Advanced learning and on-farm networking with NAFDMA

C4-MR-3-NAFDMA 3by Emily Enger

They’re farmers. They’re growers. They’re businesspeople. They’re entertainers. When your job includes doing everything, often the vocabulary at your disposal is limiting. So now, they’re writers, as well, having coined a new term to describe what they do.

“We’re trying to train ourselves to say ‘entrepeneurial farmers,’” explained NAFDMA’s Director of Membership and Resources Virginia Schwarzenbach.

These newly-dubbed ‘entrepeneurial farmers’ make up the membership of the North American Farmers’ Direct Marketing Association (NAFDMA), a 501(c)3 Membership Association reaching throughout the United States and Canada. And when these busy folks are in the so-called “off-season” — the petting farms and corn mazes are shut down and the orchard is under frost — they get together for a lengthy, indepth, six day annual convention. This year it was held Jan. 31-Feb. 5 in Kansas City, MO and was titled “Makin’ Hey in the Heartland.” [Read more…]

A new era of regulation

CM-MR-2-A new era 1by Steve Wagner
At the 45th Cattle Feeder’s Day held at Lancaster, PA’s Farm and Home Center on Jan. 28, Penn State Extension Veterinarian Dr. Dave Wolfgang fielded questions at the end of his presentation on wise use of antibiotics. In his talk, he referenced what he called a new era of regulation. Because some farmers see regulation as the enemy or as over-regulation or even regulatory over-reach, Wolfgang went on the record as saying that exacting records keeping can only protect the farmer. [Read more…]

Cold an extra challenge as Kegley Farms adopts new Lely robotic milking system

CM-MR-3-Cold 2by Karl H. Kazaks

PULASKI, VA — “We knew it was going to be a transition,” said Bill Kegley. “The cold weather has made it that much more of a challenge.”

On Oct. 22, Kegley Farms opened a new milking barn with four Lely Astronaut milkers. Since then, the farm — like much of eastern part of the nation — has experienced a number of unusually cold days, with air temperatures dropping on several occasions to below zero. [Read more…]

NCDA&CS offers information hotline for farmers affected by winter storm

RALEIGH — The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has activated its toll-free hotline to help farmers affected by the winter storm to connect with resources that can assist with recovery.

Farmers who have an agricultural emergency can call 1-866-506-6222. The hotline will be staffed 24 hours a day through Friday, Feb. 14. Operating hours will be re-evaluated at that time.

“This storm is bringing a potentially nasty mix of snow and ice,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Possible impacts to farms include power outages, damage to agricultural buildings and animal health emergencies. We are prepared to work with our state and local partners to help our agricultural community in the storm’s aftermath.”

Buying and transporting, Daryl Bowman serves cattlemen throughout the Mid-Atlantic

CM-MR-3-Buying 3by Karl H. Kazaks

WOODSTOCK, VA — Hauling. Buying. Selling. Backgrounding. In a nutshell, that’s what Daryl Bowman does. He operates two businesses, Daryl Bowman Livestock (his transport and brokering business) and Blessed Acres (his farm). But the larger picture is more complicated. What Bowman does involves managing five trucks, scheduling the transport of cattle to destinations as far as Illinois and Kansas, attending several sales per week, and running his 300-acre farm. [Read more…]