Herd genetics: Selecting for grass

by Tamara Scully

The dairy industry has been selectively breeding for specific traits for many years. Yet even today, it finds itself in need of new genetics, such as those for polled animals, or for producing milk on pasture. Some traits which selective dairy breeding has focused on have included: birthing ease; ketosis; mastitis and lameness.

“We can’t lose that to get new genetics,” Jen Burton, Veterinarian for Organic Valley CROPP Cooperative, speaking at the recent NOFA-NY Organic Dairy and Field Crop Conference, said. [Read more…]

Walking through fire

CN-MR-3-Walking-through-fire1by Laura Rodley

Walking through fire, barking dogs, blue and red flashing lights of a police car, gunfire and firecrackers. All these distractions were encountered by horses and their cavalry riders during a Mounted Police Confidence Training Workshop over Easter weekend, given by Bill Richey, a retired mounted police officer, the founder and CEO of National Mounted Police Services, training riders world-wide. [Read more…]

New partnership increases attendance at 15th annual North American Alpaca Show

CN-53-3-New-Partnership2by Paul Burdziakowski

The 15th North American Alpaca Show (NAAS) was held April 1-3 at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, MA. There were approximately 500 people in attendance during the two-day event, which featured 480 registered alpacas, vying for the opportunity to be selected as the grand champion. Other features of the show included educational seminars, commercial vendors, clothing sales and a silent auction. This family-friendly show was free to all. [Read more…]

Lamb basics for profitability

CM-MR-2-Lamb-basicsby Tamara Scully

Beginning farmers can range from those just embarking on their passion after years of work outside of agriculture to younger adults choosing to farm for a living; those who happen to own enough land to qualify for reduced taxes or other incentives. No matter where on the spectrum a producer fits, keeping land in active agriculture is a benefit to everyone. [Read more…]

Vegetable marketing, from farm to wholesaler

by George Looby

In March, Atina Diffley arrived at Maneeleys Conference Center in South Windsor, CT from her home in Farmington, MN to meet with a group of vegetable farmers from southern New England to share some of her experiences in marketing produce to wholesalers. Atina and her husband Martin operated a large organic vegetable farm until 2008. They continue to be actively engaged by sharing her experiences with other farmers considering the switch to Certified Organic — with a view to supplying to wholesalers. [Read more…]