The 40th Mass Sheep and Woolcraft Fair

CN-MR-3-FortiethMassby Laura Rodley

Showing lambs, fleece, sweaters, yarn — the family-friendly 40th Sheep and Woolcraft Fair had it all.

Each year, 4-H members learn that positivity, striving for perfection and hard work gains results at the fair, which was held at Cummington Fairgrounds in Massachusetts over Memorial Day weekend. Proceeds benefited Massachusetts 4-H Clubs. [Read more…]

Vermont sugarmakers report a range of results

CN-MR-2-VermontSugar1by Bethany M. Dunbar

Vermont sugarmakers are reporting a range of results from the season this spring, with some saying they made half a crop, some saying three-fourths, and some saying production was average. Even so, because so many more people are sugaring and others who have always sugared have added more taps, Vermont’s maple production is steadily climbing.

“You virtually have eight times the syrup that was produced 10 years ago,” said Henry Marckres of the Vermont Agency of Agriculture. [Read more…]

Mob grazing

CM-MR-2-Mobgrazing2by Karl H. Kazaks

Recently the NRCS hosted a seminar on the soil health and production benefits of mob grazing. Over 400 people from around the country joined to listen to Doug Peterson, Missouri’s State Soil Health Specialist (and past State Grazing Specialist), speak about the practice.

Peterson, who farms in northern Missouri said in many parts of the country soils have been degraded. [Read more…]

Red Fire Farm and the secrets for success

CN-MR-3-SecretsRedFire1by Laura Rodley

The secrets for success for Red Fire Farm, which grows certified organic vegetables on two farms in Montague and Granby, MA, is perseverance and cultivating great workers — as well as great vegetables.

Farm owners Ryan and Sarah Voiland grow vegetables for four summer and five winter farmer’s markets, and sell wholesale to markets and restaurants such as Greenfields Market, Whole Foods Markets, Northampton’s Blue Heron, Greenfield’s People’s Pint and more than 1,600 CSA members — the majority Boston residents. [Read more…]

Nutrient boost can help prevent mastitis

CWMN-MR-1-UdderHealthby Bill and Mary Weaver

Mastitis costs. On the basis of both his own experience and studies, and an extensive review of recent research, Penn State Professor and Extension Veterinarian Dr. Robert VanSaun stated that one way to significantly reduce mastitis cases is to bump up the levels of several key nutrients in the dairy cow’s diet. VanSaun spoke on “Nutrition and Udder Health” at the recent Mastitis and Milk Quality Conference.

These key nutrients “beef up” the cows’ immune systems, and are particularly important at two points: at drying off and during the period from just before calving through the first several weeks into milk, when cows are more vulnerable to mastitis infections. [Read more…]