Seneca Falls, NY – The New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health will celebrate 25 years of farm safety programs with its new NYCAMH-to-Go Mobile Unit at the August 6-8, 2013 Empire Farm Days. To meet the needs of busy farmers, NYCAMH now offers a mobile health van staffed by health and safety professionals. It combines basic hearing, blood pressure, glucose, vision and other preliminary health screenings with NYCAMH occupational health programs. The NYCAMH-to-Go van is equipped to provide respiratory fit testing and direct sales of personal protective equipment and power takeoff shields. Among the safety and health activities at the 300-acre event at Rodman Lott and Son Farms in Seneca Falls, NY, are free skin cancer and blood pressure screenings, and first aid demonstrations with a trauma mannequin. NYCAMH staff will provide information on the New York State ROPS – Rollover Protective Structure – Rebate Program that offers up to $865 toward the cost of retrofitting a tractor. Continue reading
by Sanne Kure-Jensen
Dr. Darrell Emmick shared his experience with animal foraging behavior and explained how to train livestock to eat weeds. This talk was part of a workshop called ‘From We-Feeders to Weed-Eaters: Controlling Weeds through Animal Grazing’ hosted by Watson Farm in Jamestown, RI. Dr. Emmick also spoke at two similar workshops in Litchfield, CT and South Deerfield, MA. Joining him were experts from each state speaking on weeds and forage.
Animal Foraging Behavior
According to Dr. Emmick, animals learn what to eat through the interactions of two interrelated systems: affective and cognitive. The affective system operates without any conscious thought on the part of the animal, using feedback from osmotic, chemical, and mechanical receptors within the gut to evaluate the chemical and nutritional composition of foods eaten relative to the animal’s nutritional requirements. This is ‘Post ingestive feedback.’ If they feel good or energized after eating a certain food, they will eat it again. If they feel uncomfortable, bloated or sick afterwards, they are not likely to eat that food or plant again. The cognitive system uses information gained through the senses of sight, smell, touch, and taste, as well as social learning. Generally, babies eat what they see their moms eat. Animals also learn from other adventurous animals in their group. Continue reading
by Katie Navarra
The owners of Land View Farm, LLC in Eagle Bridge, NY, have made strategic business throughout its 61-year history. With careful planning, the growth has been controlled and deliberate allowing the farm to thrive. Today, the farm owns 1,225 Holsteins and maintains 2,100 acres of field crops.
The early years
In 1952, Roland Walker relocated a 60 cow, Brown Swiss dairy known as RR Walker and Sons from Rutland, VT, to Route 68 in Eagle Bridge, NY.
Gradually the herd transitioned away from Brown Swiss to Holsteins and by 1966, the herd size doubled to 120.
When Roland was ready to retire, his son Roland, known as Rody, and his wife Jane, bought the business. Rody and Jane purchased the farm in 1982 and decided it was also time to change the name. Continue reading
by Tamara Scully
Getting optimal milk production from cows in an organic pasture-based dairy system requires excellent soil health. Amending poor quality soils will result in economic rewards in terms of added milk production. Dr. Cindy Daley, of California State University, recently shared her experience with amending the dairy’s very poor soils as they transitioned to an organic system. The university’s dairy farm has 90 milking cows, primarily with New Zealand genetics, and 60 acres of irrigated pasture, along with 30 acres of alfalfa and 10 acres in winter forage.
The soil matrix is composed of the physical, chemical and biological soil components. Soil is about 45 percent mineral particles, five percent organic matter — which includes living bacteria, viruses, insects, worms and more, plus dead (plant residues) and very dead (well-decomposed, humus layers) — and 50 percent air space and water, Daley said. Continue reading