Woskob’s Countryside Farm conversion project is under way

CM-MR-3-Woskob3by Jon M. Casey

For Victor and Gina Woskob, converting an existing, dormant dairy facility into a thriving beef feedlot seemed like the ideal way to grow their family’s Countryside Farm near Port Matilda, PA. Having moved back to central Pennsylvania from Boynton Beach, FL, where they owned and operated a site contracting business, the Woskobs purchased this farm in December 2012. Since then, they have been fulfilling their dream of returning to farming after their time in the South. [Read more…]

Starting a farm

CN-CM-MR-1-StartingaFarmby Sanne Kure-Jensen

Many states are growing new farms and farmers, according to preliminary reports from the recent USDA agricultural census. Consumer support of local farmers continues to grow. Farmers markets, direct sales and agritourism help make farming a viable occupation in many regions.

In her recent webinar called “Starting a Farm,” Rachel Armstrong of farmcommons.org explained how to establish a new farm business. She covered legal issues of starting a new farm, such as buying land and equipment, leasing, forming a business, buying insurance and protecting the farm. [Read more…]

Intelligent mastitis management

CEW-MR-1-MastitisConAs dairy farmers, we need to learn to manage mastitis using a whole arsenal of information rather than routinely treating all our mastitis cases with antibiotics. One step in intelligently managing mastitis, according to Dr. Ernest Hovingh of Penn State, is to learn to culture the organisms causing mastitis on your farm. Which organisms are causing mastitis is one important piece of information you’ll need to figure out the best way to manage your mastitis cases. [Read more…]

Collaborative effort helps CSA owners improve

CM-MR-2-CSASchool1by Jon M. Casey

Approximately 50 CSA farm owners gathered to participate in a daylong program presented by Penn State Extension and Dickinson College covering important aspects of CSA Farming, including food safety, finances and finding shareholders. The notable Jean-Paul Courtens of Roxbury Farm of Kinderhook, NY began the day with a presentation reminding attendees of the importance of staying the course with the CSA business model while also allowing change to improve profitability and customer service. [Read more…]

From tobacco to cattle

CM-MR-2-Ridgecrest2by Sally Colby

When Mark Bray was growing up in North Carolina, he and his grandmother made a deal: they saved some discarded flue-cured tobacco, sold it, and split the profit.

“That got me a little bit of money,” said Mark, who also had a small plot of tobacco of his own. “When you’re in the seventh grade, that’s the most money you can ever imagine having. But I wanted a calf so bad that I saved my money and bought a heifer.” [Read more…]