Christie Administration announces 2015 Outstanding Young Farmer, seeks applications for 2016 honoree

CE-MR-Christie CE cover storySussex County farmer to receive award at 2015 State Agricultural Convention
TRENTON, NJ — Henry Richard Byma, a 36-year-old Sussex County dairy, hay and grain farmer, has been chosen as New Jersey’s 2015 Outstanding Young Farmers by the New Jersey State Board of Agriculture. Byma, who farms 680 acres in Wantage, will be presented with his award at the February 2015 New Jersey State Agricultural Convention in Atlantic City.

“Coming from a premier dairy farming family, Henry Byma continues to innovate and improve his farm operation, enacting practices to increase both milk and grain production while being environmentally responsible,” said New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher. “He is a leader in the agricultural community and will proudly represent New Jersey in the coming year as Outstanding Young Farmer.” [Read more…]

Planning for production

CM-MR-2-PlanningforProdby Tamara Scully

“It’s all about the consumer now. We’ve gone from a production-driven market to a consumer-driven market,” Dr. Robin G. Brumfield, Farm Management Specialist, Horticultural Economics, of Rutgers University, said in a recent webinar. “Try to put yourself in the consumer’s shoes when trying to decide what to grow and how much.”

Production planning means asking the hard questions before planting the first seed. The first step is to identify a need that isn’t being adequately addressed in the market. In today’s mature market, finding a niche to fill means doing something new, doing something better, and adding value by offering services. [Read more…]

Cream of the Crop

CN-MR-4-CreamCrop4by Laura Rodley

Jerald Reinford makes his dreams come true.

Five years ago, he bought 103 acres in Russell, MA with the dream of making it a farm and offering the goods at a farm store.

“I grew up on a farm. I have a furniture and kitchen business, and was looking for more of a family venture. Farming is in my blood,” he said. Reinford now divides his time between his successful business (Countryside Woodcraft, which employs 14 people and makes high-end furniture out of hardwoods, mainly cherry), and Cream of the Crop Farm. This arrangement allows Reinford to be more available for his seven children, ages 2 to 15, and his wife, Priscilla. [Read more…]

Woodbury FFA chapter to send 11 state-winning CDE teams to Nationals

CN-MR-1-LatestWoodburyThe Woodbury FFA chapter located at Nonnewaug High School in Woodbury, CT will be sending 11 state-winning CDE judging teams later in October to the National FFA Convention in Louisville, KY. Because the Woodbury FFA members won first place in 11 different state FFA judging contests during the past school year, there are 47 students from the Woodbury chapter who will attend the 87th National FFA Convention. [Read more…]

A celebration of the Cooperative Extension Program

CN-MR-1-CelebrationDeanby George Looby

On Sept. 19, 2014, the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources at the University of Connecticut held a ceremony marking the 100th anniversary of the Cooperative Extension Program. The extension service is a joint state-federal program enacted by Congress in 1914 to disseminate knowledge to the agricultural community to better their awareness of the latest in agricultural information. The legislation was known as the Smith-Lever Act, and it provides funding for outreach endeavors at the Land Grant Universities through the Cooperative Extension System. [Read more…]