Cartwheels at the 147th Annual Cummington Fair

CN-MR-2-CUMMINGTON-FAIR_1261by Laura Rodley

When you win at the 147th Annual Cummington Fair, sometimes you have to break into cartwheels to celebrate. That’s what Justin Clark did after he helped his father Tim Clark win the Free for All in the Draft Oxen division. The team of Butch and Sonny were hitched to the 12,500 pound plus stoneboat so they could pull it past the required six feet distance. As his father led the team out of the ring, his son broke into a series of spontaneous cartwheels, delighting the crowd. “That’s the first time he’s done cartwheels in the ring,” noted his father. Both he and Justin are native sons of Hawley, MA, “We’re excited, it’s a pretty big ordeal,” said Clark. [Read more…]

New methods of vaccine production on the horizon

CEW-MR-1-VACCINES1by George Looby, DMV

Animal agriculture has long relied on the addition of antibiotics to increase feed efficiency and to aid in the control of low grade intestinal infections, especially in young animals. This practice has come under increased scrutiny in recent years as the human population has had to contend with the development of so-called super bugs which are resistant to conventional antibiotic therapy. [Read more…]

Boosting plum production in Maine

CN-GO-RP-1-ME-PLUMS-011ORONO, ME — University of Maine researchers are working to bring locally grown plums to farm stands around the state.
The two-year project, funded by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, is identifying suitable plum varieties for Maine’s climate that would help diversify the state’s apple farms. [Read more…]

Center for Food Safety, expert scientists, farm groups support Vermont’s Genetically Engineered Food Labeling

Experts defend law from industry’s continued legal challenge

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Center for Food Safety submitted a legal filing to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in support of Vermont’s genetically engineered (GE) food labeling law, Act 120. The CFS brief was filed on behalf of a broad-based coalition, including five expert Ph.D. scientists, two farming organizations, and environmental groups CFS and the Sierra Club. Signed into law in May 2014, Act 120 was challenged in court just one month later by “Big Food” and Agriculture interests represented by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA). In April 2015, the Federal District Court of Vermont rejected GMA’s claims, and upheld Vermont’s law as constitutional. GMA appealed the decision and the case, the first regarding whether States can require the labeling of GE food, is now before the Second Circuit. [Read more…]

UNH Research: Crop rotation boosts soil microbes, benefits plant growth

Project seeks to address issues of agricultural intensification

DURHAM, NH — In the first study of its kind, new research from the University of New Hampshire shows that crop rotations, in isolation from other management factors, can increase the functions performed by soil microbial communities that benefit plant growth. The study was conducted by researchers with the New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station. [Read more…]