Saving Small Dairy Farms

CN-MR-1-small dairy01by Tamara Scully

Dairy farms are getting bigger. As the number of dairy farms decreases, along with the number of cows being milked nationwide, the total amount of milk being produced, increases. Not only are cows producing more milk each day, they are doing so on larger and larger farms.

According to the article “Milk Production Continues Shifting to Large-Scale Farms,” by James MacDonald and Doris Newton, published in the December 2014 issue of Amber Waves, the USDA’s Economic Research Service’s magazine focusing on ERS research, analysis and policy issues related to agriculture, food, the environment, and rural America, dairy farming consolidation has been pronounced since 1992. In an industry where the number of dairy farms has decreased by 60 percent in the past two decades, this market reduction makes the possibility of starting small and mid-sized farming operations more difficult. [Read more…]

Cold weather calves

CEWM-MR-3-Cold weather3271by Sally Colby

Throughout the hot summer months, those who care for dairy calves concern themselves with issues such as flies, excess heat, ventilation and fluid intake. Now that winter weather has arrived, calf care requires a somewhat different set of standards. While some calf care parameters are the same, cold weather care starts with ensuring that calves are warm and dry.

Every animal has a thermo neutral zone, or TNZ. Technically speaking, TNZ is the range of ambient temperature without regulatory changes in metabolic heat production or evaporative heat loss. More simply, it’s the environment in which the calf doesn’t lose energy trying to stay warm or cool. [Read more…]

Leave it better than you found it

CE-MR-1-Graulich3486by Steven E Smith

Looking into the eyes of experience, dedication and commitment, a visit with Arthur Graulich of Sharon Springs, NY is an opportunity to learn about the fundamentals of successful farming and capture of glimpse of what can be accomplished when a farmer makes stepping up to the challenge an essential part of his long career.

Arthur’s eyes shimmered and he sat up even a little straighter in his chair as he described the family’s latest land purchase. “As our farm motto goes, leave it better than you found it. I love to purchase a farm and then take the steps to bring the land to its highest potential. Installing tile drainage and applying lime have been profitable management practices for us. I have had the privilege of buying seven different farms and working at it to make those improvements to the land. I really enjoy that part of farming.” [Read more…]

In memory of Mark Wesley Lee

C4-MR-4-Mark Lee CMr. Mark W. Lee , 52, of Cunningham Road, Canajoharie, NY, passed away at the Mountain Valley Hospice House in Gloversville, NY, early Monday morning, Dec. 8, 2014, surrounded by his family.

Mark was born on July 7, 1962, in Cooperstown, NY, he was the son of Frederick W. Lee, Jr., and the late Carole A. Lee. He attended Canajoharie High School and was a lifelong area resident. [Read more…]

Letter to the Editor: Agriculture education advocacy

indexAgriculture education in our secondary schools continues to be a high priority for New York State. With looming projections of teacher shortages both statewide and throughout the nation, coupled with Cornell’s elimination of the Department of Agriculture Education and termination of its teacher certification program, New York agriculture education and FFA are at a crisis situation that must be addressed! [Read more…]