Farmers and residents prepared all year long for the 146th Annual Cummington Fair, grooming their animals and growing their vegetables and flowers for a chance to bask in the limelight. Last year, 34,000 people attended the fair in Cummington, MA, viewing the best of the best and partaking of usually forbidden fair food delights — such as French fries and fried dough — while watching magicians, riding on the Ferris Wheel or observing the oxen and horse pull. [Read more…]
If pricing were as simple as looking into a crystal ball farmers could rest easy knowing they were selling their crops at a price that is sustainable for the farm and what the market could bear.
“Small and mid-size producers are often shooting from their hip (when setting prices),” said Bob Weybright, Business Agricultural Economic Development Specialist with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture Program. [Read more…]
Small farms — at least successful ones — can’t be stagnant. They need to evolve to meet the needs of their customer base, keep production profitable and grow with the farmer’s changing needs. One such farm, which has continually reassessed its farming model as the farm, the local food community and the family has grown, is Sandiwood Farm in Wolcott, VT. [Read more…]
LYNDONVILLE, VT — The Vermont Beef Producers Association got a tour of the new slaughterhouse and meat processing plant in Lyndonville on Aug. 9. Beef farmers from all over Vermont and some out-of-state farmers got a look at Northeast Kingdom Processing.
The company is owned by Scott Oeschger of Derby. Oeschger also owns Spring Hill Angus, and his farm manager is Bob Butterfield of Barton. That afternoon the beef producers took a tour of the farm. [Read more…]
Local and regional fairs with 4-H and FFA competitions help educate fair visitors about agriculture as well as build competitors’ skills, self-confidence and leadership skills. These competitors and audiences may become be our next generation of farmers and ranchers.
4-H fairs and competitions offer students feedback on their agricultural projects and a chance to compete against their peers. Students face their public speaking fears and hone their presentation skills. Many find financial incentive to improve their skills and knowledge. [Read more…]