Promoting native bee pollinators in organic farming systems

CM-MR-1-POLLINATORS_55591by Katie Navarra

Honey bees are the most widely known pollinator species. However, recent research shows there are numerous pollinator species and that the more diverse the species the increased pollination benefits. “There are thousands of bee species, some are solitary, some nest in the ground, others in twigs and trees,” explained David Crowder, Assistant Professor of Entomology at Washington State University. [Read more…]

Bruce Button receives Dilworth Award

CN-MR-1-Bruce-Button1During the recent Best of NAMA (National Agri-Marketing Association) awards banquet, held in Kansas City, MO, Bruce Button, Vice President and General Manager of Lee Publications, Palatine Bridge, NY, received the prestigious Dilworth Award.

The Dilworth Award for Innovation honors true originality in volunteer efforts by an individual or chapter. Bruce worked single-handedly for over five years to see that a student chapter was started at the State University of New York, Cobleskill. The student chapter has gotten off to a great start with his guidance. They attended their first NAMA convention, participating in the Student Marketing Competition. [Read more…]

Drainage affects manure management

CM-MN-MR-2-Drainage-affects50921by Sally Colby

No one has to tell a farmer that poorly drained soils are a problem throughout many regions of the United States, and can have significant negative impact on crop production.

“Poorly drained soils mean poor crops,” said Dr. Jeff Strock, University of Minnesota. “If we can get good drainage it can help remove excess water from the root zone of growing plants.” [Read more…]

Driven to grow local grains

CM-MR-3-Tebbe-9by Karl H. Kazaks

LEESBURG, VA — Morven Park is a 1,000-acre property with a historic mansion that was once the home of Virginia Governor Westmoreland Davis. Davis was an advocate for agriculture and one of the founders of the Virginia Dairymen’s Association. Today, his estate is run by a non-profit organization that has a mission to serve the public in a number of ways. To meet its agriculture mandate, the park has started a farm incubator program. The first participant in that program is Three Monkeys Farm, a local grain operation helmed by Trent Tebbe. Tebbe grew up on a grain farm in Indiana, where his family grew corn and soybeans for grain and seed, as well as wheat and popcorn.

[Read more…]

The superstition mountains of GMOs

CM-MR-1-GMO_0456by Steve Wagner
Changing Food Trends was the theme of the 137th PennAg Annual Meeting and it asked the question on the front page of the program “do consumers drive the agricultural marketplace?” Penn State’s Ross Pifer was one of the answerers. Pifer, who is with the Agricultural Law Resource and Reference Center’s Rural Economic Development Clinic, pointed out many of the ifs, ands or buts with regard to how various states are handling some of the thornier issues. Pifer is specifically addressing mandatory GMO labeling. Fifteen years ago, the New York Times ran an op-art illustration of what the supermarket offering of GMO foods might look like in the future. Among the items were odorless fish ($5.99/lb.), rectangular zucchini (for easier cooking on the grill), and Viagra peas for 99 cents. (Don’t ask.) But since public perceptions of GMOs still runs against them, largely mountains of superstition and misinformation, Pifer focused on a specific argument using tomatoes as an example, and also how some states are managing labeling of GMO products, and also with legal developments. [Read more…]