Herd genetics: Selecting for grass

by Tamara Scully

The dairy industry has been selectively breeding for specific traits for many years. Yet even today, it finds itself in need of new genetics, such as those for polled animals, or for producing milk on pasture. Some traits which selective dairy breeding has focused on have included: birthing ease; ketosis; mastitis and lameness.

“We can’t lose that to get new genetics,” Jen Burton, Veterinarian for Organic Valley CROPP Cooperative, speaking at the recent NOFA-NY Organic Dairy and Field Crop Conference, said. [Read more…]

Lamb basics for profitability

CM-MR-2-Lamb-basicsby Tamara Scully

Beginning farmers can range from those just embarking on their passion after years of work outside of agriculture to younger adults choosing to farm for a living; those who happen to own enough land to qualify for reduced taxes or other incentives. No matter where on the spectrum a producer fits, keeping land in active agriculture is a benefit to everyone. [Read more…]

A few things the Tick Guy wants you to know

CM-51-2-Tick-guy1by Sally Colby

Ten years ago, a tick was a tick. They crawled onto a dog, perhaps hitched a ride on your pants leg and then latched onto your scalp. Moms became experts at finding and removing ticks after kids played outside.

“The tick climbed up to the top of your head, and you’d feel the bump,” said Dr. Tom Mather. “Your mom would remove it because she had pointy fingernails. And no one got sick.” [Read more…]

More than a ribbon

CEW-MR-3-More-than-aw2by Sally Colby

Ben Weikert has seen nearly every side of beef production possible. He started with beef projects as a young 4-Her, and he competed on a collegiate livestock judging team as he pursued a degree in animal science. He and his brother Owen have developed an elite herd of show cattle and have served as judges at numerous livestock shows. After receiving a master’s degree and serving as an extension agent, Ben is now working toward a PhD in agricultural leadership, and has some tips for youth who plan to show cattle this season. [Read more…]

Central New York Beef Producers gear up for breeding season

CW-MR-1-NYBP-gear-up1by Elizabeth A. Tomlin

Attendance at the recent Central New York Beef Producers (CNYBP) workshop-hosted by Cornell Cooperative Extension Schoharie and Otsego Counties — exceeded expectations, with a full house.

Featured speakers, Cornell University Beef Specialist Dr. Mike Baker and Jerry Emrick, Northeast Beef Specialist with Select Sire Power discussed estrus synchronization, bull scoring, artificial insemination (A.I.) and Expected Progeny Differences (EPDs). [Read more…]