New England Farm Weekly

The new American farmer

CE-MR-1-American-Farmer471by Troy Bishopp

HAMILTON, NY — Students equipped with their smartphones and tablets packed a lecture room at Colgate University to learn about, of all things: The new American farmer. Dr. Laura-Anne Minkoff-Zern, Assistant Professor of Food Studies from Syracuse University’s Falk College gave a perspective and presented research about Latino immigrant farmworkers striving to become farm owners. According to the USDA Ag Census, this is the largest population of new farmers entering agriculture.

In her lecture: “The New American Farmer: Agrarian Questions, Race, and Immigration”, the Cornell graduate explored the significance of farmworkers and other first-generation Latino immigrants to the United States aspiring to be small-scale farmers and their agrarian contributions in changing the food system landscape. Dr. Minkoff-Zern’s field exploration embodied her extensive experience with sustainable development and agricultural biodiversity projects abroad, combined with work on migrant health issues domestically after spending many years working on farms and with agriculture and food organizations in Guatemala, New York, Virginia and California. [Read more…]

The recipe for starting a farm

CN-41-4-The-Recipe-44712by Laura Rodley  

Farming requires teamwork, physical strength, chutzpah and a daily, if not hourly, gram of patience. Elissa Miller and her husband Phillip’s teamwork extended from Kansas to Connecticut as he looked for a farm for them to relocate to from Kansas last year.

While starting his new role as a Director for Brooks Brothers, his farm search took him further and further north until he found 40 acres on what used to be a working farm until the 1960’s, in Orange, MA. [Read more…]

Healthy keys to chicken success

CN-MR-1-Chicken-success1by Paul Burdziakowski

Having a small flock of chickens is a growing trend in countries around the world. Country folks are not the only ones taking up this hobby. Many cities are relaxing their laws and ordinances when it comes to owning chickens so urban dwellers are now a part of this phenomenon.

When it comes to knowledge on topic of poultry professor Michael Darre of the University of Connecticut is one of the top experts in all of New England. Darre holds a PH.D. in Environmental Animal Physiology and has taught introductory poultry courses at Connecticut’s most esteemed university since 1981. In addition Darre is also the lead Cooperative Extension poultry specialist for the New England area. Being a part of the Extension allows Darre to work closely with professionals in the commercial poultry industry as well as children who are involved in programs such as 4-H. [Read more…]

Dairy goat management

Herd health program for dairy goats

An effective animal health program is an essential part of a successful dairy goat management program. Good feeding and breeding will not result in maximum production if goats are not kept in good health.

Since each herd is different, you should work with a veterinarian to create a herd health plan. Keep good records for each animal regarding medications, vaccinations, dewormers, injuries, production, breeding, and culling. Use this information to plan your herd health program. Prevention with a good herd health plan is usually less expensive than treating disease. [Read more…]

Chase Hill Farm

CN-MR-46-3-Chase-Hill41by Laura Rodley

In France, the Normande breed of cattle with their dark brown checkerboard coats dot the landscape, the way that black and white Holsteins dotted the New England landscape when farmer Mark Fellows grew up in Warwick, MA. The Normandes are dual purpose, bred for both high quality beef and bred for producing the best milk for cheese production.

Fellows was well acquainted with Holsteins as he grew up on his parents’ dairy. Oliver and Virginia Fellows started farming in 1950 on land that had a house and views of New Hampshire’s Mt. Monadnock. They built a barn and outbuildings, but didn’t name the farm. His father laid the cinder blocks for the hay barn by hand. “They had a conventional dairy farm,” said Fellows. [Read more…]