Destiny calls: Ben Ketchie is a dairy farmer

CM-MR-3-KETCHIE_-31by Karl H. Kazaks

UNION GROVE, NC — Ben Ketchie was a recent North Carolina State graduate, working at a feed store in Mt. Ulla, NC when he got a call on his 22nd birthday. Growing up in Rowan County, Ben worked on a variety of dairy farms and now that he was out of school, he was looking to establish a dairy of his own. “It had been a dream I’d been talking about,” Ketchie said. Chris Hoffner, a former employer, heard of a rental farm in far northern Iredell County. It was early in 2013 when Ketchie called the landowner, who was encouraged by his confidence and his plan to keep dairying on the 108-acre farm, rather than just rent the ground, so she decided to lease the farm to him. [Read more…]

Is the Estate Tax standing in the way of your future meals?

by Daniel M. Kniffen, VP Centre County Farm Bureau

The prediction that the world will need 100 percent more food by 2050 is, at best, concerning. U.S. consumers continue to have the luxury of access to a variety of ample, affordable, safe food; they deserve to have the privilege of continuing to be so fortunate with their food supply. The U.S. Estate Tax could prove to be a future road block to world food security.
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Stay safe when handling sheep

CM-MR-2-Stay-safe625by Sally Colby

It’s hard to imagine that sheep dotting a green pasture could cause any harm, but there are plenty of ways to become injured while working with sheep. It’s important to understand the basics of how and why sheep move the way they do to prevent injuries to both humans and animals. Any time a sheep is separated from its group is an opportunity for injury to the handler or the sheep.

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Managing pests of herb and vegetable bedding plants

by Katie Navarra

“Biological control programs use living organisms that are natural enemies of insects to control pests and diseases,” said Leanne Pundt, Extension Educator for University of Connecticut at the Litchfield County Extension Center.

“They do not act as quickly as pesticides, so cannot be used as a rescue treatment. Natural enemies are best used preventatively, early in the cropping cycle, when plants are small, pest numbers are low and pest damage has not yet occurred,” she added.

Biological controls also reduce worker exposure to pesticide and pesticide residues, limits spray damage, requires limited equipment for application and improves plant quality. Integrating biological controls also lengthens the lifespan of effective pesticides used in greenhouses by reducing opportunity for the development of resistance. [Read more…]

Animal care in USDA Research Program

by George Looby

One of the most important of the USDA’s many departments, units or sections is the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) where wide ranges of agriculturally related research programs are conducted. If it pertains in any way to agriculture there is very likely some sort of research going on in that particular area. One of the many components within the ARS is the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (MARC) located in Clay Center, NE.

The mission statement of this program is to develop scientific information and new technology to solve high priority problems for the U.S. beef, sheep and swine industries. The research is directed toward problems of national concern and to meeting USDA’s Action Agencies research needs. Research approaches involve multidisciplinary teams with emphasis on both short-term and long-term solutions to improving animal production and product quality. [Read more…]