David Freeman has worked with cattle most of his life. Since age 12, he raised his own calves at his grandfather Oswald Freeman’s Sunnyside Dairy, in northern New York where he grew up. He worked on neighboring farms through school. He helped his brother Dale Freeman during summers after his grandfather passed away and Dale bought the family farm from his grandmother and the one next to it. From there, David moved to Hartford, CT to teach special education and later to Heath, MA to raise beef cattle on his own Freeman Farm, with his wife Christine. Right now he’s rebuilding his herd for next year, with thirty head, mostly Herefords and Murray Grays. His grandfather and brother raised dairy cows, but he chose to raise beef cattle, “Mostly because I hate morning chores, don’t like getting up at 3 o’clock in winter, never did, never will.” He commuted to his job in Connecticut for years until he “got the farm going well enough,” and retired early from teaching in 1996. [Read more…]
On Saturday morning Jan. 10, 2015 there was no doubt in anyone’s mind that winter had descended on the Campus of Worcester State University. With the temperature hovering around the zero mark, the pace of pedestrian traffic was brisk with little time elapsed as attendees moved from building to building in search of their next session. On the up side it was a perfect day to attend this meeting where everyone was anxious to share information in the warmth of the campus classrooms and other meeting venues.
This was the 28th Annual Winter Conference presented by the NOFA/MASS, this year held on the campus of the Worcester State University where over 1000 members and others with an interest in organic agriculture came together to be updated on the that which is at the cutting edge of things organic. As always there was an extensive menu of workshops available offering a wide range of subject matter ranging from tips on growing and storing onions to a legislative update and preview for Massachusetts agriculture. [Read more…]
OK dairy farmers, it’s now up to you!
Do you as a dairy farmer really think the margin insurance program will help you to manage your farm in a more efficient way? Well, let’s look at it realistically! The Secretary of Agriculture announced on Jan. 12 that slightly over 23,000 dairy farmers signed up for the margin insurance program. Now however, nearly one half of those producers signed up for the minimum coverage of $4 per hundred weight (cwt). Allegedly, there are 46,000 dairy farmers in the United States. These figures mean that between 34-35,000 dairy farmers did not sign up for the program, or took only the minimum coverage. This is a long ways from being a real exciting support for the program. [Read more…]
At the American Farm Bureau’s 96th Annual Convention, Dr. Temple Grandin was presented with the Distinguished Service Award. Grandin, professor of animal science at Colorado State University, addressed some of today’s most pressing issues in animal ag. She believes that one of the most important things that ag needs to do is have farmers directly communicating with people.
Grandin finds it frustrating that a lot of young people don’t know about the good things that have been done in agriculture. She cited a Purdue study that revealed that 31 percent of young people have never been on a farm, and 50 percent of people in the UK couldn’t connect pigs with bacon. She talked about her visit to The Pig Adventure at Fair Oaks Farm — a modern, open-door pig farm where visitors can see every aspect of production. Grandin asked employees at Fair Oaks what kinds of strange questions they’ve gotten from visitors viewing the pigs. The question Grandin couldn’t believe people asked was “are those actually pigs?” [Read more…]
Veterinarian Dr. Geoff Tucker developed his school, The Equine Dentistry School Online, after floating more than 60,000 horses’ teeth over three decades. The school, started September 2014 with a worldwide practical component, already has two graduates — a veterinarian in New York and a citizen of the Dominican Republic. “I became a veterinarian because I love horses,” Tucker said. He even overcame dyslexia to graduate from Cornell University. In 2014, he released his compelling third book, Since the Days of the Romans: My Journey of Discovering a Life of Horses. He is pictured with his horse, Oliver, on the cover. [Read more…]