The 146th Annual Cummington Fair

CN-MR-2-Cummington027by Laura Rodley

Farmers and residents prepared all year long for the 146th Annual Cummington Fair, grooming their animals and growing their vegetables and flowers for a chance to bask in the limelight. Last year, 34,000 people attended the fair in Cummington, MA, viewing the best of the best and partaking of usually forbidden fair food delights — such as French fries and fried dough — while watching magicians, riding on the Ferris Wheel or observing the oxen and horse pull. [Read more…]

What does the price crystal ball say?

CNM-MR-1-Crystal Ball396by Katie Navarra

If pricing were as simple as looking into a crystal ball farmers could rest easy knowing they were selling their crops at a price that is sustainable for the farm and what the market could bear.

“Small and mid-size producers are often shooting from their hip (when setting prices),” said Bob Weybright, Business Agricultural Economic Development Specialist with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture Program. [Read more…]

Cross-country couple

CW-MR-3-Moosman394by Kelly Gallagher

Anyone who has spent time on a ranch knows that working on one is very labor-intensive. But for Clint and Debbie Moosman, it is truly a labor of love.

Clint is originally from Idaho — traditional ranching country — but the ranch he and Debbie run today is located in the Finger Lakes region of New York State, an area far more well known for grape growing than cattle raising. To those unfamiliar with either industry, the type of cattle the Moosmans raise — Charolais — just might sound like a type of wine. [Read more…]

Catch the soil health bug

CEW-MR-2-Catch the soil1by Troy Bishopp

I’ve succumb to the soil health bug. How do I know? Well, on a recent kayak adventure in the Adirondacks, I laid awake at night listening to the unencumbered, deafening raindrops hit our tent and envisioned the uncovered soil getting pounded as the chocolate water carried the next generation’s livelihood off the land in which it was born.

My perspective heightens as I look into the eyes of my new granddaughter, Hadley. It reaffirmed for me the importance of holding on to her soil from the elements with sod. After all our farm sign says, “Grazing takes care of our roots”. [Read more…]

Interim dean recognized at Government/Industry Day luncheon

CEW-MR-2-GovDay029by Jon M. Casey

Dr. Barbara Christ, Ph.D., senior associate dean and professor in the College of Agricultural Sciences, was recognized for her service as interim dean at the Government/Industry Day luncheon, hosted by Penn State at Ag Progress Days on Wednesday Aug. 13, 2014. Christ has served as interim dean for the past two years, while a search for previous department dean’s replacement took place. Christ will be turning the responsibilities over to newly appointed dean, Dr. Richard Roush, on Oct. 1, 2014. [Read more…]