The new farmers

CN-33-4-The-new-farmers41by Laura Rodley

Atherton Farm

Santa Claus had some flying competition in Buckland, MA in 2015. The wreaths that farmer Susan Atherton made by hand out of materials from her farm flew off the wreath stand faster than Santa Claus can fly across the sky.

“They fly right out of here. My friend made my display so you can see it from the road,” said Atherton, and customers pull right into her driveway, to be met first by her friendly large dog Oso.   As with all items offered by farmers, there is a lot of preparation involved. She started making the wreaths on November 1. Her personal favorite was the wreath that she decorated with variety of strawflowers grown in her garden.   Her natural wreath, which featured milkweed pods and milkweed fluff, was very popular. [Read more…]

Berkshire Gilt takes the Supreme Champion Swine Award at the 2016 PA Farm Show

CM-RP-16-6-Swine61HARRISBURG, PA – The Supreme Champion Bred Gilt was awarded to the Berkshire gilt ALIJ Amy 4-4 owned by Ronald and Luke States from Rossiter, Indiana County, on Saturday, January 9, at the 2016 100th Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg.

Judge Ken Lane of Spragueville, Iowa, complimented each of the exhibitors, commending them for presenting an excellent set of 110 gilts. Following the selection of the supreme champion, the bred gilts were auctioned by longtime show volunteer Harry H. Bachman, Annville, Lebanon County. [Read more…]

2016 Keystone Farm Show is “Stellar” this year!

CDM-PP-Keystone-DSC_87021by Jon M. Casey

This year’s Keystone Farm Show, the 19th annual “Farm Show for Farmers” held Jan 5-7, was by far the biggest and best show yet. Some would say it was “Stellar!” With more than 400 exhibitors filling every venue available at the York Fairgrounds in York, PA, attendees were able to shop both indoors and out, because this year’s mild and sunny weather was most accommodating as it welcomed farmers from Pennsylvania and the surrounding Mid-Atlantic states. Venues for the vendor’s displays included eight permanent buildings and a heated 200-foot long tent (for the second year), along with a number of outdoor exhibits strategically placed around the show campus. Show manager, Ken Maring, said the response for exhibit space has been so encouraging that the show staff is considering adding a second heated tent for the 2017 Keystone Farm Show. [Read more…]

Dealing with animal rights activists ~ Part 2

CEW-MR-1-Activists-39891Part 2: understanding activist tactics

by Sally Colby

Animal rights organizations use many tactics, and perhaps one of the most effective is undercover videos.

“It used to be that individuals would break into farms in the dead of night, release animals and capture animals,” said Kay Johnson Smith, president and CEO of Animal Agriculture Alliance, an organization that promotes animal welfare while bringing awareness to animal rights activists. “They learned that that tactic wasn’t garnering sympathy with the media. They weren’t able to get their story out that way, so they decided to get individuals employed on farms to produce undercover videos.” [Read more…]

Dealing with animal rights activists ~ Part 1

CEW-MR-1-Activists-39891Part 1: who are they and what are their goals?

by Sally Colby

The new employee presented what appeared to be an outstanding resume, and was willing to work wherever she was needed on the farm. With one employee out with an injury and two more away for several weeks, you hired her on the spot.

What happened next is every farmer’s nightmare. That new employee was an animal rights activist, working for a well-known animal rights organization, and had been taking photos and video with the intention of creating an undercover video that would be used against your farm. [Read more…]