Back To The Future Farm – a rosy picture of the future of farming

CE-MR-3-BTTF1by Judy Van Put

Scores of family, friends, neighbors and well-wishers gathered at the O’Dell Dairy/Back To The Future Farm just off County Route 6 near Middletown, NY on Sunday, July 13, to celebrate the ribbon-cutting and grand opening of the “Ole Mother Hubbert Creamline Milk” on-site creamery.

The gathering began at 11:30 a.m., with the ceremony beginning at noon, followed by a chicken barbecue. Various Cooperative Extension agents and representatives as well as legislators and assemblypersons were on hand with letters of commendation, plaques and awards and hearty congratulations to Mike O’Dell — and Rose and Lee Hubbert, for seeing their dream come to fruition. [Read more…]

Junior hereford exhibitors head East

CEW-MR-1-JrHerefordby Rebecca Long Chaney

HARRISBURG, PA — More than 600 junior exhibitors from 34 states across the country spent a week here for the VitaFerm Junior National Hereford Expo (JNHE).

“I honestly think it’s the best junior national I’ve been too,” said Andy Billing of Greendale, NJ, co-chair New Jersey. representative on the six-state joint host JNHE planning committee. “The Farm Show Complex was a great facility to host the event. It’s the first time for all the cattle to be in one barn. The complex is air conditioned and there was plenty of trailer parking.” [Read more…]

Misfit Acres

CE-MR-Misfit Acres4by Katie Navarra

No stranger to cattle, Robert Bentley of Argyle, NY, was an avid team penning and sorting competitor until two years ago. At the Washington County Fair his children entered poultry in the fair and met several other youth competing with their beef cattle. “My daughter, Brianna, the younger of our children, got to be friends with another girl who was a member of the Jr. Beef Club,” he explained.

His children, Brian (17) and Brianna (13) showed an interest in the local 4-H club, the Washington County Jr. Beef Club and soon became members, eager to learn the skills needed to raise, care for and prepare beef cattle for the show ring. [Read more…]

Guardian plants: the ultimate Trojan Horses of pest management

Cew-GR-MR-2-Guardianby Sanne Kure-Jensen

Guardian plants offer simple, non-chemical pest management in field crop and greenhouse settings. Guardian plants include indicator plants, trap crops and banker plants. Their use can dramatically reduce the need for pesticides. Jack Manix, of Walker Farm in Vermont, said the key is to know your likely pests and plan ahead. Keep and consult last year’s records of pest outbreaks to anticipate when to expect repeat outbreaks of pests such as aphids, thrips, whitefly or spider mites. Establish your guardian plants before you are likely to have a pest problem. [Read more…]

Getting in touch with your pasture soil

CEW-MR-4-Pasture soil1by Troy Bishopp, Madison Co. SWCD/Upper Susquehanna Coalition Grazing Specialist

WHITESVILLE, NY — While many farmers in Allegany and Steuben counties were out mowing hay after a week of severe thunderstorms, dairyman Chris Reinbold was hosting a workshop focused on learning more about soil health practices, biology and monitoring tools to improve his rotationally grazed pastures.

According to Steuben County’s Soil and Water Conservation District grazing specialist and co-organizer, Jonathan Barter, “Soil is a vibrant, living organism and not just a sterile medium for growing things. The way we have treated this life-giving resource is tragic.” Inspired by the way longtime graziers had sequestered the deluges of rain from Hurricane Sandy, he and Scott Alsworth from the Allegany County Soil and Water Conservation District set out to change the conversation about soil after taking a soil health training regime at USDA-NRCS Big Flats Plant Material Center in Corning, NY. [Read more…]