In the early 20th century, most families who lived in urban areas had relatives who farmed, and those urbanites often spent at least part of the summer on the farm. If that counts as recreation, then agritainment isn’t new. At the time, it was no stretch to find city families visiting their farm relatives for weeks at a time, or perhaps leaving the children on the farm to visit grandparents or cousins. Urban family members developed an appreciation for the hard work that goes into food production, and probably returned to the city relieved that they didn’t have to live that life. Continue reading
HARRISBURG, PA — More than 600 junior exhibitors from 34 states across the country spent a week here for the VitaFerm Junior National Hereford Expo (JNHE).
“I honestly think it’s the best junior national I’ve been too,” said Andy Billing of Greendale, NJ, co-chair New Jersey. representative on the six-state joint host JNHE planning committee. “The Farm Show Complex was a great facility to host the event. It’s the first time for all the cattle to be in one barn. The complex is air conditioned and there was plenty of trailer parking.” Continue reading
Guardian plants offer simple, non-chemical pest management in field crop and greenhouse settings. Guardian plants include indicator plants, trap crops and banker plants. Their use can dramatically reduce the need for pesticides. Jack Manix, of Walker Farm in Vermont, said the key is to know your likely pests and plan ahead. Keep and consult last year’s records of pest outbreaks to anticipate when to expect repeat outbreaks of pests such as aphids, thrips, whitefly or spider mites. Establish your guardian plants before you are likely to have a pest problem. Continue reading
WHITESVILLE, NY — While many farmers in Allegany and Steuben counties were out mowing hay after a week of severe thunderstorms, dairyman Chris Reinbold was hosting a workshop focused on learning more about soil health practices, biology and monitoring tools to improve his rotationally grazed pastures.
According to Steuben County’s Soil and Water Conservation District grazing specialist and co-organizer, Jonathan Barter, “Soil is a vibrant, living organism and not just a sterile medium for growing things. The way we have treated this life-giving resource is tragic.” Inspired by the way longtime graziers had sequestered the deluges of rain from Hurricane Sandy, he and Scott Alsworth from the Allegany County Soil and Water Conservation District set out to change the conversation about soil after taking a soil health training regime at USDA-NRCS Big Flats Plant Material Center in Corning, NY. Continue reading