Building a foundation in horsemanship

CM-HR-MR-2-FOXMEADOWby Sally Colby

A group of women work their way around the ring, each one thinking about their next move. Each will take a turn at a series of low jumps while the others wait their turn. Kim, their instructor, provides both encouragement and correction as she watches each rider go.

Kim owns and operates Fox Meadow Farm in Haymarket, VA, and in addition to her young riders, has a substantial number of adult students. [Read more…]

Nutrient boost can help prevent mastitis

CWMN-MR-1-UdderHealthby Bill and Mary Weaver

Mastitis costs. On the basis of both his own experience and studies, and an extensive review of recent research, Penn State Professor and Extension Veterinarian Dr. Robert VanSaun stated that one way to significantly reduce mastitis cases is to bump up the levels of several key nutrients in the dairy cow’s diet. VanSaun spoke on “Nutrition and Udder Health” at the recent Mastitis and Milk Quality Conference.

These key nutrients “beef up” the cows’ immune systems, and are particularly important at two points: at drying off and during the period from just before calving through the first several weeks into milk, when cows are more vulnerable to mastitis infections. [Read more…]

Biosecurity is key to managing PEDv and SDCv

CN-2-PEDv1by Sally Colby

When PEDv, or porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, first made the news, industry officials were quick to act. However, since experts had almost no experience in dealing with the disease, there was a lot of groundwork to cover before organizations could provide sound information to producers.

PEDv was first identified in England in 2013, and spread throughout Europe and Asia before being confirmed in the Midwest in spring of 2013. Since then, the disease has been confirmed in 30 states. [Read more…]

Minutes from death

CM-MR-1- Minutes From deathby Steven E. Smith

This account from an anonymous New York dairy farmer about his experience of being mauled by a bull within inches of his life is a startling reminder of the dangers of working with bulls and other livestock.

“I awoke to the sounds of beeps and sterile smell of an unfamiliar setting. This was not my home nor anywhere familiar on my farm. I rolled back my lips then swallowed, realizing I had a really sore throat likely caused by the feeding tube which was a part of the three-week long induced comma I later learned I was in. [Read more…]

Manure to energy

CEW-MR-2-ManuretoEnergy1bwby Steve Wagner

In 1966, when I was an Army Reservist, I had a two-week summer camp in Fort Shelby, MS. Not far from there was Gulfport, a resort town on the Gulf of Mexico, where I swore I would live one day. A bit north of Gulfport is a town called Prentiss, where five years ago John Logan, a chicken farmer, concluded that the fecal matter from his 275,000 chickens was putting too much phosphorus into his groundwater, which ran into the Gulf. He solved the problem by purchasing a manure digester.

A Snyder County, Pennsylvania farmer, Mac Curtis, shared Logan’s problem at about the same time — only his problem was turkeys. Curtis’s Windview acreage rests atop a hill and the river flows directly past his property. Needless to say, Curtis didn’t want turkey scat polluting those waters, which flowed into the Chesapeake Bay. Instead of a digester, Curtis solved his problem with a manure burner. [Read more…]