USDA extends Dairy Margin Protection Program deadlines  Enrollment continues through Dec. 5; comments accepted until Dec. 15

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, speaking at the National Milk Producers Federation annual meeting, announced extended deadlines for the dairy Margin Protection Program. Farmers now have until Dec. 5, 2014, to enroll in the voluntary program, established by the 2014 Farm Bill. The program provides financial assistance to participating farmers when the margin — the difference between the price of milk and feed costs — falls below the coverage level selected by the farmer. [Read more…]

New York Beef farmer receives National Grassfed Award

CEW-MR-2-Grassfed award2by Troy Bishopp

BERLIN, NY — At the sixth annual 2014 National GrassFed Exchange meeting in Columbia, MO, New York State’s own grazing advocate and beef farmer, Morgan Hartman of Black Queen Angus Farm in Berlin, NY coveted the prestigious Innovative Producer of the Year Award.

The theme of the conference and of the awards was land stewardship, providing consumers with healthy food products and helping others. Four hundred people from 40 states and three provinces of Canada applauded as Morgan graciously accepted his award, honoring him for making a difference in forage based agriculture. [Read more…]

Agricultural mediation

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAby Sanne Kure-Jensen

Agricultural mediation programs can significantly reduce resolution costs and personal angst for conflicts between agricultural producers, their creditors, neighbors or others directly affected. Benefits of mediation include significant savings over litigation, bankruptcy hearings and administrative appeals. Mediation can help repair relationships between parties, while the traditional legal process often leaves all parties financially burdened and emotionally drained. [Read more…]