2016 New England Dairy Travel Course

CN-71-3-Traveling-Dairy-6734by David Marcinkowski, University of Maine

On Jan. 5, 2016, thirty-four students from four New England colleges participated in the New England Dairy Travel Course. For five days, students from the Universities of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, traveled throughout the state of Maine visiting dairy farms and learning about the dairy industry. [Read more…]

Hiring your farm workers through H2A ~ part 2

CM-MR-1-Hiring-H2a-pt2-2105by Bill and Mary Weaver

If you are having difficulty finding enough help for summer and fall farm work for this year, the H2A program is definitely an avenue to consider. Despite the paperwork, which an agent can assist you with, most farmers tend to be happy with the quality of the workers they receive through H2A. These workers are hoping to return next year so they are generally productive and looking to please their employer. [Read more…]

Dairy ventilation: fan selection

by Tamara Scully

Adequate ventilation can increase the health of dairy cows, no matter their life stage. Providing ventilation, via natural measures or enhanced with fans or tube systems, allows producers to mitigate negative environmental factors.

Ventilation enhances air quality by moving stagnant air — carrying disease-causing germs, gases, or unhealthy particles — away from animals. Circulating air can keep cows cool. [Read more…]

Hiring your farm workers through H2A ~ part 1

CN-MR-1-Hiring-workers-part1-1413by Bill and Mary Weaver

“It would certainly be ideal if growers could put an ad in the newspaper, accept applications, and hire American workers,” stated Kerry Scott of MAS Labor. Unfortunately, that approach isn’t working. For example, a grower/packer near Reno, NV needs 1725 seasonal laborers. Some of the work offered is in an air-conditioned packing shed, and even the fieldwork doesn’t involve actual “stoop labor.” Harvesting is done mechanically, with workers at the back of the harvesting machines. The grower also pays very well.

“The area around Reno, Nevada has the highest unemployment in Nevada, and most of the time, Nevada has the highest unemployment in the country,” Scott continued, speaking at the Mid Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Growers Convention recently. “The grower ran ‘Help Wanted’ ads in the local papers. They had zero applicants for these well-paying jobs!” [Read more…]

Northeast Agribusiness and Feed Alliance addresses key industry issues

ALBANY, NY — Over 200 members of the Northeast Agribusiness and Feed Alliance attended two days of panel discussions, presentations and networking opportunities during the organization’s 2016 annual meeting and forum held Feb. 2 and 3 in Albany, NY.

The event kicked off with a trip to the New York State Capital where five groups of Alliance members met with 18 legislators, or their staff, to discuss their strong concerns about the proposed $15 New York minimum wage. The small group meetings provided Alliance members the opportunity advocate their positions and provide insight into the economic importance of northeast agricultural businesses. [Read more…]