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…]

Diversified faces, backgrounds and business plans contribute to four upstate farms recognized at the NYS Ag Forum

CEW-MR-1-Diversified Faces40by Pat Malin

LIVERPOOL, NY — The old adage, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” seemed perfectly suited to the theme at the New York State Agricultural Society’s 183rd annual meeting and agricultural forum at the Holiday Inn outside Syracuse.

Four upstate New York farmers presented their unique stories during a panel discussion moderated by agricultural economics expert Dr. David Kohl titled, “Diversification for Success: Strategically Positioning You and Your Business for the Future.” [Read more…]

Freeman Farm

CN-MR-3-freeman farm 002by Laura Rodley

David Freeman has worked with cattle most of his life. Since age 12, he raised his own calves at his grandfather Oswald Freeman’s Sunnyside Dairy, in northern New York where he grew up. He worked on neighboring farms through school. He helped his brother Dale Freeman during summers after his grandfather passed away and Dale bought the family farm from his grandmother and the one next to it. From there, David moved to Hartford, CT to teach special education and later to Heath, MA to raise beef cattle on his own Freeman Farm, with his wife Christine. Right now he’s rebuilding his herd for next year, with thirty head, mostly Herefords and Murray Grays. His grandfather and brother raised dairy cows, but he chose to raise beef cattle, “Mostly because I hate morning chores, don’t like getting up at 3 o’clock in winter, never did, never will.” He commuted to his job in Connecticut for years until he “got the farm going well enough,” and retired early from teaching in 1996.   [Read more…]