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…]
New England Farm Weekly
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…]
“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…]
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…]
Art Whitman of North Bennington, VT, was presented with the Distinguished Service Award by the Northeast Agribusiness and Feed Alliance “for a lifetime of dedication and service to the agriculture industry” at the 2016 annual meeting and forum in Albany.
“Honesty”, “integrity”, and “a hard working individual,” who was very active in legislative issues and led his community and the agricultural industry, in service over his entire life, were comments used by his peers to describe Whitman. [Read more…]
Cereal grains are no longer regulated to commodity grain markets or cover crop use. Instead, they are in demand by the growing population of craft maltsters and brewers, and are fueling the growth of this rapidly emerging market.
Hartwick College, in Oneonta, NY, invited farmers, brewers, maltsters and researchers from around the country — and included seven international guests — for its weekend Farmer/Brewer conference, “A Maltster in the Rye.” Conference workshops were aimed at highlighting the correlation between the actual growing of the grains — including variety selection, agronomics and environment, and management practices — to the ability of the maltster and brewer to craft high-quality, unique products. [Read more…]
Over six hundred meals a day, three times a day, are served at Hampshire College while college is in session. Approximately 1,400 students attend the school.
To provide the food to feed them, the college has the Hampshire College Farm Center in Amherst, MA, a 100-acre working farm that also provides work-study jobs for the students to study farming. This is in keeping with the college’s goal to locally source 100 percent of the food served on campus.
“We sent eight beef to them this year, usually 15-20 pigs. We send 70 dozen eggs a week; we could do a lot more eggs, but in general eggs are not profitable,” said Pete Solis. He has been the Director of Livestock and Pasture Management for the past year and a half, having brought with him his experience working on his own farm in nearby Easthampton. [Read more…]
The Northeastern Poultry Congress held its 43rd annual poultry show, Jan. 16 and 17, at the Eastern States Exposition Fairgrounds in West Springfield, MA. There were a total of 306 exhibitors with 2,946 fowl on display making this once again the biggest poultry show in New England. Attendees enjoyed free admission to the event, which offered plenty of things to do including friendly competitions, poultry sales, informative seminars, varieties of vendors, raffles and plenty of bird watching.
Various classes of poultry were on display during the two-day event including large fowl, bantams, waterfowls, turkeys, pigeons, and the trio classic, which consists of one male and two females of the same breed, variety and age. Contestants had plenty of time to prepare their birds with various cleaning, grooming and styling techniques. Licensed judges performed careful inspections of the birds and awarded ribbons and cash prizes to the best in show. [Read more…]