Ag Day at the State House honors a vibrant sector of the Rhode Island economy

CN-MR-36-4-15th-annual-1by Kristen M. Castrataro

“It’s a great day at the State House. It’s not every day they’re giving away food,” Governor Gina Raimondo joked in her speech at Rhode Island’s 15th annual Ag Day at the State House on May 10. It is a fact that the food at Ag Day is always a highlight: 45 vendors take the opportunity to showcase the best of Rhode Island agriculture. But Ag Day is more than that. It has become a time to celebrate one of the true growth industries in the Ocean State: Local agriculture. [Read more…]

Vermont 4-H’er earns third place in national essay contest

CN-RP-10-Vermont-4-H'er-ear1nsBURLINGTON, VT — A Grand Isle 4-H’er has earned national recognition for her essay on bees.

Madeline Chairvolotti, a member of the Champlain Shamrocks 4-H Club, took third place in the National 4-H Beekeeping Essay Contest, sponsored by the Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees, Inc. Participants were asked to research and write 750 to 1,000 words on the topic, “Bees and Pollination: How Important is it?” [Read more…]

Soil erosion and tillage equipment

CM-MR-1-Soil-erosio1n1by Tamara Scully

Plowing, tilling, harrowing, fertilizing and all the other things farmers do cause soil disturbances. Calculating the impact of the disturbance can assist conservation planners and farmers in designing management strategies that protect the soil from erosion.

Five main types of soil disturbances exist: inversion with some mixing; mixing only; mixing with some inversion; lifting and fracturing; and compression. Different tools will cause different disturbances. The severity of disturbance is related to the depth of the soil involved, as well as the speed of the equipment. [Read more…]

Creamery Brook Bison: No buffalo here

CN-24-3-Creamery-brook-bison11by Kristen M. Castrataro

In 1981, when Austin Tanner and his wife Debbi first saw the dairy farm that would become Creamery Brook Bison in Brooklyn, CT, the first thing he noticed was the mulberry tree. He had grown up on a farm that had a tree just like it.

The Tanners milked cows for nearly a decade. In 1990, they acquired three bison cows and two calves at an auction because Austin had developed a fascination for the large, shaggy creatures. The following year they bought a bull and four additional cows. Now they have nearly 100 head of cows and young and two breeding bulls. [Read more…]

Plow Day in Northfield, MA

CN-MR-37-2-Plow-Day12by Joseph Parzych

The Lord blessed this year’s annual Plow Day with sunshine and balmy weather. The sun shone bright and a gentle breeze wafted across the 150-acre cornfield on Bill LLewellen’s Five Point Farm in Northfield, MA. The event was organized by Tony Amato and Paul Morehouse, members of the International Harvester Collector’s Club, New England Chapter 18. The Franklin County 4-H Club ran a food concession stand. Sixty-two tractors, 20 horses and their enthusiastic owners took part plowing, showing and socializing with the large friendly crowd that turned out. [Read more…]