Grasstravaganza 2014 promotes love of the land through understanding

CEW-MR-3-Grasstravaganza3by Troy Bishopp

MORRISVILLE, NY — Aldo Leopold once said, “When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.” This sentiment was an overarching theme at the three-day Grasstravaganza 2014 event that brought 150 farmers, ag educators and conservation professionals together to peer deeply into soil health, pasture productivity and creating wealth by nurturing the land. [Read more…]

Raising cattle for the future, today

CEW-MR-3-Equity Angus1by Sally Colby

Rich Brown says five generations on all sides of his family tree have been in some kind of livestock business, so it’s natural that he’d continue the tradition.

Brown’s involvement with beef cattle began at his parents’ farm in Antwerp, NY. “I was working off the farm,” he said. “My parents were no longer milking, and the pastures were growing up in brush. I decided it made sense to put beef cattle there.” Brown put five registered Angus heifers on the farm in 1995, and in 2000, moved to Port Byron, NY, to grow the herd. [Read more…]

Cover crops prove to be a good management tool for vegetable growers

CEW-MR-2-Cover Crops1by Elizabeth A. Tomlin

Cover crops should be a part of every vegetable farmer’s toolbox. That’s the message that Thomas Björkman, Associate Professor of Vegetable Crop Physiology with Cornell University explained to attendees of a vegetable grower’s meeting and workshop that took place near Fort Plain, NY.
Since vegetable production compromises soil health, which directly affects productivity, building and maintaining soil is a priority for vegetable producers.

“One management goal that is central for many vegetable farmers is maintaining good tilth, which is accomplished in part by always feeding soil microorganism with fresh organic matter,” Björkman explained. “Cover crops can provide that organic matter between vegetables.” [Read more…]

Sparrow Soap and how it grew

CN-MR-3-GOATSOAP4by George Looby, DVM

Billy goats are the butt of many farm-related jokes, but without their services, many enterprises using goats and their by-products would quietly disappear from the scene. Bucks are usually relegated to the farthest corner of the farm, but here at Kingdom Kids Family Farm, they are housed in a barn (aptly named Man Cave), located directly behind the main barn. For those unfamiliar with goats, bucks emit a unique odor during the breeding season which most people rank somewhere between unacceptable to intolerable. This characteristic stands in stark contrast to the product produced by farm owner Michelle Lyon and her partner Sue Barry. Since 2011, they have been manufacturing cosmetic soap using goat milk as a critical ingredient. [Read more…]