Starting a farm

CN-CM-MR-1-StartingaFarmby Sanne Kure-Jensen

Many states are growing new farms and farmers, according to preliminary reports from the recent USDA agricultural census. Consumer support of local farmers continues to grow. Farmers markets, direct sales and agritourism help make farming a viable occupation in many regions.

In her recent webinar called “Starting a Farm,” Rachel Armstrong of farmcommons.org explained how to establish a new farm business. She covered legal issues of starting a new farm, such as buying land and equipment, leasing, forming a business, buying insurance and protecting the farm. [Read more…]

Growing a farm with goats

CN-MR-3-OakLeafby Sally Colby

The Reynolds family had been making and selling hay on the family farm, but it was the young goats they brought home after a hay delivery that started them on the path to a more serious agricultural enterprise. The Reynolds children wanted to participate in 4-H, and goats were the ideal project for them. [Read more…]

The 40th Mass Sheep and Woolcraft Fair

CN-MR-3-FortiethMassby Laura Rodley

Showing lambs, fleece, sweaters, yarn — the family-friendly 40th Sheep and Woolcraft Fair had it all.

Each year, 4-H members learn that positivity, striving for perfection and hard work gains results at the fair, which was held at Cummington Fairgrounds in Massachusetts over Memorial Day weekend. Proceeds benefited Massachusetts 4-H Clubs. [Read more…]

Vermont sugarmakers report a range of results

CN-MR-2-VermontSugar1by Bethany M. Dunbar

Vermont sugarmakers are reporting a range of results from the season this spring, with some saying they made half a crop, some saying three-fourths, and some saying production was average. Even so, because so many more people are sugaring and others who have always sugared have added more taps, Vermont’s maple production is steadily climbing.

“You virtually have eight times the syrup that was produced 10 years ago,” said Henry Marckres of the Vermont Agency of Agriculture. [Read more…]

Mob grazing

CM-MR-2-Mobgrazing2by Karl H. Kazaks

Recently the NRCS hosted a seminar on the soil health and production benefits of mob grazing. Over 400 people from around the country joined to listen to Doug Peterson, Missouri’s State Soil Health Specialist (and past State Grazing Specialist), speak about the practice.

Peterson, who farms in northern Missouri said in many parts of the country soils have been degraded. [Read more…]