031by Laura Rodley

People arrived in droves to spend their money, taking home wagonloads or armloads of state-of-the-art, high quality saddles, horse feed, bridles, horse bling, buckles, or sweatshirts, cowboy boots and coats for themselves at the 51st Annual Equine Affaire. There were almost 500 vendors and over 47 presenters, plus a multitude of horse related clinics. Over in the C Barn, there were 46 more exhibitors, featuring horses from New England Morgan Horse Association to Walnut Ridge Farm Haflingers from Medina, OH. [Read more…]

PFB: Budget deal good for agriculture, fails to yield meaningful property tax relief for farmers

CM-RP-1-PAFB-MEETING-011Unveils new partnership to identify uncounted farm practices improving Chesapeake Bay

HERSHEY, PA — Pennsylvania Farm Bureau (PFB) says the overall state budget agreement reached between Governor Wolf and Republican leadership appears to include necessary funding increases to support the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) and positive steps toward reforming an out-of-control pension system, but it falls woefully short in providing property tax relief for farm families. [Read more…]