Vilsack addresses farmers’ concerns in town hall meeting

CEW-MR-2-Vilsak-Adresses3680by Sally Colby

Two of the top names in agriculture met for a standing room only town hall meeting during the recent annual convention of the American Farm Bureau. Farm Bureau President Stallman moderated while U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack addressed current topics and fielded audience questions.

Vilsack acknowledged the work that Farm Bureau has done with programs including the Farmer/Rancher Alliance, the Farmland movie, farm safety and and youth educational programs. “The My American Farm program is geared toward young children (K through 5th grade),” he said, “which gives kids an understanding of where food comes from and a higher appreciation for farmers.”

Regarding short and long term gains for United States agriculture, Vilsack said, “Every time we open an opportunity or enter into a free trade agreement, it’s good for agriculture. Exports represent about 30 percent of all the gross income received by the farm community.” [Read more…]

Sheep make a grand showing at 2015 Pennsylvania Farm Show

CEW-MR-3-Sheep contest2by T.W. Burger

Her Majesty Brienna Kabina, 17, Pennsylvania’s Lamb & Wool Queen for 2015, said she did not grow up on a sheep farm.

“My mom did, and she took me to our local fair one year and I fell in love with the sheep,” she said.

Now handing out ribbons at the Junior Sheep Breeding Supreme Champion contest at the 99th Pennsylvania State Farm Show in Harrisburg, Kabina said she had to wait a couple of years until she was old enough, but she eventually got a sheep of her own to raise as a 4-H project back in Somerset, PA. [Read more…]

Diversified faces, backgrounds and business plans contribute to four upstate farms recognized at the NYS Ag Forum

CEW-MR-1-Diversified Faces40by Pat Malin

LIVERPOOL, NY — The old adage, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” seemed perfectly suited to the theme at the New York State Agricultural Society’s 183rd annual meeting and agricultural forum at the Holiday Inn outside Syracuse.

Four upstate New York farmers presented their unique stories during a panel discussion moderated by agricultural economics expert Dr. David Kohl titled, “Diversification for Success: Strategically Positioning You and Your Business for the Future.” [Read more…]

Pennsylvania Farm Show Oxen Demonstration

CEW-MR-2-Oxen demo1by T.W. Burger

Darwin Braund stood keeping an eye on his oxen, Frye and Burg and said he was about to enter his fourth retirement.

He has retired from the feed industry, and then again from North Carolina State University, and more recently from a 10-year stint as the volunteer curator at the Penn State Agricultural Museum in State College, his current home town.

And after this year, he is retiring as chief cook and bottle washer of a loose affiliation of oxen enthusiasts around the country, but mostly in New England. [Read more…]

Diversify your farm products; diversify your outlook of world events

CEW-MR-1-Diversity Kohl23by Pat Malin

LIVERPOOL, NY — What is happening to agriculture on the other side of the country and what is happening to agriculture on the other side of the world has to concern today’s farmers almost equally.

That recommendation was voiced by Dr. David Kohl, who presented the keynote speech on the value of diversification at the New York State Agricultural Society’s 183rd annual meeting and agricultural forum on Jan. 8 at the Holiday Inn outside Syracuse.

The professor emeritus of Agriculture and Applied Economics at Virginia Tech, Kohl insisted that diversification is not just a local activity. Only a day prior to coming to the Ag Society’s conference, Kohl presented his views and got feedback on world events at an agricultural producers expo in Canada. [Read more…]