The 42nd Annual Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fair

CN-MR-38-3-Sheep-and-woolcraft7411by Laura Rodley

The four Hs in 4-H stand for head, heart, hands and health. The 4-Hers that exhibited at the 42nd annual Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fair also learned kindness and patience. 4-H is geared for children age six through 18. Three-year-old Asa Johnson of Owl Ridge Farm in New Braintree, MA was too young to compete, but wanted to help Georgianna Springstube of West Stockbridge, MA exhibit her Shetland lamb ewe in the junior ewe class. [Read more…]

Comment period extended for proposed changes

CM-MR-56-2-Organic-livestock2by Tamara Scully

Proposed changes to the National Organic Program Livestock and Poultry Practices are open for a recently extended comment period, which now closes on July 13, 2016. There are new revisions covering animal welfare and health practices, requirements for outdoor access and living standards for mammals as well as poultry, and new regulations for transport and slaughter. Anyone involved in organic production is encouraged to understand the new proposals, and to provide comments for consideration. [Read more…]

Meeting consumers’ high standard

CM-MR-32-2-Meeting-consurmers2by George Looby, DVM

Consumers today are much better informed when it comes to matters of nutrition and food safety than were preceding generations. This is due in large measure to the work of food scientists whose understanding of food microbiology continues to expand. Despite this ever-expanding body of knowledge, hazards continue to exist in the food chain that pose a potential threat to the consumer. [Read more…]

Moving mountains and the Spartan Races

CN-MR-30-3-Moving-Mountains7920by Laura Rodley

Oftentimes, the amount of work farmers do feels like moving mountains: haying fields, milking cows, managing the bills, the responsibility of securing a farm’s future by diversifying. But for third generation farmer Phillip Stevens of Carter and Stevens Farm in Barre, MA, the mountain he had to move was himself. He had fallen off a roof 14 years ago while repairing the shingles on a barn and shattered both calcaneus bones, an injury commonly referred to as “roofers’ heel”. [Read more…]