Blue and gold forever

CEWM-MR-2-Blue and gold 2by Steve Wagner
Ignite the Night, an FFA event, was appropriately named. The function at the Sheraton in Harrisburg, PA was further described as the 10th annual Blue and Gold Ball for FFA alumni. Besides alumni, a look around the ballroom would reveal the presence of two of the three Pennsylvania dairy princesses. Long time hog farmer and recent chicken farmer Chris Hoffman displayed one of his hidden talents as a program emcee and disc jockey. [Read more…]

Stockpiled pasture — seeing is believing

CEW-MR-Stock piled pasture1DEANSBORO, NY — Just as squirrels salt away nuts for winter, farmers are also learning to store stockpile forage for late season harvest. This topic took center stage as 50 farmers from New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Ontario, Canada descended on the Bishopp Family Farm in Deansboro, NY to see the art and science behind stockpiling pasture and how to efficiently graze with this cost-saving practice. [Read more…]

Jahnke’s Hemlock Valley Dairy Farm ~ Working together for success

CE-MR-3-Hemlock Valley4by Elizabeth A. Tomlin
The sign on the front of the main barn, facing highway 28 in Milford, NY, says it all.
“Hemlock Valley Farm, the Jahnke’s – working together” the sign proclaims.

Jahnkes received the sign as a gift in the early ‘90s.
“The working together motto is one that we always fall back on when things get ‘testy’,” remarks Matt Jahnke. “I believe that is our biggest strength and it’s why we are so successful; it’s our ability to work together not only as business partners, but as a family.” [Read more…]

Creekside Meadows Farm: grazing holistically

CE-MR-1-Creekside723by Tamara Jean Scully
The Park family has grown. Tricia and Matt Park, along with son Cameron, 17, recently moved from their 26 acre farm to a nearby 150 acre one, in DeRuyter, NY, and have been working tirelessly to improve the soils as they grow pasture for 20 head of beef cattle, 50 turkeys, 800 meat chicken and 30 pigs.

The key to their success is grass. Managing pastures for better forage has led to increased weight gain, decreased need for inputs on the farm, and “high-quality, pasture-raised meats” sold directly to customers via a meat CSA, the farm store and an online farmers’ market. The family practices Holistic Management, considering the health of the land, the animals, the community and the family — which includes being profitable and having time for non-farming respites — when managing and setting goals for the farm. [Read more…]