Small-flock turkey production

C4-MR-1-TurkeysPrepared by R. Michael Hulet, Phillip J. Clauer, George L. Greaser, Jayson K. Harper and Lynn F. Kime

Raising turkeys can be a satisfying educational activity as well as a source of economical, high-quality meat for your family and friends. By raising a small flock of turkeys, you can produce the freshest turkey possible while involving the whole family in working with and learning about live animals.

Turkeys can easily be started by hatching eggs or by raising young poults. They can be grown and home processed without the use of expensive processing equipment, or they may be sold to live markets (auctions).

Adult males have a naked, heavily carunculated (bumpy) head that normally is bright red but that turns to white overlaid with bright blue when the birds are excited. Other distinguishing features of the common turkey are a long red fleshy ornament (called a snood) that grows from the forehead over the bill; a fleshy wattle growing from the throat; a tuft of coarse, black, hairy feathers (known as a beard) projecting from the breast; and more or less prominent leg spurs. [Read more…]

Growing the farm: next season’s production planning

C4-MR-1-Growing the farm 2by Tamara Scully

Planning for next season, particularly if you plan to expand your capacity, is a multi-dimensional process. Are you going to grow more crops and become more diverse? Will you expand by growing more of the same crops, increasing your production capacity? Or perhaps you’ll expand by extending the growing season. No matter how you opt to grow, preparing for the growing pains can make the process successful.

[Read more…]

Scaling up for institutional markets

CEW-MR-2-Institutional 967by Tamara Scully

Opportunities for scaling up small farms to serve a growing wholesale institutional demand for locally-sourced foods are knocking at the door. But farmers who choose to answer the call are advised to become GAP (Good Agricultural Pratices) certified, will need to implement washing and packing efficiencies, learn to manage labor, and have adequate storage facilities.

“People want what we are doing. Do not be afraid to scale up your farm,” farmer Tom Murtha, of Blooming Glen Farm in Perkasie, PA, said. [Read more…]

The Great American Milk Drive ~ helping families thrive

CE-MR-2-Milk Drive1by Elizabeth A. Tomlin

It’s a fact. Ninety-five percent of food banks report that they do not receive milk in their donations.

“New York is one of the nation’s top milk producers,” stated Beth Meyer, Vice President of Communications with the ADADC. “Yet, on average, the state’s food banks are only able to provide about one gallon of milk each year to the families they serve.”

Meyer said it has been a challenge for Feeding America to meet food banks demand for milk because of the lack of donations, since people usually donate non-perishable items. [Read more…]

New York State farmland to benefit from $17.6 million

CE-MR-1-NYS Farmland3by Katie Navarra

More than 6,400 acres of New York farmland will remain dedicated to agricultural purposes and will be protected from future development thanks $17.6 million made available through the Farmland Protection Implementation Program.

Across New York State, the funds will help preserve 21 farms in 12 counties including Saratoga, Washington, Rensselaer, Columbia, Madison, Cortland, Onondaga, Ontario, Livingston, Suffolk, Dutchess, and Orange Counties. [Read more…]