Marketing matter at Wallbridge Angus

CEW-MR-2-Wallbridge Farm37A family commitment to sound Angus genetics and farm marketing

by Steven E Smith
Deep in the heart of Angus seed stock country, the Wallbridge Angus herd is going strong today. Known as a respected Angus herd within breeder circles for many years, today the Wallbridge herd is owned and managed by a young family that has taken added steps of bringing their products and customers together.
Wallbridge Angus started when the farm was established by George Wallbridge Perkins in 1950. The Perkins family developed a presence in the Angus breed through careful matings that yielded a internationally recognized results. The Perkins Wallbridge bred the 1968 International Grand Champion Female with Wallbridge Barbara 12 and the 1967 Royal Highland Champion Bull, Great Northern. Wallbridge cattle were recognized in the show ring by the time the family dispersed their herd in the 1981, save a small group of cattle. [Read more…]

Are you an ag advocate?

CEW-MR-1-Ag advocacy925One mother’s realization of how quickly families become removed from the farm
by Steven E Smith
“She is my inspiration,” stated Debbie Lyons-Blythe. Her “inspiration” is a young mother in the Midwest. Instead of being two or four generations removed from production agriculture, Shannon, who is actually an extended family member of Lyons-Blythe, is just a generation removed. “After discussing food purchases with her and realizing how torn she was when considering grocery purchases and whether or not to buy organic or other specialized food, I knew I needed to speak up for agriculture.”
Lyons-Blythe is a spunky, outgoing rancher from the Flint Hills of Kansas. As a speaker at the National Angus Conference, Lyons-Blythe explained to the audience how to become an agricultural advocate through social media. She is a blogger, a tweeter and a Facebooker. “Before you head for the exits, please realize that these technologies are not as intimidating as they may appear. The fastest growing demographic of users of Facebook today are women ages 55 to 60. This is just the beginning and it removes the challenges of time and costly expenses to reach out to people.” [Read more…]

OSHA compliance: What farm businesses need to know

by Katie Navarra
If an OSHA inspector arrived at your farm would you be ready for an inspection?
The number of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspections, particularly on dairy farms in New York, is expected to increase significantly in 2014.
During a webinar cosponsored by Farm Credit East, the Northeast Dairy Producers Association (NEDPA), New York Farm Bureau and Pro-Dairy, experts Dave Schwoerer, a safety specialist and owner of Innovative Safety Systems, and Charles B. Palmer, an attorney with Michael Best & Friedrich, LLP, offered advice to New York farm businesses, especially dairies for preparing for an OSHA inspection. [Read more…]

Proper grazing of livestock requires patience and solid advice

CE-MR-3-Quaker view872by Pat Malin
AVA, NY — When he started raising beef 10 years ago at Quaker View Beef Farm in northwestern Oneida County, Paul Snider recalled learning through trial and error. Though he has left his novice mistakes behind and has made his business profitable, he feels it is important to pass on his lessons to others.
Snider and his wife, Mary, recently hosted a pasture walk at their farm with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oneida County. As Paul showed off his Angus herd, he discussed his methods for rotational grazing, fencing, feeding and watering, bookkeeping and sales.
Quaker View Farm was established in 1867. Mary Snider’s father, Paul Kirk, grew up here and purchased the farm from his parents in 1965. He and his wife, the former Lou Ann Mumpton, operated Kirk Farm as a conventional dairy farm with their six sons and daughters until 2000. Kirk later sold the cows, but maintained the farm as a hay operation. He died in 2010 at the age of 66. [Read more…]

The corn is off – now what?

CEWM-MR-2-Corn is off 2by Sally Colby
It’s been an interesting season for growing corn. While some farmers are bringing in record yields, others are lamenting a season that was simply too wet and cool. Once the ground is bare, what’s next? Some fields in which silage corn was grown will be planted immediately with a winter cover crop, but it isn’t too early to consider what the field will be used for the following spring.
“Alternative cover crops offer opportunities to diversify crop rotation systems,” said Charlie White, Penn State extension associate in sustainable agriculture. “These cover crops are planted later in the season — late summer after small grain harvest.” Another option is to harvest a winter cover crop and allow a legume more time to fix nitrogen, or to have an earlier planting date for cover crops in the fall to get them well-established.
Less common species such as sorghum sudangrass, cowpeas and radish afford more diversity in a crop rotation. In many cases, seed for some of the alternative cover crops costs less so there’s a higher economic return on marginal land. These forage crops are often more heat and drought tolerant, so they’re suitable for ground where corn silage hasn’t done well. [Read more…]