Upper Valley farmers and others gather to launch watershed alliance

CN-MR-2-WATERSHED-ALLIANCE-Dqqotonby Alice Allen

NORWICH, VT — On Friday Dec.18 more than 50 farmers, Cooperative Extension, USDA officials and others gathered at the Norwich Farm campus of Vermont Technical College to launch the Connecticut River Farmers’ Watershed Alliance.

Upper Valley farmers Larry Scott, Jean Conklin, Walter Gladstone, joined others to listen and share ideas to actively address water quality concerns in the Upper Connecticut River Valley. This new watershed alliance will bring together a cohesive group to network together to help farmers, local landowners and local environmental groups collaborate on mutual objectives and shared responsibilities to help protect this river resource and its tributaries now and for future generations to come. [Read more…]

Sick Poultry: Proper Diagnosis

CM-MR-1-Sick-poultry11by Tamara Scully

Poultry production not only occurs in large commercial flocks, it is also finding a resurgence among small-scale farmers and backyard producers. No matter where or how the birds are raised, common poultry diseases are a concern. Knowing the signs and symptoms, and collecting samples to make a positive diagnosis, can go a long way in insuring poultry health. [Read more…]

Shearing on the rise at Whitney Acres Farm

CN-MR-3-WHITNEY-ACREwS_876by Laura Rodley

Faye Whitney of Whitney Acre Farms started out with two Shetlands and now owns 27, the largest flock of registered Shetlands in Massachusetts. Currently the executive secretary of the North American Shetland Sheepbreeders Association, she has served on the Board of Directors and been the secretary for 12 years. Shetlands caught her interest in 1993.  “I inherited my family farm, and we were down to just two horses. My husband (Phil Lussier) and I thought we should have livestock, and keep sheep to keep brush down.” Their Ashfield, MA farm was started by her great-great grandfather, Walter Lesure, who also raised sheep that appear to have been Merinos, according to an old photo, notes Whitney. She is the fifth generation to work the land.
She located the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy that promoted and protected heritage breeds, and decided, “Let’s get a minor breed and do a good thing.”   [Read more…]

Feeding your horse naturally, part 1

CW-MR-1-Feedong-horse38142by Paul Burdziakowski

How do you properly feed a horse? With so many feed, supplement and hay choices available, many people find themselves wondering exactly what their horse needs for good health and nutrition. [Read more…]

Organic Grain Markets

by Tamara Scully

The demand for organic corn, soy, and wheat for both feed and food markets is increasing. According to United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service’s data, organic corn acreage has increased 24 percent since 2011. Soy has shown a modest three percent increase during this same time. While organic wheat acreage decreased by three percent, overall wheat acreage in the United States also declined during that timeframe. [Read more…]