Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention 2016

BOTH-MAVF-PP-45521The Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention, held at Hershey, PA in February enjoyed its best attendance ever. One hundred sixty exhibitors and their displays filled the Trade Show.

Bill Troxell, PVGA Executive Secretary, estimated the Convention attracted a total of about 2,400 people. “The bus tour and workshops on Monday, preceding the convention, attracted more than 500 people,” noted Troxell, “and we had to turn some people away for lack of space.” These recently started special activities, “add a whole new dimension to the Convention, and make it more worthwhile for growers to travel to the Convention from out of state,” Troxell added. [Read more…]

Milk flow

CM-MR-1-Milk-flow11by Tamara Scully

Dairy farmers were offered the opportunity to hear from dairy economist Bob Wellington, of dairy cooperative Agri-Mark, Inc., during a teleconference through the University of Vermont Extension. Bob Parsons, UVM Extension Economist, hosted the call.

Wellington discussed the ‘chaos of the world market,’ which is ‘crucial’ to United States dairy producers as 13-14 percent of U.S.-produced milk, on a component basis, is currently exported overseas. [Read more…]

Dealing with animal rights activists

Part 5: Making sure employees aren’t acting as activist plants

by Sally Colby

Dealing with animal rights activists is a new reality for livestock producers. Although the majority of farm visitors and new employees are not interested in posing as activists or intentionally harming livestock on a farm for the sake of a video, the small minority who are can do great harm. How can an employer ensure that new employees are doing their jobs as assigned and not mishandling livestock or intentionally setting up scenes that could be viewed as animal abuse?

“Sometimes people are hired on farms to do jobs that have nothing to do with the animals,” said Kay Johnson Smith, president and CEO of Animal Agriculture Alliance. “If such people are hired for a non-animal job, then express an interest in switching to a position that involves working directly with the animals, that can be a red flag. Someone who asks questions about security, whether or not the farm has cameras, or the schedule of the manager – that might be a red flag.” [Read more…]

Seed potatoes

CM-CN-1-Seed-potatoes1by Tamara Scully

Although there have been recent efforts to grow potatoes directly from true seed, rather than tubers, the commercial potato industry relies on tuber seed potatoes to maintain disease-free planting stock. Growing from tubers is a type of cloning, as the progeny has the same genetic makeup of the parent.

When tubers are grown in the field, both the tubers and the soil accumulate pathogens. Therefore, the number of generation of progeny is limited in certified seed production although this varies by certifying agency. Many states have their own certified seed potato services. Seed certification is handled either by a land-grant university, a state department of agriculture, or a growers’ association. [Read more…]

The Global Food Security Act ~ part 2

CW-MR-2-Global-Food-pt2-11by Steve Wagner

HR1567 is better known as the bill that came out of the House of Representatives dealing with Global Food Security. Congressman Scott Perry (R, PA) is a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “I was a co-sponsor of the bill,” says Perry, “and it’s hard to get these things together. What it does is to codify the ‘whole of government’ strategy for U.S. global food and nutrition security.” Essentially, ‘whole of government’ means that everyone is working together toward one thing. Often you see one agency doing this and another doing that, seemingly working at cross-purposes. People then tend to think that there should be someone coordinating such programs lest they be deemed as too many fingers in a single pie; “so the food that we’re sending doesn’t end up with the bandits as opposed to the people that need it,” Perry said. “Where’s the State Department in this? And why are we sending to this country and not that one? What we really want to do is to help people feed themselves.” [Read more…]