Penn State Extension Educator Andrew Frankenfield from Pennsylvania’s Montgomery County is a sixth generation farmer. Living in an area that continues to see development and changes to landscape use, Frankenfield wonders, like many people, “Why we are doing what we’re doing.” [Read more…]
George Washington, the “Father of Our Country,” was said to have had a nearly abnormal interest in growing hemp when he lived at Mount Vernon. In 1794, Washington visited a hemp mill in Lancaster County, PA’s Paradise village. He was looking for improved equipment to process the hemp he grew at his estate. He stopped in to visit his friend, David Witmer, who owned the mill. [Read more…]
LOUISA, VA – A long commute to work is not a foreign concept for many people today, as a lengthy car ride might be worth it for the right reason. Needing to do it as a farmer is a little tougher, as one can’t be as close to the living things they have to care for. Bruce Johnson, of Dragonfly Farms, was unfortunately all too familiar with that issue until fairly recently. [Read more…]
When John and Julie Mayer purchased farm acreage in Taneytown, MD, their plan was to develop it as a dairy. Although Julie had never milked a cow, she was willing to learn. [Read more…]
by RD Vincent, author of the Donbridge Series
Walking along the country roads of my parents’ farm, I decided to stop off at my grandmother’s house. I could see her pruning her peony bushes in the late summer sun. As I walked up to her yard, the house phone rang loudly, and she quickly dropped her shears and headed to the house to answer the phone, all the while unaware that I was near. [Read more…]
Dairy cattle don’t have a reputation as being dangerous farm animals because they’re handled frequently and are usually placid. Despite their easy-going nature, dairy animals have the potential to seriously hurt or kill humans, so it’s important to understand how they perceive their surroundings and how to handle them. [Read more…]
As China’s tariff on U.S. soybeans continues to take its toll, growers look for help from Congress
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Returning to Washington just weeks after their July Board of Directors meeting, grower leaders from the American Soybean Association (ASA) met again with officials at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Members of Congress to consider options for offsetting the long-term damage from China’s retaliatory tariff on American soybeans.
John Heisdorffer, a soy grower from Keota, Iowa, and President of ASA said, “We know that President Trump is aware of how hard this is hitting agriculture and specifically soybeans. The recent announcement that the European Union has agreed to buy more U.S. soybeans is a welcome step. Given the scale of potential damage from the tariff, we need more market-opening measures if we are going to survive the long-term repercussions on soybean exports.”
“We are asking, first, that Congress pass a new long-term farm bill that increases funding for export promotion under MAP and FMD. The Trade Promotion Program announced by USDA last month will supplement these much-needed efforts, and we hope to see this funding extended over a multi-year period so that activities can be coordinated with the Congressionally-mandated programs.”
In addition to asking Congress to pass the Farm Bill, ASA grower leaders urged the House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee to support negotiation of new free trade agreements. ASA is asking that NAFTA be in place by the end of 2018, and that bilateral FTAs be initiated with Japan and other countries that offer increased markets for soy and livestock products. ASA also asked lawmakers to support funding to upgrade inland waterways infrastructure in order to maintain the U.S. competitive advantage.
“We need these tools,” said Heisdorffer. “The certainty and stability of our industry depends on, number one, getting these tariffs removed as quickly as possible and, number two, taking steps now to offset the damage done by this trade war by negotiating trade agreements and funding programs essential to opening new markets for our farm products.”
China imported 31 percent of U.S. production in 2017, equal to 60 percent of total U.S exports and nearly one in every three rows of harvested beans, which makes expanding existing and finding new markets crucial for the U.S. soybean industry.
So you’re a farmer and you’ve got this pile of brush you made out of tenacious, multi-flora rose bushes, overgrown honeysuckle, wily spiked hawthorn trees and dead limb wood. Before you touch a match to this hedgerow fuel and burn up your nemesis, might you consider this action functional as well as delicious? An asado is just a smoldering flame away. [Read more…]