Vermont 4-H horse delegation excels in national competition

CN-RP-1-VT4HHorseBURLINGTON, VT — Nearly 300 4-H’ers from 24 states gathered in Louisville, KY, Nov. 7-9, for the Eastern National 4-H Horse Roundup, including 16 Vermonters who earned a place on the University of Vermont (UVM) Extension 4-H delegation as winners at state competitions.

The roundup, considered the largest national 4-H horse program contest in the country, was hosted by the North American International Livestock Exposition at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center. Participants qualified for one of the six contests — hippology, horse judging, horse quiz bowl, team demonstrations, public speaking and individual presentations. [Read more…]

Grass-fed livestock health and pasture management

???????????????????????????????by Sanne Kure-Jensen

A livestock producers’ field day taught best practices for livestock health and ways to minimize antibiotic use as well as pasture and weed management. The field day called “Farm Case Studies, Securing Farms for the Future: Production, Processing and Marketing” was held at Windmist in Jamestown, RI as part of a 3-year Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) “Grass-fed All Year Long” grant awarded to UConn, UMass and URI. [Read more…]

All about Dorper sheep

???????????????????????????????by Sanne Kure-Jensen

Dorper breeds were developed in the 1930s and ‘40s, and were officially recognized in South Africa in 1946. The fast-growing, well-muscled Dorpers are a cross between Horned Dorset rams and Blackhead Persian ewes. Dorper Sheep are typically docile and require minimal labor to manage. [Read more…]

Small-flock turkey production

C4-MR-1-TurkeysPrepared by R. Michael Hulet, Phillip J. Clauer, George L. Greaser, Jayson K. Harper and Lynn F. Kime

Raising turkeys can be a satisfying educational activity as well as a source of economical, high-quality meat for your family and friends. By raising a small flock of turkeys, you can produce the freshest turkey possible while involving the whole family in working with and learning about live animals.

Turkeys can easily be started by hatching eggs or by raising young poults. They can be grown and home processed without the use of expensive processing equipment, or they may be sold to live markets (auctions).

Adult males have a naked, heavily carunculated (bumpy) head that normally is bright red but that turns to white overlaid with bright blue when the birds are excited. Other distinguishing features of the common turkey are a long red fleshy ornament (called a snood) that grows from the forehead over the bill; a fleshy wattle growing from the throat; a tuft of coarse, black, hairy feathers (known as a beard) projecting from the breast; and more or less prominent leg spurs. [Read more…]

Growing the farm: next season’s production planning

C4-MR-1-Growing the farm 2by Tamara Scully

Planning for next season, particularly if you plan to expand your capacity, is a multi-dimensional process. Are you going to grow more crops and become more diverse? Will you expand by growing more of the same crops, increasing your production capacity? Or perhaps you’ll expand by extending the growing season. No matter how you opt to grow, preparing for the growing pains can make the process successful.

[Read more…]