Tips for maintaining low mycotoxin levels

CM-MR-4-Mycotoxin1074by Bill and Mary Weaver

Large numbers of pet deaths in 2005 and again in 2007 prompted recalls of dog food that contained high levels of corn mycotoxins — potent poisons produced by molds. Mycotoxins are a major health hazard to livestock, pets and people.

What’s a farmer to do, when, under certain weather conditions, some mycotoxins will be produced, even in field corn that is still growing in the field? This is particularly a problem in the southeastern U.S., but also in the Midwest and elsewhere. [Read more…]

Growing quality from within

CM-MR-3-RAS2880by Sally Colby

Immediately after morning milking, a New Jersey dairy herd was loaded into a tractor-trailer, bound for a farm in Pennsylvania. That evening proved to be memorable.

“We had 55 cows that had come out of a tie stall facility, not used to being in a freestall barn, with people they had never seen, and had just ridden for three hours in a tractor trailer in the rain,” said Bobby Geiman, who now owns the cows with his wife Shelly. “These cows had never been in a parlor — they walked in and backed right out. Shelly’s job was to grab the tail and hold the cow in place until the next cow entered. The cows were nervous, and had no idea what was going on. It took us four hours to milk 55 cows, but within three days, they were fine.” [Read more…]

Community and family define the life of Elisha Iager

CM-MS-MR-2-Familyby Hope Holland

Effort, dedication and family come naturally to Elisha Iager of Woodbine, MD, and have been a part of her life since very early in her adolescence.

Young Elisha took her riding lessons from her mom and grandfather. They served her well locally in both the Southern Maryland and the Maryland Quarter Horse Association Youth classes. She still credits her mother and her grandfather for her understanding of horses and riding which have played such a large part in her current life. [Read more…]

Hereford cattleman Wayne Campbell

CM-MR-2-WayneC1aby Karl H. Kazaks

ABINGDON, VA — “I’ve always had a Hereford calf since I was a child,” said Wayne Campbell, gazing at some of the 100 or more Hereford cows which now form the backbone of his cattle operation.

“I like the calmness of Herefords,” he said. “As you get older you need something you can work by yourself out there. The only time I’ve got help is when doing pregnancy checks.”

In addition to his cow-calf herd, Campbell keeps about 80 stockers, bringing the total count of his cattle to around 280, “about all one man can handle.” [Read more…]

From the Miss Milk Maid Contest to the Dairy Princess Coronation

CEWM-MR-3-DairyPrincess3by Steve Wagner

A former Miss Milk Maid contestant from 1958 was present at the 58th Pennsylvania Dairy Princess Coronation. She participated in the content when she was a junior at Penn State. Like many of the former dairy princesses in attendance, she had a lot to say about talk about the old days. Everything was less back when she vied for the title of Miss Milk Maid — fewer contestants, fewer prizes, less money and fewer competitive aspects. These were girls, after all, and girls were expected to be secretaries, librarians or homemakers. Agriculture and marketing were not considered viable career paths for women. [Read more…]