When there’s trouble during a calving, someone on the farm is usually willing and able to don an obstetric sleeve and help that cow safely deliver the calf. But the decision to assist a cow should be a part of careful observation skills and overall good cow sense. [Read more…]
LIVERPOOL, NY — Hydraulic fracturing. Also known as “hydrofracking,” it is one word guaranteed to stir up a hornet’s nest of comments.
Whether you live in an urban neighborhood or rural district in the northeastern U.S., you’re sure to have heard about fracking at town, city council and school board meetings, or attended scholarly lectures and viewed certain films and television shows. Upstate New York, in an area roughly from the western border with Canada, including the Finger Lakes and Southern Tier east to the capital district, is home to several large natural gas deposits.
Hydrofracking is the process of injecting liquids, water and chemicals at high pressure into the ground to fracture shale rock. In addition, the region’s proximity to Pennysylvania and Ohio, where fracking is a large-scale, and some say profitable industry, brings the topic to mind more often. [Read more…]
I’m pleased The New York Times released an op-ed piece titled, Keep Farmland for Farmers, poignantly written by Hudson Valley Farmers, Lindsey Lusher Shute and Benjamin Shute which chronicles the plight of finding land and making a go of it beyond the boroughs of New York City. In it they reveal that one-quarter of the land trusts that oversee conservation easements have seen protected land go out of production. Why? A non-farmer had bought it. [Read more…]
SYRACUSE, NY — If the U.S. Congress really wanted to get its act together, it should take a page from the New York State Farm Bureau playbook.
“This is true democracy at work,” Farm Bureau president Dean Norton commented as he chatted with fellow farmers from upstate New York during the Farm Bureau’s annual statewide conference, which was held at Holiday Inn in Liverpool, on Dec. 3-5.
Norton, a dairy farmer and livestock owner from Elba in western New York, gave his annual address on Dec. 4 to about 400 delegates from all 62 counties. “What makes our organization so strong comes from you,” he said. [Read more…]
Although living on a farm is an advantage for young people who are interested in activities such as 4-H and FFA, it’s harder for non-farm youngsters to participate — unless someone provides an opportunity.
John and Pat Clark have provided that opportunity for youth in their area. After raising their two daughters on their Mohawk, NY, farm, they help other youth who are interested in sheep. [Read more…]
by Sally Colby
Many adults who are involved in the livestock industry can trace their career path back to time spent in agricultural activities such as 4-H and FFA. This is the case for Jennifer Schwab, of North Java, NY, where she and her family have a start-up purebred breeding stock operation specializing in Spotted hogs, or ‘Spots’.
“We’ve had pigs for 4-H since I was 10 years old,” said Schwab. “My brother Kevin and I raised two pigs each year for eight years. “They’re enjoyable to work with. They’re docile, more gentle than the others we’ve had, and they’re very protective moms.” Schwab says that that the first Spot they had was named grand champion at the New York State Fair, and that fueled her interest in the breed.
To promote their growing operation and to learn more about purebred seedstock pigs, Schwab and her family exhibit at numerous shows throughout the year. [Read more…]
by Tamara Scully
The University of Maine at Machias recently held a panel discussion on genetically modified foods, as a part of its ongoing “Food and Community” series of events. Panelists for the discussion were: Maine organic farmer Jim Gerritsen, president of the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association; John Jemison, water quality and soil specialist with University of Maine Cooperative Extension; Eric Jones, assistant professor of plant biology at University of Maine at Machias; and Andrei Alyokhin, professor and graduate coordinator with University of Maine’s School of Biology and Ecology. The panel briefly introduced their views on genetic engineering and its use in our food system, and then answered questions from the audience. [Read more…]
by Steve Wagner
When Pennsylvania Farm Bureau President Carl Shaffer stepped to the podium for his annual press conference at the PFB annual meeting, he did not look like the proverbial happy camper. “One of the hottest items is our state funding of transportation,” he said. “I can’t tell you how disappointed we are with our legislators today. There’s no excuse for this. They’re sent there to do a job and one of them is to provide services for the public. We have 5,600 bridges in the state of Pennsylvania that are in need of repair. Of those, 250 are closed completely. [Read more…]