University hosts panel discussion on GMOs in the food system

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAby Tamara Scully
The University of Maine at Machias recently held a panel discussion on genetically modified foods, as a part of its ongoing “Food and Community” series of events. Panelists for the discussion were: Maine organic farmer Jim Gerritsen, president of the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association; John Jemison, water quality and soil specialist with University of Maine Cooperative Extension; Eric Jones, assistant professor of plant biology at University of Maine at Machias; and Andrei Alyokhin, professor and graduate coordinator with University of Maine’s School of Biology and Ecology. The panel briefly introduced their views on genetic engineering and its use in our food system, and then answered questions from the audience. [Read more…]

Dream-makers at Equine Affaire

CE-MR-3-Dream makers481by Laura Rodley
Approximately 100,000 indulged their love affair with horses during the 16th annual Equine Affaire, promoting equine education, communication, and cooperation between horses and riders and within the industry held in Springfield, MA, Nov. 7 to 10. During clinics, presenters taught people how horses think to create better relationships versus just commanding, kindness being key. President and founder Eugenia Snyder started Equine Affaire in Dayton, Ohio in 1994, still held in London, Ohio. For many, horse-owner or not, horses and everything about them are the fabric of dreams. [Read more…]

Mountain View Farm

CE-COVERby Sally Colby
Mountain View Farm in Mayfield, NY, isn’t one of the largest beef operations in the area, but the Brower family is big on quality.

Mark Brower grew up on a small dairy farm in New York, and Mountain View is part of that farm. They chose White Park cattle to add to their farm.

“When my daughter Amy was eight years old, we were at the Washington County Fair, and she wanted a Jersey calf for 4-H,” said Brower. “We realized that it would be hard to have one Jersey cow on the farm. When we saw this breed at the New York State Fair, my sister wanted to partner with my daughter to buy one, so they did that. They bought more cattle, then my sister got out of it and my son became involved.” Son Mitchell is now 19 and daughter Amy is 22; and although both are currently college students, they’re involved with the cattle whenever possible. [Read more…]

Carl Shaffer and the Borlaug hypothesis

CM-MR-1-Carl Shaffer 1by Steve Wagner
When Pennsylvania Farm Bureau President Carl Shaffer stepped to the podium for his annual press conference at the PFB annual meeting, he did not look like the proverbial happy camper. “One of the hottest items is our state funding of transportation,” he said. “I can’t tell you how disappointed we are with our legislators today. There’s no excuse for this. They’re sent there to do a job and one of them is to provide services for the public. We have 5,600 bridges in the state of Pennsylvania that are in need of repair. Of those, 250 are closed completely. [Read more…]

Custom innovation

CEW-MR-2-Custom Innovation769by Tamara Scully
The production area at Homestead Heritage farm is dominated by an odd-looking contraption, one which happens to be on the cutting edge of value-added products. Visitors may hear a whistle, which forewarns of the oncoming, loud  “bang,” signaling completion of the process, and the availability of a new value-added product. [Read more…]