Nutrient boost can help prevent mastitis

CWMN-MR-1-UdderHealthby Bill and Mary Weaver

Mastitis costs. On the basis of both his own experience and studies, and an extensive review of recent research, Penn State Professor and Extension Veterinarian Dr. Robert VanSaun stated that one way to significantly reduce mastitis cases is to bump up the levels of several key nutrients in the dairy cow’s diet. VanSaun spoke on “Nutrition and Udder Health” at the recent Mastitis and Milk Quality Conference.

These key nutrients “beef up” the cows’ immune systems, and are particularly important at two points: at drying off and during the period from just before calving through the first several weeks into milk, when cows are more vulnerable to mastitis infections. [Read more…]

New Hampshire State 4-H Dairy Quiz Bowl Contest

CN-RP-1-NHQuizThe New Hampshire 4-H Foundation recently sponsored the New Hampshire State 4-H Dairy Quiz Bowl Contest, which took place in Walpole, NH. 4-H members from Grafton, Coos, Merrimack, Sullivan and Cheshire County participated in the event.

Twenty two senior members strived to earn a position on the State team, which will participate in the Quiz Bowls at Eastern States Exposition and the National Dairy Quiz Bowl in Louisville, KY in the fall. [Read more…]

Growing a dairy farm from scratch

CN-MR-4-BrooksFarm1by Sally Colby

It isn’t every day that young people decide they want to farm, and for those who do, it’s tough to start with nothing but experience. Having a strong desire for a life in agriculture might help, but purchasing a farm can be a prohibitively expensive proposition.

Nathaniel Brooks, of Canaan, Maine, says he’s always wanted to be a dairy farmer, and through Maine Farmlink, a program of Maine Farmland Trust, his dream is becoming a reality.

“We started discussing it in early 2011,” said Brooks as he talked about his relationship with Mike and Betsy Holt, the farm owners who connected with Brooks through FarmLink. “The Holts wanted to give a young guy some help getting started.” Brooks added that he grew up just a few miles from the Holts, and they already knew him — a bonus for both sides. [Read more…]

Biosecurity is key to managing PEDv and SDCv

CN-2-PEDv1by Sally Colby

When PEDv, or porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, first made the news, industry officials were quick to act. However, since experts had almost no experience in dealing with the disease, there was a lot of groundwork to cover before organizations could provide sound information to producers.

PEDv was first identified in England in 2013, and spread throughout Europe and Asia before being confirmed in the Midwest in spring of 2013. Since then, the disease has been confirmed in 30 states. [Read more…]

Having trouble with invasives? Try goats as your extractor

CN-MR-3-TroubleWithInvasives2by Laura Rodley

Rosa Multiflora, European Buckthorn, honeysuckle, Japanese Barberry — invasives, all. And goats find them delicious.

A herd of 18 goats was introduced at Pine Cobble School, in Williamstown, MA, as part of their newly instated Goats in the Woods Project (GIW). The project is devoted to introducing meat goats into wooded areas to eat invasives as a source of forest management called agroforestry. Another goal is to help teach kids where food originates. [Read more…]