Advanced learning and on-farm networking with NAFDMA

C4-MR-3-NAFDMA 3by Emily Enger

They’re farmers. They’re growers. They’re businesspeople. They’re entertainers. When your job includes doing everything, often the vocabulary at your disposal is limiting. So now, they’re writers, as well, having coined a new term to describe what they do.

“We’re trying to train ourselves to say ‘entrepeneurial farmers,’” explained NAFDMA’s Director of Membership and Resources Virginia Schwarzenbach.

These newly-dubbed ‘entrepeneurial farmers’ make up the membership of the North American Farmers’ Direct Marketing Association (NAFDMA), a 501(c)3 Membership Association reaching throughout the United States and Canada. And when these busy folks are in the so-called “off-season” — the petting farms and corn mazes are shut down and the orchard is under frost — they get together for a lengthy, indepth, six day annual convention. This year it was held Jan. 31-Feb. 5 in Kansas City, MO and was titled “Makin’ Hey in the Heartland.” [Read more…]

The 2nd Annual Northeast Silvopasture Conference inspires optimization

CEW-MR-2-Northeast silvopasture1by Troy Bishopp

LATHAM, NY — When Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources District Forester and Organic Farmer, Roy Brubaker presented the case for expanding silvopastures in the Northeast to a capacity crowd of farmers, foresters and agency professionals, he drew inspiration from Sir Alfred North Whitehead who said, “Nature doesn’t maximize, nature optimizes.” [Read more…]

Farm Bill reforms please Upstate NY farmers and businesses

CEW-MR-1-Farm Bill Reforms1by Pat Malin

ONEIDA, NY — Stability. That one word was on everyone’s lips during a recent discussion of the 2014 Farm Bill.

Dairy and crop farmers and representatives from the New York Farm Bureau joined U.S. Representative Richard Hanna (R-22) at the HP Hood milk processing plant on Feb. 13 to weigh the impact of the new legislation on Central New York farmers, and they all agreed the five-year bill is an improvement over the previous versions.

“It brings consistency of supply on our end,” said Rick Kovarik, director of operations for the Hood plant, which packages 45 million gallons of milk annually. [Read more…]

More than 8,000 cattlemen and women attend convention

CEWN-MR-Cattle convention21by Rebecca Long Chaney

NASHVILLE, TN — More than 8,000 Cattlemen and Cattlewomen arrived at the National Cattle Industry Convention to attend meetings, be inspired by speakers and special guests, enjoy the trade show and network with cattle friends from coast to coast and overseas.

Whether beef producers wanted to learn new trends in the industry by visiting the more than 300 exhibitors in the trade show or take in meetings and workshops, there was something for everyone in Nashville. The convention marks the largest annual gathering of the beef industry and included special meetings of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), American National CattleWomen (ANCW), as well as the Certified Beef Board (CBB). [Read more…]