NY Holstein Association, Junior Holstein State Conventions showcase cream of the crop

CEW-MR-2-Jr Holstein convention2by Pat Malin

UTICA, NY — Emily Mikel of Stafford, NY, has just 35 registered Holsteins on her family’s farm in Genesee County. Don’t let that small number fool you.

The exceptional herd helped the 16-year-old high school junior walk away with an armful of awards at the New York State Junior Holstein Association’s state convention at the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center on Jan. 18.

The three-day junior convention was preceded by the All-Breeds State Convention, also held in Utica, Jan. 15-17. Events at the junior convention included the election of junior officers, selection of Distinguished Junior Members, plus a speech contest, and Dairy Bowl and Dairy Jeopardy quiz competitions. [Read more…]

Grazing dairy strategies

CM-CN-MR-1-Grazing strategiesby Tamara Scully

There’s a lot of talk these days about different grazing systems. Mob grazing, management intensive grazing (MIG), ultra-high stock density (UHSD) grazing and tall grass grazing systems. Most concentrate on beef cattle production. But can these systems translate to dairy cows? In a system where dairy profitability and milk production is dependent upon excellent forage quality and dry matter intake, can these type of grazing strategies make sense?

Mena Hautau, field and forage crop educator with Berks County Extension, recently decided to take a look at what type of “mob grazing” was already happening on southeast Pennsylvania grazing dairies. A Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education grant allowed her to observe grazing systems on four dairies which have already incorporated some type of intensive, managed grazing system, and are grazing tall grass, using frequent rotations, and grazing in higher densities. They were also all certified organic, although this was not intentional, and all were being managed by dairymen with more than two decades of experience. The dairies are grazing-based dairies with little grain or total mixed rations being fed. [Read more…]

WNY Farm Show- February 5-7, 2015

indexHamburg, NY-The Fairgrounds in Hamburg, NY will host the 5th Annual WNY Farm Show. This three day event works to bring together some of the region’s best equipment providers and farm services with their customer base of agriculturalists, horticulturalists, and local farmers. The show will offer seminars, activities for the kids, and concessions as well. This show is free and open to the public. [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…]