Equine Affaire 2014

CN-MR-3-EquineLooby3by George Looby

This year’s Equine Affaire held on the grounds of the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, MA was the 50th in a string of events dating back 22 years. If bigger and better is an overused phrase in the world of entertainment then it will have to suffice until a better one comes along. Those attending were educated by experts, brought up to speed on the latest in horse tack and equipment and got a chance to view breeds of horses that many in attendance might be hard pressed to properly identify. [Read more…]

What we know about managing emerging swine diseases

CEW-MR-1-Swine diseases9484by Sally Colby

Swine producers are all familiar with TGE, or transmissible gastroenteritis. TGE is a coronavirus, and has been identified in swine herds since the mid-1940s. However, a new coronavirus disease, PEDv (porcine epidemic diarrhea virus) has challenged pork producers throughout the United States.

“PED was in Europe for 50 years, and they haven’t had a problem with it,” said Dr. Meghann Pierdon, swine veterinarian at the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center. “More recently, between 2008 and 2010, there have been more severe outbreaks in Asia. But we had never seen it here in the U.S. until May of 2013.” [Read more…]

Making farming easier for young farmers

CN-MR-young farmers-3_2784by Sally Colby

It’s tough for young farmers to get started in farming. If there’s no access to farm property through family, it can be close to impossible to fund even a small parcel of land. The Farmland Access Program of the Vermont Land Trust has made it easier for farmers to acquire agricultural land and start farming enterprises that provide long-term benefits for both farmers and the community.

Two Vermont couples are among the most recent beneficiaries of the program. Noah Hoskins explains how the program helped jump-start their farm operation.

“My brother-in-law Mike Euphrat and I are both from this area,” said Noah. “We had been working in small-scale agriculture enterprises of our own for the last ten years or so. Our wives are sisters who moved here from Mt. Desert Island in Maine, and we were connected through living across the street from them. This farm became available, and it was a farm we were familiar with. We submitted a proposal and were successful.” [Read more…]

Mark Rashid discusses herd dynamics at Equine Affaire

CN-MR-3-HerdDynamics1585by Laura Rodley

Three bleachers bulged with spectators during internationally renowned horse trainer Mark Rashid’s talk, “Herd Dynamics: Understanding the Difference between Domestic and Feral Horses’ Behavior” at the 50th Equine Affaire, which was held in November in Springfield, MA.

Attendees were quiet, avidly paying attention as Rashid spoke, as though putting into action something he has noticed while studying feral herds. “[Horses] have to stay quiet. If they make noise, attract predators. There is one reason bands of wild horses are so quiet — preservation,” said Rashid, of Estes Park, CO, the author of seven horse-related books. [Read more…]

Flavor’s the ticket at Cold Spring Farm

CN-flavor_084by Laura Rodley  

Nestled in a cozy series of pastures graze Ayrshire cattle that belong to Tim and Doff Storrow of Cold Spring Farm. Tim has had repeat customers ordering his beef for over a decade. The reason is flavor. Everyone raves about the flavor, from his customers to head chef Jordan Scott at nearby Gill Tavern where Cold Spring Farm beef is served for dinner.

“He loves the beef,” said Tim, who has ordered his own beef for dinner at Gill Tavern too, on a night out, though, “Typically I’ll order something else,” for variety. [Read more…]