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…]

Dr. Temple Grandin receives prestigious Farm Bureau award

C4-MR-2-Temple Grandin 3546by Sally Colby

At the American Farm Bureau’s 96th Annual Convention, Dr. Temple Grandin was presented with the Distinguished Service Award. Grandin, professor of animal science at Colorado State University, addressed some of today’s most pressing issues in animal ag. She believes that one of the most important things that ag needs to do is have farmers directly communicating with people.

Grandin finds it frustrating that a lot of young people don’t know about the good things that have been done in agriculture. She cited a Purdue study that revealed that 31 percent of young people have never been on a farm, and 50 percent of people in the UK couldn’t connect pigs with bacon. She talked about her visit to The Pig Adventure at Fair Oaks Farm — a modern, open-door pig farm where visitors can see every aspect of production. Grandin asked employees at Fair Oaks what kinds of strange questions they’ve gotten from visitors viewing the pigs. The question Grandin couldn’t believe people asked was “are those actually pigs?” [Read more…]

Avoiding the unexpected with the Affordable Care Act

by Bill and Mary Weaver

Adam Kantrovich, Farm Management Educator for MSU Extension, has heard “just about every notion known to mankind” on the topic of how to avoid having problems with the ACA. He has also studied the law carefully enough to be able to point out what sorts of things might get an employer in trouble.

For example, Kantrovich advises, don’t decide to divide your larger business into multiple smaller entities, solely for the purpose of getting around the ACA.

“If you develop a series of separate business entities, even with limited differences in ownership, they may still be considered a single ‘control group’ by the IRS. This would mean an owner is required to count all employees from all entities in determining their status as either a ‘Small’ or ‘Large’ employer under the ACA guidelines. [Read more…]

“Fill A Glass With Hope” PDA Initiative kicked off Farm Show Butter Sculpture

CEWM-MR-3-Butter-sculpture26by Jon M. Casey

The 25th Annual Pennsylvania Farm Show butter sculpture, unveiled at a ceremony on Jan. 8, depicts the groundbreaking milk distribution designed to provide milk to at-risk Pennsylvanians through the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank. The Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association and the Pennsylvania Dairy Promotion Program sponsored the sculpture which features the milk distribution program implemented in June 2014, an initiative implemented by the PDA and the two organizations. [Read more…]

Bill Magee earns Distinguished Service Citation from NYS Agricultural Society

CEW-MR-2-Bill-Magee1by Pat Malin

LIVERPOOL, NY — Bill Magee, a fixture in the New York Assembly, received the well-deserved New York State Agricultural Society’s Distinguished Service Citation at the conclusion of the 183rd meeting and agricultural forum at the Holiday Inn on Jan. 8.

Magee, a native of Madison County in central New York and a Cornell University graduate, has served the interests of New York agriculture and the 121st Assembly District since 1990. He has been chair of the Assembly Agriculture Committee since 1999 and has been a longtime ally of the Farm Bureau.

The citation was established in 1956 as the Ag Society’s highest honor. [Read more…]