Chocolate milk anyone?

CN-MR-2-CHOC-MILK-141by Laura Rodley

Savoring many different types of chocolate doesn’t just happen at Valentine’s Day. For the past two years Margie Parsons and her daughter Kate have been cooking up chocolate in Mayval Farm’s kitchen. They’re trying out cocoa flavorings for their new chocolate milk, milk that will be processed in the farm’s own processing creamery. They also process cheese and milk and an Icelandic dairy product called skyr, (pronounced skier) which is similar in texture to Greek yogurt.

They will use a portion of the 660 gallons of milk produced daily from their 100 milkers, registered Holsteins with a few Jerseys and Brown Swiss, out of a herd of 200 on the 350 acre Westhampton, MA farm. To withstand the recent -10 degrees temperatures, the cows’ diet of farm-produced haylage and corn silage was increased and they have responded well, actually performing better in colder weather. [Read more…]

Meat is healthy: the message at this year’s VA Forage and Grassland Council meetings

CM-MR-1-VA-FORAGE01by Karl H. Kazaks

WYTHEVILLE, VA — In recent years, the Virginia Forage and Grassland Council has focused on a variety of topics at its annual winter meetings. They have been devoted to (among other things) educating attendees on aspects of animal health, livestock science, agronomy and farm management strategies — such as how to build healthy soils and why that affects livestock production — grazing strategies, encouraging livestock to eat weeds as well as strategies for putting up silage and haylage. [Read more…]

Vilsack addresses farmers’ concerns in town hall meeting

CEW-MR-2-Vilsak-Adresses3680by Sally Colby

Two of the top names in agriculture met for a standing room only town hall meeting during the recent annual convention of the American Farm Bureau. Farm Bureau President Stallman moderated while U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack addressed current topics and fielded audience questions.

Vilsack acknowledged the work that Farm Bureau has done with programs including the Farmer/Rancher Alliance, the Farmland movie, farm safety and and youth educational programs. “The My American Farm program is geared toward young children (K through 5th grade),” he said, “which gives kids an understanding of where food comes from and a higher appreciation for farmers.”

Regarding short and long term gains for United States agriculture, Vilsack said, “Every time we open an opportunity or enter into a free trade agreement, it’s good for agriculture. Exports represent about 30 percent of all the gross income received by the farm community.” [Read more…]

Sheep make a grand showing at 2015 Pennsylvania Farm Show

CEW-MR-3-Sheep contest2by T.W. Burger

Her Majesty Brienna Kabina, 17, Pennsylvania’s Lamb & Wool Queen for 2015, said she did not grow up on a sheep farm.

“My mom did, and she took me to our local fair one year and I fell in love with the sheep,” she said.

Now handing out ribbons at the Junior Sheep Breeding Supreme Champion contest at the 99th Pennsylvania State Farm Show in Harrisburg, Kabina said she had to wait a couple of years until she was old enough, but she eventually got a sheep of her own to raise as a 4-H project back in Somerset, PA. [Read more…]