Connecticut’s largest dairy farm protects prime farmland under State Agricultural Preservation Program

CN-RP-2-CT-LARGEST-FARM_021ELLINGTON, CT — More than 125 acres of Connecticut’s largest dairy farm have been forever dedicated for agricultural use under the state’s Farmland Preservation Program.

Oakridge Dairy, owned by the Bahler family, conveyed the development rights to 125.7 acres of the farm, where corn and hay are grown to support its herd of approximately 4,000 cows. More than 90 percent of the land, along Abbott and Middle roads near the East Windsor line, contains prime and statewide important farmland soils. [Read more…]

Vermont dairy farmer testifies before Senate Agriculture Committee on Federal Regulation of Biotechnology

CN-RP-1-BIOTECH-DAIRY_011WASHINGTON, DC — Joanna Lidback, a dairy farmer from Westmore, VT recently told a panel of Senators on Capitol Hill how important biotechnology is to her family’s farm, explaining that the efficiencies of using biotech crops help sustain the business she and her husband own.

Lidback spoke before the Senate Agriculture Committee, outlining several reasons why she supports the use of genetically-modified crops, and does not support her home state’s mandatory GMO-labeling law. [Read more…]

Transfer of Development Rights

CN-MR-1-TDR-011by Sanne Kure-Jensen

Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) programs can be powerful tools to help communities grow while preserving open spaces, protecting natural resources and maintaining farmland. There are over 200 successful TDR programs nationwide protecting greenbelts and historic sites. TDR programs can help mitigate climate change threats by preserving coastal wetlands or areas with chronic or severe flooding.

[Read more…]

Planning begins with soil health

CEW-MR-2-Soil-health11by Tamara Scully

The USDA joined other global partners in celebrating 2015 as the International Year of the Soil. This initiative is meant to underscore the importance of soil as a living “ingredient” which is literally the building block of our lives.

Assessing your soils now, and amending them this fall, can provide the foundation for a healthy 2016 growing season. [Read more…]

Trick riding expert demonstrates skills at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show

CE-MR-1-PA-Horse-Show73941by Sally Colby

Many who attend the annual Pennsylvania National Horse Show in Harrisburg, PA, go for the thrill of watching hunters and jumpers. On one night, the audience had an opportunity to watch a skilled trick rider demonstrate what it takes to ride a horse full-speed around an arena with no hands or legs for control.

Ashley Pletcher didn’t grow up in a horsey family, but received a pony by the name of Sugar when she was eight years old. “She came from the local amusement park, but she could run,” said Ashley. “She didn’t like to leave the barn, so I rode far away from the barn, turned around and ran full-speed back to the stall. I know now that that’s not a good idea.” [Read more…]