Demonstration reminds audience of historical significance of oxen in U.S. agriculture

CDM-MR-3-Oxen578by Bill and Mary Weaver

Dr. Darwin Braund, the proud owner of a beautiful pair of Jersey oxen, created a fascinating demonstration at Ag Progress Days on why, after draft horses were imported to America, they quickly replaced oxen in use for heavy work.

The oxen were no match for the speed and strength of a team of Percheron draft horses owned by Dave Rohrbach of Bee Tree Percherons. The oxen had a top speed of 3 miles per hour, and considerably less pulling power. To add insult to injury, Dr. Braund had to walk beside his team of oxen while they hauled a log, while Rohrbach’s horses not only pulled the log, but also Rohrbach, who rode comfortably on a forecart behind them. Braun did point out, however, that all the walking tended to keep owners of oxen in better shape. [Read more…]

Tom and Kim Nixon named recipients of the Farmer of the Year award

CM-MR-1-TomKimBLACKSBURG, VA — Virginia Cooperative Extension has recognized Robert T. “Tom” Nixon II and his wife, Kim, of Glenmary Farm in Rapidan, VA, as recipients of the 2014 Virginia Farmer of the Year Award.

The award commends individual contributions to the commonwealth’s agricultural industry.

Beef cattle, turkeys and row crops are major enterprises at scenic Glenmary Farm overlooking the Rapidan River. The Nixons, who own the farm, are focused on flexibility in growing and marketing cattle and crops. [Read more…]

Hard work brings international showring success to Berks County, PA’s Younker brothers

CM-DY-1-HardworkHARRISBURG, PA — On the show circuit, every farm family wants its animals to be the first to walk out of the ring, blue ribbon pocketed or purple banner in hand. Even with the competitive spirit that generates, it fosters a sense of family who cares about each other’s successes, cow families and relationships. That camaraderie is evident at the All-American Dairy Show in Harrisburg, PA. [Read more…]

Dangerous manure moves to a higher level

C4-MR-3-MANUREDEMO1by Steve Wagner

“If you drop your monkey wrench, you could bend down to pick it up, and be in a dangerous place.” With that statement, Rob Meinen, senior extension associate at Penn State’s Department of Animal Science, essentially described the tone of the seminar this day at Pleasant View Dairy Farms LLC in Pine Grove, PA. Looking at a soon-to-be-filled lagoon surrounded by cyclone fencing, he further cautioned heightened awareness to match an increasing threat. “We need to be aware that an outdoor storage like this should be considered a confined space. Confined spaces are not designed for normal worker occupancy.” [Read more…]