Jonas brings the unexpected

CEW-MR-3-Roof-collapse7541by Sally Colby

Throughout winter storm Jonas, which dumped snow that would be measured by the foot, Christy Stermer had a plan to care for the 14 horses stabled at her TNC Equine Center in Dillsburg, PA. Christy’s instructor/trainer Mady Schubbe stayed with Christy for the weekend, and Christy’s son and a friend who plows snow would make sure there was access to the barn. Christy and Mady knew they were in for a lot of extra work, but no amount of planning could prepare them for what happened after the snow stopped falling.

“We got up Sunday morning, fed the horses and put some of the horses in the indoor to run around and stretch their legs because they were in all day Saturday,” said Christy. “We started cleaning stalls and plowing snow. I got the gate open to put more horses outside, and turned the mares outside and the boys in the indoor arena. I was standing outside the barn and I heard an enormous crack.” [Read more…]

Inaugural fiber certification workshops

CEW-MR-2-Fiber-sorting2qby Elizabeth A. Tomlin

Once again, SUNY Cobleskill, known for their innovative programs and workshops, has led the way for the agricultural community by launching the first certificate program for Fiber Sorting, Grading and Classing offered in the United States.

Linda Serdy, Program Coordinator at SUNY Cobleskill’s Office of Professional and Continuing Education (PACE), explained how the program came about. “Last spring Associate Professor Jason Evans was introduced to Wini Labrecque, Certified Camelid Fiber Grader/Sorter/Classer through Olds College in Canada,” explained Serdy. “Wini was looking for an educational institution in the U.S. through which she and other fiber grading/sorting educators could establish a training program that would ultimately lead to a more effective fiber grading system in the United States. The Office of Professional and Continuing Education at SUNY Cobleskill agreed to sponsor the training and develop a Fiber Grading, Sorting, Classing certificate program.” [Read more…]

Dairy goat management

Herd health program for dairy goats

An effective animal health program is an essential part of a successful dairy goat management program. Good feeding and breeding will not result in maximum production if goats are not kept in good health.

Since each herd is different, you should work with a veterinarian to create a herd health plan. Keep good records for each animal regarding medications, vaccinations, dewormers, injuries, production, breeding, and culling. Use this information to plan your herd health program. Prevention with a good herd health plan is usually less expensive than treating disease. [Read more…]

Global food security ~ Part 3

CDM-MR-45-2-Global-food-pt3-11“We can do it better than anyone else.”

by Steve Wagner

Dr. Janelle Larson is a Professor of Agricultural Economics at Penn State, as well as a Rhodes Scholar with an Oxford Education. She has had a hand in sweet potato production in Ghana; and a grant received by Penn State is being used to look at the potential of horticulture for women in Honduras with both an empowerment and nutrition focus. Horticulture in Cambodia with a focus on rice production is another project on the agenda.

Larson says the problem can’t be solved without focusing on small-scale agriculture. Whereas farming in the U.S. is often conglomerate or large-scale family operations, 84 percent of family farms globally are smaller than five acres. Larson thinks that has to be the jump-off point. Noting problems in the U.S., she says they are exacerbated in the developing world: access to credit, access to market. [Read more…]

Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention 2016

BOTH-MAVF-PP-45521The Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention, held at Hershey, PA in February enjoyed its best attendance ever. One hundred sixty exhibitors and their displays filled the Trade Show.

Bill Troxell, PVGA Executive Secretary, estimated the Convention attracted a total of about 2,400 people. “The bus tour and workshops on Monday, preceding the convention, attracted more than 500 people,” noted Troxell, “and we had to turn some people away for lack of space.” These recently started special activities, “add a whole new dimension to the Convention, and make it more worthwhile for growers to travel to the Convention from out of state,” Troxell added. [Read more…]