PA Center for Dairy Excellence hosts Financial & Risk Management Conference

CEW-MR-2-CDE7by Jon M. Casey

While it might seem tedious and boring to some, for others, the desire to excel at financial risk management for dairy producers is becoming an essential component of a well-rounded farm management plan. Because the world of Ag finance is constantly changing, Pennsylvania’s Center for Dairy Excellence (CDE) has recognized the need for keeping the Ag finance and banking community informed of the latest in state and federal pricing policies. Accordingly, they have worked to help develop risk management strategies to help producers plan more effectively for unforeseen changes in the forces that affect dairy producers. [Read more…]

Paradigm shift leads to grass-fed philosophy

CM-MR-3-Braeburn32432by Sally Colby

Charlie Sydnor has been involved with beef cattle for as long as he can remember, starting from his time growing up in Montana. He raised cattle in what he calls a rather conventional method until the late 1990s, which is when he looked at the scientific data on grass-fed beef.

“It dawned on me that that’s what we ate when I was growing up — grass-fed beef,” said Sydnor. “Then I looked at it from a historical perspective, and realized that most of our beef prior to 1945 was grass-fed.” [Read more…]

Agricultural mediation


Agricultural mediation programs can significantly reduce resolution costs and personal angst for conflicts between agricultural producers, their creditors, neighbors or others directly affected. Benefits of mediation include significant savings over litigation, bankruptcy hearings and administrative appeals. Mediation can help repair relationships between parties, while the traditional legal process often leaves all parties financially burdened and emotionally drained. [Read more…]

Clowdis brothers try their hand at organic tobacco

CM-MR-2-Clowdis-1bby Karl H. Kazaks

SAXE, VA — It’s been several years since the Clowdis brothers raised tobacco — and this year was the first time they grew organic tobacco — but Zach and Rob are glad to be growing leaf again.

“I like it,” said Zach. “We used to raise dark tobacco. Organic is more labor intensive — everything has to be hand-pulled — and there’s a whole lot more paperwork.”

“We never used the bunk barns before,” said Rob. “We’re still learning.”

Knowing when to adjust the temperatures in a curing barn — not letting it get too cold and sweat, not letting it get too hot and scald — “takes a while getting used to,” Zach said. “I go more by feel than anything.” [Read more…]

16th World Percheron Congress — Superbowl of the draft horse world

CF4-MR-4-Percheron511by Laura Rodley

You want the best on your team if you’re planning on competing in the World Percheron Congress. When Jane Gray of Trippcrest Farm in Harrison, Maine wanted someone to train her horses for the event in 2010, she contacted Chad and Rhonda Cole of Pennwood Percherons in Center Hall, PA and secured them as her trainers. Gray’s horses won. [Read more…]