Horse racing threatened in Pennsylvania

CDM-MR-1-HORSE-RACING-11by Hope Holland

During the last week of October Gov. Tom Wolf threatened to halt horse racing at all of Pennsylvania’s six tracks by Oct. 30, if the racing industry doesn’t agree to pay an approximate $9 million for drug testing. The tracks included cover three Thoroughbred racing tracks: Parx Casino and Racing in Bensalem, Presque Isle Downs and Casino in Erie and Penn National. Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino and Race Track in Chester, The Meadows Casino in Washington and the Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in Wilkes-Barre, all of which feature harness racing, make up the other three of the six tracks involved. [Read more…]

Penn State students earn top National Dairy Shrine Scholarships

CDM-MR-1-DAIRY-SHRINE-011Seven Penn State Dairy Science Club members received National Dairy Shrine scholarships awarded at the annual banquet during the World Dairy Expo in Madison, WI. Two members won two awards; five others received single scholarships, and the total was impressive – the most ever for students from Penn State.

Dr. Terry Etherton, Head of the Department of Dairy Science, said, “We are so proud of our students and congratulate them on the fine showing in this prestigious scholarship program. It is a testament to their hard work and their strong preparation that they have done so well. These scholarships are extremely important to the students as they prepare for the future, recognizing and supporting their passion for the dairy industry.” [Read more…]

Ooms & Sons Dairy ~ A family tradition

CE-MR-3-OOMS-DAIRY11by Elizabeth A. Tomlin

“Our family traces our dairy heritage back to 1525,” remarked 41-year-old Eric Ooms of A. Ooms & Sons Dairy. “The farm started in America when my grandparents emigrated here in 1950 from the Netherlands.”

The 475 cow, 1700-acre dairy, located in Columbia County, includes property in both Chatham and Kinderhook townships, and is a partnership between Eric, his brothers, Ron and Tim, and their father Adrian, founder of the New York state farm. [Read more…]

Solar heating and barn expansion at Finndale Farms

CE-MR-2-Finndale-Farm21by Pat Malin

HOLLAND PATENT, NY — With some 800 cows, the sprawling Finndale Farms is one of the largest, most modern and efficient operations in the greater Mohawk Valley.

But the 50-year-old farm has faced one significant problem for years — steadily rising energy costs. Thanks to Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oneida County and New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the Finn family is now incorporating renewable solar thermal hot water technology. [Read more…]

Birch: the other sap

CEW-MR-Birch21by Tamara Scully

In Alaska and Canada birch trees have been tapped for sap for centuries. In New England, maple syrup has been the prime product, although birch trees are also prevalent in many parts of the region.

For Bucky Shelton, a partner in Vermont Birch Syrup Company and long-time maple syrup producer, birch trees have become more than just another tree in the sugarbush. They’ve become a food crop, providing sap which is ultimately transformed into a versatile cooking syrup. [Read more…]