Inaugural fiber certification workshops

CEW-MR-2-Fiber-sorting2qby Elizabeth A. Tomlin

Once again, SUNY Cobleskill, known for their innovative programs and workshops, has led the way for the agricultural community by launching the first certificate program for Fiber Sorting, Grading and Classing offered in the United States.

Linda Serdy, Program Coordinator at SUNY Cobleskill’s Office of Professional and Continuing Education (PACE), explained how the program came about. “Last spring Associate Professor Jason Evans was introduced to Wini Labrecque, Certified Camelid Fiber Grader/Sorter/Classer through Olds College in Canada,” explained Serdy. “Wini was looking for an educational institution in the U.S. through which she and other fiber grading/sorting educators could establish a training program that would ultimately lead to a more effective fiber grading system in the United States. The Office of Professional and Continuing Education at SUNY Cobleskill agreed to sponsor the training and develop a Fiber Grading, Sorting, Classing certificate program.” [Read more…]

Global food security ~ Part 3

CDM-MR-45-2-Global-food-pt3-11“We can do it better than anyone else.”

by Steve Wagner

Dr. Janelle Larson is a Professor of Agricultural Economics at Penn State, as well as a Rhodes Scholar with an Oxford Education. She has had a hand in sweet potato production in Ghana; and a grant received by Penn State is being used to look at the potential of horticulture for women in Honduras with both an empowerment and nutrition focus. Horticulture in Cambodia with a focus on rice production is another project on the agenda.

Larson says the problem can’t be solved without focusing on small-scale agriculture. Whereas farming in the U.S. is often conglomerate or large-scale family operations, 84 percent of family farms globally are smaller than five acres. Larson thinks that has to be the jump-off point. Noting problems in the U.S., she says they are exacerbated in the developing world: access to credit, access to market. [Read more…]

Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention 2016

BOTH-MAVF-PP-45521The Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention, held at Hershey, PA in February enjoyed its best attendance ever. One hundred sixty exhibitors and their displays filled the Trade Show.

Bill Troxell, PVGA Executive Secretary, estimated the Convention attracted a total of about 2,400 people. “The bus tour and workshops on Monday, preceding the convention, attracted more than 500 people,” noted Troxell, “and we had to turn some people away for lack of space.” These recently started special activities, “add a whole new dimension to the Convention, and make it more worthwhile for growers to travel to the Convention from out of state,” Troxell added. [Read more…]

Priorities for 2016 discussed at local Farm Bureau meetings

CE-MR-2-LocalPriorities21by Elizabeth A. Tomlin

Recently in Montgomery County, New York Farm Bureau President Dean Norton spoke to a full house concerning 2016 issues — including the impending wage hike.

Farmers report being unable to afford paying higher wages to their employees with no options except cutting existing staff, reducing farm products, or even leaving the farming industry entirely. [Read more…]

Milk flow

CM-MR-1-Milk-flow11by Tamara Scully

Dairy farmers were offered the opportunity to hear from dairy economist Bob Wellington, of dairy cooperative Agri-Mark, Inc., during a teleconference through the University of Vermont Extension. Bob Parsons, UVM Extension Economist, hosted the call.

Wellington discussed the ‘chaos of the world market,’ which is ‘crucial’ to United States dairy producers as 13-14 percent of U.S.-produced milk, on a component basis, is currently exported overseas. [Read more…]