Shearer Aaron Loux

CN-MR-3-Shearer 1by Laura Rodley

Veteran shearer Aaron Loux has helped teach shearing at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY for four years, and works shearing for shepherds with herds of one to 3000. He first attended Cornell’s shearing classes when he was a junior in High School. He lives a nomadic life, travelling to the farms where he shears, with his home base at his parents’ Busy Corner Farm in Cummington, MA. He served for two years as co-chair of the Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fair. [Read more…]

The New England Farmers Union fourth annual convention

CN-MR-2-The New England 1by Sanne Kure-Jensen

The New England Farmers Union (NEFU) held its fourth annual convention “Celebrating our Agricultural Diversity: People, Practices and Products” in Newport, RI. Nearly 100 members attended the convention.

Ken Ayars, Rhode Island Division of Agriculture chief, thanked NEFU for its efforts on behalf of New England agriculture and warmly welcomed NEFU members to Rhode Island with its thriving agricultural sector. [Read more…]

The preservation and restoration of old barns

CN-MR-1-The preservation 1by George Looby, DVM

One of the many delights of traveling the back roads of the northeastern states is the sight of the many old barns that dot the countryside. Each one is a testimony to the families who built and worked in them for decades, each unique in its own way but all filling the basic need for livestock shelter and the storage of fodder. For those children fortunate enough to have grown up familiar with such structures, memories of jumping in the hay mow is long remembered and the scent of new mown June hay lingers for a lifetime. Perhaps less nostalgic are the memories of mowing away that same hay on a sweltering June afternoon, a 5 ft. tall, 10 year old frame wrestling with a 6 ft. pitch fork handle, hoping that the arrival of the next load from the track high up on the ridgepole might be delayed for just a few minutes. That seldom happened. [Read more…]

Balancing nutrition for grazing dairy herds

by Tamara Scully

When it comes to milk production, dry matter intake is key. Learning to balance the quality and availability of pasture forages with the protein and energy needed in the dairy cow diet is one of the challenges when grazing. Many variables occur when grazing that affect the nutritional quality of the pasture forages. Managing a grazing program can be rewarding, but challenging, for dairy producers.

“No matter if a cow is grazing or totally confined, her milk production will be largely based on the total amount of dry matter consumed,” Mike Thresher, dairy specialist with Morrison’s Custom Feeds said. “The more a cow can consume, the more that gets turned into milk production.” [Read more…]

Plan ahead to prepare for severe winter weather

CEWN-MR-1-Winter weather35by Sally Colby

Like all seasons, winter comes with its own set of obstacles. In most cases, farmers deal with winter weather fairly smoothly, but this winter has been particularly challenging for many producers who have dealt with frustrations from extreme cold and broken pipes to making equipment repairs in frigid temperatures. [Read more…]