Destiny calls: Ben Ketchie is a dairy farmer

CM-MR-3-KETCHIE_-31by Karl H. Kazaks

UNION GROVE, NC — Ben Ketchie was a recent North Carolina State graduate, working at a feed store in Mt. Ulla, NC when he got a call on his 22nd birthday. Growing up in Rowan County, Ben worked on a variety of dairy farms and now that he was out of school, he was looking to establish a dairy of his own. “It had been a dream I’d been talking about,” Ketchie said. Chris Hoffner, a former employer, heard of a rental farm in far northern Iredell County. It was early in 2013 when Ketchie called the landowner, who was encouraged by his confidence and his plan to keep dairying on the 108-acre farm, rather than just rent the ground, so she decided to lease the farm to him. [Read more…]

Is the Estate Tax standing in the way of your future meals?

by Daniel M. Kniffen, VP Centre County Farm Bureau

The prediction that the world will need 100 percent more food by 2050 is, at best, concerning. U.S. consumers continue to have the luxury of access to a variety of ample, affordable, safe food; they deserve to have the privilege of continuing to be so fortunate with their food supply. The U.S. Estate Tax could prove to be a future road block to world food security.
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Identifying mastitis

CEW-MR-2-MASTITIS01701by Steve Wagner

Mastitis is the most common disease affecting dairy cattle. “Preventing mastitis is certainly important but identifying it is equally important,” said Ernest Hovingh, DVM/PhD, a highly visible presence at ag gatherings, he averages about 100 presentations a year, often more. His original topic at the 2015 Lebanon Dairy & Crops Compliance Day was ‘Objectively Investigating Milk Quality Issues’, but mastitis took front and center. After identifying mastitis, he says, “it must be properly managed.” Hovingh opened with a Socratic questioning method, wanting to know from attendees if they could tell from varied slides “whether or not this cow has mastitis”; if not, what could it be? [Read more…]

Farmers Market Federation of NY launches its Farm and Farmers Market Websites Program

by Mary C. Gruszka

Running a successful farm business relies not only on technical skills in the field, but increasingly on internet and computer skills, as well as promotion and marketing savvy.

To help farmers and farmers markets increase their web presence and skills to better promote their operations, the Farmers Market Federation of New York launched a new website development program. [Read more…]