Robert Morin of Waldoboro is the new Chair of the Maine Farm Bureau Horse Council as of winter 2013. Robert moved to Maine in 1973 from Rhode Island. He has always had a love for horses, as well as an interest in all types of agriculture. As a teen he worked at a stable with 75-125 horses, learning to care for and ride them. Robert spent a few years in the service and then in 1981 started his small homestead — Barrel Hill Farm. Over the years at different times his farm has been home to sheep, pigs, chickens, and varying sized gardens. Robert has also been a residential builder since 1981. He believes everyone at some point should do some kind of volunteer civic duty for their community. With this said Robert has done over fifteen years of public service for his town of Waldoboro. Currently Robert serves on the board for Waldoboro Business Association and on the board for the Economic growth committee. Robert also is an active board member for New England Livestock Expo. Continue reading
by Sanne Kure-Jensen
Steffen Schneider has been farming biodynamically for 30 years. Schneider’s practices include allowing mothers to rear their calves, careful breed selection with horns, daily rotational grazing with mixed forage, deliberate barn design and manure management with pigs. Everything on the farm strives for an ideal balance.
He shared his experience at the NOFA Summer Conference at the University of Massachusetts/Amherst in August.
Hawthorne Valley Farm
This 400-acre farm offers public educational workshops, summer camp and farm management programs celebrating the balance between agriculture and the natural environment.
This farm runs a herd of 130 animals and typically milk 50 to 60 cows. Animal manure is composted and recycled on pastures and vegetable fields. The farm’s diversified vegetable operation supports a 300-member CSA. The dairy and cheese-making operation’s by-product (whey) supports 40 pigs, which also offer manure management. Crop rotations include 30 to 40 acres of farm-raised wheat and other grains to support the on-farm bakery and local customers. All the straw is recycled on the farm as bedding, green manure or compost. Continue reading
The focus of the day was on fun as 4-H’ers from four counties vied for ribbons and championships at the 4-H/Open Peewee Youth Dairy Show, July 27, at the annual Lamoille County Field Days in Johnson.
University of Vermont (UVM) Extension 4-H and the Green Mountain Moovers 4-H Club of Morrisville sponsored the event, which attracted participants from Caledonia, Franklin, Lamoille and Orleans Counties. Lora Smith-Goss of North Haverhill, NH, who has judged open and 4-H shows for 30 years, was the judge for both the fitting and showmanship and conformation classes.
The event included a peewee division for 4-H Cloverbuds, ages five to seven, to introduce them to the show ring and give them experience showing a dairy animal in competition. Entrants in this division received participation ribbons but were not ranked. They included Bo and Sam Callan, Enosburg Falls; and Gabriel, Haley, Morgan and Natalie Michaud, all of East Hardwick.
The show got underway with the fitting and showmanship classes where the 4-H’ers were judged on their poise as well as presentation and handling of their animal. For the conformation classes, arranged by age and breed of animal, judges looked at the physical structure, condition and appearance of the animal. Continue reading
by Daniel Hudson, UVM Extension Agronomist
Most garden enthusiasts are familiar with fungal diseases in fruit and vegetable crops. These diseases can induce a range of experiences from mild gardener irritation to complete crop loss. Late blight in tomatoes, powdery mildew in squash, leaf spot, phytophthora and pythium, just to name a few. The most frustrating diseases are those that spoil the quality of the product just before it is ready to harvest! The insidious fact about most plant pathogens is that their spores are everywhere. Given the right conditions, they can devastate a crop. While some species and varieties of plants have varying degrees of resistance to certain pathogens, no plant is entirely immune.
Fungal infection of fruit and vegetables can render a crop completely unmarketable, a fact that looms large in the minds of producers. In field crops and forages, however, fungal pathogens often do not prevent harvest or marketing, but often compromise yield and quality in ways that are not immediately evident. Until recently I had the impression that foliar disease on forages was not a ranking concern among livestock farmers or hay producers. This is why I was exceedingly surprised when I recently heard a farmer state that mid-summer grass diseases (foliar) are the most significant agronomic problem on his farm! Continue reading