NYS Ag Commissioner optimistic at NYS Ag Society and Forum Meeting

CEW-MR-1-Ag-Society-Ball61by Pat Malin

LIVERPOOL, NY – New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Richard Ball is predicting 2016 will be a “year of optimism” for agriculture.

During his address at the 184th meeting of the New York State Agricultural Society Meeting and Forum on Jan. 7, Ball referred to “renewed recognition of how important the (farm) industry is to our state’s economy.”

With two years in office behind him, Ball is hitting full stride now, especially in the marketing department. With Governor Andrew Cuomo’s help, the department has succeeded in pushing local agriculture farther out into the public square, gaining attention and revenue for farmers and spotlighting the state’s homegrown quality produce. [Read more…]

A question all farmers should answer?

CEW-MR-1-Question11by Troy Bishopp

If you haven’t already heard by now, climate change is on the minds of many New Yorkers, and the world. This has spurred community based leaders and elected officials to open up the (our) coffers in an attempt to research, educate and stem the tide of Mother Nature’s finger-pointing for our years of environmental, financial and social behavior. Why? So we can become a more resilient state.

The earth’s condition has inspired me to educate myself at resiliency summits and agricultural meetings to try and separate fact from hysteria; all the while lamenting about my farm’s biggest resiliency question. What is the one thing that will make us (you) more resilient? [Read more…]

2016 Keystone Farm Show is “Stellar” this year!

CDM-PP-Keystone-DSC_87021by Jon M. Casey

This year’s Keystone Farm Show, the 19th annual “Farm Show for Farmers” held Jan 5-7, was by far the biggest and best show yet. Some would say it was “Stellar!” With more than 400 exhibitors filling every venue available at the York Fairgrounds in York, PA, attendees were able to shop both indoors and out, because this year’s mild and sunny weather was most accommodating as it welcomed farmers from Pennsylvania and the surrounding Mid-Atlantic states. Venues for the vendor’s displays included eight permanent buildings and a heated 200-foot long tent (for the second year), along with a number of outdoor exhibits strategically placed around the show campus. Show manager, Ken Maring, said the response for exhibit space has been so encouraging that the show staff is considering adding a second heated tent for the 2017 Keystone Farm Show. [Read more…]

Dealing with animal rights activists ~ Part 2

CEW-MR-1-Activists-39891Part 2: understanding activist tactics

by Sally Colby

Animal rights organizations use many tactics, and perhaps one of the most effective is undercover videos.

“It used to be that individuals would break into farms in the dead of night, release animals and capture animals,” said Kay Johnson Smith, president and CEO of Animal Agriculture Alliance, an organization that promotes animal welfare while bringing awareness to animal rights activists. “They learned that that tactic wasn’t garnering sympathy with the media. They weren’t able to get their story out that way, so they decided to get individuals employed on farms to produce undercover videos.” [Read more…]