Within the last several weeks two announcements of national consequence were made. Both National Beef and JBS, two of the world’s largest meat packers, and certainly two of the Big 4 here in the United States, announced they will launch branded beef programs marketing 100% Grass-fed Beef domestically sourced. In much the same way Organic has become fairly mainstream, 100% Grass-fed and Finished (NO Grain ever) is also becoming a major sector of growth in beef demand. The Big 4 are recognizing it and intend to capitalize on it.
Forest plants, native to the eastern United States, are in demand both domestically and internationally. While often wild-harvested, these medicinal plants can be readily cultivated in their natural environment. Whether it’s black cohash, goldenseal, or American ginseng, the potential for increasing forest cultivation of these crops is enormous.
“We’re talking about crops that have very exacting locations where they will grow,” Eric Burkhart, Program Director, Plant Science, at Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center, Penn State University, said. “The way to approach it is to get to know your forest land. Don’t fight it. Work with that ecosystem.” Continue reading
Those who raised beef cattle in the early 1900s were often on their own when it came to diagnosing and treating sick cattle. Many stockmen relied on recipes for concoctions passed down from generation to generation. But savvy stockmen sought more up-to-date resources. One widely-used resource was The Practical Stock Doctor, first published in 1904 by professor of veterinary medicine Dr. George Waterman of Michigan State Agricultural College. This book was written as a guide for farmers and ranchers who were interested in learning more about livestock diseases and how to recognize and treat those diseases on their own. Continue reading
by Sanne Kure-Jensen
Farm inputs can include energy in the form of fuels, electricity and fertilizers. Crop and livestock production uses energy in many forms. Energy heats water for washing equipment and harvested crops, and powers lighting for production and handling areas. Livestock and produce producers use energy for heating, ventilation and refrigeration. Transportation uses more energy to move inputs to farms as well as moving produce and livestock from farms to processors, markets and consumers. Sustainable, viable farms maximize energy efficiency and minimize costs for all aspects of production.
The Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) oversees programs that help farmers and producers conserve energy through a variety of on-farm energy upgrades for existing buildings. Kip Pheil, C.E.M., Acting Leader of the USDA NRCS National Energy Technology Development Team and Stephen Henry, P.E., NRCS South Carolina Assistant State Conservation Engineer described NRCS programs and shared their expertise in a webinar called “Key NRCS Energy Practices: Farmstead Energy, Lighting, and Building Envelope.” Continue reading